2017/8 Global Education Monitoring Report out now
The 2017/8 Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report, Accountability in education: meeting our commitments, is now available.
The second in the GEM Report series shows that there remain major education problems around the world that accountability can help solve. Only 1 in 10 children in sub-Saharan Africa has basic reading skills. Around the world, 100 million youth cannot even read. One in seven primary school teachers are not trained. Millions continue to be taught in a language they don't speak at home. Meanwhile, the share of education in total aid has fallen for the sixth year in a row, and one in four governments do not meet the agreed education financing thresholds.
Our Report looks at who is responsible for achieving our global education goal, SDG 4. It shows that calling on individuals and institutions to report how they tried to meet their responsibilities - a process commonly known as accountability - can help achieve an equitable education system of good quality.
Accountability starts with governments, which are ultimately responsible for fulfilling the right to education. This right should be written into law and strictly enforced. Currently, citizens can take their governments to court for violating the right to education in only 55% of countries.
But everyone has a role to play in improving education. In a number of countries, student movements have often helped make education policies more equitable and affordable, highlighting the power that we all share and must exercise to advance SDG 4.
But while well-designed accountability can help meet our education commitments, it must be used as a means to SDG 4, and not seen as an end in itself. Individuals and institutions should be held accountable for things that are under their control. If not designed in this way, accountability can be detrimental to education. There is little evidence, for example, that performance-based accountability, which links rewards and sanctions to test results, improves education systems. Market-based approaches, which help parents vote with their feet, tend to have negative effects on equity, marginalizing disadvantaged parents and schools.
Please download the Report to read its full recommendations. Join us in sharing its findings with your networks, and in online discussions via @GEMReport and #CountOnME or #GEM2017