For quite some time school attendance has been promoted as the way to achieve the necessary skills, abilities and competencies to ‘succeed and progress’ in life. For those of you who are familiar with any formal, and indeed, informal education system, achievement is often measured by the attainment and demonstration of certain skills, abilities and or competencies; these could be in the areas of numeracy, literacy, personal and social development amongst others.
To measure this attainment, ‘testing or measuring systems’ are used; these may be complex or otherwise. The point is, there is a system to measure the outcome of the learning process.
Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) outline global aims which are measured for their achievement. There are 17 SDGs relating to specific world targets. Education is Goal number 4; Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. This is our focus.
To monitor the progress being made towards the achievement of SDGs, in 2015, the world was divided into 7 regions; Central and Southern Asia, Eastern and South-Eastern Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, Northern America and Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, Western Asia and Northern Africa and Oceania.
In September 2017, a UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) paper presented estimates for key target SDG4 “which requires primary and secondary education that lead to relevant and effective outcomes”. It was reported, “the data shows the critical need to improve the quality of education while expanding access to ensure that no one is left behind”. The paper also discusses the idea of “Minimum Proficiency Levels” (MPLs) in reading and maths and, using MPLs as a measurement.
To measure progress, the international community have agreed to measure, “the proportion of children and young people (a) in grades 2 or 3; (b) at the end of primary education; and (c) at the end of lower secondary education achieving at least a minimum proficiency level in (i) reading and (ii) mathematics.
So, what was found? UIS analysis of data indicated that there was “a tremendous waste of human potential that could threaten the progress towards the SDGs” as a whole. They reported that nearly six out of ten children and adolescents, 56%, are not learning globally and are in danger of not being, “able to read or handle mathematics with proficiency by the time they are of age to complete primary education”. This rises to 61% for those completing lower secondary education. This is equal to 617 million individuals. This is a sobering thought.
For those that migrate, United States is the ninth in our series of top ten most accepting countries for those who migrate, according to the Gallup World Poll 2016-2017.
Within the United States, children begin their schooling at the age of 6 entering primary/elementary school for 6 years before going on to secondary school for another 6 years obtaining a diploma or certificate and graduating. After graduation, students can then go on to college or university, which is referred to as higher education.
There are many ways to measure the effectiveness of education and the method described earlier is only one of them. If the data provides an indication of what is happening with our young people, we not only need to think about how we may have contributed to the problem but how we can actively contribute to the solution.
Shepperson & Shepperson Consultants Ltd
Source:Lesley Shepperson / ANA-ZongoNews/ firstname.lastname@example.org