SDGs | November 28, 2019

Ending Learning Poverty: How Worldreader Is Making a Difference


Ending Learning Poverty: What will it take?

The World Bank estimates that 53 percent of children in low- and middle-income countries cannot read by the end of primary school. 

This learning crisis, also referred to as learning poverty, seriously undermines sustainable growth and poverty reduction. 

In order to explore sustainable solutions that tackle this problem, The World Bank recently published a report titled Ending Learning Poverty: What will it take?

In the report, The World Bank outlines organizations – such as Worldreader – that are taking action towards ending learning poverty. 

One thing is clear: eliminating learning poverty for all children will require stronger solutions at an unprecedented rate and scale. 

In the report The World Bank writes “digital texts and e-readers can complement the use of textbooks. The work of the Worldreader NGO in Ghana, Kenya, and India has demonstrated that it is possible to make available digital reading materials on phones and other mobile devices in ways that are both accessible to young readers and cost-effective at scale” (27). 

Read the report

Here we break down what learning poverty is, The World Bank’s proposed solution and what Worldreader is doing about it. 

What is learning poverty?  

The World Bank defines learning poverty as: “the inability to read and understand a simple text by age 10.” When a child can’t read, it further impedes their ability to succeed in school and beyond. According to the World Bank, many children around the world are not reading proficiently because they lack the fundamental skills and textbooks, leading to the learning crisis we are experiencing today. 

World Bank’s Proposal

The World Bank believes there is an urgent need for society as a whole to come together and invest in sustainable solutions to eliminating learning poverty around the world. 

They have set a new operational global learning target that aims to cut the Learning Poverty rate by at least half before 2030. 

To achieve this target, they propose using three key pillars:

  1. A literacy policy package: this consists of interventions focused on promoting acquisition of reading technique in primary schools
  2. A refreshed educational approach: this will strengthen education systems
  3. An ambitious measurement and research agenda: this will cover learning outcomes, their drivers, action-oriented research and innovation on how to build foundational skills. 

Where Worldreader comes in

In the report, The World Bank mentions Worldreader’s work in Ghana, Kenya and India as a step in the right direction when it comes to scaling reading to those affected by the learning crisis. Worldreader’s solution, according to the World Bank, is both accessible to young readers and cost-effective at scale. 

worldreader reading moment

We’re proud to be recognized for our efforts to create a world of readers and our contributions towards eliminating learning poverty. 

This holiday season, we are raising funds to reach more children with life-changing reading materials. Will you help us? 


Donate today.