Mark Sharp



By Nisha Arunatilake, Institute for Policy Studies of Sri Lanka

Technological change and globalization have increased the demand for demand for skilled workers in Sri Lanka. But, many Sri Lankans join the labour market without skills or as low-skilled workers. According to UNESCO Institute for Statistics data, fewer than 5% of 15–24 year olds take part in technical and vocational education programmes, despite the size of the sector. Better use of comparative advantages of different providers, and more efficient and effective use of public finance, can improve technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in the country and its contribution to development.

There is a variety of TVET institutions in Sri Lanka

The TVET sector in Sri Lanka is fragmented and complex. According to the Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission (TVEC), there were 1163 active TVEC registered institutions in 2022 providing 3219 accredited courses. As we analysed in a background paper and discussed in the national launch event of the 2022 South Asia regional report on non-state actors in education, about half of these TVET providers are private, while they account for a smaller but growing share of total enrolment.

The public TVET sector is operated by many different institutions — including the National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority (NAITA), the Vocational Training Authority (VTA), the Department of Technical Education and Training (DTET) and the National Youth Council (NYC). Education and training services are not well coordinated, resulting in similar courses being offered in the same location by different institutions.

A variety of private sector TVET institutions also operate throughout the country, ranging from sole proprietors, chambers, public-private partnerships, and NGOs. The government does not provide any financial support to the private sector. The funding of these centres is also varied and includes funding by local and overseas charities and donors, as well as fees paid by students.

The quality of TVET sector courses offered by different institutions in the country is regulated through the National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ) system developed by TVEC in 2015. NVQ provides a structured, seven-level qualification system for different crafts that TVET institutions must follow to obtain national level qualifications. Each qualification level is based on National Competency Standards (NCS) developed in consultation with industry.

The TVET sector faces multiple challenges

There are four core issues remaining in the TVET sector in Sri Lanka:

  1. TVEC regulates both public and private TVET institutions. The NVQ framework provides a sound mechanism for accrediting institutions and courses and certifying competencies. However, the use of this system for controlling quality is limited, as NVQ is not developed for all crafts. Cumbersome procedures for accreditation and delays in providing certification have discouraged TVET institutions from seeking accreditation. As a result, many private sector institutions operate without accreditation, and public sector institutions also lack mechanisms to monitor and improve quality.
  2. The financing of public TVET institutions mainly comes from the treasury. In 2019, less than 1% of the government budget was spent on the TVET sector, which is highly inadequate to support the salaries, materials, energy, machinery, and equipment required by the more than 500 public TVET institutions.
  3. The outcomes of TVET institutions are mixed. Some are very successful and produce graduates who are highly demanded in the labour market. But many TVET graduates are unable to find suitable employment due to inadequate practical skills and poor quality of training received. According to a World Bank study, the lack of meaningful involvement of the industrial sector in TVET is preventing the sector from becoming more demand-driven, based on the needs and preferences of employers. Further, lack of demand for TVET has created a shortage of TVET graduates in the market.
  4. Limited availability of human and financial resources hinders the development of quality TVET programs. The renumeration offered by public TVET institutions is unable to attract qualified and experienced Financial limitations and TVET governance structures prevent TVET institutions from matching instructor salaries to market rates and from keeping up with other changes in the marketplace. The lack of attention given to developing soft skills such as problem solving, teamwork, and leadership skills is also a hindrance for obtaining employment.

The analysis lends to three policy recommendations.

Use available limited public resources for the TVET sector to improve quality. Government resources should be used to improve and expand the NVQ framework to uplift the quality of TVET in the country. Investments should also be made to improve the efficiency of the certification process and help private TVET providers to meet quality standards for certification.

Rationalize TVET courses to improve efficiency of TVET provision. The TVET sector should assess and operationalize the most efficient means of providing quality TVET for those interested in vocational training in partnership with the private sector and the industry. Public TVET provision should be streamlined and better coordinated across different institutions, as well as with private providers. Closer partnerships with industries can be used not only to develop training courses, but also to fill gaps in material and equipment needed for providing cutting-edge training.

