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7 Learning Techniques Every Ambitious Student Should Know

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With the demands of school life evolving as years pass by, students indeed have to pick up their productivity. Achieving good grades alone is not enough. Now, extra-curricular activities, student organization, and part-time jobs would be eating away your study time.

So how do you make the most out of the little time you get for actual learning? Of course, academic services such as EssayHelp can be a big boon for completing assignments. However, you need to rely on learning strategies to perform well on exams and retain what you study.

So without any further ado, we will get into the seven best learning strategies that have proven effective time after time.

1.      Spaced Learning

Your lack of long periods of time for studying might be a blessing in disguise. The only thing is to not wait until the last minute to cram before the exam. When you do this, you might be memorizing the material. But it will soon vanish from your mind.

Instead, you can split the study sessions into multiple intervals. This way, you will be brushing up on what you learned in the previous session every time. This repetitive training has proved to be tremendously helpful in retaining long-term memory. Ensure that you have set aside small blocks of time every day to review what you studied, and it will help to concrete the concepts in your mind.

2.      The Protégé Effect

Scientists have dubbed the protégé effect as a way for students to score higher on tests by teaching other students. This is certainly not a new approach. Students have always sought tutoring from peers to help each other out. The idea is that in order for you to teach, you first need a thorough understanding of the subject.

You think about the subject in your own words and break it down to explain to others. This deconstructing and reconstructing of ideas will reinforce them in your mind. If you do not want one-on-one sessions with another student, you can apply the same concept in group study sessions, too. Even if you do not have a study buddy, imagine that you are teaching the subject to another student and explain it out loud.

3.      Retrieval Practice

It is likely that you have already been doing retrieval practice at some level. It is the act of trying to recall the information you studied without referring to it. Once you have tried your best to repeat what you learned, you can cross-check your notes and see if you got them right.

Now, evidently, it is not a new concept. However, studies prove that retrieval practice is more effective than you think. In fact, retrieving information has proven to be more effective than reviewing lectures, study guides, and revising. If you combine recalling with other strategies, you are likely to see better results.

4.      The Pomodoro Technique

According to psychologists, an average student’s attention span ranges from 10 to 15 minutes. However, students are used to longer study sessions that eventually take away their focus with time. When students try to replicate the same study intervals later, their attention span diminishes after a certain point. Now, as we all know, when the distraction kicks in, it isn’t easy to control.

Pomodoro technique proposes that you use a timer to break down your sessions. Typically, you can do four 20-minute sessions with five minutes break in between. After four sessions, you take a long break of half an hour or so. But today, most Pomodoro apps also give you the option to set your own timers. Students can plan their study sessions based on their attention spans, and the quick breaks will encourage them to get back to learning as well.

5.      Building Connections

Mind-maps and flow charts have been taking a front seat in learning strategies recently. By visually outlining the information, students can process new information faster. They help to build a narrative to connect different aspects of a concept and understand them better.

Flow charts are also an effective way for students to take notes during a lecture. It helps to simplify complex subjects, boost creative thinking, and makes information easier to consume.

6.      The Memory Palace Technique

The technique of Memory Palace dates back to the ancient Roman period. In simple words, it is to build your own palace and associate a piece of information with the place’s detail. Consider that you are taking a route through the palace, or any place for that matter. This will help you to recall the items in a specific order.

When you need to recollect what you studied, you will be thinking of these details. Which object or place did you attach it to. The scene will be vivid in your mind. There is no right way to do this. You can pick any place, any route, and any object to relate your thoughts to. Associating locations with mental concepts is one of the most powerful memory combinations that can be highly beneficial to remember them.

7.      Trust Your Learning Style

How a student learns depends on their individual cognitive style. Our educational system might not recognize the impact of this individual style on education. How students fare in exams is also influenced by whether the teaching materials cater to the idiosyncrasies.

Consequently, for students to perform to their best, they first need to recognize their learning habits and styles. What works for your classmate might not work for you. Acknowledging and understanding this will help you find a method that works best for you.

Final Thoughts

We recommend that you note where your strength lies and what your weaknesses are. If time management is an issue, the Pomodoro technique should work in your favor. If you have trouble recalling what you studied, you can try any strategy we mentioned above till you find the right one for you.

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Latin America and the Caribbean: missing the chance to invest in a sustainable recovery?

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A new platform showcasing real-time data from 33 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean has revealed that on environmentally sustainable post-COVID-19 spending, Latin America and the Caribbean lags behind the rest of the world: 0.5 per cent of total spending and 2.2 per cent of long-term recovery spending was environmentally friendly in 2020 compared to 2.8 per cent and 19.2 per cent globally.

