Welcome to SDG Pulse, the intersection between Elearning and Sustainability Development Goals, particularly SDG №4. Here we keep track of the ways in which the eLearning Industry is (or is not) promoting economic development and social justice.
In this Pulse:
A IIEP-UNESCO Working Paper, “Use of learning assessment data in education policy-making” (PDF) is making the rounds again. Written in 2019, before the threat of a pandemic wasn’t on everyone’s radar, it claimed that while assessments provide some information about the status and quality of information, and it can provide international comparative analysis, its effect on students performance was undetectable.
The belief that standardized assessments do not work is not new. in fact it enjoys plenty of activist support. But a question lingers: How can countries and institutions, particularly in underserved communities, gather key data to make decisions and increase the quality of education?
UNESCO‘s International Institute for Educational Planning seeks to generate knowledge and provide recommendations for improving the use of learning assessment data. Their researchers, including author of the working paper Ieva Raudonyte, are not so quick to dismiss the value of international learning assessments. And she’s not alone. Countries and students performing international assessments have increased steadily in the past 2 years.
But standard assessment can never be construed as a single or only data point, and Rudonyte is also emphatic here. Education policymaking is as good as the available evidence. Unfortunately, the few cases where data is prioritized does not always follow priorities at the classroom floor. This is in fact one of IIEP’s top programmatic priorities.
Take a look of the other activities and publications, for example this paper on Sub-Saharan Africa about data and the learning planning cycle.
For the Latin America case, this state of the art from Buenos Aires is a promising conversation starter.
It is important to reflect, and for society to unite to promote education as well as evidence for education success throughout the world, even in its corners, so that these problems do not continue to increase. Change is still reversible.
Collective Failure? The Need To Want To Improve Learning
The fourth SDG aims to guarantee equal and inclusive quality education and also promote learning opportunities for all, but according to the World Bank, a large part of the population of children living in low-income countries do not have the ability to read with comprehension before they are 10 years old.
Analyzing these figures and identifying that this SDG is not that close to its purpose, Girindre Beeharry director of the global education program at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation wrote an essay arguing why objectives must be prioritized in order to achieve progress in the improvement of learning.
This essay published in the International Journal of Educational Development shows a perspective of the collective failure that we have committed as a society by failing to fulfill this type of proposed goals, but the essay also presents a clear vision of the factors to take into account to change and return to compliance. of SDG goal 4. The writer made an impact with his essay by doing hard work with the population from which he is directing his essay (low-income apises). But it is evident the need for him to want a change in the system to benefit children who want to be educated.
The publication gave so much to talk about that below you can read a collection of reflections and counterproposals written by leaders, researchers and professionals.
According to Girindre, there is still the opportunity for the educational community to be revitalized, working together, promoting basic sciences and basic skills in institutions, in order to meet the objective. The important thing is that we can take responsibility for progress.
Major Obstacles Facing Education In Africa When Using Learning Assessment Data
The reality of education in areas of the world that are difficult to access or simply do not have sufficient economic resources. Generations that are deprived of education due to lack of opportunities and global support.
On March 16, IIEP-UNESCO organized an e-learning series consisting of 3 webinars broadcast on YouTube dealing with the use of learning assessment data in sub-Saharan Africa and some expert opinions on this topic.
In the seminar N°3 the role of people associated with the development and support of learning assessment systems was analyzed.
In this seminar, the issue of feedback given at the right time to students and related not only to the task given, but also to the skills that the teacher sees in the student was discussed.
In the virtual discussion it was possible to identify some weaknesses present in the educational systems, but a solution was also sought by answering the question: how to improve the characteristics of the feedback process?
You can watch the webinar series here:
- Webinar 1: Use of learning data in the education planning cycle: modalities and obstacles
- Webinar 2: Policies and institutional settings for the use of learning assessment data
- Webinar 3: Exploring actors’ interactions and the use of learning data
Innovative Engineering Guarantees Inclusion And Gender Balance To Achieve Sustainable Development
Engineering is an essential component in the development of the world. Therefore, promoting engineering skills among the population, particularly the future workforce, is critical to ensure the future development of a society.
However, engineering is a profession where a notorious minority of female participation is seen.
According to “Engineering for Sustainable Development: Delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals,” a report presented by the UN, available engineering skills among the world’s population are insufficient to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
“Engineering is a profession that allows sustainable development and for this to be implemented the world needs more male and female engineers and in turn more equality,” said UNESCO’s Director General, Audrey Auzolay.
The report states that with engineering, SDG objectives have been achieved, such as ending poverty, reducing inequality or promoting environmentally conscious development, among others.
With 17 SDGs to meet, and given the high degree of dependence among one another, disregarding Gender equality and women empowerment (SDG 5) or Quality Education (SDG 4) makes achieving the others all the more challenging.
Education budgets are declining in two of the world’s poorest countries
Global spending on education has shown an increase for 10 years, but according to an, Education Finance Watch ( EFW) report, the pandemic could interrupt this rise in investment in education.
The money budgeted for education is not adapted to the challenges that the pandemic has caused.
Despite the fact that financing processes have been carried out, two thirds of the countries with poor and lower middle income have had to reduce their investment since the pandemic began.
According to the new report by the World Bank and UNESCO, before the pandemic began, high-income countries spent approximately $ 8,501 USD compared to $ 48 USD in low-income countries, this money is for each child who receives an education.
The report emphasizes that it is not only necessary to prevent the budget from continuing to decrease, but also to find a way to guarantee quality education for children living in areas with difficult access, and that in turn they have access to the internet. can learn how to function in an educational environment