Shakira. (Image credit: Photographer: Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images)

Shakira and Other VIPs: Education Is "the Best Investment the World Can Make"

Investing $1 in another year of schooling "generates earnings and health benefits of $10 in low-income countries," the panel's report found.

"A quarter of a billion children and young people are out of school. Another 330 million are not learning because we fail to invest in them even when they are in school."

So says a report released Sunday by a blue-ribbon commission that includes the singer Shakira, Alibaba founder Jack Ma, and former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Many children in developing countries aren't getting a fair shot at launching their lives, said the commission, which was convened by the presidents of Chile, Indonesia and Malawi and the prime minister of Norway. Among its commissioners are former Mexican President Felipe Calderon and former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard; Harvard economist Lawrence Summers and former Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt were among its directors.

Their report, "The Learning Generation: Investing in education for a changing world," said that low-skilled jobs are disappearing and calculates that investing $1 in an additional year of schooling—particularly for girls—"generates earnings and health benefits of $10 in low-income countries and nearly $4 in lower-middle income countries."

Nations differ widely in how effective their education systems are, the report found. Vietnam and Tunisia spend similar shares of their gross domestic product on education, but "in Tunisia only...Read more...