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									      Monitoring Education for All:

Implications for comparative education


Nicholas Burnett and Aaron Benavot
       EFA Global Monitoring Report Team, UNESCO



  Comparative and International Education Society,
        Honolulu, Hawaii, March 14, 2006

                                                     1
        Overview of presentation

• Rethinking the Comparative (conference theme)
• Traditional purposes of comparative education
• New purposes:
  a) monitor and evaluate progress toward international educational
  goals and targets
  b) distill policy implications from comparative research and in-
  depth case studies at international level
• What lessons can be drawn from comparative analyses and
  assessments reported in the EFA Global Monitoring Reports?
• Challenges, responsibilities and high stakes of comparative
  education research at the global level


                                                                      2
    Traditional and new purposes of
        comparative education
• Generalize about inter-relationships between educational change and
   major socioeconomic or political trends
• Understand the historical origins and determinants of specific
   educational patterns
• Understand how educational systems respond to external forces
• Compare country performances according to standard criteria e.g.
   student achievement
• Identify „successful‟ national educational models to encourage
   emulation
• Discuss „outlier‟ cases as a way of exploring especially innovative
   educational systems
• New: Assess country progress towards international educational goals
                                                                        3
International Targets in Education
• Early Targets:
   • compulsory school legislation (e.g. Bombay 1952, Cairo 1955,
      Lima 1956)
   • universal access to education (e.g. Karachi 1960, Addis Ababa
      1961, Santiago 1962, Tripoli 1966)
• Influence of Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Dec 1948):
  “Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at
  least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary
  education shall be compulsory...”
• Education for All
   • Jomtien 1990
   • Dakar 2000
• Millenium Development Goals 2000
                                                                    4
          The EFA goals and the MDGs
            EFA Goals                  Millennium Development Goals
• Expanding early childhood care     • Goal 2: Achieve Universal primary
  and education, especially for        education
  disadvantaged children             • (Target 3: Completion of full
• Universal primary education by       primary schooling by all children
  2015                                 by 2015)
• Equitable access to learning
  opportunities and life skills   • Goal 3. Promote gender equality
  programmes for young people and   and empower women
  adults                          • (Target 4: Eliminate gender
• 50% improvement in adult          disparity preferably by 2005 and
  literacy rates by 2015            no later than 2015)
• Gender parity by 2005 and gender
  equality by 2015
• Improving quality of education                                   5
 Can goals make a difference?

• Help raise international awareness, create a sense of urgency and
  sustain stakeholder commitment
• Encourage countries to accelerate action, initiate policy reform and
  prepare national plans
• Create frameworks for additional funding and more focused
  technical support
• Encourage standardized data gathering, and potentially increase
  capacity building
• Important international policy goals have been achieved on or
  around their target dates: smallpox eradication, child immunization,
  fertility reduction

                                                                      6
        Problems with goal setting
• In education, almost all international goals and targets have been missed
  (Clemens 2004)
• In some countries goal attainment and target setting become an end in
  themselves, rather than a means to other ends (Fielding 1999)
• National priorities can be inappropriately reordered
• Different conceptual meanings within and across countries are reduced,
  contested interpretations are ignored (Jansen 2005)
• Becomes potential basis for international sanctions, reduced funding
• Reinforces view that educational progress and educational outcomes are
  easy to measure and quantify
• Can distort the daily, often invisible, work of teachers, who seek to
  improve the quality of pupil learning
• Does not correspond to countries‟ education sector plans and budgets but
  represents partial aspects of them.
                                                                          7
EFA Global Monitoring Report: Origins
          World Education Forum, 2000, Dakar, Senegal


 • 164 countries committed to achieve the six EFA goals by
   2015, and one by 2005
 • Donors and NGOs pledged to support this effort: No
   country will lack the necessary resources
 • Governments called for regular monitoring of progress
 • Emphasized need to improve upon the scientific quality of
   previous evaluations of EFA


              EFA Global Monitoring Report
                                                               8
                                                                   1
Global Monitoring Report: Purposes

    An independent assessment, advocacy and reference tool that:


