Overview

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Caption/credit: 

UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe (Ethiopia)

There is an urgent need for more research on education solutions beyond business-as-usual, incremental increases in materials, infrastructure or other inputs.  

The RISE programme is driven by the goal of solid, evidence-based, practical answers to hard questions about how to reform existing education systems.

Over the past twenty-five years, the share of children enrolled in school in sub-Saharan Africa has jumped from barely half to 78 percent; in South Asia, from 75 percent to 94 percent.  Yet despite the growth of enrolment, the world faces a learning crisis. The 2014 UNESCO Global Monitoring Report stated that 250 million children are unable to read, write, or do basic mathematics, and 130 million of those children are in school. Many students—even those who have been in school for years—lack a solid foundation in the skills they need.

“Going to school is visible. Parents, communities, and public officials can see children going to school. Governments and donors have been obsessed with counting that. But now that in many countries most children are in school, it is time to make learning equally visible.”  - Rukmini Banerji, Member of the  RISE Intellectual Leadership Team 

It is ‘education,’ not sitting in a school, that is included in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. Many elements have to fit together coherently to produce learning: ministries, teachers, school financing, management and more. Millions of children eager to learn end up having their time wasted by systems that fail them. The tragic fact is, if one wants to find uneducated children today, the vast majority can be found in schools.

If we are to reach Sustainable Development Goal 4 by 2030, “to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all,” the world needs audacious goals that will inspire substantial acceleration and progress towards true ‘Education for All’, particularly for the most marginalised. However, the existing evidence base is short on answers for how these goals can be achieved. There is an urgent need for more research on solutions beyond business-as-usual, incremental increases in materials, infrastructure or other inputs—instead, RISE seeks holistic, practical answers about how education systems can innovate, improve learning outcomes, and better serve all children and communities.  

For information about the research agenda and procurement process, download our presentation: RISE country research vision and planning