Charting a course to monitor the Education 2030 agenda

By Silvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics and Dankert Vedeler, Co-Chair of the SDG Education 2030 Steering Committee

 

Can the pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) really change the world for the better in just 15 years? One thing’s for sure: we’ll never know without good data. SDG 4 – Education 2030 – is so ambitious that we will need more and better data to monitor progress, identify bottlenecks and, above all, sharpen policies and ensure that every dollar invested in education makes a tangible difference in people’s lives. Continue reading

Missing from school: the education challenge in sub-Saharan Africa

Silvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, and Aaron Benavot, Director of the Global Education Monitoring Report

With the Eurozone in turmoil and sluggish economic growth in the US and elsewhere, investors may well see sub-Saharan Africa – still one of the fastest growing regional economies on earth – as the new frontier. While the region’s economic growth has slowed, falling from 4.5% in 2014 to 3% in 2015, it continues to outpace growth in many of the world’s most advanced economies. However, as the World Bank has noted, the region faces major economic headwinds, from disparities and poverty to falling commodity prices. Continue reading

The eAtlas for Education 2030 – Global and thematic indicators at your fingertips

Silvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics

Our recent blogs have focused on the difficulties of trying to gather robust and internationally-comparable data on education, with policymakers, researchers and citizens struggling to make sense of conflicting numbers from multiple data sources, or trying to find any numbers at all. For non-statisticians, the data picture is blurry, at best. Various blogs have argued that the lack of data is a real stumbling block to the pursuit of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 on education and the Education 2030 Framework for Action. The good news is that things are about to get a lot easier.   Continue reading

We have a heavy workload: 263 million children and youth are out of school

Silvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, and Aaron Benavot, Director of the Global Education Monitoring Report

We have known for years that there are far too many primary-age children out of school: the stagnating numbers have been there for all to see. Far less has been known about the numbers of secondary-age adolescents and youth out of school, and in particular those of upper secondary school age who are – or should be – on the brink of a productive adult life. The numbers are out today, and they are every bit as alarming as we feared they would be.

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People’s Action for Learning Network: What a difference a year makes

Hannah-May Wilson, Program Manager, PAL Network Secretariat

What a difference a year makes. Last week in Nairobi, when we woke to find a grey blanket of fog wrapped around our conference centre, it was hard to believe that only a year ago, the founding directors of our citizen-led assessment movement set up the People’s Action for Learning (PAL) Network. The Network is a south-south partnership whose member countries carry out sample-based, citizen-led assessments to measure the learning levels of all children in their own homes, regardless of their age, gender, or whether they go to school or not. Continue reading

Why equity and inclusiveness are so important for the SDGs indicators

Daniel Capistrano, Researcher at the National Institute for Educational Research and Studies – Inep/Brazil, and member of the Technical Cooperation Group (TCG) on SDG 4 – Education 2030 Indicators.

The fourth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) is not only about quality education – it is about inclusion and equity. These two words define the very substance of the quality education that we want for the world’s children. None of the targets related to SDG 4 can be achieved without them (indeed, target 4.5 is dedicated entirely to equity). So they have to be reflected in the indicators. Continue reading

Understanding what works in oral reading assessments

Silvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), Karen Mundy, Chief Technical Officer, Global Partnership for Education (GPE), and Pat Scheid, Program Officer for Global Development and Population, The Hewlett Foundation

When assessing whether children can read, we should remember why reading is so critical, and why we should be concerned when children miss out on this critical skill. Everyone reading this blog had a moment in childhood when meaningless swirls on a page began to make sense. As adults, our ability to read benefits us in a multitude of ways, every single day. There is no doubt that our lives would have been diminished and constrained without it.

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