World Poverty Could Be More than Halved if All Adults Finish Secondary School

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

In a few weeks, the UN High-Level Political Forum will gather to discuss poverty eradication as a cornerstone of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Agenda. Debates over how to tackle entrenched poverty often centre on different political ideologies. For some, the answer may be the pursuit of free-market economic growth, in the hope that some of the wealth generated will ‘trickle down’. For others, the answer may be social and economic interventions aimed at levelling the playing field, where everyone has something, even if that something is – at best – meagre. Continue reading

Helping Countries Improve their Data on Out-of-School Children

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

In many ways, education indicators are like a satellite navigation system that can help us reach our destination: Sustainable Development Goal 4. Based on the data, policymakers in the driving seat can select the best route and adjust their direction and speed as they progress or hit a roadblock. Ultimately, the success of the education system relies to some degree on the accuracy of the data used to inform decisions about how to best use resources to achieve goals. Continue reading

Closing the Teacher Gap: Almost 69 Million Teachers Needed

By Silvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, and Vikas Pota, Chief Executive of The Varkey Foundation

Many of us had one we will never forget – a teacher who inspired and encouraged us. We were fortunate. Millions of children today are not so lucky.

On World Teachers’ Day (5 October), the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) has released a paper setting out the first-ever estimates of how many more teachers are needed to ensure that every child is in school and learning what they need to know by 2030. In short, the world has just 14 years to recruit a total of 68.8 million teachers: 24.4 million primary teachers, and almost twice as many – 44.4 million – secondary school teachers. Continue reading

Missing from School: The Education Challenge in sub-Saharan Africa

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

With the Eurozone in turmoil and sluggish economic growth in the US and elsewhere, investors may well see sub-Saharan Africa – still one of the fastest growing regional economies on earth – as the new frontier. While the region’s economic growth has slowed, falling from 4.5% in 2014 to 3% in 2015, it continues to outpace growth in many of the world’s most advanced economies. However, as the World Bank has noted, the region faces major economic headwinds, from disparities and poverty to falling commodity prices. Continue reading

The eAtlas for Education 2030 – Global and Thematic Indicators at Your Fingertips

Silvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics

Our recent blogs have focused on the difficulties of trying to gather robust and internationally-comparable data on education, with policymakers, researchers and citizens struggling to make sense of conflicting numbers from multiple data sources, or trying to find any numbers at all. For non-statisticians, the data picture is blurry, at best. Various blogs have argued that the lack of data is a real stumbling block to the pursuit of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 on education and the Education 2030 Framework for Action. The good news is that things are about to get a lot easier.   Continue reading

We Have a Heavy Workload: 263 Million Children and Youth Are Out of School

Silvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, and Aaron Benavot, Director of the Global Education Monitoring Report

We have known for years that there are far too many primary-age children out of school: the stagnating numbers have been there for all to see. Far less has been known about the numbers of secondary-age adolescents and youth out of school, and in particular those of upper secondary school age who are – or should be – on the brink of a productive adult life. The numbers are out today, and they are every bit as alarming as we feared they would be.

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