Accountability in Education

This consultation is now closed

Share your views to help develop the forthcoming 2017 GEM Report

[If you are not comfortable writing in English, you can post in any other UN language (русский, 中文, français, العربية, Español) and we’ll translate it for you]

The second in the GEM Report series will investigate, analyse and propose concrete recommendations related to accountability in education.

With a new ambitious global education goal, tight budgets and a focus on ensuring the marginalized are not left behind, countries are under pressure to provide education more effectively, efficiently and equitably. These pressures exist because of the persistent underperformance of education systems in light of global challenges, and because of the growing evidence about the influence of good quality education on individual and collective well-being. In addition, education constitutes a – if not the – major budgetary expenditure in most countries; proper accounting of how these public funds are (mis)used has become a high priority.

Accountability involves multiple actors including, for example, legislatures, education and finance ministries, donor agencies, inspectorates, public and private providers of formal and non-formal education, teachers and educators, school principals, professional organizations, parents and local communities, and the learners themselves. Accountability relationships thus permeate much of the day to day activities of all education institutions as well as the rules and procedures governing their existence. They cannot and should not be ignored.

The topic also deserves to be addressed given the importance allocated to it in the Sustainable Development Agenda, which is expected to be backed by accessible and effective accountability mechanisms at global, regional, national and subnational levels.

The Report will approach the issue of accountability in education by addressing the following key questions:

  • What are the foundations and the evolution of the concept of accountability in education, and what is at stake?
  • What are the main forms of accountability? How have these forms shifted over time? What is the rationale behind this shift?
  • What are the implications for accountability in education in a more globalized world?
  • What are the implications of accountability systems for different actors, levels, and sectors in education? How do these vary in different countries?
  • What are the implications of accountability frameworks for the public perception of education in a country? How do these vary by different forms of accountability?
  • Which accountability frameworks are more or less effective, and how are they used or abused in different circumstances?
  • What are political, economic and social factors that make different forms of accountability work or fail?
  • What broad lessons can be learned from the ways and forms through which education has been monitored and audited?

We would like to hear your views on the topic through this on-line consultation over the next five weeks. The GMR team is particularly keen to receive your thoughts on the issues noted above, including suggestions on relevant literature, data analysis and case studies. The views of researchers, academics, governments, non-governmental organizations, aid donors, teachers, youth and anyone with an interest in education and development are most welcome.

Please read the concept note (English | French | Spanish) and contribute to this online consultation before 10 May.

Post your contributions as comments (below) to this blog, providing web links to research reports, policy papers, evaluations, and other documents or datasets that you think would be useful for the Report team.

If you would rather email your comments, or have attachments of documents or data that you would like to share with the GEM Report team, please send them directly to with ‘2017 Report Consultation’ as a subject heading.


30 thoughts on “Accountability in Education

  1. بالنسبة للمنطقة العربية، من اهم العوامل السياسية/الاجتماعية التي آثرت على المساءلة في التعليم مايلي:
    • المركزية لدى صُناع القرار وكونهم هم القاضي والخصم.
    • قلة التشريعات واللوائح القانونية لإرساء أطر المساءلة في التعليم وتطبيقاتها، وضعفها إن وجدت لوجود فجوة في تقديرها وفهمها وتطبيقها.
    • الممانعة من قبل بعض القيادات التعليمية في إرساء اطر المساءلة في التعليم.
    • فشل او ضعف الاداء للمساءلة في التعليم (فيما يصدر من دعم وقرارت للتعليم) من الهيئات والجهات الرسمية الموزاية للكيانات المركزية ابتداء من الجامعة العربية والمجالس المنبثقة منها في مجال التعليم، مجلس التعاون الخليجي، اتحاد المغرب العربي وغيرها.
    • قصور تام لمؤسسات المجتمع المدني في توضيح ونشر ثقافة المساءلة في التعليم فيما تتخده الحكومات من قرارات وتعميمات وماينفذ منها بالخصوص.
    • غياب دور المواطن الا فيما ندر.


  2. Dr. Noah W. Sobe, Professor, Cultural and Educational Policy Studies, Loyola University Chicago (USA)

    Accountability in education is indeed a welcome theme for the 2017 Global Education Monitoring Report given the centrality of accountability in educational conversations and reforms in many settings across the globe. As a professor and researcher who has studied the globalization of accountability practices it is a pleasure to have the opportunity to offer input to the GEM Report Team. In the following short response I will highlight two elements that seem to be present in the Consultation Request and Concept Note, but perhaps warrant more attention. First, I will offer a brief suggestion to better emphasize the relational nature of accountability. And second, at greater length, I will discuss the governmental and performative nature of accountability systems and practices in education, suggesting that this calls for greater analytic attention to be paid to the consequences of accountability for schools and school systems.
    Read more…


  3. Sheldon Shaeffer

    • Again, although the focus is on “accountability in education”, the focus is entirely on “schools” as opposed to ECD programmes/pre-schools. There are many accountability issues in regards to such programmes and pre-schools but they seem entirely neglected in this framework.
    • I would add in the paragraph on corruption some focus on headteacher/principal recruitment. placement, and, re-appointment – also open to corruption. A particular dilemma in a country such as Indonesia (where I am now) is the politicisation which went along with the process of decentralisation — with district government heads elected and then having to reward (and also extract money from) their supporters through political appointments to head sectoral district offices such as education; these new appointees then have to extract money for themselves and to pay off the district government head from their own staff and headteachers — who in turn have to extract money from their teachers and the parents of their students. How to bring accountability into this kind of system is particularly problematic — especially when there is a tradition of school committee ineffectiveness and parental non-involvement.
    Read more…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Accountability is a major word that is value laden. It carries alot of wait in every education sub-sector. All education stakeholders must be accountable to their actions moving post2015 education agenda. Many of the challenges experienced in education may be because of lack of accountability. Teachers, students, parents, donors, governments, and well wishers must take responsibility for their actions.


  5. Stephen Heyneman, Editor-in-Chief, International Journal of Educational Development, Professor (Emeritus), International Education Policy, Vanerbilt University

    This report will make all of us more careful when we use the term accountability; it will make us more cognizant of the feasibility differences between one and other category of accountability; and it will open up a new conversation about which categories we would prefer.

    Page 4: the theme of corruption has two problems. It mentions only monetary corruption when corruption also includes non-monetary corruption. Examples of the latter include: favoring one category of student (male, ethnic group, relative etc.) over others, sexual favors in exchange for grades, falsifying research data, national efforts to cheat on PISA, TIMSS and other international accountability measures. These non-monetary activities are included as ‘corruption’ because the behavior abrogates written professional codes of conduct.
    Read more…


  6. RB Singh

    1. Every country should have Chief Education Commissioner with autonomous and statuary body in order to govern and bring accountability in educational institutions.

