Convening for Consensus on SDG 4 Data

The Technical Cooperation Group on SDG 4 meets this week in Mexico City to come to agreement on the most practical approaches to measure education progress

By Silvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS)

As any statistician will tell you, gathering data is only half the battle. If data are to make a difference, they have to have power. For that, they need to be backed by political will, with a firm commitment that they will be used to drive change.

Similarly at the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), gathering data is only part of our mandate. We work hard to develop the indicators, standards and methodological tools needed to monitor progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) on education. But we work just as hard to convene and build consensus in order to strengthen that all-important political buy-in among countries and partners.

Gathering in Mexico City to create consensus

That’s the overall objective of this week’s meeting of the Technical Cooperation Group on the Indicators for SDG 4–Education 2030 (TCG) in Mexico City, co-hosted by the UIS and the Instituto Nacional para la Evaluación de la Educación (INEE). National representatives and global experts will come together from 15 to 16 November to agree on the most practical approaches to measure progress towards SDG 4. Continue reading

We Are Ready to Start Monitoring Early-grade Learning

By Silvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS)
This blog was also published by the Global Education Monitoring Report

Young learners have moved up the data agenda for Sustainable Development Goal 4! The UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) and its partners have been pushing to upgrade SDG 4 Indicator 4.1.1a on measuring learning outcomes in Grades 2 and 3, and earlier this week we heard that our efforts have been successful. Continue reading

In Search of Common Ground for Learning Indicators – From Local to Global

By Baela Raza Jamil, Chief Executive Officer of Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi, Lead of ASER Pakistan and Commissioner on the Education Commission 

For 10 consecutive days in October, I travelled across Hamburg, Karachi, Islamabad, Muzzafarabad (AJK), Rahim Yar Khan, Bahawalpur, Multan, Muzzaffargarh and Lahore. The purposes of my travel included chasing a consensus for globally-agreed learning indicators, initiating the 2018 Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) assessments and overseeing accelerated learning gains for out-of-school adolescent girls. Mindboggling as the 10-day footprint may be, the common thread was the importance of measuring and improving learning and that improvements are verified through agreed definitions. Continue reading

How Civil Society Can Supply Rigorous Data for the SDGs: The Citizen-Led Assessment Approach

By Hannah-May Wilson, Senior Technical Consultant, PAL Network

When the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were drafted in 2015, there was broad agreement that the new global goals needed to evolve from measuring increased access, investment in infrastructure and reporting average learning gains, to measuring learning with a focus on the most disadvantaged children. The focus on ensuring that no child is left behind is crucial. Evidence from many low-income countries shows that learning inequalities are visible before children even start school, primarily driven by disparities in wealth. When wealth disparities interact with other forms of disadvantage such as gender, geographic location, disability, and ethnic and linguistic minority status, they reinforce and exacerbate disadvantage, with the consequence that disadvantaged children have little chance of ever catching up.

Failure to achieve the Millennium Development Goal of universal primary education in many low-income countries, coupled with the uncomfortable fact that millions of children who are in school are not learning the basics, have resulted in a ‘global learning crisis’ affecting more than one-half of all children and adolescents, according to estimates from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS). The new data have set alarm bells ringing and are the central focus of the 2018 World Bank Development Report. The eye-watering fact is that today, of the 617 million children and adolescents worldwide not achieving minimum proficiency levels in reading and mathematics, two-thirds are in school. Continue reading

Educational Prosperity: Looking Beyond Equality to Equity

By J. Douglas Willms, President of The Learning Bar Inc

The educational prosperity framework that I introduced in a recent blog provides an essential structure for understanding the holistic and cumulative ways that children develop, learn and thrive. The benefits of the framework are hardly theoretical: they provide an important and practical guide for ways that monitoring data can—and should—be used to create smarter and more effective policies to help young people thrive.  Continue reading

The Educational Prosperity Framework: Helping Countries Provide Foundational Learning for All

By J. Douglas Willms, President of The Learning Bar Inc

To honour World Teachers Day, this blog presents an assessment framework, called Education Prosperity, that can be used to track the success of teachers, families, communities and public institutions in developing children’s cognitive skills and their social, emotional, physical and spiritual well-being. Continue reading

New Data Reveal that Poor Youth Are Among the Most Vulnerable to Bullying

By Silvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS)
This blog was also published by the Global Partnership for Education (GPE).

Almost one-third of young teens worldwide have recently experienced bullying, according to data published for the first time by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS). The data are part of a major new release of 32 global and thematic indicators to monitor progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4), which included the updating of the UIS global education database for the school year ending in 2017. Continue reading