As one of its sustainable development goals, the UN is shooting for total literacy among young people, as well as a large portion of adults, by 2030.
The problem is that even with rapid technological advancements around the world, the learning environment and the quality of education are struggling to keep pace – making it likely that a good part of the world’s adults and children would still be illiterate by the 2030 deadline.
Known as an education-focused philanthropist, in a recent interview with Quartz, Bill Gates has shared what he thinks is the ultimate recipe for achieving global literacy: Good old primary school teachers. “Although it’s fine to look at innovative approaches,” Bill Gates told Quartz, “a well-trained teacher in a country that’s stable, where you’re culturally allowing the girls to go to school as well, you can get extremely high literacy levels.”
Add to the mix a reasonably sized class, teachers who are paid by the government and show up, and that is all you need to spread literacy.
In the end, Gates said that while available technical innovations could help achieve higher rates of literacy and numeracy later in the process, at the moment good teachers – and more of them – is the best and most proven solution.