World Bank ranks Guyana below Caribbean average on education, health

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A World Bank report on the global state of human capital paints a grim picture of Guyana, revealing that this country’s average is below that of the region.

The Human Capital Index (HCI) was released last week; it focuses on health and education and other factors to determine how productive a child born today will be at age 18.

According to the report, between 2012 and 2017, the HCI value for Guyana increased from 0.48 to 0.49 – or 0.01 in five years. The institution reported that based on figures for 2017, the country’s HCI “is lower than the average for its region and income group.”

The institution also revealed several key findings in relation to education, health and productivity.

In relation to the probability of Survival to Age Five, it was found that 97 out of 100 children born in Guyana survive to age five.

For adult survival rate, it was reported that 79 percent of 15-year olds will survive until age 60. This statistic is a proxy for the range of fatal and non-fatal health outcomes that a child born today would experience as an adult under current conditions.

In the area of education, it was found that a child who starts school at age 4 can expect to complete 12.1 years of school by her 18th birthday. However, factoring in what children actually learn, the report stated that expected years of school is only 6.7 years.

Meanwhile, students in Guyana score on average 346 on a scale where 625 represents advanced attainment and 300 represents minimum attainment.

It was also reported that 89 out of 100 children are not stunted in growth. This means that 11 out of 100 children are stunted, and so are at risk of cognitive and physical limitations that can last a lifetime.

The Bank noted that in its 2017 assessment, the HCI for Guyana is lower than what would be predicted for its income level.

The HCI measures the amount of human capital that a child born today can expect to attain by age 18. It conveys the productivity of the next generation of workers compared to a benchmark of complete education and full health. It is constructed for 157 countries.

It is made up of five indicators: the probability of survival to age five, a child’s expected years of schooling, harmonized test scores as a measure of quality of learning, adult survival rate (fraction of 15-year olds that will survive to age 60), and the proportion of children who are not stunted.

Globally, 56 percent of all children born today will grow up to be, at best, half as productive as they could be; and 92 percent will grow up to be, at best, 75 percent as productive as they could be.

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