The tool, which is based on the Global Recovery Observatory, an initiative led by the Oxford University Economic Recovery Project (OUERP), and supported by UNEP, the International Monetary Fund and GIZ through the Green Fiscal Policy Network (GFPN), reveals that only six of the region’s 33 countries dedicated more than 0.1 per cent of their GDP to recovery spending. A small number did allocate a significant proportion of their budgets to post-COVID-19 efforts, including Chile (14.9 per cent), Saint Kitts and Nevis (13.3 per cent), Saint Lucia (11.3 per cent), Bolivia (10.5 per cent) and Brazil (9.26 per cent).

The examination of over 1,100 policies shows that approximately 77 per cent of the region’s total spending of USD 318 billion was allocated to rescue measures addressing short-term threats and saving lives, while only 16.1 per cent has focused so far on long-term recovery plans to revitalize the economy, given the limited financial resources of many of the region’s countries. On average, Latin America and the Caribbean has allocated USD 490 per capita expenditure to post-COVID-19 recovery, compared to USD 650 in Emerging Markets and Developing Economies, and USD12,700 in advanced economies.

The region has been severely affected by COVID-19. Home to 8 per cent of the world’s population, Latin America and the Caribbean has reported some 29 per cent of deaths from the pandemic, while it is estimated that in 2020, the region had a GDP contraction of 7 per cent.

“I applaud the initiative of Latin American and Caribbean ministers to track their progress towards greener recoveries. Our Tracker shows that overall, the region’s green spending does not yet match the severity of the triple planetary crises of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution,” said Piedad Martin, Acting Director of UNEP’s Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean. “In order to transition to more sustainable and inclusive economies, nations in the region must build from this good start of tracking to further align their development priorities with green recovery.”

To date, according to the Tracker, a higher proportion of the region’s recovery budget has been spent on unsustainable sectors (USD 7.4 billion) than on environmentally-sustainable initiatives (USD 1.5 billion). 74 per cent of environmentally-negative spending has been directed to fossil energy infrastructure, and 13 per cent to unsustainable port and airport infrastructure, which is expected to lead to an increase in carbon emissions.

“The situation of the region is dire, the response to the pandemic is leading us to an increase in debt, limiting our capacity to direct investments to environmental sustainability. Yet, placing climate action as the engine of recovery has never been as important. Our survival and the competitiveness of the region is at stake due to climate change,” said Costa Rica’s Minister of the Environment and Energy Andrea Meza, who will chair the XXIII meeting of the regional Forum of Ministers of the Environment in 2022. “I call on governments, the international community and the private sector to support Latin America and the Caribbean in responding to this crisis through investments that allow us to meet the Paris Agreement.”

High-impact chances for the region are numerous and require a mix of policy measures. Key opportunities await in sustainable energy, in particular non-conventional renewable energy and energy efficiency; investments in zero-emission transport –with a special focus on public transport—; investments in nature-based solutions to ensure adaptation in key sectors, such as agriculture, and urban centres, where most of the population lives.

“The region has reached an economic crossroads. Either governments continue to support the old, dying industries of the past or invest in sustainable industries which will drive future prosperity. The new economic opportunities for the region are monumental and wise leaders will embrace them,” said Brian O’Callaghan, lead researcher at the Oxford University Economic Recovery Project.

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Cities in Southern Uzbekistan to Improve Urban Infrastructure and Municipal Services

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Residents of cities located in two southern regions of Uzbekistan will benefit from improved urban infrastructure and municipal services, thanks to Additional Financing for the Medium-Size Cities Integrated Urban Development Project (MSCIUDP), approved today by the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors. The project will be supported by a $100 million concessional credit. The International Development Association, the part of the World Bank Group, will provide it to the Government of Uzbekistan at a very low-interest rate and with a repayment period of 30 years.

This additional financing will expand the geographic scope of the ongoing project funded by the World Bank that has been implemented in Tashkent (Yangiyul and Pskent), Bukhara (Kagan) and Namangan (Chartak) regions since 2019.   

The new project activities will cover selected mid-sized cities in Kashkadarya and Surkhandarya regions of Uzbekistan. The final list of all project cities in this part of the country will be validated over the next 6 months, in consultation with the regional and municipal governments (hokimiyats), based on local needs and economic potential.

Medium-size cities participating in the project in Surkhandarya and Kashkadarya regions will benefit from an integrated and specifically designed program of investments that will include the following: improved and expanded water supply and sanitation networks; upgraded electricity infrastructure and street lights, as well as vehicular, pedestrian and multimodal accesses to public transportation; upgraded energy-efficient public buildings; reconstructed public spaces and parks, street networks and associated infrastructure; and restored objects of cultural heritage.

The majority of the cities covered by the project have untapped growth potential. Many are located along strategic transport corridors; some have prominent tourist attractions; and most are well-positioned to create a range of quality service jobs for the surrounding rural areas.

