Education at a Glance 2015 : OECD indicators
OECD. Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
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This new edition of Education at a Glance is published only a few weeks after world leaders defined the global ambitions for the next 15 years by adopting 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the United Nations Summit in New York. Education is a cornerstone of the sustainable development agenda, and the education-related goal aims to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” by 2030. The goal is composed of ten targets that, together, represent an ambitious commitment to develop better skills for better lives. What is new about this Education 2030 agenda is its focus on expanded access, inclusion and equity, quality and learning outcomes at all levels of education – and for people of all ages. Five of the ten targets are concerned with improving the quality of education for individual children, young people and adults, to ensure that they acquire better and more relevant knowledge and skills. To achieve all of these targets, it is essential that every child has access to and completes a quality education of at least 12 years. Efforts to achieve universal access to education must go hand-in-hand with a renewed focus on education quality and equity. Data from PISA, the global metric used to measure the quality of learning outcomes, show why: many countries can boast that all of their children are enrolled in school, but not all of these children achieve even minimum levels of proficiency in the core subjects of reading, mathematics and science by the end of their lower secondary education. That is why the aim of achieving universal basic skills is at the heart of the SDG education agenda. This shift in focus towards quality in education for all means that the 17 SDGs and the 169 targets are universally relevant: no country, no region in the world can claim in 2015 that all of its youth have attained at least a minimum proficiency in foundation skills. Now that the global community has defined its goal and targets for education, it needs to develop indicators on access, equity and quality that can be measured and tracked over time. These indicators will provide the basis for international accountability and for targeting policies and resources on where they can make the greatest difference. Together with other international organisations, such as UNESCO and its Institute for Statistics (UIS), UNICEF and the World Bank, the OECD stands ready to move this agenda forward. The proposed global indicators for measuring progress towards the education SDG include adaptations of existing international large-scale assessments of learning outcomes and skills, such as PISA and PIAAC. The indicators reported in Education at a Glance will continue to provide a strong evidence base for international comparisons of education systems. Indeed, more than two-thirds of the indicators proposed by the UN system for tracking the education SDG are already covered by existing OECD policy and data-collection instruments.
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