    2. Educational Administrators: Periodic refresher courses and orientation courses about policy changes, value education and upgraded technology for good education governance should be undertaken.

    3. Teachers cannot truly teach unless he/she is learning themselves, so teaching-research-teaching linkages should be promoted among teachers. For promoting gender similarity in educational institutions day care and creche must be established.

    4. Students and researchers: should be encouraged to communicate their field based research results to policy makers and community. All MA, M.Phil and Ph.D researchers must submit policy briefing document of 15-20 pages to concerned institutions, ministry and stakeholders.

    5. ethics committee for all educational institutions should be made compulsory.

    6. Every nation should have University Service commission in order to rationalize appointments and opportunities on the basis of credentials and not by social background and regional affiliation.


  7. Dear Aaron,

    Thanks for sharing this concept note, which sets out the issues around accountability well. My only hesitation is that most of the issues have been reviewed and analysed already quite extensively in the literature, including from an internationally comparative perspective. You will also be aware of our own review on evaluation and assessment frameworks which devotes considerable attention to accountability, even if the main focus is on using evaluation for improvement.

    Given that this is the GEMR, would it not be more important to focus the topic much more closely on accountability with regard to the Education SDG, targets and indicators and the Education 2030 Framework? The concept note makes only slight references to the SDG framework: in the monitoring section and the last couple of paragraphs. This is a little surprising as one would have expected the GEMR to make accountability within the Education SDG/2030 Framework its main focus.

    The key questions that the Report intends to explore in the thematic section would add more value to the extensive literature if they addressed directly the place of accountability within the Education SDG/2030 Framework rather than just generally in education. For example, SDG 4 “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” and its corresponding targets is designed to be transformative and universal and is inspired by, among other things shared responsibility and accountability. The GEMR 2017 is an opportunity to unpack what this means in reality and how its achievement could be tracked nationally and internationally. The Education 2030 FFA reaffirms that the fundamental responsibility for successfully implementing the Education SDG agenda lies with governments. The international community is determined to establish legal and policy frameworks that “promote accountability and transparency as well as participatory governance and coordinated partnerships at all levels and across sectors, and to uphold the right to participation of all stakeholders.” Again, GEMR 2017 is an opportunity to elaborate how this should be achieved and what success will look like as well as the challenges and the intended and unintended consequences of the actions included in the FFA. The FFA also resolves to develop comprehensive national monitoring and evaluation systems in order to generate sound evidence for policy formulation and the management of education systems as well as to ensure accountability. The thematic section of the 2017 report should dissect the FFA and elaborate on the strategy for ensuring accountability at global, regional and national levels. As currently drafted the concept note treats the subject of accountability as an abstract concept, seemingly divorced from the Education SDG and the framework that has been put in place to implement it.

    The concept note also seems to be challenging some of the indicators and mechanisms for accountability that have been included in the SDG framework, such as learning outcomes and the assessment of these. It seems out of place for the GEMR to challenge these aspects of the FFA so soon after it has been put in place. In addition, the concept note refers to international education agendas in the abstract and the role of agencies such as OECD, UNESCO and the World Bank more generally when it would be more relevant to refer to the Education SDG agenda and the agencies’ role within this in more concrete terms.

    Best regards, Andreas


  8. Duishon Shamatov

    While I consider that this initiative is very important, I would like to caution ourselves that accountability is not a panacea. Let us use the ideas from the book of Andy Hargreaves and Dennis Shirley. (2009). The fourth way: The inspiring future for educational change. Thousand Oaks: Corwin, A Sage Company.

    Hargreaves and Shirley argue that from mid 1970s due to the erosion of public trust and the societies’ dissatisfaction with the quality of education, an Era (or the Second Way) of Markets and Standardization came into existence. This was also caused by the global oil crisis and recession and demoralized public started to demand how their tax has been spent. The ideology of free markets with competition and privatization affected education, and standardized assessments and tests to show evidence of learning and achievement were introduced along with detailed and prescriptive curricula. Thus, prescriptive and sometimes punitive reforms were introduced with increased competition among schools, publication of ranking of test results. Accountability became a key drive for all changes to achieve political targets and timetables for delivering improved results, which also resulted in sanctions such as teacher transfer, principal removal and school closure when failure persisted. The parents could choose best education for their children and market competition prevailed, but unfortunately it was not a fair battle and mostly affluent families benefited. Because of accountability, the test results may have improved, but learning for pleasure fell, and the rate of student drop out also increased. The teachers suffered most because they were held accountable on the basis of their students’ test result and rankings. Many teachers became deskilled and their creativity suffered. Hargreaves and Shirley further add that the freedom to develop curricula to prepare students with a mission to change the world was not anymore the main feature of education. High-stakes testing and curriculum prescription had stolen this mission form them.

    Thus, these authors suggest the Third Way…


  9. I agree with Sheldon, there is little attention paid to the foundational aspect of early childhood education.
    The rights of children are also missing, re-inforced by the language of ‘delivery’ of education as if the children and young people ‘receive’ education as a commodity rather than being fully engaged in the process.


  10. The greatest need for further exploration is the question of how education systems can be accountable to children and youth. Which countries take into account children’s and young people’s voices when evaluating their performance and planning new efforts? How can such consultations with children and youth be done in a representative and cost-effective way? How to ensure that out-of-school children and youth — often those for whom the education system has failed the most — are part of this process? It would be helpful for the 2017 GEM report to highlight some cases where such questions are being explored through concrete efforts to make education systems accountable to their most important participants: students.


  11. Hans Krönner

    1.The Concept Note intends to include, among other actors, private providers of formal and non-formal education. It intends to address, as one of the key questions, the implications for different actors, and to highlight a market-oriented and participatory approach.

    2. However, when analysing different types of arrangements involving the private sector, the Concept Note reduces the perspective to early childhood, basic education, non-formal, and higher education provision. It is not clear to what extent it covers technical and vocational education and training (TVET). Reference to “non-formal education” might cover some types of TVET, but it excludes formal arrangements. There are many arrangements for provision of TVET that involve the private sector, but nevertheless are monitored by public or public-private bodies, and should therefore be regarded as formal. Reality shows that there is a wealth of bodies such as National Training Boards, frequently composed of public as well as of private stakeholder that can in fact play important roles in ensuring accountability.
    Read more…


  12. Francisco Gutiérrez Soto

    About Backgound

    A third item about the definition of accountability (as responsibility) between institutions should be said when exists an environment of mutual confidence, which gives the needed agility to the actions and efficiency in the desired results.

    The strengthening of the educative systems and their operative structures (in this sense, from the government departments until the proper schools) is essential to ensure the best possible education is given at the classrooms.