All investments under the project will follow the most contemporary green design principles and aim to achieve universal accessibility. About 4 million people, equivalent to about 70 percent of the combined population of both regions, are expected to, directly and indirectly, benefit from the improved urban infrastructures, municipal services, and job opportunities created thanks to the project. 

“Many countries have effectively used urbanization as a development engine, like in the case of China, South Korea and Thailand. To achieve this, Uzbekistan needs to catch up with the backlog of urban infrastructure and services and upgrade public spaces to make cities more attractive and productive,” said Marco Mantovanelli, World Bank Country Manager for Uzbekistan. “Medium-size cities are growing fast here and have the potential for generating entry-level service jobs for youth. The combination of investments in infrastructure and capacity building of regional and municipal ‘hokimiyats’ to effectively manage and maintain urban assets will transform cities into comfortable places to live, work and do business. We are glad to support the Government in achieving this important goal.”

To complement the investments, the project will also offer additional support to regional and municipal hokimiyats through providing equipment and training to improve management and maintenance of urban infrastructure and assets, as well as modern environmental practices and green approaches to urban management.

Additionally, the project will help the Government to continue implementing reforms critical for sustainable urban development, including administrative and budgetary reform that should transfer more powers and resources to hokimiyats, and urban planning reform that should help ensure cities grow in an orderly and sustainable manner. 

The Ministry of Investment and Foreign Trade of Uzbekistan will continue implementing project activities in all five regions in close coordination with hokimiyats of the participating medium-size cities and regions, as well as key line ministries and state agencies. 

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World Bank Supports Jordan’s Green, Resilient, and Inclusive Recovery

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The World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors approved on June 10, 2021 a US$500 million Program to catalyze public and private investment in Jordan for a green and inclusive recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is expected to help Jordan accelerate its recovery and create more jobs by capitalizing on the economy’s potential, especially its green growth opportunities, and to strengthen the Government’s accountability mechanisms for delivery. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is also preparing an additional US$250 million in financing to support the Program.

The Inclusive, Transparent and Climate Responsive Investments Program-for-Results (PforR) is part of the US$1.1 billion recently announced by the World Bank Group (WBG) in combined loans and grant financing support from the WBG and international partners to support Jordan in responding to the pandemic and promoting an early, climate-resilient, and inclusive recovery.

Jordan is ready to embark on a climate-responsive recovery and a new growth trajectory. Climate risks due to water scarcity, rising temperatures, and extreme weather present new opportunities for Jordan to become more resource-efficient and more competitive. Investing in greening of infrastructure and services creates jobs and economic value. Jordan’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) under the Paris Agreement on climate change provides a platform to identify opportunities that also benefit the society.

The Program also helps Jordan to include gender-informed assessments in investment design and policy formulation. This is important as less than 15% of Jordanian women in the country were in the labor force in 2019, one of the lowest rates in the world, marking an enormous untapped potential for the economy and society.

Jordan is ready to turn the corner on its investment environment and to develop a greener, more climate responsive and more efficient economy,” said Nasser Shraideh, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation of Jordan. “This program will help Jordan move in that direction and kickstart the post-pandemic economic recovery.”

Jordan has been one of the most active and pioneering countries in the region in ratifying and adopting international climate change initiatives, including the Paris Agreement,” said Saroj Kumar Jha, Mashreq Regional Director, World Bank Group. “Jordan can now capitalize on these efforts to become an attractive destination for green and climate-related investments.”

The Program supports the implementation of investment reforms that were initiated under the Five-Year Reform Matrix. These reforms (i) strengthen processes and systems to deliver well-targeted public investments, including Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs); and (ii) further improve the environment for private investment, including tourism. In both cases the program supports the greening of investment,” said Christos Kostopoulos, World Bank Lead Economist.

The Program will also promote inclusion and transparency in its implementation. The PforR includes enhanced public consultation processes and supports greater accessibility of data to deliver more citizen-informed and better results. The PforR will institutionalize public consultation in the preparation of large capital projects to ensure that public investment promotes social inclusion and caters to the needs of citizens, including marginalized people and those with disabilities. The public will also be consulted during implementation and ex-post evaluation.

Alongside the PforR, the World Bank will also be launching a Country Climate and Development Report (CCDR), a flagship analytic report, to support evidence-based policies and reforms to green the economy, create jobs, and attract private sector capital. Jordan will be one of the first countries globally to pilot the CCDR.

The Program-for-Results is a World Bank Group financing instrument that supports programs already included in the government budget. Importantly, it links the disbursement of funds directly to the achievement of specific agreed program results over the five-year program period. The targeted results are publicly disclosed upon project approval, and achievement of results during the course of program implementation is verified by the Jordan Audit Bureau and validated by the World Bank.

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