•   Charts progress towards the six EFA goals
•   Monitors international commitments to achieve EFA; holds the global
    community and donor agencies accountable
•   Compiles reliable and comparable quantitative and qualitative
    evidence to examine educational progress
•   Draws attention to emerging issues and challenges
•   Highlights effective policies and strategies, using case studies and
    country comparisons
•   Provides a bridge between research & policy communities


                                                                      9
               Global Monitoring Report:
               Background and audiences
• Developed by an independent, multi-national and inter-disciplinary team
  based at UNESCO
• Advised by an international editorial board with representatives from NGOs,
  international organizations, aid agencies, etc.
• Funded by seven bilateral aid agencies and UNESCO
• Informed by commissioned research papers, on-line consultations
  and literature reviews
• Reports are translated into six UN languages; summaries translated into
  additional languages
• Includes global, regional and national launches
• CD-Rom produced as well as special tool to access statistical annexes

 Audience: National policy-makers and planners, NGOs, civil society, advocacy
 groups, donor agencies, researchers, academics, and media

                                                                            10
   Global Monitoring Reports:
        Past and Future
• 2002: EFA: Is the World on Track?
• 2003/4: Gender and EFA: The Leap to
   Equality
• 2005: EFA: The Quality Imperative
• 2006: Literacy for Life
• 2007: Early childhood care and
   education
• 2008: Overall progress

                                        11
Sources for comparative analysis in GMR

 • Quantitative administrative data and qualitative descriptions of
    national education systems (UNESCO institutes, particularly
    UNESCO Institute of Statistics)
 • Commissioned literature reviews and research; draw on studies by
    international organizations, bilateral agencies and NGOs
 • Household survey data; international assessments of educational
    achievement; aid data from OECD-DAC
 • Official and national documents
 • Work with others on specific topics (e.g GCE on literacy
    programs, FTI on aid, UNICEF on out of school, World Bank on
    fees, etc)
 • Conducts small surveys of aid agencies

                                                                   12
    Key strands in GMR monitoring

•    RIGHTS: Assume access to quality education and literacy are
     fundamental rights
•    DEVELOPMENT: personal, social, political, cultural and
     economic
•    Strong gender perspective
•    Map global challenges
•    Seek to identify major determinants of educational progress
•    Identify effective national reform strategies
•    Discuss what makes for good practice
•    Evidence-based and comparative approach


                                                              13
                                                                   3
Challenges in           monitoring EFA goals

•   Contested conceptual understandings of key concepts (e.g.
    educational quality, literacy)
•   Simplifying complex issues to common denominators
•   Problematic cross-national comparisons (eg, ECCE, non-
    formal education)
•   Gaps in data supplied by countries; time lag in data
    availability
•   Weakness of financial data
•   Little availability of sub-national data
•   Continued debate over the definition, interpretation and
    meaning of goals in addition to determining appropriate &
    valid indicators (goal 3)


                                                                14
Goal 1: Early childhood care and education

      “Expanding and improving comprehensive early childhood
     care and education, especially for the most vulnerable and
                      disadvantaged children”

• Monitoring the ECCE goal is limited to institutional data on
  pre-primary enrolments (ISCED-0)
• Enrolment-based measures do not capture intent of goal 1;
  also pre-primary frameworks vary significantly: see 2007 GMR
• The gross enrolment ratio in pre-primary education in the
  majority of countries is below 50%
• Children from disadvantaged backgrounds more likely to be
  excluded
• Attendance rates considerably higher for urban children than
  those living in rural areas
                                                                  15
   Goal 2: Universal primary education
         Progress towards UPE
“Ensuring that by 2015 all children, particularly girls, children in difficult
 circumstances and those belonging to ethnic minorities, have access to,
 and complete, free and compulsory primary education of good quality”

• 47 countries have achieved UPE,        • Fees charged in 89 countries are
  20 on track to achieve it by 2015        major barrier to progress
• 44 countries making good               • HIV/AIDS impact on education
  progress but may not achieve             systems
  UPE by 2015                            • Substantial increases in school-
• Significant enrolment increases          age population expected in
  in sub-Saharan Africa and South          Africa, South and West Asia and
  and West Asia                            the Arab States
• Progress in countries with very        • 23 countries at risk of not
  low indicators                           achieving UPE by 2015, due to
                                           declining net enrolment ratios
                                                                         16
Goal 2: Where are out of primary school children?

