Join in: What’s the #EducationWeWant?

blog_gem_logoIt’s a new year, and we have a new name – The Global Education Monitoring Report (GEM Report). To celebrate the change, we’re launching a new campaign using our logo as an interactive visual. We want to know which of the seven new education targets supporting the global education goal are most important to you. Join in online, and via twitter using #EducationWeWant and @GEMReport.

Countries grappling with the new 17 goals and their accompanying 169 targets in the Sustainable Development Agenda will need to decide which they’re going to prioritise in their national plans. We thought we’d ask you your thoughts as to which of the seven new education targets are most important.

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Posted in Post-2015 development framework, sdg, sdgs, Uncategorized, united nations | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Introducing our Spanish-Language World Education Blog/Blog de la Educación Mundial

Today, we’re launching the “Blog de la Educación Mundial for our Spanish speaking audience with a focus on Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) as well as the concerns of Latin American policy makers, researchers and analysts. The new blog will containing posts with exclusive content specific to the LAC region. Please help spread the word among your networks.

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As you have hopefully seen by now, this week we have relaunched to become the Global Education Monitoring Report: the GEM Report.  The change is more than just a name. With a new mandate, we are also revisiting our ways of working, and communicating with you. One of our first changes along this line is the launch of our new Spanish blog. There will be other announcements to follow. Continue reading

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The GMR is now the GEM report: Global Education Monitoring Report

It’s a new year, and we’re introducing our new name! As from today, we are formally becoming the GEM Report: the Global Education Monitoring Report.

blog_gem_logoIt is now officially ‘post-2015’ and a new set of international goals and targets are in place. The GEM Report has changed its name and logo in order to reflect its new mandate to monitor international education targets until 2030. Our mandate was officially  confirmed in the Framework for Action Education 2030:

“The EFA Global Monitoring Report will be continued in the form of the Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report. It will be prepared by an independent team and hosted and published by UNESCO. The Director of the team is appointed by the Director-General of UNESCO. Attention will be paid to geographical balance in its Advisory Board. The GEM Report will be the mechanism for monitoring and reporting on SDG 4 and on education in the other SDGs, with due regard to the global mechanism to be established to monitor and review the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It will also report on the implementation of national and international strategies to help hold all relevant partners to account for their commitments as part of the overall SDG follow-up and review.”

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Posted in Governance, Post-2015 development framework, sdg, sdgs, Sustainable development, Uncategorized, united nations | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Tanzania abolishes secondary school fees. But does anything come for free?

Credit: Frans Peeters

Primary school children in Tanzania. Credit: Frans Peeters

It is extremely good news to hear that the United Republic of Tanzania has cancelled school fees at the secondary level. This new policy aims to free families from any fees and contributions to education for 11 years of schooling. It is in line with the new commitments made by countries as part of the sustainable development agenda, and, as detailed in the latest GMR 2015, is a key policy for encouraging universal primary and secondary education.  As this blog warns, however, abolishing fees is not an end in itself. Indirect costs must be monitored as well to ensure they don’t increase to make up for the change.

Many countries have already expanded basic education to include lower secondary. Before Tanzania’s announcement, analysis of documents in the UNESCO Right to Education Database outlined in the GMR 2015 showed that 94 out of the 107 low and middle income countries have legislated free lower secondary education. Of these, 66 have constitutional guarantees and 28 enacted other legal measures. As of today, only a few nations charge lower secondary school fees, including Botswana, Guinea, Papua New Guinea and South Africa.

Credit: UNESCO/Alphonce Haule - Tanzania

Credit: UNESCO/Alphonce Haule – Tanzania

Tanzania joins the long list of countries which have made lower secondary education compulsory as well. Two out of three countries where lower secondary education was not compulsory in 2000 had changed their legislation by 2012.  Among those countries that legislated compulsory attendance in lower secondary education since 2000 were India, Indonesia, Nigeria and Pakistan. As of 2012, only 25 countries have no legal requirement for lower secondary attendance, including Iraq, Malaysia and Nicaragua. Continue reading

Posted in Developing countries, Literacy, Marginalization, mdgs, sdg, sdgs, Secondary school, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Why universal secondary education can help fight climate change

authorBy Raya Muttarak, Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital (IIASA, VID/ÖAW and WU), and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Austria.