Financial assistance should be provided to students who are unable to meet the costs of privately provided TVET courses to ensure equity. Greater reliance on non-state actors can increase the out-of-pocket costs for families. The government can provide financial assistance to students unable to meet such costs through treasury funds or by mobilizing non-state assistance to provide financial aid to students.


Source link


By Prashant Narang, Centre for Civil Society in New Delhi, India

The Right to Education Act, 2009 — a central law — governs school education across India. States also have their respective laws. In total, there are 145 state laws and 101 corresponding rules under those laws.

Most do not apply to public schools. Public schools are thanked for their existence and no questions are asked ever. On the other hand, private schools follow infinite rules, and please everyone. Despite that, they are at the receiving end of criticism. No appreciation, and constant pressure to do more.

In India, as we emphasized in our recent background paper for the regional report on non-state actors in education in South Asia, most regulations in pre-primary, primary and secondary education focus on infrastructure and inputs only. This includes classrooms, minimum land, teacher qualifications, teacher salaries and fees. As a result, private schools spend a lot of time and resources complying with these norms instead of focusing on innovating pedagogy, which could have been spent instead on making the teaching and learning experience fun and engaging. Our content analysis shows that hardly any state law has used the phrase ‘learning outcomes’ or even ‘outcomes’. This misplaced focus has been noted in the National Education Policy, 2020.

Input norms for schools in India can be excessive. For example, in Assam, the minimum land requirement to open a school is one bigha (or 2,508 m2). Similarly in Delhi, you may be asked for 3,000-4,000 m2 of land for your school to be affiliated with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). This makes the cost of compliance huge. It may, depending on the area, cost between INR 200-500 million (or US$2.5-6 million) to get that land and start a school. A trust or society cannot arrange for such huge funds, a for-profit company can. Bu, most states (except Uttar Pradesh and Haryana) do not allow for-profit companies to run and operate schools. The not-for-profit condition makes it very difficult for schools to access capital and credit.

This is not the only difficulty in opening a private school. You need an essentiality certificate to start, i.e. to prove that the school is essential to a locality. But how do you prove that? What makes a school ‘essential’ is not clearly laid down in law. It is therefore up to the whims and fancies of a bureaucrat. It is interesting that the government does not need to justify opening a school even though it uses taxpayers’ money to do the same. The National Education Policy has taken note of empty public schools and recommended clubbing such schools to form a cluster and save costs.

Once opened, a private school will need to be recognised by the same government department that also runs public schools. In other words, the same government department has the power to regulate its competitors. While the department can shut down its competing private schools for non-compliance with input norms, its own public schools can continue to operate without compliance. It’s a cricket match where the umpire also belongs to one of the teams and hence the match is rigged.

No wonder private schools are over-regulated and government schools are under-regulated. NEP 2020 calls it ‘regulatory asymmetry’. In this context, private schools are viewed as the ‘other’ who are constantly ‘disciplined’ through numerous regulations. Even though they offer affordable education at a fraction of cost that a state government incurs on its schools, private schools are vilified for being profit-seeking. This ‘othering’ is entrenched both in the law as well as in practice.

How can this be changed?

Rules need to change. The National Education Policy has recommended setting up an impartial regulator to ensure a level-playing field. Private schools should have more autonomy to perform better: freedom to access capital and credit, freedom to hire and fire teachers, and freedom to set their fee. The best accountability mechanism for private schools would be more competition. Government should make it easier for new entrants to set up schools so that parents have more choice and there is more innovation.

The National Education Policy has advocated for a disclosure-based regulatory framework. This will help parents to make a more informed choice. Let the regulator engage third parties for assessments and bring in more transparency on the learning outcomes. These assessments should be done for both private and public schools, and the results should be made available in the public domain.

