Even before COVID-19 and lockdown, the world was facing a learning crisis, with more than 50% of children in low- and middle-income countries unable to read by the age of 10. School closures widen learning inequalities and hurt vulnerable children disproportionately. The pandemic, however, also represents an unprecedented opportunity to build more resilient education systems for the future. This is why the Swiss-based Jacobs Foundation, in context of its Strategy 2030, pledges to invest half a billion Swiss francs to advance learning and education globally. Over the next ten years, the Foundation wants to co-create evidence-based ideas for learning, support schools in offering quality education and sharing best practices, and transform education systems.
“Thirty years of work in child and youth development have shown us that relevant systems and institutions often fail to provide children with effective learning opportunities to reach their learning potential and to thrive”, says Simon Sommer, Co-CEO Jacobs Foundation. “We build on three decades of experience in funding research on human development. This will help us to promote the global generation, transfer and application of evidence on learning.”
The Jacobs Foundation structures its program portfolios along three interwoven dimensions of learning, which form the bedrock of the Foundation’s 2030 strategy: Learning Minds; Learning Schools; Learning Societies.
“A systems-change approach provides for the greatest impact in child and youth development and for societies at large. This is what we have learned from our TRECC program in Côte d’Ivoire and our Early Childhood program in Switzerland”, says Fabio Segura, Co-CEO Jacobs Foundation. “We want to initiate multi-stakeholder partnerships among governments, industry, schools, and social purpose organizations in an effort to leverage resources and increase the capacity to jointly scale up effective education policies and practices.”