Data to Nurture Learning


Launch of the SDG 4 Data Digest: Data to Nurture Learning

The UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) is launching the SDG 4 Data Digest 2018: Data to Nurture Learning, which demonstrates how data can contribute to improve learning, as ministers and policymakers gather at the Global Education Meeting in Brussels to take stock of progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) on quality education for all.

Inequality in education is high on the agenda in Brussels but, as the UIS points out, it cannot be tackled without robust monitoring to track whether children, adolescents and adults are gaining the skills they need. This monitoring is vital, given the current global learning crisis, with 617 million – or six out of ten – children and adolescents worldwide unable to read a simple sentence or handle a basic mathematics calculation, according to UIS data. One-third of these children and adolescents are out of school and urgently need access to the education that is their right. But two-thirds of them are actually in school.

To view this full report, click here.

On the same topic, we need a revolution in assessment. At present there is too much emphasis on exams, i.e. summative assessment,which may be OK for looking at some aspects of system efficiency but not enough for supporting students (as it is too late). What is needed is a new emphasis on formative assessment, i.e. assessment FOR learning. Students gain feedback on how to improve and teachers assess how they need to adapt their teaching to meet the needs of students. If we are looking at data,as discussed in the UNESCO article above, teachers need to learn how to read and analyse the data they are collecting through continuous assessment. Improving learning starts at home, and then at classroom level.

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