Quality Data to Ensure a Quality Education for Every Child

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

This blog also published by the Global Partnership for Education (GPE)

The SDG 4 Data Digest sets out a roadmap for countries and donors to produce quality data

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with their strong emphasis on inclusion and equity, compel us to look beyond national and regional averages to ensure that nobody is left behind. As a result, countries face unprecedented pressure to produce and use more and better data.

The new edition of the SDG 4 Data Digest, launched during the GPE Board meeting in Paris today, sets out the data challenges that confront countries and the international community. While last year’s Data Digest focused on the indicators needed to track progress, this year’s Digest zooms in on data quality as the foundation for an effective monitoring framework to support the pursuit of SDG 4: a quality education for every child by 2030. Continue reading

Building Bridges to Link Global and National Learning Assessments

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

This blog was also published by Norrag.

A new paper from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), prepared for the Fourth Meeting of the Global Alliance to Monitor Learning (GAML) in Madrid, outlines a new approach linking the global monitoring of learning to national and cross-national assessments.

The UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) is working to develop reporting scales to help governments monitor student learning in mathematics and reading over time and make good use of the resulting data to shape policy – essential stepping stones to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4): a quality education for all. The aim is to make the greatest possible use of existing national assessments and cross-national assessments to produce internationally-comparable data. Continue reading

Measuring Functional Literacy and Numeracy for Lifelong Learning

By Luis Crouch, Chief Technical Officer of the International Development Group (RTI), and Silvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS)

This blog was also published by the Global Partnership for Education (GPE).

As the Fourth Meeting of the Global Alliance to Monitor Learning (GAML) gets underway in Madrid, the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) explores how best to measure functional literacy and numeracy.

750 million adults – including 102 million people between the ages of 15 and 24 – cannot even read or write a simple sentence, according to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics. This is one of our most widely cited figures, reported in just about every report and index related to sustainable development. Yet what do the data really tell us? The truth is these serve simple measures serve as a barometer – alerting us of the problem but offering little in the way of guidance to help governments and non-governmental organizations address an issue key to people’s survival and success in an increasingly digital worldContinue reading

How to Harmonize Regional and International Learning Assessments

By Silvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), Mmantsetsa Marope, Director of the UNESCO International Bureau of Education (IBE-UNESCO) and Renato Opertti, Senior Programme Specialist of the IBE-UNESCO.

 This blog was also published by the IBE.

As education stakeholders, including governments, assessment initiatives and donors gather in Madrid for the Fourth Meeting of the Global Alliance to Monitor Learning (GAML), the UNESCO Institute for Statistics and the International Bureau of Education set out strategies to help resolve the technical and political challenges of measurement.

 Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) – an inclusive and quality education for all – is a crucial benchmark for global well-being. Its broad ambitions have been given tangible force by SDG 4, Target 1: by 2030, all girls and boys complete free, equitable, and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes. And the measure of success? Indicator 4.1.1.: the percentage of children and youth achieving a minimal level of competency in literacy and numeracy in three points in time and by sex: (a) in grades 2/3; (b) at the end of primary; and (c) at the end of lower secondary.

A new paper from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) and the International Bureau of Education (IBE-UNESCO) examines the technical and political challenges in producing cross-nationally comparable assessment data for indicator 4.1.1 as well as a set of criteria and strategies to overcome them. Continue reading

There is a global learning crisis. Our young people deserve better skills.

This blog was originally published by the World Economic Forum

By Silvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) and Dankert Vedeler, Co-Chair of the SDG Education 2030 Steering Committee and Assistant Director General of the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research

Driving systematic change in critical areas such as health, energy and infrastructure is the task of the Global Future Council’s 700 members in Dubai this week. They are investigating how breakthrough technologies can be used to “join the dots”.

One key prerequisite for such change is a global population that is well-informed, well-educated, and literate. This is essential for progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) on education, for example. But many other SDGs also depend on populations becoming literate and numerate. Continue reading

The Teacher’s Waking Nightmare

By Silvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics

You did well at school and at college. You studied hard and made great sacrifices to qualify as a teacher – determined to help the next generation reach their full potential. But now you’re standing in a poorly-equipped classroom in front of 50 children aged from 6 to 11 years old. You have a few textbooks that are falling apart, only a handful of pens and pencils, a few scraps of paper, and no chalk for the chalkboard painted on the crumbling wall behind you. And your pupils are looking at you expectantly, ready for you to teach them everything that they need to know.

This is not some nightmare that ends when you wake up. It’s a daily reality for many of the world’s teachers. Continue reading

New Data Reveal a Learning Crisis that Threatens Development Around the World

By Silvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), and Karen Mundy, Chief Technical Officer at the Global Partnership for Education (GPE)

New data released today by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) show that 617 million children and adolescents worldwide are not reaching minimum proficiency levels in reading and mathematics. This signals a learning crisis that could threaten progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Continue reading