Where Are All the Women in Science and Research?

By Rohan Pathirage, R&D statistician for the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS)

On the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, you could be forgiven for asking: just where are all these women and girls? They are there if you look but they remain the exception at the very highest echelons in science and research. Their rarity may even – on occasion – obscure the critical value of their work. From Marie Curie to Rosalind Franklin, women scientists have often been viewed in terms of their relationships to their male counterparts.

A simple web search on female scientists will yield lists of the ‘17 Famous Female Scientists Who Helped Change the World’ or ‘10 Women in Science and Tech Who Should be Household Names’. But search for ‘the most famous male scientists today and the lists talk about the most ‘influential’ scientists, ‘the top 10 greatest scientists’ – with no mention of the word ‘male’. It simply isn’t noteworthy. Continue reading

Data to Fuel an Education Revolution: Countries Answer the Funding Call

By Julia Dicum, Deputy Director of Education at Global Affairs Canada, and Silvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics.

It is time for all donor countries to invest more heavily in education data. This matters because we can’t solve a problem we don’t understand. And it is only too clear that we have some big problems that must be solved right away, with 617 million children and adolescents who are not reaching even minimum proficiency levels in reading and mathematics, and 262 million children – one in every five –  who are out of school and half of whom are girls. 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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Data to Celebrate 50 Years of Progress on Girls’ Education

By Silvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS)

This blog was also published by Norrag.

On International Women’s Day, we can look back at 50 years of extraordinary efforts to get girls into the classroom. Thanks to these efforts, the gender gap in education is closing and has been closing for decades. And today, the majority of girls worldwide complete primary school. Girls are also in school for longer than ever before. As 50 years of data produced by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) show, girls’ school life expectancy is on the rise.

School life expectancy is the number of years of education a child can expect to receive. Overall the trends look good, even though school life expectancy also includes the years that girls repeat grades. Back in 1970, the global average for girls’ school life expectancy, spanning primary, secondary and tertiary education, was around 6.7 years. Today, it tops 12 years. Continue reading

Digital Literacy Skills: From a Framework to a Measure

By Manos Antoninis, Director of the Global Education Monitoring Report

The latest SDG 4 Data Digest 2018, Data to Nurture Learning, summarized, among other things, the progress made by a range of partners working with the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) towards establishing a framework and identifying assessment tools to monitor digital literacy skills.

 Against the backdrop of Mobile Learning Week, this blog highlights the challenges for operationalizing the framework in a way that is formative, informative and cost efficient.   Continue reading

Millions of Girls Are Out of School – But Data Show that Gender Alone Is Not the Main Culprit

By Tanya Guyatt, 60 million girls Foundation

International Women’s Day on 8 March is a time to celebrate achievements in advancing gender equality. It’s also a day to push for more progress, and this year’s theme “think equal, build smart, innovate for change” suggests that real change requires a new approach. We need innovative solutions to reach the remaining out-of-school girls and to ensure that all children finish school with the skills to thrive in today’s modern, global economy.

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What Makes a Good Classroom? New UIS Data on School Conditions

By Silvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS).

This blog was also published by Norrag.

Among the many factors fuelling the global learning crisis that stunts the educational path of six out of ten children and adolescents, we must consider the conditions in which children try to learn and teachers try to teach.

To put it simply: are pupils and teachers working in schools and classrooms that are fit for purpose? Do they have all the basic facilities they need – electricity, clean drinking water and single-sex toilets – as well as those 21st century essentials: Internet access and computers? Or are children and teachers struggling in crumbling, overcrowded and poorly-equipped classrooms? Continue reading