We all know that the quality of education in India and in South Asia is extremely poor. Low quality is a direct consequence of poor governance and regulatory discrimination. This discrimination needs to be addressed. Private schools deserve to be treated as equal and the children studying in those schools deserve their choices to be respected.


Source link


So far, two in three countries have set benchmarks – or national targets – for the improvement they want to see in upper secondary school completion rates between now and 2030, the deadline for our global education goal, SDG 4. If they succeed in achieving these benchmarks, the percentage of young people completing 12 years of education around the world will rise from 51% in 2015 to 67% in 2025 and 72% by 2030. But based on past trends, only six in ten young people will be finishing secondary school in 2030. Currently, the completion rate is estimated to be at least 95% in only six countries. Will they manage it?

While our work with countries to set these benchmarks over the past five years has in itself been an valuable activity for all parties in terms of pinpointing data gaps, assessing past trends and mapping them against future ambitions, the plan was never to stop at that. Monitoring countries’ progress against the education goal in the SDG 4 agenda has not felt a fair game for a while. Back in 2015 when the goal was set, only 2% youth were completing upper secondary education in Niger and South Sudan, for instance, compared to 99% in the Republic of Korea. A level of context is always missing in monitoring global targets, that the new national benchmarks were designed to help with.

Instead of blanket assessment against one sole target, the national SDG 4 benchmarking process takes countries’ starting points and their historical progress rates into account in reviewing their education development trajectory. They have allowed us to establish the new SDG 4 Scorecard in which we evaluate country progress not by an externally set target but by the targets countries have set for themselves.  For the first time, we will be able to classify – and celebrate – poor and rich countries alike for being on track to achieve their national targets.

Countries’ progress rates in education do not increase at the same speed from the start to the finish line. For upper secondary completion for instance, progress rates seem to speed up as they move closer to 50% and gradually decrease from that point onwards. Understanding these intricacies helps inform countries about where they are likely to be when we get to the deadline of our goal in eight years’ time.

For example, among countries which started with an upper secondary completion rate between 40% and 50% in 2015, the median country (represented by the grey dot) improved by 1.4 percentage points per year; in other words, a country that started from 45% could reach 52% within five years. The 25% slowest improvers (red dot) increased completion rates by 1 percentage point per year; by contrast, the top 25% improvers (yellow dot) increased completion rates by 1.8 percentage points per year.

How likely are countries to reach their targets?

The new SDG 4 Scorecard assess country progress by what is within the realm of possible for their context, expecting all the while a level of ambition to be included in their national targets. As the table below shows, only around a third are on track with their 2025 benchmarks. More countries have made slow progress (55%) than fast progress (31%) towards their upper secondary completion targets between 2015 and 2020, i.e. before the onset of COVID-19. Only among upper-middle-income countries did the same share of countries achieve high and fast progress rates (41%).

Among countries that are highly likely to achieve their benchmark (or already have a rate of at least 95%), there is one low-income (Rwanda), 7 lower-middle-income (Bangladesh, Bolivia, Egypt, Ghana, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova and Nepal) (21%). 14 upper-middle and 12 high-income countries.

The SDG 4 benchmarks and SDG 4 Scorecard are trying to take monitoring efforts for our global education agenda in a direction that encourage countries not only to set targets but also to reflect on better targets and their links to policy. It points at countries at different income levels that have made fast enough progress to bring their 2025 national targets within reach. These countries have important experiences to share with their peers about the steps they have taken to be in that position. Please join us in opening up the spaces for such dialogue to take place so that the new monitoring mechanism can bring new energy through peer learning to the final eight years before 2030.


Source link


By Professor Natalia Kucirkova, University of Stavanger and The Open University

The use of educational technology (EdTech) during the pandemic revealed structural weaknesses in the EdTech system, from the way it is designed to the way it is funded, selected and implemented by schools. To address these weaknesses, the EdTech evidence reform has been proposed. The reform can only be successful if diverse national efforts get unified with a global strategy on what counts as “evidence” in educational technology.

