Bureau international d'éducation
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Content Section



All of the well-documented benefits of education to development –reduction of a wide range of poverties, individual growth, economic growth, prevention of diseases and epidemics, good health, participatory democracy, sustainable use of the environment, diverse forms of equity and inclusiveness, peace, global citizenship, social cohesion, political stability etc.– are not feasible unless that education and that learning is of good quality, effective and relevant. General education lays the foundation for quality, effective and relevant education and learning throughout life. As such, failure to equitably provide quality, effective and relevant general education and effective learning at this level is tantamount to failure to realize the development impact of education and of learning. Poor education quality, therefore, stands in the way of inclusive and sustainable development at the individual, national and global level, of attaining virtually all MDGs and of attaining the six EFA goals, each of which has education quality as a precondition; and more directly goals 2, 5, and 6.

Both developed and developing countries are well aware of the quality crisis and its development consequences. Most of their education reform programs have education quality improvement and the enhancement of equity among key strategic objectives. The global EFA agenda has also identified quality as requiring attention. Yet, the challenge persists, and the EFA quality goals are dauntingly off track. UNESCO Member States have therefore overwhelmingly called on the Secretariat to redouble its technical support for their efforts to address the global challenge of equity of education quality and learning effectiveness.

Hitherto, what seems to be lacking are tools for systemic analysis and identification of critical constraints that prevent Member States from attaining and sustaining intended levels and equity of education quality and learning outcomes. In response, the UNESCO Secretariat, in collaboration with some Member States, has developed a General Education Quality/Diagnostic Framework (GEQAF) that seeks to enable Member States to profoundly analyze/diagnose and identify critical impediments that prevent their general education systems to equitably and sustainably provide high quality education and effective learning experiences to all learners. The lack of tools is particularly noticeable in general education (Kto12) relative to Higher Education and to Technical and Vocational Education and Training. Beyond national and international examinations which have very limited scope and longitudinal comparability, general education systems in most countries do not have a strong system-wide tradition of diagnosing/ analyzing, improving and assuring quality.

Weak analysis translates into serious gaps in the knowledge base required to guide the design and implementation of responsive quality improvement interventions.

The diagnostics/analysis guided by GEQAF is meant to help Member States strengthen both the qualitative and quantitative knowledge base required to effectively guide the design and implementation of responsive, targeted and timely general education system quality improvement interventions. Eventually, evidence from the diagnosis/ analysis could be used to generate country and even sub-country level qualitative and quantitative indicators for general education system quality. These indicators could be used to establish a national and even sub-national baseline on the quality of the general education system, establish benchmarks toward which the country should work and support the monitoring of progress.

The GEQAF is also meant to strengthen Member States’ capacities to regularize and institutionalize the analyses of the quality of their general education systems as well to sustainably monitor progress in improving their quality. It is NOT meant to support cross-country comparisons, but is rather meant to support the monitoring of country progress over time. Where a cluster of countries wish to develop common indicators emanating from the results of respective country reviews, such regional indicators and joint monitoring of progress can be supported by UNESCO.

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