© Michael Loccisano/Getty Images/FT montage

From differences in school completion and literacy between wealthy and low-income countries, to policymakers’ targets and where the money comes from.

Chart showing that the completion of lower secondary school is up but still low in poor countries

The proportion of pupils who complete lower secondary school (typically 12-15 years) has increased but in lower-income countries remains far below the global average. UN Sustainable Development Goal 4 targets completion of secondary education to specified learning outcomes by 2030

Charts showing that the proportion of 10-year-olds unable to read with basic comprehension remains very high in lower-income regions of the world

Almost 90 per cent of 10-year-olds in the poorest countries cannot read with basic understanding, compared with fewer than 9 per cent in the richest

Chart showing policymakers’ priorities in low/middle income countries

Policymakers surveyed in 36 low and middle-income countries prioritise technical and vocational training and computers/technology above foundational learning of basic literacy skills

Chart showing that the state and families pay more than donors even in poorer countries
Chart showing that low-income countries spend less than richer ones as a share of GDP
Chart showing international donor funding rose more slowly for education than health

Funding (top to bottom): donor support is the smallest source of school financing even in poorer countries; lower-income countries spend a smaller share of GDP; donor education funding has risen more slowly than health funding

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