In the aftermath of the pandemic, a number of EdTech advocates proposed extensive changes to EdTech. The reports of national governments (e.g. England), funders (e.g. the Jacobs Foundation) and scientists’ consortia (e.g. EdTech Exchange) proposed an EdTech reform. At the heart of the reform is the global consensus that schools should only select technologies that has evidence of positive impact on children’s learning. However, there are major differences in the way EdTech evidence is defined, measured and mandated across countries.

The United States follows the ESSA Standards of Evidence, with randomized control trials as the highest form of evidence. The US government has defined standardized measures of evidence with requirements of efficacy at four levels. Supporting non-regulatory guidance on how to measure the individual levels and a list of recommended resources is included in the What Works Clearinghouse catalogue.

In Europe, various countries follow different EdTech evidence mandates and enforcements. Some countries have funded the development of EdTech for national use (e.g. the Octavo Digital Library in Malta). Other countries leave the decision-making up to teachers and local municipalities (e.g. Norway). The United Kingdom has a number of evidence framework provided by various university teams, think-tanks and commercial entities (e.g. Educate Ventures or What Worked ). Outside of the Global North, countries follow a mixture of recommendations, most of which are less stringent and broader than the ESSA standards.

The 2023 GEM Report on technology and education aims to provide an overview of education technology policies based on national experiences. A key question in this process is how to ensure that national efforts for greater EdTech evidence are in line with work underway on a global level. Most EdTech is designed for the international market. However, while the content of individual platforms can be tailored to national curricula, the evidential basis should be based on international standards of evidence.

There is a clear academic consensus on what counts as evidence: an independent study published in a peer-reviewed journal. However, when it comes to EdTech, an alternative definition of evidence has been in use for the past ten years: the evidence in the form of teachers’ reports and reviews. EdTech solutions top-rated by teachers on platforms like EdTech Impact or Educational App Store, dominate the lists of school procurement teams.

Teachers’ views of what works in their classroom are not in opposition with scientific measurement of evidence. Indeed, teachers’ experiences should be combined with scientific evaluations of EdTech’s efficacy and effectiveness in promoting children’s learning. So far, neither teachers nor scientists have been able to combine their evidence ratings in a coordinated way. The gap is being currently filled with various EdTech evidence providers, some of which use combined ratings for certifying or approving specific EdTech products. Examples include the ISTE and ASD EdTech certification organisations or LearnPlatform with Instructure, both of which have been recently merged in major deals.

Building a solid evidence base requires many trials and errors, many tests with many children from many schools. It therefore makes sense to consolidate the evidence testing efforts with a joint framework of efficacy – such as the one proposed by ESSA. It also makes sense to incentivize EdTech’s efforts to be more evidence-led through federal grants and venture capital investments (e.g. as modelled by the Vital Prize). The problem of defining evidence only in efficacy terms means that RCTs become the golden standard for EdTech. This goes against the broader definitions of evidence proposed by individual states. Furthermore, efficacy standards were criticised for undermining smaller start-ups and thereby innovation in the market.

EdTech is a capital- intensive industry, sensitive to the business conditions set by international policies. The EU pledged and became counterweight to US ‘dominance’ in EdTech in relation to privacy, but is lagging behind in the EdTech evidence race. The evidence framework and market mechanisms are exactly the type of forces that propelled US EdTech to its dominance in the educational market. The forces that threaten our global commitment towards diverse and open spaces in EdTech. The GEM Report needs to address this reality with a multipronged approach that aligns the need for EdTech evidence with a clear set of international standards.


Natalia Kucirkova is Professor of Early Childhood Education and Development at the University of Stavanger, Norway and Professor of Reading and Children’s Development at The Open University, UK. Natalia’s work is concerned with social justice in children’s literacy and use of technologies. Her research takes place collaboratively across academia, commercial and third sectors. She is the founder of the university spin-out Wikit, AS, which integrates science with the children’s EdTech industry.

