Headline, April 20 2019/ ''' '' EDUCATIONAL -WORLD- INEQUALITIES '' '''



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'DEAR LITTLE ANGELS' - MAY ALMIGHTY GOD guide and help you all - ever, ever and more. Children in child labor? Children out of school and on the streets?

ENROLMENT in early-childhood education :
Afghanistan, Pakistan, Myanmar, India, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Latin America, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, the whole of African continent, Bhutan, Nepal?.............

Government spending on early childhood and care? I think the lesser said the better

MOST RICH COUNTRIES - decided more than a century ago that free and compulsory education for all children was a worthwhile investment for society.

But the child-rearing practices now embraced by affluent parents in many parts of the rich world, particularly in America, go far beyond an adjustment to changes in external conditions.

They amount to a strong bid to ensure that the advantages enjoyed the parents' generation are passed on their offspring.

Since success in life now turns mainly on education, such parents will do their utmost to provide their children with the schooling, the character training and the social skills that will secure access to the best universities and later the most attractive jobs.

To some extent that has always been the case. But there are more such parents now, and they are competing with each other for what economists call ''positional goods'' - things that are in limited supply and that money cannot always buy, like those placed at top universities.

This competition starts even before the children are born. The prosperous classes will take their time to select a suitable spouse and get married, and will start a family only when they feel ready for it.

Children from less advantaged backgrounds, by contrast appear before their parents are ready for them.

And even if those children have two resident parents who are doing their best for them, they are still handicapped by lack of funds, knowledge and connections. The result, certainly in America, has been to widen already massive social inequalities yet further.

What can be done about this? All the evidence suggests that children from poorer backgrounds are at a disadvantage almost as soon as they are born.

By the age of  five or six they are far less ''school ready'' than their better-off peers, so any attempt to help them catch up have to start long before they got to school.

America has had some success with various schemes involving regular home visits by nurses or social workers to low-income families with new babies.

It has long experience with programmes for young children from poor families that combine support for parents with good-quality child care. Such programmes do seem to make a difference.

Without extra effort, children from low income families in most countries are much less likely than their better-off peers to attend preschool education, even they are more likely to benefit from it.

And Data from the OECD's PISA programme suggest that children need at least two years of early [pre-school] education to perform at their best when they are 15.

So the most promising way to ensure greater equity may be to make early-years education and care far more widely available and more affordable, as it is in the Nordics.

Some governments are already rethinking their educational priorities, shifting some of their spending to early years.

Before the Industrial Revolution it was the whole village that minded the children, not individual parents. In the face of crushing new inequalities, a modern version of that approach is worth trying.

The World Students Society thanks ''The Economist''.

With respectful dedication to the Leaders, Grandparents, Parents, Students, Professors and Teachers of the world.

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