The GEM Report at CIES 2019


More than 2,500 education professionals will be in San Francisco next week for the 63rd Comparative and International Education Society’s conference under the theme ‘Education for Sustainability’. The Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report is joining the crowd, taking part in no fewer than seven events over the four days as detailed in the card below.

On Monday, we will have the opportunity to present the 2019 GEM Report Migration, displacement and education: Building bridges, not walls. The 2018 National Teacher of the Year, Mandy Manning, along with Associate Professor of Education at Harvard Graduate School, Sarah Dryden-Peterson; Senior Education Specialist at Global Affairs Canada, Dan Thakur; and Executive Director, Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs for the city of San Francisco, Adrienne Pon, will present their perspectives, from local to global.

Earlier in the day we will also be taking part in an event to present our analysis of aid financing for refugee education, mapping the two key international databases against each other. Continue reading

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New Financing for Sustainable Development Report argues “action is needed at all levels” including on education

FSDR2019Cover220pxThe 2019 Financing for Sustainable Development Report (FSDR) of the Inter-agency Task Force, whose fourth edition was released today, reviews the global financing landscape to make recommendations for governments. It puts special emphasis on the five Sustainable Development Goals under review at the High-Level Political Forum this July, which includes the education goal, SDG 4.

Ahead of the Spring Meetings of the World Bank and IMF and the United Nations ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development, the 2019 FSDR assesses the global macroeconomic context and progress towards the commitment to establish national integrated financing frameworks that was made in the Third International Conference on Financing for Development in 2015 (known as the Addis Ababa Action Agenda). It discusses the seven action areas of the Agenda, ranging from domestic public resource to international development cooperation.

The 2019 FSDR emphasizes the financing gap for education using our 2015 policy paper, with least developed countries needing to increase their annual spending on education by three times in order to achieve universal pre-primary, primary and secondary education. The IMF used these calculations to show that the SDGs on education, health, roads, electricity, water and sanitation for 155 developing countries would require additional spending worth $2.6 trillion by 2030. Continue reading

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Aid to pre-primary education: the gap between rhetoric and reality

By Professor Pauline Rose, Research for Equitable Access and Learning (REAL) Centre, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge

leaving youngest behindMany donors increasingly voice their recognition of the importance of pre-primary education in their education policy, but few are matching their public statements of support with tangible investment. In the last two years, aid to pre-primary education has decreased by 27%, at a time when overall aid to education increased. This paints a stark contrast between donor rhetoric and reality.

A new report, “Leaving the youngest behind”, produced by the REAL Centre at the University of Cambridge and global children’s charity Theirworld, has tracked progress in aid spending for pre-primary education over the past two years. It reveals that 16 of the top 25 donors to the education sector have either given nothing or have reduced their previous spending on pre-primary education since the introduction of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  SDG target 4.2 calls for all girls and boys to have access to quality pre-primary education by 2030. However, aid spending on pre-primary education is now even smaller than when the SDGs were adopted in 2015. Aid to pre-primary education is a tiny, and declining, priority of overall aid spending, accounting for just 0.5 per cent in total in 2017 – down from 0.8 per cent in 2015. Continue reading

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Accountability in action in education in Jamaica

Last week, a meeting of the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) of the Parliament in Jamaica called for officials at the Ministry of Education to appear before it to give an account of the Ministry’s operations. The reason for the summoning is a suspected corruption case that hit the news on March 20 that saw Ruel Reid, Minister of Education, Youth and Information, handing in his resignation, while maintaining his innocence.

“I see that there is a problem that signals a governance issue, a breakdown in supervision and oversight by the Minister and I have to intervene” said the Prime Minister before the House of Representatives, as the news broke.

The case unfolded with the questioning in an audit of the Ministry of Education conducted by the Auditor General’s Department (AGD). The audit is focused on “whether the selected public entities procurement and contracts management activities were conducted to attain value for money (which encompasses the achievement of economy, efficiency and effectiveness)”.

accountability in Action blog

Source: AGD website

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Help us decide the future themes of the GEM Report

The spotlight on the GEM Report and the outreach activities rolled out globally after its release give a chance for its theme to shift the education agenda. The 2010 Report on marginalization brought equity into the limelight, for example. But have you ever thought how the themes of the GEM Report are being decided? Continue reading

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A woman has won the ‘Nobel prize for mathematics’ for the first time


The 2019 Abel Prize, also known as the ‘Nobel prize for mathematics’ was won by Karen Uhlenbeck last Tuesday, the first woman to ever receive the award. The award makes her one of the pioneers for women mathematicians, alongside Maryam Mirzakhani, the Iranian who was the first woman to win another prestigious prize in 2017, the Fields Medal, awarded by the International Mathematical Union.

Dr Uhlenbeck is an American professor emeritus of mathematics at the University of Texas at Austin and won for her “pioneering achievements” in various fields of mathematics. In one of her interviews she acknowledged the gender imbalance in her field of research and the barriers she faced to continue with her passion. Of graduate school she said: “It was evident that you wouldn’t get ahead in mathematics if you hang around with women. We were told that we couldn’t do math because we were women”. “Even when I had my Ph.D. for five years,” she said later, “I was still struggling with whether I should become a mathematician. I never saw myself very clearly.” Continue reading

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Roxana, a Romanian student on an Erasmus exchange programme, “learned to look beyond stereotypes”

This content comes from our newly released interactive youth version of the 2019 GEM Report.

The EU’s higher education strategy includes a target for at least 20% of graduates to experience part of their study or training abroad. Erasmus is the largest and most prominent student mobility programme in the world. Participants study up to 12 months in another European country, which home institutions recognize towards students’ degrees. Evaluations of the programme suggest a positive effect on employment, career opportunities and personality traits, as well as a substantial influence on participants’ social lives.

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Roxana, a student from Romania, studied for a year in Portugal through the Erasmus programme. “One of the biggest challenges was to get out of my comfort zone. One of the things that I learnt is tolerance and how to better understand the past, the future and the behaviour of a nation,” said Roxana. “I learned to look beyond stereotypes. I understood that it is not always about the nationality, but also about the personality. Living in an international community improved my analytical skills, by always trying to understand the reason, before judging. Also, this helped me develop my willing to take risks in my professional and personal life”. Continue reading

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