    Definition of accountability

    The data publishing, without doubt, is important in most of the actions taken, especially in development cooperation. The efforts made for the GMR along the last years has been remarkable and it meant a large help for international education decision-makers. However, it is discouraging when we realize that some countries have difficulties to share relevant data and, sometimes, without the due reliability. Implement improved data collection systems is urgent.


    Accountability is a task that must be progressively implemented, from top to bottom, inside all institutions’ levels. It is clear that each of those levels should account about their responsibilities, but, it should be done according to their specific roles, not other. Demand accountability to teachers is fair, lawful and vital indeed, but always been consistent that their accountability is hierarchical limited.

    Learning outcomes

    Due the lack of a trustful contextualization, the importance of transnational assessments, instead of help, often makes a negative effect. It is useless to set out comparisons that finally end in pointless rankings, but rather to assess the level of compliance with the objectives on each country, the noticed problems during the process and the possibilities and improved corrections to be set out.

    The “educative” market

    Talk about “market” in the system education sounds like to look at the mere education as merchandise and not like a right. Some government’s arguments to take shelter in the low cost schools is leading the quality of education to the worst levels even know and this must be a center of attention for the SDG4 facing 2030. See David Archer’s on


    As the most interested, families should be invited not only to participate in the school life, even more in the management and pedagogical planning, through the pertinent participation structures. Set the school closer to the community is a benefit for an education of quality.

    International accountability

    Predictable financing, generous support and future vision are the key for a successful work of the international cooperation in the field of Education. No anything more essential.



    En vista del nuevo y ambicioso objetivo mundial de educación, de los presupuestos limitados y del énfasis en asegurar que no se deje atrás a los marginalizados, se está presionando a los países para que proporcionen la educación de manera más eficaz, eficiente y equitativa. Típicamente, los esfuerzos que llevan a cabo los países involucran una serie de enfoques similares para mejorar el desempeño de sus sistemas de educación; por ejemplo, descentralizar y delegar la autoridad para tomar decisiones, desarrollar la variedad y la competencia en la provisión, establecer indicadores para seguir el desempeño, y fomentar la participación cívica. La mayoría de estos enfoques coinciden en poner el énfasis en la responsabilidad como la justificación fundamental para llevar a cabo reformas educativas que mejoren el desempeño del sistema.
    Read more…


  14. Cláudia Sarrico, Higher Education Policy Analyst, OECD

    The concept note seems very complete and the key questions the GEM Report will explore are very comprehensive. I do not have much to add to that. I have focussed on the seven approaches to accountability in education, and in particularly in what concerns higher education. As requested, I offer some comments, suggestions of relevant literature, and some examples and ‘case studies’.
    Read more…


  15. Prema Clarke

    The GEM 2017 theme of Accountability in Education is critical, especially in developing countries. The high student dropout and low levels of learning are reflections of the insufficient attention given to accountability, particularly with regard to the education of poor, disenfranchised, and at-risk communities across the world. The key questions that surround accountability listed in the Concept Note are relevant, timely, and comprehensive. Even though the concept, practice, and results/consequences of accountability are critical to the SDGs in education, there is a dearth of information, analysis, and discussion on this topic. The GEM 2017 focus will be invaluable to the education sector’s challenges of improving quality and learning.
    Read more…



    It is superlative the importance education systems hold in any country focusing on development and in the continuous increase of its citizen’s quality of life, sustainably. Yet as very keenly the 2017 UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring Report has identified, “education constitutes a – if not the – major budgetary expenditure in most countries”. Therefore the urgency of assuring that educational systems provide effectively the tools for generating social mobility with a lean strategy is crucial in maximizing value and hence, the return on countries’ investments in education. In my commentary I will support the need for deploying a Supply Chain –or better put, ‘Value Chain’– framework in the designing, planning, connecting, and resources allocating of processes along the education system, pivoting on the tertiary sector which is the most important structural driver to link investment sector and local strategic know-how which can detonate the generation of further knowledge but also additional financial resources simultaneously.


    Considering the various definitions in which some authors exclude private institutions from the scope of the education system, I will assume education system to be the cluster of formal educational institutions that comprehend primary education, secondary education, and tertiary education including and emphasizing universities, colleges and research institutions. Certainly the definition has to consider the geographical feature of the education system which translates in regional or state education systems of countries. This feature is particularly important when reviewing the pivotal role colleges, universities, and further specialized research institutions play in the process of social and economic development of regions.
    Read more…


  17. Anna Wilson

    I was able to listen to a discussion around the Concept Note last week, and one of the closing comments was, “How do we hold ourselves to account?”

    I was just wondering whether that could be emphasised within this GEMR? To set up a standard of common practice, beginning with us – those who are doing – to create a habit, an expectation, a standard that could influence a behavioural/cultural change within the system (of which of course we all individual parts)? This could be expressed as a conceptual framework, or even a code of conduct. Another way of phrasing that would be, “How do I behave in an accountable way?”

    It could be one way of finding a route between the continuum of the critical voice and advocacy, in the sense, adapting my behaviour from A (critical) to B (advocacy).


  18. Dr Reuben Nguyo


    Accountability has been an educational issue for as long as people have had to pay for and govern schools. The term covers a diverse array of means by which some broad entity requires some providers of education to give an account of their work and holds them responsible for their performance.

    Anderson (2005) asserts thatEducational accountability targets either the processes or results of education. A desired goal is identified (e.g., compliance with the legal mandates of providing special education, highly qualified teachers, improved student performance), and measures are identified for determining whether the goal is met (e.g., a checklist of indicators that the legal mandates have been met, a target of 90% correct for teachers taking a test of current knowledge and skills, a target of 60% of students performing at grade level by the end of each school year). Criteria for determining whether the goal has been met can involve specific determinations of ways that the goal may and may not be met (e.g., deciding how many indicators in the checklist must be marked to be considered meeting the legal mandates, determining the specific content that does or does not count for specific types of teachers, determining how to calculate the percentage of students performing at a proficient level, and how to define gradelevel performance).
    Read more…


  19. Like others, we are excited by the adoption last year of SDG4, which creates fresh momentum for meaningful progress on education. The global education crisis is a scar on our collective conscience. And we welcome the accountability theme in next year’s Global Education Monitoring Report.

    “We” are Opportunity International EduFinance, a rapidly growing group within the non-profit Opportunity International, focused on developing and delivering microfinance solutions for schools, families and their communities in order to improve access to and quality of education in the developing world. Though we often hear of a global education crisis and look to a battery of major issues as causes, we recognize that much of the global education crisis, in which 59 million children were out of school in 2013, comes back to a question of funding. Whether it is properly-allocated funding within an educational infrastructure, proper monitoring of utilization of those funds, the growth and maintenance of a tax base to support socially-focused funds or funds to grow the private sector, properly-appointed funding itself remains a central question to resolving the global education crisis.