      About 100 million children still not enrolled in primary schools –
            70% in Sub-Saharan Africa and South and West Asia



          Out-of-primary school children by region (in millions), 2002
 45
 40
 35
 30
 25
 20
 15
 10
  5
  0
       Central Asia Latin America    North      Central and   Arab States   East Asia   South and   Sub-Saharan
                       and the    America and    Eastern                     and the    West Asia      Africa
                      Caribbean    Western        Europe                     Pacific
                                    Europe



                                                                                                           17
Goal 3/4: Equitable learning opportunities

“(3) Ensuring that the learning needs of all young people and adults are met
through equitable access to appropriate learning and life-skills programmes;
(4) Achieving…equitable access to basic and continuing education for all adults”


 • Learning needs of adults and young people at the center of this
    goal
 • Also goals for a second chance at learning (and learning to live in
    society?)
 • Mainly Non-Formal, but can be integrated into formal education
 • Some possible examples: life skills programs, adult basic education,
    lifelong learning, livelihood skills, skills for work, vocational skills?
 • Challenge to develop monitoring instruments that (a) reflect the
    diversity of non-formal learning; (b) assess equitable access.
                                                                          18
            Goal 4: Literacy and adult learning
                “Achieving a 50 per cent improvement in levels of
                 adult literacy by 2015, especially for women…”

                            Gender parity index (F/M), 2002                                    Rest of the
                           0.0    0.2     0.4    0.6        0.8        1.0                       world
                                                                                                25.0%
                  World                                                                                                                India
                                                                                                                                      34.6%
                                                                             D. R. Congo
                                                                                 1.2%
       South/West Asia
                                                                              Morocco
            Arab States
                                                                                1.3%
     Sub-Saharan Africa                                                      Iran, Isl. Rep.
                                                                                  1.4%
       East Asia/Pacific
                                                                              Brazil
     Centr/East. Europe                                                       1.9% Egypt
                                                                                     2.2%                                            China
Latin America/ Caribbean                                                                                                             11.3%
N. America/West. Europe                                                       Indonesia Ethiopia
                                                                                 2.4%            Nigeria     Pakistan
                                                                                         2.8%                           Bangladesh
            Central Asia                                                                          2.9%        6.2%         6.8%

                                                       Gender parity


                                                       • 771 million adults without literacy skills,
                                                       • 75% live in 12 countries, 64% are women19
             Literacy: major trends
Patterns of literacy from 1970 to 2000 show an increase in adult literacy
 rates. Among the 15-24 age group, these rates are consistently higher




         Adult literacy rates are not increasing as rapidly as in the 1970s
                                                                     20
 Changing methods for assessing
    and monitoring literacy


• CONVENTIONAL: indirect assessments, mainly from censuses, based on
  self-assessments, head of household reports or years of schooling
• DIRECT: ask respondents to read or write a simple sentence
• Several countries (eg. Brazil, Botswana, China, Lao PDR, Morocco, U.R.
  Tanzania) have conducted direct assessments.
  They show that individuals overestimate their literacy skills
• Direct assessments suggest that the global literacy challenge is much
  greater than assumed
• Further issue of continuum of literacy rather than dichotomous
  literate/illiterate (e.g. IALS).
• Issue of the literate environment
                                                                      21
                    Goal 5: Gender Parity
“Eliminating gender disparities in primary and secondary education by
     2005, and achieving gender equality in education by 2015 …”

• Considerable progress in countries with lowest gender parity index
• 94 countries will miss 2005 gender parity target

                                                   Gender parity index (F/M), 2002
   1.20

   1.00                                                                                                                Gender
                                                                                                                       parity
   0.80

   0.60

   0.40                                                                                                                  primary
                                                                                                                         secondary
   0.20

   0.00

          Sub-Saharan   Arab States   South/West     Central /   Latin America/   Central   East Asia/   N. America/
             Africa                      Asia      EasternEurope   Caribbean       Asia      Pacific     W. Europe




                                                                                                                            22
Global assessment of gender parity

   Overall                        Primary   Secondary


                                   100         54
     49
              Achieved in 2002

      6
      8                                        6
                                               10


