Today, in an everyday digital world surrounded by videogames, smartphones, digital social networks and online chats, still 45% of the European Union population and 37% of its labour force have insufficient digital skills. Having digital skills is nowadays also relevant for having a job. The digital transformation is changing the labour market and the job nature, in which those without the appropriate skills experience more difficulties to be employed. Indeed, 42% of those with no digital skills are unemployed, only 44% of the EU-28 population judge their computer skills as sufficient if they were to apply for a job within a year and 40% of the employers report they cannot find people with the right skills. So soon after ‘Youth Skills Day’, these findings give pause for thought. Continue reading
Low levels of learning globally make for one of the most sobering statistics in education. In 12 out of 13 countries in South-Eastern Africa, fewer than 40% of students had mastered basic numeracy and basic literacy skills by grade 6. At the current pace, any significant progress would take tens of years. Increasingly, policy makers in developing countries look for strategies to improve learning by engaging with private providers. In Nigeria, DFID has been working with the government to support better information on school quality to parents and teacher training services for low-fee private schools. This takes place alongside successful efforts to build government capacity for basic education management in Nigeria, through programmes such as ESSPIN. In Liberia, the Ministry of Education has funded a set of private providers to offer primary education at no cost to parents.
We are delighted to announce today that Manos Antoninis, who has been working for the GEM Report for six years as Senior Policy Analyst, has been appointed Director of the Report and will formally take up his functions on 1 August.
Since joining the team in 2011, he has led the work on the monitoring of the EFA and now SDG goals and targets. In recent years, he has been closely involved in the development and refinement of ways to measure progress towards the new targets in our education goal, SDG4, notably by representing the team in the technical advisory group on post-2015 education indicators. He is currently the chair of the task force of the Global Alliance to Monitor Learning for SDG target 4.4. Continue reading
By UNESCO-IICBA (International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa)
The propaganda and money used to lure young people into violent extremist groups such as Al-Shabaab in East Africa, Boko Haram in Nigeria and M23 rebel group in the Democratic Republic of Congo, must be challenged with one of the humankind’s most powerful tools: Education.
Yet, with the turmoil of ongoing conflict and with the added devastation of natural disasters, poverty and attacks on educational institutions, how can access and provision of quality education for all be achieved in the Horn of Africa and surrounding regions?
There is no simple answer to this highly complex situation where each context is unique. Some are refugee-producing countries in active conflict, while others are struggling to stretch limited resources in public services like education.
One strategy involves empowering youth and guiding them to be agents of peace, as the GEM Report’s recent PEACE publication described. They can be taught practical tools for positive interactions through dialogue and collaboration, and can learn about the roots of latent and overt violence so that they are able to better respond with awareness and empathy.
With this objective in mind, the UNESCO-IICBA launched a year-long Teacher Training and Development for Peace-Building in the Horn of Africa and Surrounding Countries project in February 2017 with support from the Government of Japan. Continue reading
By Hannah-May Wilson, Program Manager, PAL Network Secretariat
We arose at the same time as the birds to drive to the heart of Nampula province in northern Mozambique, to a small village called Nathepo in the district of Rapale. “It is good that you have come” the village elder told us. “We are experiencing many problems in Nathepo. Schools have been closed for weeks as the government has not paid teachers their salaries. Our children are just sitting at home. Officially, these children are enrolled in school. Their names are on the school register… but the school is empty” he said.
Mozambique is the newest member of the People’s Action for Learning Network (PAL Network). The PAL Network is an internationally recognized Global South network whose member countries work across three continents to assess the basic reading and numeracy competencies of over 1 million children every year. In Mozambique, the initiative is a program of NGO ‘Facilidade’ named ‘TPC Mozambique’. TPC is an acronym meaning ‘Todos Pelas Crianças em Moçambique’ (All for the Children of Mozambique)’, but is also colloquially understood to mean ‘homework’ in Portuguese. Continue reading
The GEM Report team in Paris was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Professor Christopher Colclough last week.
Chris was the founding Director of the EFA Global Monitoring Report in 2002, and lead author of the first three Reports in the series: Is the World on Track?, The Leap to Equality, and The Quality Imperative. His work and stewardship set the foundations of this flagship Report and left a legacy that has inspired successive directors and teams ever since. He ensured rigorous academic standards, attention to policy priorities and a commitment to supporting educational progress in the developing world, especially for girls. He knew how to bring out the best in all those who had the privilege to work with him, and will always be remembered for his expertise and wisdom, his kindness and generosity.
Chris had served as a Fellow (1975-2005) and Deputy Director (1982-1985) at the UK Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex, and Editor of the Journal of Development Studies. He went on to become Professor of Education and Development at the University of Cambridge, including Director (2008-14) of the Centre for Education and International Development within the Faculty of Education.
Chris never quite left the Report – he remained an active member of the GEM Report’s Advisory Board for many years, and always had the time to support, guide and provide advice and feedback to the team and its Directors. The GEM Report is honoured to publish below several testimonials from former Report Directors and Deputy Director. Continue reading
There are multiple indicators that have been set to help monitor progress towards SDG 4. Most of these focus on results, such as completion rates, or learning outcomes. But such numbers do not tell the whole story, and to think so would be to reduce education to a more predictable, and less influential element of all our lives. To truly understand how and why progress is being made in some places and not others, countries need to be able to analyse situations using their own judgement and taking context into account. This, we believe, requires that regional organisations step up and help establish peer learning processes. We have laid out the argument for this belief in a paper produced to present to the SDG 4 Steering Committee today. The core thoughts are below.
Peer learning describes situations where public officials gain practical insights from each other. Such learning can occur through meetings, focused discussions (supported by expert papers or joint comparative assessments), experience sharing or formal training sessions. Creating the conditions for such learning to happen, which involves countries having frank exchanges on the strengths and weaknesses of their systems, is not easy.
Using regional organizations as an entry point may help address this challenge. Many regions have common educational contexts and can structure peer reviews to reflect shared values, objectives and challenges. The results of such processes are then more likely to be used in policy-making, not least because governments have an interest in the performance of neighbouring countries. Continue reading