    We provide solutions by raising private and other funds to use in the building of microloan portfolios in service to the education sector. In the absence of fully-functioning education ministries and the presence of sufficient state funds to meet the total need for high-quality state-sponsored education for all, microfinance is simply the most efficient and cost effective way to channel finance to large numbers of actors, including schools and parents. Between 2012 and 2015, we disbursed over US$58 million in loans to benefit as many as 1.1 million children. We operate in ten countries with a number of actors, including school heads and administrators, teachers, parents, education ministries, microfinance institutions (the lenders), and investors.

    Accountability is important to our work. In fact, it is the primary factor that allows such financing to be effective as a solution to the global education crisis. Effective accountability helps establish the right set of incentives.

    Traditionally, for example, education ministries fund state schools for the provision of education. In practice, however, schools and ministries may be geographically distant and connected only loosely through several layers of bureaucracy. As the accountability links weaken, either due to this distance or due to a faulty network of incentives, service provision breaks down.

    Within a private sector model, schools are directly accountable to parents who pay school. The accountability is real and immediate, and will be ignored only at the peril of school operators. Enter a microfinance actor, and the ability of a school to appropriately respond within this framework of accountability only increases through access to financing. And we see on a daily basis how microfinance loans to affordable private schools create virtuous cycles, in which schools offer more and better education, attracting more children with each improvement, and responding to ever more of parents’ demands for educational improvement. The parents of these children pay fees, which enable the schools to repay the loans and to operate sustainably.

    Repayment rates for both school improvement loans and school fee loans are 99 percent or more, showing how microfinance can help fill important gaps in education finance when implemented effectively in response to local economies.

    We recognise that some people are uncomfortable with the idea of private schooling, however affordable. Our singular objective is to facilitate a quality education for more children by improving accountability within the sector, enabling people to lift themselves out of poverty and disadvantage. This begins by funding institutions that are naturally and directly accountable to the recipients of the education that they provide (meaning that fees match market demand, as well), as well as to government regulators that oversee the criteria under which such institutions are able to operate.

    The idea of having developing-world governments fund the entire need for both access to and quality of education for their full populations remains just an idea at present, with the average African government contributing more than 18% of national public expenditure to the education sector – higher than any other region of the world – yet still not able to stem high dropout rates with better quality education, pay all relevant costs for those enrolled, or universalize secondary education.

    Schools me be accountable for the quality of education that they provide – not just for keeping kids in seats. Direct accountability between schools and parents certainly helps. Though the private sector is often seen as the “profit centre” of education, applying private sector supply-demand dynamics in education can greatly assist a virtuous cycle between parents and providers. While government-sector school heads are not accountable to parents directly, a private school head must please parents’ desire for quality or risk losing their patronage.

    This is just as true for a private school that charges $5 per month versus one that charges $1,000. If parents are paying a private-sector head for their children to be educated, they are unlikely to accept a school that is not teaching their children to read and write, and will opt for a public-sector placement or alternative private option where available. Affordable private schools are incentivised to improve their quality – however defined – if it brings more students to school. The existence and support of affordable private education through microfinance grows parents’ options, and options do nothing if not allow parents to demand accountability from providers.


  20. Matt Brossard

    1- The concept note is silent about joint sector reviews, which is more and more (in particular in low income countries eligible for GPE) a way for ensuring accountability at country/national level. It is usually annual or bi-annual meetings where Government, Development Partners and Civil society take stock on progress in relation to edu sector plan and discuss the way forward together
    2- Accountability is more and more a focus at UNICEF. It is part of the core work of the social inclusion/policy unit as well as of the education unit.
    Read more…


  21. George Stanley Njoroge

    I am an ex-officio member of the Steering Committee of the Commonwealth Students’ Association, and its immediate former Chairperson.

    Thank you for a comprehensive Concept Note on Accountability in Education.

    In response to it, I wish to underscore the importance of students in the various accountability frameworks that are being considered. In terms of sheer numbers, students form the majority of stakeholders in Education. However, their voice is not adequately heard in policy making, monitoring, evaluation or reporting of education processes and outcomes. Article 12 of the Convention of the Rights of the Child advocates for their right to be heard in matters that affect them.

    The Commonwealth is in the process of Completing a report on the Status of Student Governance in the Commonwealth. This report was compiled with the understanding that student organisations provide the vehicle for their inclusion in policy making and strategy formulation. These vehicles, as evidenced in Europe, can serve as credible accountability frameworks. More should be done to strengthen this.

    My request is to raise the profile of this mechanism, especially with the Education 2030 Framework for Action making provision for youth and student inclusion in the M &E of the implementation of this framework. In so doing, you will assist in mobilizing governments to include such voices in their local processes.

    Thank you for your efforts and kind consideration.


  22. Nelly P. Stromqujst

    Professor, International Education Policy Program, University of Maryland at College Park, USA

    A brief modest commentary about accountability:

    I think the concept, though promising at first sight, is often used as a form of control by the stronger over the weaker. In many spheres of life, one can see that it is the top administrators or authorities who request, if not demand, to know more about the performance of subordinates; rarely, does one see a process in the other direction.

    In the area of global policies in education, all the way from EFA to SDGs, I see many promises that are often not fulfilled. In a complete system of accountability, it would be pertinent to see how institutions such as UNESCO, OECD, the World Bank, and the national governments are assessed in terms of their willingness and performance to make the adopted goals a reality. We need mechanisms to trace the performance of such organizations and this performance should be traced on a yearly basis. Key elements such as funding, specific initiatives, times for delivery, assessment of progress and change should be incorporated in the process to make them accountable. And the accountability of their work should be spelled out and made available to citizens and organized civil society.

    Some major mechanisms that had been in place, such as the Global Monitoring Report, soon shifted from being a real monitoring process of governments and international agencies to an annual production of publications on themes of interest but (except for a large number of recycled statistics) delinked from any ministerial or international action taken to implement the announced goals.

    I consider that authorities and funding agencies ought to be held accountable (responsible) for the morass in which teachers, classrooms, and schools in the public sector find themselves today. But how can these authorities and agencies be made accountable today?


  23. While it is understandable that the 2017 GEM Report will focus primarily on accountability as it relates to formal education, it is important that consideration is also given to accountability within non-formal education, given the significant contribution which this form of education makes to individual and community growth and development.

    In the case of basic education for adults in low-income countries, which is often provided by non-state actors, especially NGOs, the context in which accountability operates is entirely different from that for national systems of formal education in industrialised counties. The concept of accountability may be less well established, and whatever mechanisms may exist are likely to be less well developed.

