New online data tool to help countries make the global education goal a reality



Accurate data to better target initiatives and achieve results is essential for countries striving to reach Sustainable Development Goal 4. In response, UNESCO, through the Institute for Statistics, is leading efforts to develop the frameworks and indicators needed to monitor education goal 4 and related targets.

To highlight these initiatives, the UNESCO Institute for Statistics held a panel event during the 38th UNESCO General Conference on 7 November, entitled, From Goal to Action: UNESCO Leads the Agenda to Monitor Education Globally.

The panel brought together Ministers, experts and policy-makers to explore a series of initiatives to help countries use new tools and data to improve the learning outcomes of their children and youth, while addressing their needs to provide quality and inclusive education for all.

Jordan Naidoo, Director of EFA and Global Agenda Coordination Team, explained how global and thematic indicators will feed into the different political processes designed to achieve SDG 4 on education.

Silvia Montoya, UIS Director, presented initiatives to help countries produce and use internationally-comparable data on learning   in order to improve the outcomes of their children and youth. To inform this work, the UIS is leading efforts with partners to define a set of global learning metrics, which is the subject of a public consultation.    

The UIS also announced the launch of a Database of Learning Assessments. While more countries are conducting tests to measure how well children are acquiring core skills, such as reading and mathematics, there is little information available to help guide policy-making in this area.

The UIS is seeking to fill this gap through its new database, which provides comprehensive information on public examinations as well as national assessments undertaken around the world.

This online tool is based on the Catalogue of Learning Assessments, which uses a questionnaire to gather standardized information on each assessment undertaken in a country.

The database will be regularly updated and currently contains information for about 100 assessments in more than 50 countries. It offers downloadable thematic tables on a wide range of variables – from the types of stakeholders and funding involved in the testing to the populations targeted and subjects assessed. It also describes the core characteristics of the test design and provides detailed information on the disaggregation and dissemination of results.

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