Twitter: @NKucirkova



Source link


As we show in the Education Finance Watch series, a partnership with the World Bank and the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, there is a lot to learn from seeing how the three main sources of finance work together: government, donors and households. This blog draws out three key messages from the recently updated story on finance in the SCOPE website for you to explore.

More – and more equitable – funds are needed for education

In order to achieve the 2030 target for universal basic education, low- and lower-middle-income countries need to spend US$504 billion or 6.3% of their gross domestic product (GDP) annually. Yet, public expenditure grew modestly in low-income countries, from 3% in 2010 to 3.6% in 2020 and remained stable in lower-middle-income (as well as in richer) countries at about 4.7% of GDP.

Stagnation in lower-middle-income countries hides differences between them. For instance, 43% of them spent below 4% of GDP. This is one of the two finance benchmarks set in the Education 2030 Framework for Action, the other being that countries should allocate at least 15% of their total public expenditure on education. One in three countries in the world fall below both benchmarks.

Even countries that reach their finance benchmark achieve very different results in terms of effectiveness, efficiency and equity. Equitable finance policies, for instance, help those most in need. However, an analysis of 78 low- and middle-income countries showed that only one in five, mostly upper-middle-income and Latin American countries, maintained a strong equity focus through their financing policies.


Donor focus on supporting the poorest (countries) is insufficient

And we should not only think of within-country equity. An equitable approach should also see more resources spent in countries that are further behind, an idea that makes not only moral but also economic sense. However, at present, every year, of the US$5 trillion spent on education worldwide, only 0.5% is spent in low-income countries, while 66% is spent in high-income countries, even though the two groups have a roughly equal number of school-age children.

Aid to education could help close this gap. But aid levels overall have been constant at around 0.3% of donor countries’ gross national income, well below a commitment to allocated at least 0.7%. Within this total aid, the share of education fell between 2000 and 2015, although it recovered some of the lost ground between 2015 and 2020. And within total aid to education, two indicators are important. First, the share of basic education – which is more likely to reach the poorest – has remained constant at about 40%. Second, the share of total aid to education going to low-income countries has also remained relatively stable at about 20%.

The extent to which various donors prioritize aid in general and prioritize basic education and low-income countries within their aid to education portfolio can be compared using the interactive graphs on SCOPE. Here, we chose to look at Germany, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States. Norway spends 0.9% of its income on aid, while the United States only 0.2%. But the two countries have prioritized basic education and low-income countries much more than Germany and the United Kingdom. While Germany never prioritized basic education and low-income countries, the United Kingdom used to be the main champion but its priorities have changed rapidly in recent years.

Donor priorities are laid bare in this graph, which shows the aid flows from the world’s top 10 donors to their top 10 recipients, by level of education. Germany is the largest single donor to education in these countries but a large share of this aid is going to post-secondary education, which indicates that these resources are largely spent on foreign students who study in Germany, mostly from China and India, rather than necessarily contributing to equity and quality at the basic education level in the poorest countries.


The importance of household spending on education is underappreciated

Out-of-pocket spending by families on education varies with household wealth, ambition and peer pressure to ensure that their children have access to education of the highest possible quality. But it is often a response to low government spending, which forces parents to pay for items that otherwise would be available free of cost.

On average, households spend 1.9% of GDP on education, while governments spend 4.5% of GDP. This means households account for about 30% of total education spending. But shares range from 15% in high-income countries to 39% in low- and lower-middle-income countries.

In this graph, which is interactive on the website, each of the bars represents a country in the world. The higher the share of households in total education spending (i.e. the red section), the larger the risk of inequality in learning. In some countries, including Bangladesh, Haiti and Nigeria, the share of households in total education expenditure rises to over 70%.

