Monitoring Education for All:
Implications for comparative education
Nicholas Burnett and Aaron Benavot
EFA Global Monitoring Report Team, UNESCO
Comparative and International Education Society,
Honolulu, Hawaii, March 14, 2006
1
Overview of presentation
• Rethinking the Comparative (conference theme)
• Traditional purposes of comparative education
• New purposes:
a) monitor and evaluate progress toward international educational
goals and targets
b) distill policy implications from comparative research and indepth case studies at international level
• What lessons can be drawn from comparative analyses and
assessments reported in the EFA Global Monitoring Reports?
• Challenges, responsibilities and high stakes of comparative
education research at the global level
2
Traditional and new purposes of
comparative education
• Generalize about inter-relationships between educational change and
major socioeconomic or political trends
• Understand the historical origins and determinants of specific
educational patterns
• Understand how educational systems respond to external forces
• Compare country performances according to standard criteria e.g.
student achievement
• Identify ‘successful’ national educational models to encourage
emulation
• Discuss ‘outlier’ cases as a way of exploring especially innovative
educational systems
• New: Assess country progress towards international educational goals
3
International Targets in Education
• Early Targets:
• compulsory school legislation (e.g. Bombay 1952, Cairo 1955,
Lima 1956)
• universal access to education (e.g. Karachi 1960, Addis Ababa
1961, Santiago 1962, Tripoli 1966)
• Influence of Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Dec 1948):
“Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at
least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary
education shall be compulsory...”
• Education for All
• Jomtien 1990
• Dakar 2000
• Millenium Development Goals 2000
4
The EFA goals and the MDGs
EFA Goals
Millennium Development Goals
• Expanding early childhood care
• Goal 2: Achieve Universal primary
and education, especially for
disadvantaged children
education
• (Target 3: Completion of full
primary schooling by all children
by 2015)
• Universal primary education by
2015
• Equitable access to learning
• Goal 3. Promote gender equality
opportunities and life skills
and empower women
programmes for young people and
adults
• (Target 4: Eliminate gender
disparity preferably by 2005 and
• 50% improvement in adult
no later than 2015)
literacy rates by 2015
• Gender parity by 2005 and gender
equality by 2015
• Improving quality of education
5
Can goals make a difference?
• Help raise international awareness, create a sense of urgency and
sustain stakeholder commitment
• Encourage countries to accelerate action, initiate policy reform and
prepare national plans
• Create frameworks for additional funding and more focused
technical support
• Encourage standardized data gathering, and potentially increase
capacity building
• Important international policy goals have been achieved on or
around their target dates: smallpox eradication, child immunization,
fertility reduction
6
Problems with goal setting
• In education, almost all international goals and targets have been missed
(Clemens 2004)
• In some countries goal attainment and target setting become an end in
themselves, rather than a means to other ends (Fielding 1999)
• National priorities can be inappropriately reordered
• Different conceptual meanings within and across countries are reduced,
contested interpretations are ignored (Jansen 2005)
• Becomes potential basis for international sanctions, reduced funding
• Reinforces view that educational progress and educational outcomes are
easy to measure and quantify
• Can distort the daily, often invisible, work of teachers, who seek to
improve the quality of pupil learning
• Does not correspond to countries’ education sector plans and budgets but
represents partial aspects of them.
7
EFA Global Monitoring Report: Origins
World Education Forum, 2000, Dakar, Senegal
• 164 countries committed to achieve the six EFA goals by
2015, and one by 2005
• Donors and NGOs pledged to support this effort: No
country will lack the necessary resources
• Governments called for regular monitoring of progress
• Emphasized need to improve upon the scientific quality of
previous evaluations of EFA
EFA Global Monitoring Report
8
1
Global Monitoring Report: Purposes
An independent assessment, advocacy and reference tool that:
•
•
Charts progress towards the six EFA goals
•
Compiles reliable and comparable quantitative and qualitative
evidence to examine educational progress
•
•
Draws attention to emerging issues and challenges
•
Provides a bridge between research & policy communities
Monitors international commitments to achieve EFA; holds the global
community and donor agencies accountable
Highlights effective policies and strategies, using case studies and
country comparisons
9
Global Monitoring Report:
Background and audiences
• Developed by an independent, multi-national and inter-disciplinary team
based at UNESCO
• Advised by an international editorial board with representatives from NGOs,
international organizations, aid agencies, etc.
