Learning in Your Own Language: Vital for the World’s Literacy Goals

By Friedrich Huebler, Head of Education Standards and Methodology, UNESCO Institute for Statistics

This year’s International Literacy Day celebrates multilingual education

It is your very first day at school. You’re excited. Perhaps even a little nervous? What is this special day going to bring? Above all, what will you learn?

Your teacher arrives and says hello. But after that, you struggle to understand what she is saying. It is not because you’re stupid – you’re smart. It is because she is not talking in the language you use at home, with your family or when you are playing with your friends. So you mimic the other children around you, opening the books when they do, turning the pages when they do. But it seems that that this day is not going to be so special after all. Continue reading

Focus on our SDG 4 Data Digest Partners: Conférence des Ministres de l’Éducation des États et Gouvernements de la Francophonie (CONFEMEN)

By Hilaire Hounkpodoté, PASEC Coordinator

The recent 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 Conférence des Ministres de l’Éducation des États et Gouvernements de la Francophonie (CONFEMEN). CONFEMEN works with the world’s French-speaking countries to implement the Programme for the Analysis of Education Systems (PASEC), a renowned regional learning assessment.

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Focus on our SDG 4 Data Digest Partners: The Global Partnership for Education

By Élisé Wendlassida Miningou, Education Economist, and Ramya Vivekanandan, Senior Education Specialist, Global Partnership for Education (GPE)

Political leaders and policymakers the world over share one common challenge: relentless demands for resources. They have to make tough choices about resource allocation, particularly in countries that are most fragile and conflict-affected where the needs are vast and the available resources are constrained by numerous other priorities. It is hardly surprising that learning assessments may not be at the top of their ‘to do’ list.

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Measuring and Reporting on SDG 4 and Beyond: Lessons from the Innovations in Global Learning Metrics Symposium

By Luis Crouch, Senior Economist of RTI International and Silvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS)

The recent symposium Innovations in Global Learning Metrics: A Focused Debate among Users, Producers and Researchers, hosted by Arizona State University’s Center for Advanced Studies in Global Education (CASGE), brought together a wide range of stakeholders to discuss how to more effectively use global learning metrics for education policymaking. Some of the most interesting discussions focused on the options to achieve globally-comparable reporting on Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) based on a paper prepared by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS).

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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

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