Global Education Monitoring Report 2017: Accountability in education: meeting our commitments
October 24, 2017
The GEM is the mechanism for monitoring and reporting on SDG4 (for all sub-goals) and on education in the other SDG’s. It is prepared by an independent team hosted by UNESCO.
The focus on this year’s report is on accountability. Despite strong progress in education, there are significant challenges to achieving the SDG 4, the global education goal. Faced with education challenges, the public wants to know who is responsible and policy-makers look for urgent solutions. But reaching SDG4 is often a collective enterprise. Accountability, therefore, does not easily rest with single actors.
Accountability starts with governments. They are the primary duty bearers of the right to education. A credible education plan is the basis for accountability. It should have clear targets and lines of responsibility and allocate resources through transparent budgets. There is little evidence that performance-based accountability, when focused on outcomes over inputs and based on narrow criteria, improves education systems. A market based approach creates competitive pressure that marginalizes disadvantaged parents and schools. The Report demonstrates that blaming teachers for poor test scores and absenteeism is often both unjust and unconstructive. People cannot be held accountable for outcomes that depend on the actions of others.
Education is a shared responsibility between governments, schools, teachers, parents and private actors. Accountability for these responsibilities defines the way teachers teach, students learn, and governments act. It must be designed with care and with the principles of equity, inclusion and quality in mind.
In order to keep accountability working, adequate resources, capacity and genuine commitment are essential. Governments should spend at least 4% of GDP or allocate 15% of total government expenditure; but one in four countries do not reach these benchmarks. http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0025/002593/259338e.pdf