2021 World Bank Group & Financial Times Essay Writing Competition

World Bank Group and the Financial Times’ Joint Global Blog/Essay Writing Competition 2021: See Eligibility, Requirements, Prizes, Selection / Judging Criteria, Application Guidelines and Deadline.

Entries are invited from 16 to 19 years old high school or secondary school students for the World Bank Group and the Financial Times’ third joint global blog/essay writing competition.

If you are 16 to 19 years old, currently enrolled in a high school or secondary school and COVID-19 has affected your learning or the education of a friend or family member, you are invited to take part in the World Bank Group and the Financial Times’ third joint global blog/essay writing competition.

The pandemic has disrupted our lives everywhere, and is changing how we live, work and learn. This health crisis is creating another crisis – an education crisis. The World Bank estimates that an additional 72 million primary school-age children will fall into learning poverty, due to extended school closures caused by the pandemic. Learning poverty is when a child cannot read and understand a simple text by the age of 10.

As the global community works on identifying solutions, the World Bank and Financial Times want to hear from those most affected – young people. They want to hear from you! Tell them what you think by joining this blog competition.

You can do so by telling them:
How has your learning experience been affected by COVID-19? What would you tell educators and policy makers to do differently? What would make an impact on your learning experience?


  • Participants must be enrolled in high school or a version of secondary education and should be between the ages of 16-19 years.
  • Entries are only to be submitted in English.
  • Entries should be original content and cannot have been previously published or lifted from other sources.


The winning entry will be published in the Financial Times (at its sole discretion) and the World Bank Group blog. Based on restrictions during the pandemic the World Bank Group will also find additional, virtual ways to honour the winner in April 2021.

Judging Criteria

Entries will be judged by a high-level panel comprised of senior officials at the World Bank, Financial Times, and select partners. Entries will be judged against originality, creativity, writing quality, and solutions presented.

Method of Application

Submissions should include:

  • A strong blog or essay that is no longer than 500 words.
  • Your name, age, school, email, and country you live in.
  • Photos, videos, visualizations that help support your story, are optional.


15th February, 2021