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India at 4th place in top low-income economies: WEFFI 2018
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India at 4th place in top low-income economies: WEFFI 2018

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New Delhi, Mar 8 : India ranks at number four in the top low-income economies, according to the Worldwide Educating for the Future Index (WEFFI) 2018.

Ghana tops the list in low-income economies, The Philippines is at second place, Vietnam at third, India at fourth and Kenya at fifth while their overall ranks are 25, 28, 37, 40 and 41 respectively, in the second edition of the WEFFI, produced by The Economist Intelligence Unit and commissioned by the Yidan Prize Foundation.

Future-focused approaches to education must move beyond rigid, exam-based methods and encompass problem-based learning, innovative teaching methods and broader themes of global citizenship. Progress on transforming the world’s education systems to meet these goals is uneven, according to a new report released on March 5 by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

Themed “Building tomorrow’s global citizens”, the white paper is commissioned by the Yidan Prize Foundation and based on the findings of the second annual Worldwide Educating for the Future Index. With a focus on young people aged 15-24 in 50 economies, it measures three pillars of education systems—policy approaches, teaching conditions and broader gauges of societal freedom and openness—as a means of readying young people to meet the challenges of work and society in future.

According to the WEFFI 2018, Finland’s strong policy, teaching and socio-economic environments propel it to top of 50 economies. Switzerland and New Zealand follow closely behind, the latter having taken the top spot in 2017’s inaugural ranking.

Sweden, Canada, The Netherlands, Germany and Singapore (in tie), France and the UK are placed fourth to tenth rank respectively.

The UK is down four spots from its 2017 ranking, hurt by low scores on quality of teacher education and government expenditure on education. It remains the only major ranking to assess inputs to education systems and stands in contrast to measures like the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)’s Programme for International Student Assessment, which looks at exam-like outputs.

With comprehensive policies, well-trained teachers and strong assessment frameworks to test for future skills, small, wealthy, globally connected economies like Finland, Canada and Singapore comprise the top performers.

But greater wealth is not a panacea: Ghana punches well above its weight when measured against GDP per head, ranking 25th overall, while Mexico, Colombia and the Philippines merit favourable mention for their work in policy areas, as does Costa Rica for its efforts to adapt teaching to the demands of tomorrow.

On the other hand, Norway, despite ranking first in the socio-economic category, is dragged down by a poor performance on indicators such as assessment frameworks to support educating for future skills. The US also punches below its economic weight.

Ghana leads among low-income economies, based on the strength of its strategy to teach future skills and supportive assessment frameworks. Michael Gold, editor of the report said, “The second edition of the index shows that while education systems are starting to recognise the importance of holistic approaches to learning, many gaps still exist. Economies around the world must strengthen assessment frameworks, regularise reviews of curriculums and improve teaching conditions.

''Perhaps most importantly, the recent retrenchment away from globalisation by many economies may threaten students’ abilities to develop an inquisitive mind-set and tackle the big problems of tomorrow.”UNI