• Funded by seven bilateral aid agencies and UNESCO
• Informed by commissioned research papers, on-line consultations
and literature reviews
• Reports are translated into six UN languages; summaries translated into
additional languages
• Includes global, regional and national launches
• CD-Rom produced as well as special tool to access statistical annexes
Audience: National policy-makers and planners, NGOs, civil society, advocacy
groups, donor agencies, researchers, academics, and media
10
Global Monitoring Reports:
Past and Future
• 2002: EFA: Is the World on Track?
• 2003/4: Gender and EFA: The Leap to
Equality
• 2005: EFA: The Quality Imperative
• 2006: Literacy for Life
• 2007: Early childhood care and
education
• 2008: Overall progress
11
Sources for comparative analysis in GMR
• Quantitative administrative data and qualitative descriptions of
national education systems (UNESCO institutes, particularly
UNESCO Institute of Statistics)
• Commissioned literature reviews and research; draw on studies by
international organizations, bilateral agencies and NGOs
• Household survey data; international assessments of educational
achievement; aid data from OECD-DAC
• Official and national documents
• Work with others on specific topics (e.g GCE on literacy
programs, FTI on aid, UNICEF on out of school, World Bank on
fees, etc)
• Conducts small surveys of aid agencies
12
Key strands in GMR monitoring
•
RIGHTS: Assume access to quality education and literacy are
fundamental rights
•
DEVELOPMENT: personal, social, political, cultural and
economic
•
•
•
•
•
•
Strong gender perspective
Map global challenges
Seek to identify major determinants of educational progress
Identify effective national reform strategies
Discuss what makes for good practice
Evidence-based and comparative approach
13
3
Challenges in monitoring EFA goals
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Contested conceptual understandings of key concepts (e.g.
educational quality, literacy)
Simplifying complex issues to common denominators
Problematic cross-national comparisons (eg, ECCE, nonformal education)
Gaps in data supplied by countries; time lag in data
availability
Weakness of financial data
Little availability of sub-national data
Continued debate over the definition, interpretation and
meaning of goals in addition to determining appropriate &
valid indicators (goal 3)
14
Goal 1: Early childhood care and education
“Expanding and improving comprehensive early childhood
care and education, especially for the most vulnerable and
disadvantaged children”
• Monitoring the ECCE goal is limited to institutional data on
pre-primary enrolments (ISCED-0)
• Enrolment-based measures do not capture intent of goal 1;
also pre-primary frameworks vary significantly: see 2007 GMR
• The gross enrolment ratio in pre-primary education in the
majority of countries is below 50%
• Children from disadvantaged backgrounds more likely to be
excluded
• Attendance rates considerably higher for urban children than
those living in rural areas
15
Goal 2:Progress
Universal
primary
education
towards
UPE
“Ensuring that by 2015 all children, particularly girls, children in difficult
circumstances and those belonging to ethnic minorities, have access to,
and complete, free and compulsory primary education of good quality”
• 47 countries have achieved UPE,
20 on track to achieve it by 2015
• 44 countries making good
progress but may not achieve
UPE by 2015
• Significant enrolment increases
in sub-Saharan Africa and South
and West Asia
• Progress in countries with very
low indicators
• Fees charged in 89 countries are
major barrier to progress
• HIV/AIDS impact on education
systems
• Substantial increases in schoolage population expected in
Africa, South and West Asia and
the Arab States
• 23 countries at risk of not
achieving UPE by 2015, due to
declining net enrolment ratios
16
Goal 2: Where are out of primary school children?
About 100 million children still not enrolled in primary schools –
70% in Sub-Saharan Africa and South and West Asia
Out-of-primary school children by region (in millions), 2002
45
40
35
30
25
20
15
10
5
0
Central Asia Latin America
North
and the
America and
Caribbean
Western
Europe
Central and
Eastern
Europe
Arab States
East Asia
and the
Pacific
South and
West Asia
Sub-Saharan
Africa
17
Goal 3/4: Equitable learning opportunities
“(3) Ensuring that the learning needs of all young people and adults are met
through equitable access to appropriate learning and life-skills programmes;
(4) Achieving…equitable access to basic and continuing education for all adults”
• Learning needs of adults and young people at the center of this
goal
• Also goals for a second chance at learning (and learning to live in
society?)
• Mainly Non-Formal, but can be integrated into formal education
• Some possible examples: life skills programs, adult basic education,
lifelong learning, livelihood skills, skills for work, vocational skills?
• Challenge to develop monitoring instruments that (a) reflect the
diversity of non-formal learning; (b) assess equitable access.
