The 17 Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) are a set of all-encompassing goals promising to strive for a world that is equitable and inclusive, thereby to benefit ALL children and future generations without the discrimination to age, sex, disability, culture, race, ethnicity, origin, migratory status, religion, economic or other status. The SDGs and framework are indeed ambitious, and for education carry a sector wide approach and underscore the importance of the Right to Education…
One often hears that the education community failed 15 years ago to recognise the scale of the learning problem; and, instead, focused on enrolment only. Let us ensure that we do not look back in 15 years’ time and realise that although we recognised a learning crisis, we did not change our approach to addressing it.
The purpose of this assessment is to provide timely help. Without foundational skills, children cannot progress meaningfully in the education system. Not helping children effectively early in their school career has huge implications for equity and inclusiveness in each subsequent year and transitions as envisaged in SDG 4.
In the past, assessment results in education have been used largely to judge and grade. This use of assessment is consistent with the view that the role of teachers is to teach, the role of students is to learn, and the role of assessment is to establish how well students have learnt what they have been taught — and to grade them accordingly. When used in this way, learning assessments are often viewed as straightforward and unproblematic.
To ensure the rhetoric of leaving no one behind becomes a reality, the sustainable development goals give rise to an important practical question: how can we monitor progress to ensure we know if we have been successful?
In June, we shared findings from an evaluation of citizen-led assessments we commissioned from Results for Development. Since the report’s publication, which showed how engaging citizens in large scale, household-based assessments of children’s learning can help focus education debates on learning, a number of colleagues have shared their own perspectives on the evaluation
While Kenya and Nairobi were at a standstill preparing for the US President Barack Obama’s Airforce I to land on July 24 for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, in another beautiful scenic setting, a global network on learning was born! The network will help hold countries accountable for ensuring their children are not just in school, but also learning. Committed to transparently conducting citizen-led household based assessments on learning, the network will increasingly enable communities to hold their leaders to account; it will support the call for lifelong learning for all – central to the new SDG on education.
The recent publication of a report evaluating the family of citizen led assessments has led to a number of blogs that are looking closely at the learnings from these efforts and trying to understand the implications of what has been achieved and what has not
The ultimate measure of success in education is not whether or not children attend school, but whether they learn. And creating a system in which learning is valued requires finding out what children are learning and building broad awareness about it. It was these two principles that inspired the organization Pratham in India to mobilize and train volunteers to conduct household surveys of children’s learning.
In his three-minute TED Talk, Derek Sivers tells us that a movement is made not by charismatic leaders but rather by the first followers. It is the people who are alert to a new idea, who are inspired to leave their comfortable routine, and who adopt and adapt an innovation—these are the movement makers.