Given the time it can take to mobilize around development goals and establish effective monitoring systems to track progress, the 2030 deadline for the achievement of the global goal on education is just around the corner.
Leading academic and researcher, Dr. Rukmini Banerji, recently wrote a blog post, When Schooling Doesn’t Mean Learning, that was published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review. The post talks about ASER (Annual Status of Education Report), a citizen-led assessment that measures children’s learning levels, and how the assessment has challenged the idea that being in school guarantees an education.
With: 23 million children out of school; almost half of the 10 year old students having achieved the linguistic competence of a 6 year old (in either their mother tongue or in Urdu); 50% of grade 5 lacking competency of grades 2 (Maths, Urdu/Pashto/Sindhi and English); 42% of government primary schools in the rural areas without electricity; 40% lacking access to clean drinking water and 49% lacking functioning toilets, we can clearly reveal that education is NOT a priority across Pakistan.
On a warm Sunday morning, an Uwezo Uganda team and I set off on a journey aboard a bus to Ngora District for a five-day assignment as an assessor.
Engaging citizens in action for development is nothing new. For years, civil society organizations have tried to engage with citizens to improve transparency and accountability.
Monday 10th April 2017 was a momentous day in Tanzania, and worth noting for the Sustainable Development Goal 4, as the Uwezo learning assessment report was launched in Dodoma.
On the bus travelling from Mexico City to Xalapa, over 80 education activists and innovators from 19 Global South countries stared in disbelief, transfixed at the sheer size of these neighbourhoods. We found ourselves speeding past thousands of brightly coloured one-room houses, each one stacked carefully on top of one another.
Across valleys, mountains and pyramids in Mexico, a week of intensive learning in communities along with children, teachers and volunteers in schools, university and was an awesome experience.
The first-grade classroom was tucked away in the back of the school. Thanks to the cold, the little children were dressed in bright blue track suits instead of the school uniform that the older children were wearing. It had been raining continuously from the morning. The children could not leave the classroom. They were peering through the windows curious about the visitors.
It was a hot summer afternoon in a village in central India. A man lay on a string cot in the shade of a mango tree while his two sons played marbles. We approached him with hesitation. “We are making a village report card of schooling and learning,” we said tentatively. “Can we ask your sons to read?”
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