What the Annual Status Education Report tells us about learning inequalities in Pakistan

With the recent announcement of proposed post-2015 education targets, which place good quality education at their centre, it becomes paramount to make sure we are able to measure progress to achieve ‘relevant learning outcomes, with particular attention to gender equality and the most marginalized’. The debate on what is meant by ‘relevant’ learning outcomes is likely to ensue, but in the meantime it is important to look at the information we have available on learning outcomes to see how far we have reached, and so the distance to travel to 2030.

The importance of making learning visible

Earlier this year, an independent team of experts detailed the “global learning crisis” in the 11th Education for All Global Monitoring Report.One of the most sobering statistics was that 250 million children do not know the fundamentals — how to read, write, or do basic math problems — including 130 million children who attend school.

ASER, UWEZO and Beekungo

ASER (The Annual Status of Education Report), UWEZO and Beekungo are household-based assessments that test students and out-of-school children on basic reading and math skills. The exams are individually administered to determine a child’s mastery of specific topics. The ASER, UWEZO and Beekungo family of assessments test similar skills and but are adapted to each country’s curriculum and so caution must be used when comparing results across countries as well as across languages and time.