Gaining a better picture of household spending gives a much more holistic overview of education financing. For example, in 2019, Nigeria had one of the lowest levels of government expenditure as a percentage of GDP. Yet, once household contributions are taken into account, Nigeria’s total national expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP was similar to that of France.

The government of Pakistan, meanwhile, spent about 2.5 percentage points of GDP less on education than did Germany, but Pakistan spent overall more than Germany because its households spent more than 3 percentage points of GDP on education.

The Global Education Monitoring Report team has long argued that understanding global education spending requires a joint examination of the three main sources of education funding: domestic public funding, external public funding and private funding. There is therefore a need for timely and consistent data from low- and middle-income countries on how much is being spent on education and from what sources.

In addition to increasing the funds available for education, we also need to distribute them more equitably. In order to achieve the global education goal, SDG 4, it is important that governments and donors take responsibility and fulfil their commitments to ensuring equitable education.


Visit the website and explore the data.



Source link


Not too long ago, a reader sent me a message letting me know that someone had created a fake Instagram account of me and was DMing people telling them to invest in some crypto scheme. I’m not a big-time influencer by any means, so it’s a bit flattering that some scammer thought I was a big enough personality to work my persona into their scam. 

Interestingly enough though, I write about different ways to make extra money, and some of the things I do – like opening new credit cards and bank accounts to earn signup bonuses – do seem sort of sketchy. It’s not completely unbelievable that maybe I could be into crypto. 

So, in the interest of completeness, let me make things clear. I will never recommend crypto! I have personal objections to it, including the following:

  • I think it’s a terrible use of energy and resources (Bitcoin, for example, uses more energy than entire countries).
  • It has no value beyond speculative value – i.e. the only reason you are buying crypto is with the hope that someone else will pay more for it later.
  • I don’t like how it seems rife with scams and how inherently, much of crypto seems designed to prey on the uninformed and desperate (for example, see the case of the “Cryptoqueen,” who scammed investors out of $4 billion and then disappeared).

Needless to say, if you ever see me promoting crypto or some crypto exchange, you should assume I’ve been hacked or someone has created a fake account of me.

But even beyond my personal objections to crypto, the fact is, for almost everyone, the inherent risk that comes with crypto simply isn’t needed. Indeed, for almost everyone, doing anything outside of normal investing and saving isn’t necessary. 

Crypto gets its allure from how much you can seemingly make from it – it’s like winning the lottery if you get in at the right time. And while we all want to hit home runs, the truth is, we don’t need home runs to win at most things in life.

You Don’t Need Crypto To Win At Investing

Even if I’m wrong about crypto and it’s actually the best thing around, the simple fact is, investing in crypto is completely unnecessary to a successful inventing career.

I think that’s something that a lot of people get wrong about investing. We’ve all seen those articles about how much money you could have if you’d invested in Apple or Amazon stock long ago. Or when you see stories about how much your Bitcoin would be worth now if you’d had the foresight to invest thousands into it back when it was worth nothing in 2010. It makes you think that’s what investing is about – finding those big winners that can set you up for life.

Articles like these are a disservice to most people, giving people an incorrect view of what investing is really about. It’s not about finding that needle in the haystack and making it big with that one breakout stock (or breakout cryptocurrency, in this case).

Some people might hit it big. And more power to them. But the number of people who hit it big by picking their one amazing stock or getting in at that right time with some crypto or NFT is infinitesimally small – probably as realistic as saying you’ll be an NBA player or a Hollywood movie star. Some people might pull it off. The vast majority won’t. 

The great thing is you don’t need any big wins to win at investing. Look at the math. The only thing you really have to do is save a decent amount of money over time, stay consistent, and do it for a long time. The earlier you start saving and investing, the less money it takes also. This is all you actually need to win in your investing life. Finding some random thing that hits it big is nice – but it’s not required.

Winning At Investing Is A Long Game

Investing isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. It’s a long game – and the formula to win is pretty simple. Here’s how you win with money (at least when it comes to investing and saving money). 

