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Group Submission Type: Panel Session
While the SDG 4/Education 2030 Agenda has brought a renewed focus on the quality of learning, a large number of children are still not able to obtain basic knowledge and skills. According to the most recent data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), 617 million children and adolescents worldwide are not achieving minimum proficiency levels in reading and mathematics. Interestingly, most of these children who are not learning are actually in schools.
Addressing this situation is part of the core business of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE). “Improved and more equitable learning outcomes” is a core goal of GPE 2020, the partnership’s Strategic Plan for the 2016-2020 period. In order to measure progress towards this goal, the GPE Results Framework looks at the proportion of its developing country partners (DCPs) showing improvement in learning outcomes in basic education. At the same time, the Results Framework also examines the proportion of DCPs with a learning assessment system within the basic education cycle that meets quality standards.
GPE supports the DCPs to achieve such systems and to ultimately improve learning outcomes through different means. In 2017, the GPE launched the Assessment for Learning (A4L) initiative as one major contribution towards this effort. A4L aims to build capacity for national learning assessment systems to measure and improve learning. It does this by providing technical and financial assistance to support sector planning and analysis, facilitating capacity building and knowledge exchange at the regional level, and promoting more holistic measurements of learning.
Supported by two foundations, the initial phase of A4L implementation focuses on three core activities:
1. Support to in-country diagnostics of existing learning assessment systems in three GPE partner countries, covering formative assessments, national examinations, and large scale assessments
2. Support to regional assessment networks in Africa and Asia-Pacific, to build capacity at country level and to share knowledge and good practice
3. Support to a global landscape review of the measurement of 21st century skills and the development of new assessment tools in this area
The A4L initiative works in close collaboration with the Global Alliance to Monitor Learning (GAML) convened by UIS as well as with a range of national, regional and international partners which work to enhance systems of learning assessment.
This panel brings together and presents different components of the first phase of A4L. It will put a particular emphasis on the South-North, North-South and South-South dialogue enabled by A4L in supporting regional networks on learning assessment and facilitating collaboration between countries and other stakeholders across the partnership.
An overview of the Assessment for Learning (A4L) initiative - Ramya Vivekanandan, Global Partnership for Education
Understanding assessment from the ground up: The diagnostic approach - Ramya Vivekanandan, Global Partnership for Education
NEQMAP: Regional networking to support strengthened learning assessment systems in the Asia-Pacific - Moritz Bilagher, UNESCO
Measuring 21st century skills: Can we do it? How? - Esther Care, The Brookings Institution