Not only have climate scientists agreed that humans are contributing to climate change, but recent evidence also points out that the rate of warming is happening much faster now than it ever has before.  This is why, at the UN Climate Conference in Paris this month, world leaders are seeking to reach a new international agreement on climate change, essentially to keep global warming below 2°C (or 3.6°F). Rising temperatures pose threats on food and water security, infrastructure, ecosystems and health and, as a previous blog on this site shows, increases the risk of conflict. With an upsurge in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events and the potential for rapid sea level rise, both mitigating human-related exacerbation of climate change, and adapting to its devastating effects are key priorities. This is where education comes in.

Both mitigation and adaptation require technological, institutional and behavioural responses. Correspondingly, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change highlighted the value of a mix of strategies to protect the planet, which combine policies with incentive-based approaches encompassing all actors from the individual citizen, to national governments and international communities. Because, while national and sub-national climate action plans are fundamental, changing individual behaviour also lies at the heart of responses to climate change.

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Posted in Citizenship, Climate change, Disaster preparedness, Environment, Post-2015 development framework, sdg, sdgs, Secondary school, Sustainable development | 5 Comments

Education increases awareness and concern for the environment

climate_blog1Our first blog around the COP21 taking place here in Paris where the GMR is based showed how education can help poorer communities respond and react to the impact of climate change. This blog shows that, by improving knowledge, instilling values, fostering beliefs and shifting attitudes, education has considerable power to help individuals reconsider environmentally harmful lifestyles and behavior. Therefore, education should form part of the solutions proposed from the COP.

climate_blog2aThe completion of higher levels of education does not automatically translate into more responsible behaviour towards the environment. But as the influential Stern Review on climate change noted: ‘Educating those currently at school about climate change will help to shape and sustain future policy-making, and a broad public and international debate will support today’s policy-makers in taking strong action now’.


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In 47 countries covered by the 2005–2008 World Values Survey, the higher a person’s level of education, the more likely she was to express concern for the environment. Furthermore in the 2010-2012 World Values Survey, when forced to choose between protecting the environment versus boosting the economy, those respondents with secondary education favoured the environment more than those with less than secondary education.

Data from the International Social Survey Programme on 29 mostly high income countries similarly showed that the share of those disagreeing that people worry too much about the environment rose from 25% of those with less than secondary education to 46% of people with tertiary education.

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Posted in Climate change, Democracy, Developed countries, Developing countries, Legislation | 5 Comments

A Global Alliance to Monitor Learning (GAL)

By Silvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, @montoya_sil @UNESCOstat

cn0048No single organization can produce all of the data needed to monitor Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 – which covers a wide range of issues from learning outcomes to global citizenship. Therefore, the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), which is the official source of internationally-comparable education data, has been given the mandate to coordinate the different initiatives needed to produce the indicators to monitor the new global education goal and targets.

Precisely how to measure learning is a challenge, just as it is an opportunity. Five of the seven education targets of SDG 4 focus on learning skills and outcomes of children and adults. Many countries conduct learning assessments, which can be powerful tools to improve outcomes and opportunities. But to leverage this potential, new coordination mechanisms are needed to help the international community define and implement a common measurement framework, strengthen capacity to measure learning outcomes and advocate for the necessary resources.

Global measures of learning such as these, which can be used to track the outcomes of different groups of children and youth over time, will require the active support and consultation of a wide range of stakeholders – from countries and donors to international and citizen-led assessment initiatives.

To make this vision a reality, the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) is building a Global Alliance for Learning (GAL) to bring together assessment agencies, national education authorities, civil society groups and the international education community. It is uniquely designed to ensure that quality data are used to track progress and formulate policies to improve the learning outcomes of all. Continue reading

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