1. Buy Index Funds And Do It For A Long Time. Buying index funds isn’t as glamorous as someone saying they’re a millionaire because they invested in Bitcoin back in 2010 (how many people even fit in this category?).

But buying index funds (things like the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund or Vanguard S&P 500 Index Fund) is about as safe a bet as you can get when it comes to investing your hard-earned money. And importantly, it’s all you really need to do. 

Ignore the stuff you see from influencers on YouTube or Tik Tok. Those are distractions that are designed to take your money. You don’t need any of that.

2. Keep Costs Low. Beyond investing correctly, the next most important thing is to keep your costs low. Fortunately, these days, it’s so easy to invest in low-cost index funds that it baffles me why anyone would invest in anything else more expensive.

If you need convincing on this point, you should read John Bogle’s The Little Book of Common Sense Investing. It makes the case for index funds and low-cost investing in a far more convincing manner than I ever could. The book is so short and easy to read you can read the whole thing in a day. If you read that book and still think you’re smarter than Bogle, then I don’t really know what to say.

3. Create Or Build Your Own Assets. Finally, if you do want to take risks and have some more fun with your investments, don’t give your money away to make someone else rich. Instead, put your money into creating your own businesses or assets. Things like a business or real estate can have huge, outsized returns with the added advantage that they are things with value that you control. 

I think this is the much better way to go for home runs if going for home runs is something you simply have to do. Instead of investing and hoping things go your way, you can use your money to create something that is in your hands.

Sure, there’s no guarantee that your business will work out, but if boring investing isn’t enough for you, then this is what I recommend. If things don’t work out, at least you tried and had some control over whether you succeeded or failed.

Final Thoughts 

We’ve all fallen for the myth of overnight success. That all it takes is one lucky break to make it big. 

Interestingly enough, it’s the way I thought about this blog for a long time. I thought the secret to blogging was getting discovered by some big publication. If just somehow, some big newspaper would notice me, this blog would make it big. 

It turns out that’s not how you make it with most things in life. It’s not about that one big win. It’s about consistently putting in the work and having the patience to keep going over the long term. It’d be great if we could win the lottery or find that diamond in the rough. But that’s not really how the world works. 


Source link


Globally, more and more children aged 5 are in organized learning. Countries have managed an improvement in attendance rates of 0.6 percentage points on average per year, increasing from 65% in 2002 to 75% in 2020. Over seven out of ten countries have set SDG 4 benchmarks for the progress they think they can make by 2025 and 2030: the values set for all benchmark indicators may be viewed in the Global Education Observatory (GEO). If they achieve their national targets, participation rates in early childhood education will reach 95% by 2030 globally.

This is considerably faster than one might expect based on past trends. If they managed to improve at the rate of the historically fastest-improving quarter of countries, they would reach only 83%.  Can countries reach their ambitious early childhood education targets? Our new report, launched to mark the International Day of Education, looked at that question.

Under the national SDG 4 benchmarking process, each country defines its own targets, taking its specific context, starting point and pace of progress into account. This is an important departure from assuming each country can achieve the same target, which was unrealistic and unfair for many countries. Our new report today evaluates the progress countries are making towards their own benchmarks.

Globally, we found that, among countries that have set benchmarks, barely one in three is on track to achieve them. High-income countries are more likely to have achieved fast progress towards their 2025 benchmark and/or to have achieved a rate of at least 95%. But there are also 14 low- and lower-middle-income countries that are on track to achieve their benchmarks: Burkina Faso, Burundi, Bhutan, Cambodia, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, India, Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Moldova, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Vanuatu and Viet Nam.

These findings give room for thought for countries as they set their agendas on this issue. Clearly, countries need to set the right balance between a target that is too ambitious and so unattainable, and one that is feasible, and provides motivation for governments to achieve it. Ambitious targets may be politically advantageous because they act as a demonstration of will, but they carry a larger reputational risk in the long run, and also weaken the extent to which the benchmarks can be used as a reliable accountability mechanism.

