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Improving education around the world by strengthening education systems

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The publication of the World Bank’s 2018 World Development Report, entitled “LEARNING to realize the potential of education” , is timely, amid growing global momentum for education. The first World Development Report (WDR) devoted solely to education, it offers vital analysis of how to respond to the learning crisis and realize the potential of education.

This report comes at a time when countries and the education community are eager for access to better data and examples to advance the debate on the learning crisis, and see how countries can move towards high-performing education systems. and achieve learning for all.

According to the report, the learning crisis amplifies inequalities, especially for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged students, and 60% of primary school children in developing countries fail to acquire a minimum level of knowledge proficiency.

The report argues that any country can improve learning by focusing on three interrelated strategies:

This strategy requires states to use high-quality student assessments to identify hidden exclusions, help inform policy directions, and monitor learning progress over time.

Making Schools Work for Students: Using Evidence to Guide Innovation and Practice

This second recommendation highlights the importance of using evidence about what works to learn to promote innovation and set priorities.

Align actors so that the whole system promotes learning

This third strategy highlights the need to overcome technical and political barriers and support innovative educators.

These essential strategies offered by the WDR make us think about the different pieces of the puzzle that, when put together, allow education systems to thrive and create an environment conducive to learning and innovation.

Metrics and coalitions for innovation

The report also points to another success factor for improving learning outcomes and the quality of education: innovation. Creating favorable conditions to promote innovation in learning within education systems is not only desirable, but possible. To achieve this, the report recommends aligning innovations with metrics, as well as system-level actors that support learning. A series of steps are recommended in the report:

GPE’s support to improve learning among partners

GPE is pleased to see that many of the WDR’s key recommendations are already part of our operating model. Strengthening systems to improve learning outcomes and realize the potential of education is indeed at the heart of GPE’s work.

GPE’s systems-strengthening approach plays a fundamental catalytic role in improving equity and learning, bringing together different actors in GPE partner countries.

GPE is committed to improving learning outcomes for children and youth in all of its partner countries, as set out in Goals 1 and 3 of GPE 2020 , the Partnership’s strategic plan. In addition, GPE grant allocations consider equity, efficiency and learning, and incentivize the achievement of results in these areas.

The GPE Results Report 2015/2016 notes significant progress, with two-thirds of countries with data having improved learning outcomes.

But he also points to some lingering difficulties. For example, only 32% of GPE partner countries have learning assessment systems that meet quality standards.

Viewing innovation and metrics as equally important aspects for GPE, we are launching a new Knowledge and Innovation Exchange (KIX) mechanism that will help share knowledge and evidence for policy solutions across the Partnership as a whole, particularly in the areas of learning assessment. This new funding mechanism will make an important contribution to the development of global public goods for learning and realizing the potential of education.

Example of GPE support for learning: the A4L initiative

This year, GPE launched the Assessment for Learning (A4L) initiative , which aims to build capacity to develop national learning assessment systems to measure and improve learning. A4L will provide technical and financial assistance in support of sector planning and analysis, regional capacity building and knowledge exchange, promotion of comprehensive measures of learning outcomes, and thus help advance some key WDR recommendations.

The first phase of A4L is being implemented in close collaboration with key partners, including the Center for Universal Education (CUE) at the Brookings Institution and the Global Alliance for the Measurement of Learning (GAML), compiled by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS). A4L activities target investments in learning assessment systems based on needs analysis, linked to the policy process and integrated into education sector plans, to ensure sustainability and ownership at the level. from the country.

It is recommended that all educators read the RDM

The WDR provides much needed and useful data, as well as policy recommendations that will fuel our action and guide some of our interventions and activities. I highly recommend reading this excellent piece of research, relevant to any organization working in the field of education around the world.

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