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
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
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
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
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
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
By Silvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS)
I am looking forward to this week’s WISE event in New York, which will bring together practitioners and thought-leaders determined to empower learners for future challenges. How? By innovating inside and outside the classroom to help current and future generations reach their full potential. Continue reading
On Saturday, the world celebrated International Literacy Day. And indeed there was much to celebrate, with literacy rates continuing to rise from one generation to the next, remarkable progress on literacy among youth, in particular, and a steady narrowing of gender gaps. Half a century ago, almost one quarter of youth worldwide lacked the most basic literacy skills, falling to less than 10% in 2016.
But we also need to take a step back and look at just how far we still have to go. Data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) show that 750 million adults – two-thirds of them women – still lack basic reading and writing skills. What’s more, 102 million of those who cannot read or write worldwide are aged 15 to 24. This tells us that something is not working when it comes to equipping youth with these basic skills. Continue reading
SDG 4 indicator 4.6.1 shows the proportion of youth and adults with functional literacy and numeracy skills
Taken together, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide a ‘recipe’ for countries to be productive and prosperous, resulting in populations that are well-educated and well-equipped for employment in the 21st century.
We have already discussed some of the challenges to this vision in this series of blogs on the data for Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) on a quality education and lifelong learning for all. Our blog on SDG 4 indicator 4.4.1, in particular, has stressed the importance of information and communications technology (ICT) skills in an increasingly digital world. But above all, we need to be able to read, write and handle basic calculations.
As things stand, however, we face a global learning crisis that threatens the achievement not only of SDG 4, but also every other goal, from poverty reduction to the enhancement of development partnerships. The UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) rang the alarm bells last September with the most recent data on learning, revealing that 617 million children and adolescents worldwide – six out of ten – are not reaching minimum proficiency levels in reading and mathematics. Continue reading
Skill development is a critical part of preparing for work in the future – even for jobs that do not yet exist. It goes without saying that a child who cannot read, write or perform at least simple mathematics with proficiency will be poorly equipped as an adult to excel in the technology-driven industries of the future.
Next week, two very different – but powerful – groups will be grappling with the ways in which the global learning crisis is in fact a skills crisis threatening the prospects of current generations and those to come. In Geneva at the Global Shapers Annual Summit, about 400 “change-makers” under the age of 30 will be exchanging ways to address the needs of their communities while striving to have a global impact. Just days later, education ministers from G20 countries will meet in Argentina, where the question on everyone’s mind will be: how do we prepare our children and youth for the future? Continue reading