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Literacy and Numeracy Skills among Children in Developing Countries

Learning and Education in Developing Countries provides comprehensive and up-to-date review of learning and educational quality in developing countries, written by highly knowledgeable specialists from around the world. The areas reviewed include early literacy, new technologies, conflict-affected contexts, non-formal education, and learning assessment, and are among the most crucial for policy makers—from ministers of education, development agencies to academic specialists and students in international educational development. Working with the UN Millennium Development Goals to improve educational quality, this cutting edge, research-based review helps to situate what is known and remains to be known to improve education globally.

Young children in developing countries are at risk - due to no, little, or low quality education, and limited family resources and constrained opportunities for culturally meaningful learning. The risk is even greater for children who do not speak the majority language, endure poverty, and are members of marginalized groups including girls and religious minorities.

This chapter identifies some of the foundational literacy, numeracy, and cognitive skills that children need to acquire in order to gain access to advanced educational and economic opportunities, and strategies to support these skills especially for children who are not well served by existing teaching and curricula. We identify some promising programs, research gaps, and areas where policy reforms are needed. Throughout the chapter, we show how parental support, appropriate curricula, including the use of the child's first language, and effective teachers are crucial for educational achievement of all children.


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Author(s): 
Jessica Ball
Scott Paris
Rangachar Govinda
Date Published: 
Wednesday, January 1, 2014