    Nevertheless, in view of the contribution which accountability generally makes to improving educational outcomes for adults as much as for younger people, it is important for non-formal educators offering literacy, numeracy and other skills to adults in low-income countries to examine how accountability can be further developed in their particular situations. This may involve working within traditional local community systems of accountability which may be based on the making (and, in extremis, the breaking) of personal relationships rather than on introducing unfamiliar and culturally inappropriate mechanisms and expectations.

    However, this can be particularly challenging when, for instance, a local adult literacy programme in Africa is being funded by external funders (whether individuals or agencies). Especially when accountability for finance is required, the conflicting cross-cultural tensions can sometimes be acute and are not easy to resolve. In addition, when those who are delivering non-formal education are volunteers, questions arise as to how accountability standards can best be established.

    The demand for accountability in all educational contexts is now strong and is continuing to grow, reaching into areas of education in which it has previously not greatly featured. Those who have to give account as programme staff or adult educators in local basic education programmes may initially see accountability as an unavoidable burden, but when they recognise the contribution it makes to the well-being and development of learners, and to their own professional success, they will more readily engage with it. But it must operate within a framework appropriate for the particular local culture and community.


  24. Thanks for the concept note and the opportunity to contribute. This an excellent theme and set of issues to discuss – some of the issues which would resonate strongly now (public vs. private roles, school choice and voice, high-stakes learning assessment, teacher and professionalization) and others maybe not so much (decentralisation both governance and fiscal). To have all of these issues in a single place I think will be unique and a real contribution.

    About the accountability exercise the unfinished agenda it is important to interrogate the GMRs own role in the past and for the future which according to the Framework for Action is to: “…report on the implementation of national and Education 2030 international strategies to help hold all relevant partners to account for their commitments…” In general it could be a stronger link to the SDGs and Education 2030, especially given the leading role of Member States in the process and the way this agenda is implemented.

    On the one hand, one could agree that an overemphasis on learning measurement may be counterproductive – especially with the paint only drying on the indicator framework, – but also think that this could be the place to make a persuasive case for a proper balance in the application/use of assessment results, the different levels of accountability, etc. This is not about rushing into high stakes test development for all, it should be more about those systems without any evidence on the quality of their performance/outcomes. And this could represent a wide variety of approaches (not just reading/maths). It should make the point that not knowing if students are learning or perpetuating a system with poor performance is a violation of child/human rights.

    Would be useful to think of how the upcoming WDR on education will be positioned – surely it will look to enhance levers of accountability – and consider how to engage.

    Would be important to have discussion about accountability of development agencies, NGOs and INGOs vis-à-vis practices, coordination and use of the citizens’ money to support education. Accountability should include GEMR; UIS, UNESCO, all international agencies and Donors as well. How did we perform, can we change what we did, how our work for the SDGs has or not reduced the unfinished business. Are there models of better behavior/coordination? We are to be evaluated with concrete KPIs that are not about consultation but having a consistent impact on states’ work.

    The disaggregation/equity point comes up at the very end – almost tacked on at the last minute – when this could be the main theme for the report – why are there queuing effects for public services? Why the poor are always last? Where have policies made a difference to address disadvantage? There are some awfully big and important messages here about accountability and voice which are central to SDGs but more or less invisible (and overshadowed) in this report outline. The current focus on learning outcomes and equity is enough?

    It would be great to expand a bit more as to what the monitoring section could do in general and in light of the accountability theme. In particular, the use of data, statistics and benchmarks has an effect on accountability mechanisms and results and as such these would deserve to be discussed in a dedicated part of the report and not necessarily in a scattered way (e.g. at the moment this seems to appear mostly in the learning outcome section)

    On effectiveness, it would be important to clearly define what effectiveness means as this takes a different form in one setting/country or another. In particular, ways to measure effectiveness will vary a lot depending on the objectives set. Not defining it will render the discussion almost void. Same when referring to the size of private sector in terms of Service delivery..
    We have as specific points the following: Page 4 1st para. Governments are generally only responsible for ensuring that public funds are allocated to the purposes for which they are committed and are spent appropriately.

    Hope these comments are helpful.


  25. Deviram Acharya

    Accountability in education should be cover teacher accountability aspect. I think teacher must accountable to student learning achievement. Developing country like Nepal, there is no any mechanism to make teacher accountable to their student learning. For example, one teacher have teach one subject whole year, end exam of academic session, all students fail in his subject (mean no can got 40 marks) but the same teacher can be reward or promotion by the government system and he never felt his performance is low, or he is accountable to student performance. So, accountability of teacher towards their students learning achievement should major concern of the accountability in education.


  26. Clinton Robinson

    Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the 2017 GEMR theme of accountability. The concept note lays out well the dimensions that the report expects to cover. Many have already contributed comments, so I will add just four brief remarks here:

    1. Structure: the report will examine areas which are studies in themselves, for example the many aspects listed under professional accountability, or the dimensions and types of assessing performance (testing). The report will need to focus resolutely on the accountability implications of these areas, in order not to diverge into an assessment of these areas as such. The very ambitious concept note does not entirely make clear how far the report will go and what its limits will be.

    2. The section on school/local accountability (parents/community) seems rather under-developed. It will also need to address the types of governance structures and why different modalities have been adopted in different contexts, as well as examining who exactly participates in these structures. The links between school management and community governance are also central to effective accountability. There is also a political dimension at local level which should not be ignored.

    3. Adult and non-formal learning: there is an overwhelming emphasis on accountability within the formal school system. The report should also examine the nature and structure of accountability in adult and non-formal learning – adult learners, for example, may require different forms of accountability than those operating in the school system. Further, the diversity of adult and non-formal education and its sensitivity to context will affect the directions (who is accountable to whom?) and dimensions (financial, governance, performance, etc) of accountability.

    4. Conflicting accountabilities: the concept note is more or less silent on the fact that schools, education providers, civil society, parents, communities and learners themselves may face accountabilities that conflict with each other. An obvious example is the accountability of donor-funded programmes to both donors and learners/education professionals – conflicts may revolve around differing objectives, issues of implementation, the nature of outcomes, or the breadth of impacts. For those working on the ground, conflicting accountabilities can lead to invidious decision-making choices and irreconcilable priorities.


  27. Comments by Education International

    “It is particularly ironic that we are holding our teachers accountable, considering that it was not the teachers, but rather the public, school boards and the Congress that maintained for years a schools policy based on the use of cheap teachers, a policy that placed little value on teachers’ skills or mastery of subject matter, and deprived teachers of any hope of a real professional career in teaching and of any chance of gaining the kind of status enjoyed by high status professionals. The thesis here is that one cannot divorce the design of the accountability system for education from the gestalt of the entire education system, and, in particular, the way in which the system treats its teachers overall”.
    – Marc Tucker, Center on International Education Benchmarking

    While EI agrees entirely that the GEMR should hold governments accountable for the SDGs and Goal 4 in particular, we find the seven approaches to accountability as posited in the thematic part of the concept note to be problematic. Even if they are qualified as “not prioritized and overlapping” they are simply not approaches. Given the massive shortfall in education financing globally, the weakening regulatory frameworks and the heavy push of education testing companies, these are actually more threats to accountability than approaches. The national versus global are levels, not approaches. The main choices are between vertical accountability systems and horizontal ones, systemic approaches and piecemeal ones. Equitable and inclusive systems aimed at improvement and opportunity or further segregation and diminishing quality for the poorest and most marginalized.

