Human Capital Challenge in Maldives: The World Bank highlights the poor quality of education in the Maldives as a significant human capital challenge for the country, posing obstacles to its development.

Findings of the Human Capital Review (HCR): In its Human Capital Review report released on Tuesday, the World Bank identifies important human capital challenges in the Maldives, indicating high levels of inequality across geography and gender that hinder the nation’s full potential.

Impact of Poor Quality Education: The report reveals that while a Maldivian child can expect to complete 12.4 years of schooling, they only acquire 8.17 years of learning, resulting in a loss of 4.32 years due to subpar education quality, surpassing averages of upper-middle-income countries and small island states.

Productivity Loss and Employment Rates:

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At current levels of human capital, the Maldives experiences a 23% loss in future productivity upon entering the labor market, with low employment rates, particularly among women, attributed to barriers and challenges they encounter.

Spatial Inequalities: Significant spatial disparities exist in human capital outcomes, with children born in regions other than Male’ achieving lower Human Capital Index (HCI) scores, reflecting unequal access to education and health resources.

Impact of Structural Risks: Structural risks such as climate change exacerbate existing challenges, with the Maldivian economy heavily reliant on tourism, rendering it vulnerable to shocks, and climate change affecting health and well-being, especially among marginalized groups.

Policy Recommendations by the World Bank:

Address Geographic Disparities: Improve connectivity and accessibility of remote regions, ensure equitable allocation of resources, and expand access to early childhood and tertiary education.

Improve Education Quality: Enhance curriculum, assessment, and teacher training, promote innovation and technology, and foster a culture of learning and excellence.

Combat Stunting: Scale up interventions to prevent and treat child stunting, improve health services delivery, and address social and environmental determinants of health.

Enhance Women’s Employment: Remove barriers to female employment, promote gender equality, support women’s entrepreneurship and skills development, and provide childcare and elderly care services.

Enhance Social Sector Spending Efficiency: Improve governance and accountability of social sector institutions and enhance monitoring and evaluation of human capital programs and policies.

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