The poor quality of education in the Maldives poses a serious human capital challenge to the country, says the World Bank.
The World Bank released its Human Capital Review (HCR) report for the Maldives on Tuesday.
The global financial institute found in its review that Maldives has important human capital challenges to address, which reveal high levels of inequalities across geography and gender, to fulfil its full potential.
According to the report, a Maldivian child can expect to complete 12.4 years of schooling, but only 8.17 years of learning, implying a loss of 4.32 years due to poor quality of education.
“This loss is higher than the average of upper-middle-income countries (UMICs) and small island states,” reads the report.
The review also found that a current levels of human capital, the Maldives loses 23 percent of its future productivity when they reach the labor market.
The World Bank cited low employment rates, especially among women, as a key contributing factor, reflecting the barriers and challenges that women face in the labor market.
The global institute also found there are significant spatial inequalities in human capital outcomes.
The review found that a child born in Male’, the capital city, can expect to achieve 64 percent of their full potential by age 18, while a child born in the central region can expect to achieve only 54 percent.
All regions other than Male’ have a Human Capital Index (HCI) score - a metric that captures the health and education outcomes of a country’s population - lower than the national average.
The World Bank found that the challenges are compounded by country-wide structural risks such as climate change, which poses a compounding and existential threat.
“The Maldivian economy is heavily dependent on tourism, making the country highly vulnerable to shocks, with implications for human development progress. Climate change also affects the health and well-being of the population, especially poor and marginalized groups, who have less access to resources and services to cope with the impacts,” reads the report.
The World Bank made five key policy recommendations in its report: