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

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

There is a global learning crisis. Our young people deserve better skills.

This blog was originally published by the World Economic Forum

By Silvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) and Dankert Vedeler, Co-Chair of the SDG Education 2030 Steering Committee and Assistant Director General of the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research

Driving systematic change in critical areas such as health, energy and infrastructure is the task of the Global Future Council’s 700 members in Dubai this week. They are investigating how breakthrough technologies can be used to “join the dots”.

One key prerequisite for such change is a global population that is well-informed, well-educated, and literate. This is essential for progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) on education, for example. But many other SDGs also depend on populations becoming literate and numerate. Continue reading

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