The education sector in Armenia has challenges with low learning levels and additional pressures imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The World Bank’s human capital index (HCI) shows that a child who starts school at age four in Armenia can expect to complete 11.3 years of schooling by the age of 18. An analysis of learning outcomes factoring in what children actually learn, however, shows that expected years of schooling equate to only eight years. This results in a learning gap of 3.3 years. The COVID-19 pandemic may have exerted additional hurdles to improve learning outcomes. Due to the pandemic, Armenia risks losing 0.3 learning-adjusted year of schooling as calculated by World Bank simulations. This translates to an average annual earning loss of US$6,457 per student. Additionally, around 26 percent of children at late primary-school age in Armenia are not proficient in reading.2 This, also known as learning poverty, means being unable to read and understand a short, age-appropriate text by age 10. Learning poverty in Armenia is 17.2 percentage points worse than the average for the ECA region (8.9 percent on average). The main motivation of the report is to analyze critical human capital dynamics that play into labor productivity, especially that of learning and its determinants. Armenia’s performance in international assessments have been relatively below average but slightly improving over the last decade. This report is also exploring the overall performance of Armenia in terms of learning, where any improvements have occurred and whether they are timely and sufficient in ensuring sustainable growth and productivity. The report will first look at the background of the education system in Armenia including education expenditures and explain the methodology of the study; then analyze the quality of education; focus on differences in student performance across regions followed by factors associated with overall learning outcomes. Finally, it will present recommended ways forward based on the analysis.
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Analysis of Learning in Armenia
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