                 Likely to be
               achieved in 2005
     86                             9
                Likely to be        9
              achieved in 2015
                                               79
                                    31
               At risk of not
             achieving by 2015

                                                    23
                                                         10
The changing meaning of gender parity


•   Initial focus on increasing access of girls to primary and secondary
    education
•   Actual cross-national evidence at primary and secondary levels
    reflects different gender disparities:
     • At primary level in over 60 countries gender disparities are
     nearly always at the expense of girls
     • At secondary level, however, boys under-represented in 56
     countries
•   Danger this can dilute attention to girls?
•   Goal also calls for gender equality – how to monitor?


                                                                   24
          Goal 6: Education quality
“Improving all aspects of the quality of education and ensuring excellence
 of all so that recognized and measurable learning outcomes are achieved
       by all, especially in literacy, numeracy and essential life skills”

•   Weak literacy retention: In many low-income countries more than
    one-third of children have limited reading skills even after 4-6 years
    of schooling
•   High drop-out rates: in 41 out of 133 countries with data, less than
    two-thirds of primary school pupils reach the last grade
•   Large classrooms: pupil-teacher ratios on the rise in countries where
    education has expanded rapidly
•   Lack of teacher training and poor teaching conditions hinder
    learning in many low-income countries
•   Insufficient instructional time: few countries reach recommended
    850-1,000 yearly hours
                                                                      25
                                                     Quality of learning
        Poor learning outcomes remain a concern in many countries.
Lack of school books is one reflection of impoverished learning environments



                                  Percentage of Grade 6 pupils in African classrooms where there are no books available, 2000
                                  100
                                   90
   Percentage of Grade 6 pupils




                                   80
                                   70
                                   60

                                   50
                                   40
                                   30
                                   20

                                   10
                                    0
                                                                                                                     Kenya
                                                                                                 Zambia
                                                                           Uganda




                                                                                                          Zimbabwe




                                                                                                                                                             South Africa
                                                     Malawi


                                                              Mozambique




                                                                                                                                                                                                   Seychelles
                                        (Mainland)




                                                                                    (Zanzibar)




                                                                                                                                                   Namibia




                                                                                                                                                                            Mauritius
                                                                                                                                       Swaziland
                                                                                                                             Lesotho




                                                                                                                                                                                        Botswana
                                                                                    Tanzania
                                         Tanzania




                                                                                      U. R.
                                           U. R.




                                                                                                                                                                                                   26
Quality: trained teachers in demand
                                The number of additional teachers needed to increase gross
                            enrolment ratios to 100% and to achieve a 40:1 pupil-teacher ratio is
                                         probably unreachable in several countries

                                                   1998-2002           2015 PTR target=40:1, maintain current GER                    2015 PTR target=40:1, GER=100%
 Annual growth rate of teachers (%)




                                      25

                                      20

                                      15

                                      10

                                      5

                                      0

                                      -5




                                                                                                                                                   Burkina
                                                                                                             Burundi
                                                                                                   Senegal




                                                                                                                                            Chad




                                                                                                                                                                    Niger
                                                                                                                       Eritrea




                                                                                                                                                             Mali
                                           India




                                                                               Guinea



                                                                                        Pakistan
                                                       Bangladesh



                                                                    Tanzania




                                                                                                                                 Ethiopia




                                                                                                                                                    Faso
                                                                      U. R.




                                                                                                                                                                            27
Can educational quality be measured?

• Need to map and evaluate national learning assessments, as well as
  international ones
• Snapshots of what actually occurs in classrooms
• More evaluation studies of pedagogy, curriculum and teaching methods
• More studies of long-term impact of learning
• Conditions for literacy and numeracy retention – issue of the literate
  environment
• Tendency to use proxies (e.g. number of years completed)


                                                                     28
 Assessing overall progress: the EDI
 The EFA Development Index covers 123 countries and incorporates the four most
“quantifiable” EFA goals: universal primary education; quality (survival to grade 5);
   gender parity (primary, secondary, adult literacy) and the adult literacy rate


                                                                   EDI
    Countries have achieved the
                                                         46     0.95-1.00
    goals or are close to doing so

    Countries in intermediate position
    In these countries, quality of education is an        49
    issue, especially in Latin America. In the Arab
                                                                 0.80-0.94
    States, low adult literacy is stalling progress.