    In July 2004, Education International held its World Congress in Porto Alegre Brazil and passed a resolution asking the EI Executive Board to take immediate actions to make necessary consultations with all member organisations (teachers, education support personnel and their organisations) in developing a comprehensive EI policy in support of quality education. It was to include a. Adequate educational infrastructure; b. Appropriate accountability mechanisms; c. Improved working conditions and service packages for teachers; d. Broad based national consensus and social alliances; e. Global and local implications of quality; f. Equitable access to quality Education for All and g. Professionalism in education.

    After multiple rounds of consultations across regions and sectors over a period of two years, the following World Congress held in Berlin in 2007 endorsed a comprehensive Education Policy Paper which expressed the global education professions’ stance on what it means to ensure an inclusive, equitable quality education for all. The Policy was clear that accountability systems needed to be 360 degrees in their view, collectively agreed by stakeholders, professionally anchored and equally binding for inputs, processes and outputs. In other words, the educators of the world, wary and skeptical of the vertical, high stakes test accountability that was destroying their profession and hurting kids, concluded that these needed to be rejected and replaced with something that was more horizontal – a whole child, whole teacher and whole system approach. Teachers were, and are ready to take responsibility and lead their profession but that governments must be accountable to provide them with quality tools, safe, healthy and well-resourced teaching and learning environments, time, trust and support for them to be effective.
    It is in this context that Education International wishes to make its comments and suggestions to the concept note prepared by the GEMR Team that has been circulated for consultation.
    Meaning, Uses and Misuses of Accountability.

    We begin with a definition of accountability that is located within a system of rights holders and duty bearers. Accountability systems have come to mean collecting, sharing and feeding back information on how those charged with the responsibility of providing a function within a system (collecting taxes, adequately and equitably budgeting ) actually carryout that function with a view to informing the decisions that can improve overall operations. In transparent democratic countries, politicians are ideally held accountable by citizens who vote them in and out of office, independent judiciary systems and public information systems. In autocratic countries, this is not the case. In these countries, social accountability may come via independent organizations or institutions that risk retribution such as been the case for many teachers organizations and unions. Therefore, accountability systems should always be understood within the specific political context in which they operate. Vertical accountability systems, whether regulatory/compliance or performance-based have proven to lack the checks and balances necessary to avoid informational asymmetries (Hargreaves), as they pay most attention to indicators that measure their intended consequences but not the unintended ones. These systems tend to use accountability for dismissing low performers versus improving systems and informing improvement with sample data and more authentic assessments that incentivize collaboration and peer learning over the comparative individual effects of a single teacher. Horizontal accountability systems are anchored in collective responsibility, professional ethics and decisional capital. Institutionalized social dialogue mechanisms are a main component in ensuring the continuity and commitment to the systems approach in that they ensure accountability for inputs, processes and outcomes.

    One of the key errors in many accountability systems is that they misuse and mix-up the purposes of evaluation across levels. OECD’s work on evaluation suggests five levels of evaluation: student, teacher, institutional (school), school leader and system level.
    Evaluation for students should be primarily diagnostic and formative, although summative evaluation plays a key role in the later ISCED stages. Evaluation for teachers should be formative and developmental. Developmental appraisal should focus on just that – teachers’ professional development However, TALIS 2013 makes it clear that around half of teachers surveyed think that appraisal is conducted for purely administrative purposes. OECD and EI studies show that when teacher performance evaluations are used for administrative accountability and high stakes decisions, teachers will not only lose trust in the system, but will also burnout, leave and the resulting declining status will reduce effectiveness of recruitment. Whether this is an intentional or unintentional outcome is still under debate.

    Institutional evaluation should be both developmental and summative. Evaluation for school development should be carried out by a school self-evaluation model. The information gathered by self-evaluations – drawn from all sections of the school community – should be based on trust and commitment from the community. School self-evaluation should form the basis of external institutional evaluation. Schools should be able to offer summative descriptions of their strengths and weaknesses to external adjudication /inspection. External evaluation should again be developmental. Most importantly, school evaluation should not be punitive nor high stakes. Nor should it blur the role of pupil evaluation with institutional evaluation. Using pupil tests for institutional evaluation simply destroys the efficacy of those tests for students and drastically narrows the curriculum as teachers focus on teaching to the test. The best source on school self-evaluation is ‘Schools must speak for Themselves ‘ (MacBeath, 2000).

    Evaluation of school principals should follow the teacher model. There is some evidence from England that the best form of principal appraisal is peer -to-peer with an external adjudicator.
    Systemic evaluation is necessarily summative. Governments and social partners need to know how well their system is doing. Systemic evaluation is necessarily anonymized, and should have the buy in of social partners. It should also be based on random and high return sampling. The best systemic evaluation is informed by the principle of equity, involves stakeholders through context questionnaires and focuses on the ability to use knowledge. Accountability systems must still be humble about what can be distilled from evaluations and be careful to distinguish between correlation and causality.

    The problem with much test based accountability systems is the oversimplification of the information they present to the public, usually in the form of performance tables. They are misleading since they purport to show vertical levels of performance in a descending order of quality when actually they show a bunching of schools or systems divided only by a small number of points well within the acknowledged boundaries of statistical uncertainty.

    Wrong assumptions

    Fullan argues that policy makers often choose wrong drivers for whole system reform, including accountability (putting emphasis on standards, assessments, rewards and punishment), with the false assumption that external pressure on the school and teachers will generate intrinsic motivation and better outcomes.

    Research evidence and experience does not support some of the assumptions made in the concept note.


    Although the concept note portrays decentralisation in positive light, there are numerous examples of failed decentralisation initiatives in Africa and elsewhere. Decentralisation of functions to provinces, districts or schools is often not accompanied by the necessary budget support to ensure that those functions are carried out successfully. Decentralisation of the payment of teacher salaries to local authorities sometimes results in the diversion of salary subsidies from central government to other functions, nonpayment of salaries or delays.

    Performance-based pay

    There is no evidence that the so-called performance-based accountability works, given its focus on competition and individualism rather collaboration and team work (also see Pasi Salberg’s GERM – Global Education Reform Movement). Research (e.g., Ben Levin, Murnane &Cohin) shows conclusively that the merit pay concept is a flawed and an ineffective approach to teacher compensation.

