A report released on January 29 has found that a global learning crisis costs governments $129bn a year. The 11th Education for All Global Monitoring Report, published by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, found that 10 percent of global spending on primary education is being lost on poor-quality education that fails to ensure that children learn.
There are at least 120 million children who don't spend enough time in school to learn anything, and 130 million more who have spent four years in school yet remain unable to read or write. One in four young people in poor countries are unable to read a single sentence, and one-third of young women in South and West Asia are illiterate.
Pakistan is especially hard-hit: Fewer than half the children there learn the basics, whether they've been to school or not. This makes Pakistan one of only four countries outside of sub-Saharan Africa where this is the case.
The report projects that, if current trends continue, it will take until 2072 for all the poorest young female students in developing countries to attain literacy.