By Taonga Sabola:
Malawi has been ranked on position 125 out of 157 economies on the inaugural Human Capital Index compiled by the World Bank.
Human capital, according to the Bretton Woods institution, consists of the knowledge, skills, and health that people accumulate throughout their lives, enabling them to realise their potential as productive members of society.
The bank says countries can end extreme poverty and create more inclusive societies by developing human capital. This requires investing in people through nutrition, healthcare, quality education, jobs and skills.
According to the report, Malawi’s Human Capital Index is slightly higher than the average for its region and higher than the average for its income group.
The index is made up of five indicators: the probability of survival to age five; a child’s expected years of schooling; harmonised test scoresas a measure of quality of learning; adult survival rate (fractionof 15-year olds that will survive to age 60); and the proportion of children who are not stunted.
The report shows that a child born in Malawi today will be 41 percent as productive when she grows up as she could be if she enjoyed complete education and full health.
According to the index, 94 percent of children born in Malawi survive to age five.
It adds that, in Malawi, a child who starts school at age four can expect to complete 9.4 years of school by her 18th birthday.
“Students in Malawi score 359 on a scale where 625 represents advanced attainment and 300 represents minimum attainment.
“Across Malawi, 73 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,” reads the report in part.
According to the World Bank, the Human Capital Project is expected to create the political space for national leaders to prioritise transformational human capital investments.
The objective is rapid progress towards a world in which all children arrive in school well-nourished and ready to learn, can expect to attain real learning in the classroom and are able to enter the job market as healthy, skilled and productive adults.
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