ECONOMYNEXT – Seventeen out of 100 children in Sri Lanka are stunted, and at risk of cognitive and physical limitations, according to a new World Bank index that shows the productivity of the next generation of workers.
A child born in Sri Lanka today will be 58 percent as productive when she grows up as she could be if she enjoyed complete education and full health, the Human Capital Index, shows.
The HCI, built for 157 countries, measures the amount of human capital that a child born today can expect to attain by age 18, a statement said.
“It conveys the productivity of the next generation of workers compared to a benchmark of complete education and full health,” it said.
The HCI is made up of five indicators: the probability of survival to age five, a child’s expected years of schooling, harmonized test scores as a measure of quality of learning, adult survival rate (fraction of 15-year olds that will survive to age 60), and the proportion of children who are not stunted.
The statement said 83 out of 100 children are not stunted. “Seventeen out of 100 children are stunted, and so at risk of cognitive and physical limitations that can last a lifetime.”
Children in Sri Lanka can expect to complete 13 years of preprimary, primary and secondary school by age 18.
However, when years of schooling are adjusted for quality of learning, in the ‘Learning-adjusted Years of School indicator, factoring in what children actually learn, this is only equivalent to 8.3 years: a learning gap of 4.7 years.
In 2017, Sri Lanka’s HCI was higher than the average for its region and income group.
But between 2012 and 2017, the HCI value for Sri Lanka remained about the same at 0.58.
Globally, 56 percent of all children born today will grow up to be, at best, half as productive as they could be; and 92 percent will grow up to be, at best, 75 percent as productive as they could be.
The HCI shows a high survival rate with 99 out of 100 children born in Sri Lanka surviving to age 5.
In 2017, the HCI for Sri Lanka is higher than what would be predicted for its income level. (COLOMBO, 16 October, 2018)