    Teacher absenteeism

    Teacher absenteeism claims often ignore structural causes of absence such as the way teachers are paid (traveling to the nearest city to receive their pay) and other official government duties they are often required to undertake such as conducting elections. For example, Sinyolo (2007) found that, in Zambia and Tanzania, teacher absence was mainly related to the way salaries were paid and sickness, mainly due to HIV and AIDS. A study undertaken by the Ministry of Education on teacher absenteeism in Indonesia found that the main causes of teacher absence were attending official teaching-related duties, followed by sickness. Should teachers be blamed for attending professional development programmes or for falling sick? Certainly not! Instead of blaming such teachers for absenteeism, they should be supported, for example, by providing substitute or relief teachers.

    School choice and competition

    In its report, Equity and Quality in Education – Supporting Disadvantaged Students and Schools (2012), the OECD states, “school choice advocates often argue that the introduction of market mechanisms in education allows equal access to high quality schooling for all…However evidence does not support these perceptions, as choice and associated market mechanisms can enhance segregation” (p. 64).

    Mutual and reciprocal accountability

    EI and its member organisations have been promoting self-regulation among teachers and education support personnel through the development and application of professional codes of ethics (see EI Declaration on Professional Ethics). Peer-to-peer teacher evaluation and support is more effective than one-shot external inspections.


    Strengthening school leadership and empowering teachers to exercise leadership are more effective and sustainable ways of improving teaching and learning. Therefore, the fundamental purpose of improving school leadership is not accountability. The GEMR concept note talks about the role of leadership in school improvement and the importance of taring in tightening up accountability. Evidence here is contentious. Far from research showing a dominant role for training establishments, in places like the Nottingham College for leadership proved ineffective at developing the range of leaders necessary for a system in England that needs to reflect the diversity of its students. The School Leadership and Student Outcomes Best Evidence Synthesis by Viviane Robinson is also clear about the importance of leaders being engaged in professional learning, not just training, and, in fact warns against models of heroic leadership that this concept note seems to be leaning towards.

    To put school leadership under an accountability lens is not going to solve the problem of school improvement, but is rather likely to drive a technicist approach down through the school. Rather more professional learning and support is required. Leaders should have mentors who help them deal with real challenges and improve practice, not training establishments that turn out heavy evaluation approaches that spread results-based practice through schools that, according to Dennis Shirley at the EI OECD conference in Rome April 2016, are constructed around high achievement and low integrity such as was evidenced by the Atlanta teacher trials.
    Metrics frames around leadership fail to understand either the complexity of education or the nature of leadership. If the GEMR is to make a positive difference for school leaders it needs to highlight systems of support not surveillance and should rely on evidence to suggest developments that will truly benefit students, teachers, schools and the system. Leadership does not lie on the shoulders of one person in a school. All teachers are leaders in their classroom and leadership practices and thinking should be open to all educators.

    Suggested Way forward

    The GEMR should focus on accountability and monitoring of the new Sustainable Development Goals (also see Andreas Schleicher’s comment). This will help ensure that Goal 4 and other education-related SDGs are implemented, so that come 2030, we will not talk about another “unfinished agenda”.

    The concept note, and the 2017 GEMR should address the following key issues at national and global/regional level:

    SDG National and Local Level Monitoring and Accountability

    1. Alignment of SDGs with national policy and legislation

    The GEMR should assess the extent to which governments have aligned the new SDGs, in particular SDG4 on Quality Education and the Education 2030 Framework for Action, to education sector plans, policies and programmes. What legislative and other concrete measures have the governments taken to integrate the new SDGs? To what extent have these been implemented?

    2. Education financing

    The GEMR should assess the extent to which governments have committed funding to ensure implementation of the new SDGs. Sufficient funding should be invested in education and teachers in order ensure that all students are taught by highly-trained, professionally-qualified, motivated and supported teachers, and learn in well-resourced, safe and healthy education institutions (ECE centres, schools, colleges, universities etc.) and classrooms. Lack of adequate funding was one of the greatest obstacles to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Education for All (EFA). Evidence from Education International’s EFA Assessment clearly shows that lack of political will saw the majority of governments fail to meet the minimum funding benchmark of 6% of GDP. How many countries have set spending targets for quality investment in education as set out in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda in order to deliver free primary and secondary education, ensure access to quality early childhood education for all and equal access of women and men to tertiary education? How many countries have met or exceeded the minimum funding benchmarks for education of 6 % of GDP or 20% of the national budget?

    3. Private provision is not the solution

    As clearly stated in the Education 2030 Framework for Action, Education is a fundamental human right and a public good and the state is the guarantor of this right. Evidence from various studies, including those commissioned by EI, shows that privatising and commercialising education by outsourcing it to private providers in the name of public-private partnerships or school choice is not sustainable and perpetuates serious inequalities in education and society. In its report, Equity and Quality in Education – Supporting Disadvantaged Students and Schools (2012), the OECD states, “school choice advocates often argue that the introduction of market mechanisms in education allows equal access to high quality schooling for all…However evidence does not support these perceptions, as choice and associated market mechanisms can enhance segregation” (p. 64).

    Despite this and other evidence, many governments continue to embrace and promote market principles and mechanisms in in the provision of education.

    We are already seeing the effects of this agenda with the break-up of traditional school systems. Worse still, we are seeing the emergence and spread of privately, corporate owned, and in many instances, for-profit schools.

    This continuing commercialisation and privatisation of education, is the greatest threat to high quality education for all. It is compromising the public governance of education; it is giving more and more prominence to education as a commodity, a private, positional good as opposed to a public, societal good; it is undermining social cohesion and democracy.

    A Legislative Framework

    Public education, free, universally accessible in every community, setting the standard for high quality education, remains a precondition for achieving quality education for all and a better world.

    It is against this backdrop that EI has been calling on all governments to implement and enforce a legislative framework to ensure the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal 4, “inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”.
    Beyond a legislative guarantee to fulfil their primary obligation to adequately fund and resource public education, governments must:

    •protect and promote the principle of access and equity for all students through the provision of public education which must set the standards for high quality education;
    •recognise the professional judgement of teachers and educators on matters of methodology, pedagogy, curriculum, assessment and reporting, and, accordingly, respect their professional institutions, including unions;
    •legislate against for-profit non-state actors, particularly when they are in receipt, directly or indirectly, domestically or extraterritorially, of government funding intended for the educational well-being of students.
    In the interest of transparency and accountability, where non-state actors provide schooling they would be required to:
    •adhere to strict financial requirements, including independent auditing and regulations to monitor how government funds are spent;
    •demonstrate that transactions made by a non-state operator for goods and services are directly required for delivery of education and are at reasonable market value;
    •demonstrate that there is no “conflict of interest” in their operations.

