Helping countries measure learning: deeds, not words

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

 

Right now, the Inter-agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Indicators is meeting in Geneva to iron-out ways to resolve some of the technical glitches surrounding the indicators. The good news is that education is among the areas in best shape. But we still have our work cut out for us, especially when it comes to learning outcomes.

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Madrid meeting approves the indicators to monitor progress towards SDG 4 in 2017

By Silvia Montoya and Jordan Naidoo, co-chairs of the Technical Co-operation Group for SDG 4 – Education 2030 Indicators
This post originally appeared on the World Education Blog.

A crucial list of indicators for the achievement of the world’s global education goals was endorsed at a recent meeting of the Technical Co-operation Group for SDG 4 – Education 2030 (TCG). It signed off on the list of thematic indicators on education that countries have agreed to start using in 2017 to monitor progress. Continue reading

Aligning key initiatives in monitoring learning

Published on Norrag on 24 October

By Luis Crouch, Chief Technical Officer of the International Development Group, RTI, and Silvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, UIS

 

In a recent blog, we noted that there is currently a global multiplicity of strong initiatives in generating better data on learning outcomes, oriented at Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4). And, that’s only in the area of learning outcomes. If one adds other key aspects of SDG 4 and the global and thematic indicators, the number of initiatives is almost too large to catalogue. Even within the limited area of learning outcomes, some of the elements in the various initiatives create synergies, but others might create duplication or at least different proposed ways of doing things, if there is not a forum to clear lessons-learned and the results of different approaches. In our recent blog, we promised to present a systematic analysis that, using a matrix format, compares elements of the various initiatives. This, we hope, would be of use to the institutions involved and the funders asked to underwrite the various proposals. 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

Calling all partners: How to diagnose and treat data gaps that threaten the achievement of the global education goals

Also published by Norrag
By Luis Crouch, Chief Technical Officer, International Development Group, RTI, and Silvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics.

 

The gaps in education data have become a recurring theme in this blog. Indeed, most observers would agree that if data on education were a human body, it would be a sick patient at the moment. We see the gaps in the data each day, and the struggles of statisticians as they try valiantly to plug those gaps. And this is the reality: we lack the basic data of sufficient quality to track global – or in many cases, national – progress towards the educational goals. Continue reading

Putting culture front and centre: Time for a new approach

By Silvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics

Culture is who we are. Whether we are from Alaska or Johannesburg, from the smallest rural hamlet or one of the world’s megacities, our culture has been the building block of our identity, our sense of belonging and the social and economic cohesion of our communities. It has moulded our attitudes to our families and friends, our jobs, our state of mind and our overall wellbeing.

Policymakers who neglect culture undermine their own aims, for culture determines the viability of development action. It either provides the dynamic conditions necessary for truly sustainable development or, if ignored, dooms development efforts to failure. Continue reading

Getting the full picture on education finance

By Alice Albright, Chief Executive Officer of the Global Partnership for Education,
Suzanne Grant Lewis, Director of the International Institute for Education Planning, and Silvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics

Last week, the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity released a major report, calling for a new compact between developing countries and the international community to transform education performance, innovation, inclusion and finance.

We welcome these recommendations but the trouble is we don’t know enough about education finance within countries: about where the money comes from, where it goes, or whether it is spent efficiently. National statisticians looking for hard numbers often have to forage across a whole range of mis-matched sources and even solid figures on government spending show just part of the picture, missing the money poured into education by other sources, particularly families. As things stand, it’s almost impossible to work out how much money is spent on the education of each child around the world. Continue reading