Center for Education Innovations: This Week's News & Views

January 24, 2014Kristen Grauer
 

This Week at CEI

Now profiled by CEI is Girl’s Improved Learning Outcomes, featured in the adjacent image. Learn how this initiative is supporting primary schools and teachers in Upper Egypt on the CEI database. Several additions have also been made to the Research & Evidence Library this week. Start by checking out two new Early Childhood Development (ECD) reports for Ghana and South Africa by the Optimus Foundation.

 

Congrats to CEI team member Milan Thomas for being featured on Global Partnership for Education’s “20 Best Blog Posts of 2013.” His article “The Economic Effect of Exclusion from Education” is a must-read! Additionally, two CEI team members, Molly Jamieson Eberhardt and Tara Hill, appear in ASER’s newly released YouTube video highlighting its 2013 National Workshop: Spirit of ASER.

Last week, CEI team member Colin Felsman traveled to India to participate in the Deshpande Foundation Development Dialogue. Keep an eye out for a blog update on his trip!

In the meantime, check out the newest functionality available on the CEI website: database download. You can download a “mini” or “full” spreadsheet of the CEI library which includes over 400 programs. You can also filter results by geography or topic to get a more specific subset of data.

 

Opportunities

  • March 15 | Post Graduate Certificate in Social Innovation Management - The Amani Institute is seeking candidates for its five-month program to take place in Nairobi, Kenya. Twenty-five spots are currently available. Apply now!
  • March 17 | Evaluation 2014 - The 28th Annual Conference of the American Evaluation Association (AEA), calls for proposals. Submit your best work in evaluation theory or practice by March 17th. This year’s theme is Visionary Evaluation for a Sustainable, Equitable Future.
  • March 24-26 | PSIPSE East Africa Regional ConveningThe learning partners for PSIPSE, Results for Development (R4D), and the Center for Social Sector, Education, and Policy Analysis (CSSEPA) will be holding a regional convening for PSIPSE-supported projects in East Africa, donors, and other stakeholders. The 2 and 1/2 day convening will be held in Nairobi, Kenya. R4D asks that all PSIPSE-supported projects hold this week and identify two project staff that will be able to attend.

 

Education News

As the crisis in Syria continues, concerns about domestic and neighboring education systems are growing - On 22 January leaders convened in Montreux, Switzerland for the Geneva II talks, a discussion of how to implement the Six-Point Plan agreed upon at Geneva I in June of 2012. In addition to appeals for political transition in Syria, the conference called for specific measures to protect education. However, of the $6.5 billion appealed, only $2.4 billion was pledged. It is unclear how much will be allocated to education, but historically only 1% of humanitarian aid goes to this sector.

Currently, a staggering 90% of Syrian children between the ages of 6 and 17 are out of school, a dramatic decrease for a nation that was close to universal education just a few years ago. Many have already deemed these children a “lost generation,” but former British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, encourages nations to help Syrians “plan for the future” by following Lebanon’s example - the nation recently opened its public schools in double-shifts to accommodate the 400,000 Syrian children living within its borders. In addition to international governing bodies, leaders recognize that Western donors, regional governments, and the private sector are also responsible for helping these children through financial support or the delivery of innovative education interventions. Learn more about methods for responding to education emergencies at the Global Partnership for Education website here.

Last December, the Global Peace Convention in Malaysia highlighted the success of Kenya’s Character and Creativity Initiative (CCI) - The initiative was launched in 2010 by LeadIn and the Global Peace Foundation and provides high school students with training programs that encourage peace, understanding, and creativity. Since its inception, CCI has been adopted by 40 schools in Kenya, and a number of other schools across Africa, Europe, Southeast Asia, and North America. In December of 2013, CCI inspired the Global Peace Convention to hold its first ever Global Summit on Character and Creativity. The program was highly commended for its ability to transform teachers’ and students’ values and attitudes, fostering a better sense mutual understanding between the two. Professor Leah Marangu, Vice Chancellor of the African Nazarene University, added that the initiative has been especially successful because "emotional intelligence (EI) borne out by character matters more than sheer intelligence quotient (IQ) in comparison.”

 

Point of Departure

As we enter 2014, discussions about the post-2015 agenda are becoming more and more urgent. A number of reports that emerged in 2013 highlighted the need for improving the quality of education, not just access, in order achieve all of the 2015 development goals such as better health care, environmental sustainability, and economic growth. As a means to an end, bloggers Liesbet Steer and Adam Parker of Brookings propose that future education policies take into account four critical lessons from 2013:

  1. Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of learning, not just access to learning must be improved.
  2. Resources must be distributed more equitably among citizens as evidence shows that the equitable allocation of funds may influence learning outcomes more positively than total spending.
  3. Both public and private entities around the world must increase financial support and offer a more transparent view of education spending.
  4. Flexible and dynamic systems must be implemented, taking into account the specific political contexts of each nation.

Bloggers at The International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) stress the need for impact evaluations that focus on participation, differentiating between the target audience and those who actually take part in education interventions. Education leaders from sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Latin America believe that achieving more equitable access to education is a greater priority for 2014.

WEIGH IN and let us know how you think the international community should prioritize education goals in 2014. More broadly, how do you think that education should fit into the post-2015 agenda?

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