    A non-state actor found to be operating for-profit will be required to repay all government funding.

    To ensure the right of all students to quality education, for the purpose of registration, the following minimum requirements must be met:

    Quality Teaching – every student has the right to be taught by qualified teachers
    All teaching staff must have necessary experience and professional, recognised qualifications that comply with national standards.
    Quality Curriculum – every student has the right to be taught an engaging and inclusive curriculum
    The curriculum must comply with national requirements and standards.
    Quality Environment – every student has the right to be taught in a safe environment
    Educational premises and facilities must comply with relevant government requirements that are adequate for the courses of study.

    Evidence of compliance must be maintained at all times.

    For their long-term wellbeing, children are encouraged or compelled (by law) to attend school. The reciprocal obligation for legislators and those who provide education services is to shelter and protect those same children during the years of their schooling.

    4. Social dialogue

    EI’s EFA assessment points to the general absence of effective social dialogue structures and mechanisms for ensuring the full participation and involvement of teachers, education support personnel and civil society in policy development and reform. Teachers and education support personnel have the necessary experience and expertise to make a significant contribution to the development of comprehensive and relevant education and related policies and programmes, indicators (quantitative and qualitative), monitoring and evaluation, likely to lead to the successful implementation of the SDGs. The 2017 GEMR should thus assess the availability and effectiveness of social and policy dialogue mechanisms at national and local level. In GPE partner countries, this should include an assessment of the extent to which teachers, education support personnel and civil society participate in Local Education Groups (LEGs).

    5. Ensure the role of teachers, education unions and civil society in monitoring SDGs

    A recent study on education financing commissioned by EI draws attention to the important contribution that teachers and their representatives (i.e. teachers’ organisations) can have in terms of fostering greater accountability in actual spending of resources (particularly at the local level), achieving enhanced transparency in allocation of education investment, as well as moving forward budgetary/legislative reforms in line with the principles of equitable distribution of funding. The examples in the study show how teachers’ organisations across the globe, either autonomously or as part of education coalitions, have had an impact on holding governments accountable and fostering policy reform through gathering evidence, providing capacity-building for representatives and teachers to help them engage in discussions with governments, mobilising their members to highlight education issues and increasing pressure on governments to fulfil their commitments. The relations between governments and teacher unions have a significant impact on the quality of engagement, education policies and practices. Some governments recognise the invaluable contribution that teachers and their organisations give to identifying system inefficiencies and recommending solutions grounded on evidence. In countries where governments recognise the establishment of such mutually-beneficial relationships, often more effective and equitable use of resources in education is triggered to the benefit of students and teachers.

    SDG Monitoring and Accountability at Global and Regional Level

    1. UN Review Mechanism (High Level Political Forum, ECOSOC, UNGA…)

    The GEMR should assess the strengths and weaknesses of the UN SDG review mechanism from an education community perspective. To what extent does the mechanism ensure effective engagement and dialogue with the education community – the teaching profession, civil society and other key stakeholders?

    2. UNESCO Monitoring and review mechanism

    The GEMR should analyse the Education 2030 monitoring and review mechanism, including its effectiveness or lack of it, in ensuring the voice and full participation of the teaching profession, civil society and other stakeholders. It will also be important to assess the role, effectiveness and relevance of the GEMR, UIS and UNESCO in the SDG and Education 2030 implementation and review process. For example, to what extent is the GEMR publication cycle aligned with the overall SDG review mechanism? Any evidence of teacher voice – practitioner views and experiences from the classroom?

    3. Official Development Assistance

    The GEMR should also monitor the activities and commitments of multilateral and bilateral donors, including the GPE, World Bank, USAID, DFiD… and governments. Are the donors meeting their commitments to allocate at least 0.7% of Gross National Income to ODA? What proportion of ODA is going to education? To what extent are the priorities of donors aligned with the SDGs and national priorities?

    Recommended reading

    Ball, J. and Youdell, D. (2008) Hidden Privatisation in Public Education. Brussels: Education International.
    Bangs, J. and Frost, D. (2012) Teacher Self-Efficacy, Voice and Leadership: Towards a Policy Framework for Education International. Brussels: Education International.
    EI. (2015) Teachers Assessing Education for All: Perspectives from the Classroom. Brussels: Education International.
    Evers, J. and Neyber, R. (2016) Flip the System: Changing Education from the Ground Up. London: Routledge.
    MacBeath, J. (2012) The Future of the Teaching Profession. Brussels: Education International.
    Riep, C.B. (2015) Corporatised Education in the Philippines: Pearson. Ayala Corporation and the Emergence of Affordable Private Education Centres. Brussels: Education International.
    Sinyolo, D. (2007) Teacher Supply, Recruitment and Retention in Six Anglophone Sub-Saharan African Countries. Brussels: Education International.
    Sorensen, T.B. (2016) Value added measures or modelling (Discussion paper). Brussels: Education International.
    Urban, M. (2014) Privatisation in Early Childhood Education: An Explorative Study on Impacts and Implications. Brussels: Education International.
    Verger, A. and Fontdevila, C. (2015) The World bank’s Double Speak on Teachers: An Analysis of Ten Years of Lending and Advice. Brussels: Education International.


  28. Curriculum has been mentioned as well as assessment, but I would like to make some additions. Teachers are often controlled by the curriculum and its associated assessments. In some countries children’s ‘failure’ at the end of primary has severe affects on their future learning – it is often seen as the child being accountable for their lack of learning, rather than an irrelevant curriculum, different language of instruction to mother tongue, and inappropriate processes of assessment. Lets take a new approach to curricula – environment and health should be key drivers to developing a meaningful curriculum -both are future-looking as the environment (from local resource management to global climate change )will effect everyone’s future life on the planet. A focus on health (physical and mental) will ensure survival and self regulation that can result in more productive lives. A total re-think of the basis for the curriculum should take us past the traditional three ‘R’s approach to a new 3 “Rs’ -respect, responsibility and resourcefulness.
    Assessment if is to be used as part of the accountability process needs to be more formative and inclusive. Many children and young people can learn well, but are not assessed on their process of learning just a narrow set of easily examined criteria. A revolution in assessment processes is necessary -lets not leave it to the subject based, top down (university -led) examined processes of the past -no child should fail primary education -these are formative years -it is a failure of the education system that has produced such results -who is held to account for the ‘failures’?


  29. Holding governments to account is a core function of organized civil society, and GCE and its members have long been actively involved in many aspects of accountability processes, at different levels of government, and using a wide variety of mechanisms to do so. As such, respondents to the consultation welcomed the proposed theme of the GEM report.

    Social accountability was felt to be a critical measure and additional technical support and resources should be invested in capacity-building of community leaders, teachers, students and parents, as well as CSOs to be able to play a role effectively.
    Read more…


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