Education with Impact
Education is notoriously difficult to measure, as many processes and results are difficult to quantify. Oftentimes, quantitative assessments are limited to the question of access, leaving out the qualitative aspect of the actual learning. With the stated aim of increasing the effectiveness of education in supporting development goals, The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ, Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung) hosted an international conference on “Education with Impact” on 5 December 2012 in Berlin. Participants in attendance were from a wide range of German and international organisations in the areas of development and education.
The conference was opened in plenum by Hans-Jürgen Beerfeltz, State Secretary at the BMZ, who emphasised the significance of education in development, noting that for Germany it is “particularly important not only to increase our support for education but also to ensure that that support is as effective as possible”.
Participants then divided into four discussion groups to look at four questions:
- To what extent can we achieve effectiveness in early childhood education, primary education, secondary education and adult education? Ms Carolyn Medel-Añonuevo, Deputy Director of UIL, took part in this forum, giving a presentation on adult education and the importance of documenting education results. She referred to CONFINTEA VI and the priority actions set out in the Belém Framework for Action, including the importance of literacy as a framework for later learning and the need for recognition, validation and accreditation.
- To what extent can we achieve effectiveness in vocational training and university education? An inter-agency working group with representatives the European Training Foundation (ETF), the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and UNESCO held a presentation on evidence-based analysis of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) indicators.
- To what extent do current objectives and indicators result in greater effectiveness in the education sector? Albert Motivans from UNESCO Institute for Statistics spoke on lessons learned in monitoring education progress and the importance of indicators at a national level.
- How can evaluation results be used to help achieve greater effectiveness in education support? Ms Karen Langer from dvv international reported on the evaluation of adult education programmes in Afghanistan.