18
Goal 4: Literacy and adult learning
“Achieving a 50 per cent improvement in levels of
adult literacy by 2015, especially for women…”
Gender parity index (F/M), 2002
0.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
Rest of the
world
25.0%
1.0
India
34.6%
World
D. R. Congo
1.2%
South/West Asia
Morocco
1.3%
Iran, Isl. Rep.
1.4%
Arab States
Sub-Saharan Africa
East Asia/Pacific
Brazil
1.9% Egypt
2.2%
Centr/East. Europe
Latin America/ Caribbean
Indonesia Ethiopia
Nigeria
2.4%
2.8%
2.9%
N. America/West. Europe
Central Asia
China
11.3%
Pakistan
6.2%
Bangladesh
6.8%
Gender parity
• 771 million adults without literacy skills,
• 75% live in 12 countries, 64% are women19
Literacy: major trends
Patterns of literacy from 1970 to 2000 show an increase in adult literacy
rates. Among the 15-24 age group, these rates are consistently higher
Adult literacy rates are not increasing as rapidly as in the 1970s
20
Changing methods for assessing
and monitoring literacy
• CONVENTIONAL: indirect assessments, mainly from censuses, based on
self-assessments, head of household reports or years of schooling
• DIRECT: ask respondents to read or write a simple sentence
• Several countries (eg. Brazil, Botswana, China, Lao PDR, Morocco, U.R.
Tanzania) have conducted direct assessments.
They show that individuals overestimate their literacy skills
• Direct assessments suggest that the global literacy challenge is much
greater than assumed
• Further issue of continuum of literacy rather than dichotomous
literate/illiterate (e.g. IALS).
• Issue of the literate environment
21
Goal 5: Gender Parity
“Eliminating gender disparities in primary and secondary education by
2005, and achieving gender equality in education by 2015 …”
• Considerable progress in countries with lowest gender parity index
• 94 countries will miss 2005 gender parity target
Gender parity index (F/M), 2002
1.20
Gender
parity
1.00
0.80
0.60
0.40
primary
secondary
0.20
0.00
Sub-Saharan
Africa
Arab States
South/West
Asia
Central /
Latin America/
EasternEurope
Caribbean
Central
Asia
East Asia/
Pacific
N. America/
W. Europe
22
Global assessment of gender parity
Overall
Primary
100
49
Secondary
54
Achieved in 2002
6
8
6
10
Likely to be
achieved in 2005
86
Likely to be
achieved in 2015
At risk of not
achieving by 2015
9
9
31
79
23
10
The changing meaning of gender parity
•
Initial focus on increasing access of girls to primary and secondary
education
•
Actual cross-national evidence at primary and secondary levels
reflects different gender disparities:
• At primary level in over 60 countries gender disparities are
nearly always at the expense of girls
• At secondary level, however, boys under-represented in 56
countries
•
•
Danger this can dilute attention to girls?
Goal also calls for gender equality – how to monitor?
24
Goal 6: Education quality
“Improving all aspects of the quality of education and ensuring excellence
of all so that recognized and measurable learning outcomes are achieved
by all, especially in literacy, numeracy and essential life skills”
•
Weak literacy retention: In many low-income countries more than
one-third of children have limited reading skills even after 4-6 years
of schooling
•
High drop-out rates: in 41 out of 133 countries with data, less than
two-thirds of primary school pupils reach the last grade
•
Large classrooms: pupil-teacher ratios on the rise in countries where
education has expanded rapidly
•
Lack of teacher training and poor teaching conditions hinder
learning in many low-income countries
•
Insufficient instructional time: few countries reach recommended
850-1,000 yearly hours
25
Quality of learning
Poor learning outcomes remain a concern in many countries.
Lack of school books is one reflection of impoverished learning environments
Percentage of Grade 6 pupils in African classrooms where there are no books available, 2000
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
Seychelles
Botswana
Mauritius
South Africa
Namibia
Swaziland
Lesotho
Kenya
Zimbabwe
Zambia
U. R.
Tanzania
(Zanzibar)
Uganda
Mozambique
Malawi
0
U. R.
Tanzania
(Mainland)
Percentage of Grade 6 pupils
100
26
Quality: trained teachers in demand
The number of additional teachers needed to increase gross
enrolment ratios to 100% and to achieve a 40:1 pupil-teacher ratio is
probably unreachable in several countries
2015 PTR target=40:1, maintain current GER
2015 PTR target=40:1, GER=100%
25
20
15
10
5
0
Niger
Mali
Burkina
Faso
Chad
Ethiopia
Eritrea
Burundi
Senegal
Pakistan
Guinea
U. R.
Tanzania
Bangladesh
-5
India
Annual growth rate of teachers (%)
1998-2002
27
Can educational quality be measured?