    Countries far from meeting the goals,                 28
    including 16 in sub-Saharan Africa                           less than 0.80

                                                                                29
Are composite indices a good method for
      monitoring country progress?

Advantages

 • Attract attention, especially of governments and mass media
 • Underline holistic nature of EFA goals


Disadvantages

 • Weighting of index components not scientific
 • Does not easily capture national policy changes
 • Less country coverage compared to goal-by-goal analysis, and so
   incomplete global picture
 • Oversimplification of the world?
                                                                 30
     Monitoring Aid to Education


         Data Issues              Analytical Issues
•   DAC requirements         •   Determining gaps
•   Commitments versus            Global
    flows                         Country-by-country
•   Loans                    •   Assessing aid
•   How to allocate budget       dependence:
    support?                      Statistically
                                  Policy influence
                             •   Donor or country
                                 perspective?

                                                        31
                           The aid gap
„No country in need should be denied international assistance‟

             Billions of US$                         Aid to basic education
                                                     should increase from 2.6%
                                                     to 5% of total aid

 $3.7            Funding                             Aid must be aligned more
                 gap                                 closely with educational
                                                     needs
                                      Required to
                                      achieve
                               $7.0   UPE and        Long-term predictable aid
                                      gender         is essential
 $1.2          G8
               pledge

multilateral
                                                     The Fast Track Initiative
 $0.9                                                received strong
                 Total
                  aid                                endorsement at G8. A step
 bilateral
                 $2.1                                for harmonization but no
 $1.2           billion                              significant aid increase
                                                                            32
The shifting context for assessing EFA
Big trends:
    •   Globalisation and knowledge economies
    •   Sustained economic growth in the South
    •   Increased public spending on education
    •   Promises of increased aid
    •   Inequality worsening

Education under stress:

    •   Over 30 civil conflicts, all in low-income countries
    •   Natural disasters – Indian Ocean tsunami, Pakistan quake
    •   HIV/AIDS: child orphans, teacher shortage and absenteeism
    •   Fertility still high in regions with greatest EFA challenge
    •   Rapid expansion of secondary education

                                                                      33
 Expanding secondary education
The number of secondary school students has risen four times
   faster than that of primary school students since 1998



                         Gross enrolment ratio in secondary education (%)

120

100

80

60                                                                                                     1990
40                                                                                                     2002

20

 0
      World    Arab    Central and   Central   East Asia     Latin      North    South and    Sub-
              States    Eastern       Asia      and the     America    America   West Asia   Saharan
                         Europe                 Pacific     and the      and                  Africa
                                                           Caribbean   Western
                                                                       Europe



                                                                                                         34
       How does the GMR have an impact?

     Ways the Report influences on-going national and
                   international debates

• Media coverage: on average in 70 countries each year
• Policy seminars in numerous countries attended by education
  ministers, senior policymakers, NGOs, civil society groups and
  multilateral agencies
• Demand for special language versions: summaries in Bangla,
  Nepalese, Portuguese, Khmer, Hindi and Vietnamese
• Website activity: 10 fold increase in number of visitors and pages
  viewed over three years


                                                                   35
 Are international educational goals and
          monitoring necessary?



• Would the movement to universal quality education
  be noticeably different, in the absence of the EFA
  goals?


• If EFA goals remained, but no GMR (or independent
  monitoring mechanism), what then?




                                                       36
           Some Conclusions

• Monitoring international goals in education is a high
  stakes activity
• Accessing broad institutional resources and trans-
  national networks requires careful analysis
• Synthesizing comparative research at global level
  carries strong policy messages, especially in
  developing countries
• Policy recommendations must be attentive to
  varying contexts

                                                       37
                   Thank you…

For more information, visit web site: www.efareport.unesco.org

         Contact: EFA Global Monitoring Report team
                           UNESCO
                    7, place de Fontenoy
                   75352 Paris 07 FRANCE

    E-mail: n.burnett@unesco.org or a.benavot@unesco.org
                   Fax: (+33) 1 45 68 56 41




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