Producing Equity Data to End the Education Lottery

By Silvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), and the authors* of The Handbook on Measuring Equity in Education

This blog was also published by the Global Partnership for Education

It is something we have come to see as self-evident: education is a fundamental right, and without it, our lives – and indeed our world – would be greatly diminished. It is something we even take for granted.

But as the most recent data show, one in every five children, adolescents and youth worldwide is denied this right, shut out of the education that could, or should, transform their lives. They are often the poorest of the poor, the children with disabilities, the refugee or migrant children. They are often girls, but in some countries – and at some levels of education – they are also boys. Continue reading

A Global Framework to Measure Digital Literacy

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

This blog was also published by the Global Education Monitoring Report

digital lit 1From the cocoa farmer in Ghana using a mobile phone to market crops to the nurse in Sweden using telehealth to check on patients at home – digital literacy is considered an essential set of skills needed to find information and communicate in today’s world.

This is why one of the monitoring indicators of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 4.4, which focuses on “relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship” among youth and adults, looks at digital literacy. In particular, it calls on countries to track the percentage of youth and adults who have achieved at least a minimum level of proficiency in digital literacy skills.

Both the target and indicator reflect the commitment and forward-thinking of countries. But what exactly does it mean to achieve a minimum level of digital skills? Clearly the contexts will vary from one country to another. The challenge lies in finding a sufficiently broad definition that reflects these different contexts and priorities of countries while developing a measurement approach to generate the internationally- comparable data needed to monitor progress towards SDG 4. Continue reading

Time to Get Serious About Education for All, with Progress at a Standstill

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

 This blog was also published by the GPE.

The latest figures on out-of-school-children are sobering, to say the least. According to new data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), progress remains at a standstill. We still have about 263 million – or one out of five – children, adolescents and youth worldwide out of school and this number has barely changed over the past five years.

Despite strenuous efforts to get every child into primary school, there has been little or no progress at the global level over the past decade, with 9% of children of primary age denied their right to education in 2008, and 9% still out of school today (see our video).  Continue reading

Calling All Assessment Experts! Online Consultation on Global Framework of Reference for Mathematics

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

The Global Alliance to Monitor Learning (GAML) is making steady progress in defining the learning outcomes indicators of the SDG 4 monitoring framework. The first step for all of these indicators – whether they refer to adult numeracy, digital literacy or global citizenship skills – is to develop a framework that by listing all of the content and skills can serve as reference to teach, develop and assess children, youth and adults. These frameworks will play a key role in the GAML strategy of linking existing assessments to produce SDG 4 data instead of developing a new global assessment.

In this context, the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) and the International Bureau of Education (IBE) have developed the Global Framework of Reference for Mathematics, which is the subject of an online consultation. We need your feedback on this framework that will pave the way to monitoring progress with global monitoring indicator 4.1.1, which tracks the proportion of children and young people achieving at least a minimum proficiency level in mathematics in Grades 2/3 and at the end of primary and lower secondary education. 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