Data to Celebrate 50 Years of Progress on Girls’ Education

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

This blog was also published by Norrag.

On International Women’s Day, we can look back at 50 years of extraordinary efforts to get girls into the classroom. Thanks to these efforts, the gender gap in education is closing and has been closing for decades. And today, the majority of girls worldwide complete primary school. Girls are also in school for longer than ever before. As 50 years of data produced by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) show, girls’ school life expectancy is on the rise.

School life expectancy is the number of years of education a child can expect to receive. Overall the trends look good, even though school life expectancy also includes the years that girls repeat grades. Back in 1970, the global average for girls’ school life expectancy, spanning primary, secondary and tertiary education, was around 6.7 years. Today, it tops 12 years. Continue reading

Digital Literacy Skills: From a Framework to a Measure

By Manos Antoninis, Director of the Global Education Monitoring Report

The latest SDG 4 Data Digest 2018, Data to Nurture Learning, summarized, among other things, the progress made by a range of partners working with the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) towards establishing a framework and identifying assessment tools to monitor digital literacy skills.

 Against the backdrop of Mobile Learning Week, this blog highlights the challenges for operationalizing the framework in a way that is formative, informative and cost efficient.   Continue reading

What Makes a Good Classroom? New UIS Data on School Conditions

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

This blog was also published by Norrag.

Among the many factors fuelling the global learning crisis that stunts the educational path of six out of ten children and adolescents, we must consider the conditions in which children try to learn and teachers try to teach.

To put it simply: are pupils and teachers working in schools and classrooms that are fit for purpose? Do they have all the basic facilities they need – electricity, clean drinking water and single-sex toilets – as well as those 21st century essentials: Internet access and computers? Or are children and teachers struggling in crumbling, overcrowded and poorly-equipped classrooms? Continue reading

Turning the Spotlight on Those Left Behind to Mark the First International Day of Education

By Manos Antoninis, Director of the Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report and Silvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics

On the first International Day of Education, the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) and the Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report announce a new partnership to demonstrate education inequalities and show those lagging behind in achieving the global UN education goal, SDG 4. Continue reading

A Partnership for a Global Public Good: Data to Improve Learning

By Silvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), Girindre Beeharry, Director of the Global Education Learning Strategy at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Emily Woolf, Senior Education Adviser, UK Department for International Development (DfID)

With 617 million children and adolescents worldwide unable to read a simple sentence or handle a basic math calculation, the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) has embarked on an initiative to link existing international, regional and national assessments to fill a critical data gap on learning during the early grades of education. Continue reading

Focus on our SDG 4 Data Digest Partners: The International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement

By Dr Paulína Koršňáková, Senior Research and Liaison Advisor, IEA, and Dr Dirk Hastedt, Executive Director, IEA

The new edition of the SDG 4 Data Digest illustrates the range of partners working alongside the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) to help countries produce and use assessment data to strengthen lifelong learning. This blog highlights the work of one of these vital partners: The International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA), which runs TIMSS and PIRLS studies around the world to assess children’s achievements in reading and mathematics.   Continue reading

Focus on our SDG4 Data Digest Partners: The OECD Launches PISA for Development

By Michael Ward, Senior Policy Analyst in OECD’s Development Co-operation Directorate and the Education and Skills Directorate

The new edition of the SDG 4 Data Digest illustrates the range of partners working with the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) to help countries produce and use assessment data to strengthen lifelong learning. This blog highlights the work of one of these vital partners: the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which has just announced the first results from its PISA for Development (PISA-D) initiative. PISA-D builds on the OECD’s long-running Programme for International Student Assessment to assess learning in low- and middle-income countries. Continue reading

Data to Nurture Learning that Lasts a Lifetime

The UIS has launched the SDG 4 Data Digest, which explores the internationally-comparable data needed to ensure the lifelong learning envisaged by SDG 4.

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

We have been ringing alarm bells about the global learning crisis for some time, with 617 million children and adolescents worldwide unable to read a simple sentence or handle a basic mathematics calculation. This year’s SDG 4 Data Digest: Data to Nurture Learning from the UIS turns up the volume, making the case for data to monitor lifelong learning.

The Digest is the go-to source for information on how to gather data on learning outcomes and – above all – how to use the information to improve those outcomes, showcasing proven and promising approaches. This is where data have real power: showing us the challenges and kick-starting the changes needed to ensure lifelong learning. Continue reading

Save the Date (and the Data!): Stay Tuned for the SDG 4 Data Digest 2018

If you want to view the most complete data landscape on learning outcomes, the SDG 4 Data Digest 2018 is your go-to source. With launch events planned next week at the Global Education Meeting in Brussels (3-5 December 2018) and at the Global Partnership for Education Board Meeting in Dublin (6-7 December 2018), the Digest will report on the quest for data to track lifelong learning. Continue reading

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