• Need to map and evaluate national learning assessments, as well as
international ones
• Snapshots of what actually occurs in classrooms
• More evaluation studies of pedagogy, curriculum and teaching methods
• More studies of long-term impact of learning
• Conditions for literacy and numeracy retention – issue of the literate
environment
• Tendency to use proxies (e.g. number of years completed)
28
Assessing overall progress: the EDI
The EFA Development Index covers 123 countries and incorporates the four most
“quantifiable” EFA goals: universal primary education; quality (survival to grade 5);
gender parity (primary, secondary, adult literacy) and the adult literacy rate
EDI
Countries have achieved the
goals or are close to doing so
46
0.95-1.00
Countries in intermediate position
In these countries, quality of education is an
issue, especially in Latin America. In the Arab
States, low adult literacy is stalling progress.
Countries far from meeting the goals,
including 16 in sub-Saharan Africa
49
0.80-0.94
28
less than 0.80
29
Are composite indices a good method for
monitoring country progress?
Advantages
• Attract attention, especially of governments and mass media
• Underline holistic nature of EFA goals
Disadvantages
• Weighting of index components not scientific
• Does not easily capture national policy changes
• Less country coverage compared to goal-by-goal analysis, and so
incomplete global picture
• Oversimplification of the world?
30
Monitoring Aid to Education
•
•
•
•
Data Issues
DAC requirements
Commitments versus
flows
Loans
How to allocate budget
support?
•
Analytical Issues
Determining gaps
 Global
 Country-by-country
•
Assessing aid
dependence:
 Statistically
 Policy influence
•
Donor or country
perspective?
31
The aid gap
‘No country in need should be denied international assistance’
 Aid to basic education
Billions of US$
should increase from 2.6%
to 5% of total aid
$3.7
 Aid must be aligned more
Funding
gap
closely with educational
needs
$7.0
$1.2
G8
pledge
multilateral
$0.9
bilateral
$1.2
Total
aid
$2.1
billion
Required to
achieve
UPE and
gender
 Long-term predictable aid
is essential
 The Fast Track Initiative
received strong
endorsement at G8. A step
for harmonization but no
significant aid increase
32
The shifting context for assessing EFA
Big trends:
•
•
•
•
•
Globalisation and knowledge economies
Sustained economic growth in the South
Increased public spending on education
Promises of increased aid
Inequality worsening
Education under stress:
•
•
•
•
•
Over 30 civil conflicts, all in low-income countries
Natural disasters – Indian Ocean tsunami, Pakistan quake
HIV/AIDS: child orphans, teacher shortage and absenteeism
Fertility still high in regions with greatest EFA challenge
Rapid expansion of secondary education
33
Expanding secondary education
The number of secondary school students has risen four times
faster than that of primary school students since 1998
Gross enrolment ratio in secondary education (%)
120
100
80
60
1990
40
2002
20
0
World
Arab
States
Central and
Eastern
Europe
Central
Asia
East Asia
and the
Pacific
Latin
America
and the
Caribbean
North
America
and
Western
Europe
South and
West Asia
SubSaharan
Africa
34
How does the GMR have an impact?
Ways the Report influences on-going national and
international debates
• Media coverage: on average in 70 countries each year
• Policy seminars in numerous countries attended by education
ministers, senior policymakers, NGOs, civil society groups and
multilateral agencies
• Demand for special language versions: summaries in Bangla,
Nepalese, Portuguese, Khmer, Hindi and Vietnamese
• Website activity: 10 fold increase in number of visitors and pages
viewed over three years
35
Are international educational goals and
monitoring necessary?
• Would the movement to universal quality education
be noticeably different, in the absence of the EFA
goals?
• If EFA goals remained, but no GMR (or independent
monitoring mechanism), what then?
36
Some Conclusions
• Monitoring international goals in education is a high
stakes activity
• Accessing broad institutional resources and transnational networks requires careful analysis
• Synthesizing comparative research at global level
carries strong policy messages, especially in
developing countries
• Policy recommendations must be attentive to
varying contexts
37
Thank you…
For more information, visit web site: www.efareport.unesco.org
Contact: EFA Global Monitoring Report team
UNESCO
7, place de Fontenoy
75352 Paris 07 FRANCE
E-mail: [email protected] or [email protected]
Fax: (+33) 1 45 68 56 41
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