A one-minute mystery: Sherlock Holmes and the UNESCO Institute for Statistics

by Sasha Alyson

On a visit to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), Sherlock Holmes examined the line chart showing global education levels, region by region.

The chart, reproduced here, shows in each of seven regions how many children, fail to achieve Minimum Proficiency Levels (MPLs) in reading. UIS wanted to show that global education was in crisis, and thus UIS needed more funding to collect more data about it.

“Aha!” Holmes suddenly exclaimed. “Watson, this isn’t a statistics institute. It’s a propaganda department!”

How did he know?

See if you can solve this, then read the full answer here.

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