Countries’ progress rates towards their 2025 benchmarks on participation rates in organized learning one year before primary

How do three policies relate to higher levels and faster progress in early childhood participation?

Countries need to legislate for free and compulsory education. In 2020, 91 out of 188 countries guaranteed zero years of free and compulsory pre-primary education in their legislation. While only few have compulsory education laws at present, the number is increasing over time, and particularly since 2010.  There is huge variance between regions and income groups, of course. Almost 10% of upper middle countries, and 5% of high income countries’ laws call for 3 years of compulsory education. In low-income countries meanwhile, less than 5% call for 1 year to be compulsory.

Many countries, notably in Africa and Asia, lack compulsory laws but have benchmarks. Yet, where compulsory laws are in place, countries have higher levels of participation and set higher benchmarks. Amongst lower-middle income countries, for instance, where compulsory pre-primary education laws are in place, benchmarks average around 97%, in comparison to 84% for countries with no such laws.

Countries are increasingly calling for early childhood education to be compulsory

Given the large share in pre-primary education, governments must regulate private providers to ensure quality and equity. Yet, as the GEM Report PEER country profiles on non-state actors show, 97% of countries regulate approval, licensing and establishment of private pre-primary education providers, while only 26% support vulnerable populations’ tuition fee payments and just 15% prohibit non-state providers from operating for profit. In countries where tuition fees for specific population groups are subsidized, however, the percentage of children who participate in organized learning one year before entry to primary school is higher by 13 percentage points, whereas countries with fee-setting regulations have a 7 percentage-point higher participation.

Finally, increasing spending on public pre-primary education increases enrollment in public institutions. Among the 80 countries with data in 2018–20, 0.43% of GDP was spent on pre-primary education. Four countries spent above 1% of GDP: Belarus, Ecuador, the Republic of Moldova and Sweden. Doubling spending from 0.25 to 0.50 of GDP, however, triples participation rates from 20% to 60% on average, and is a clear win for improving progress on this issue.

The national SDG 4 benchmarking process was conceived as a tool to strengthen accountability. But it should not only be seen as that. Rather, they are meant to stimulate discussion about policies that can help countries fulfil their national education aspirations through peer dialogue. This report is the first in an annual series that will provide the latest information on national SDG 4 benchmark values and on progress towards them, using the latest data.


Source link


The process of waxing a car can be significantly accelerated with electric buffers. Additionally, they enable more paint shine and uniform wax application, giving your vehicle the stunning appearance you’ve always desired.

Waxing cars doesn’t always require the use of an electric buffer because you can still buff by hand, but the task is made simpler and takes less time with its assistance. At first, the idea of using an electric buffer for waxing could seem a little scary, but as you become more comfortable with the tool and the procedure, you’ll see that it’s actually a simple and rewarding task.

An Instructional Step-by-Step Guide for Waxing a Car Using a Buffer

You should be able to wax a car twice as quickly with a machine buffer. It can save you more time than manually waxing, making it the more useful option.

A wax applicator pad, a wax removal cloth, a machine buffer, liquid wax, and microfiber towels are some of the supplies you’ll need. Compile these items before you begin the operation. Once you’ve taken care of everything listed above, follow the instructions below to give your car the best shine possible.

Step #1: Locate a Shaded Area to Work in

The sun is not your friend when you are waxing. The sun can make the wax dry out too soon before you’ve even finished applying it, which can lead to a variety of issues. You should work in the shade, ideally in a garage, where you won’t have to be concerned about any of the potential drawbacks associated with waxing outside.

Step #2: Clean the Surface of the Car

Make careful to thoroughly wash your vehicle before you start waxing it. Then, use a clay bar to remove any dirt and debris that has become lodged.

How to Use the Clay Bar?

Clay Bar

Image Credits:

Work on small sections of the car at a time, using a clay lubricant to help the clay bar glide over the surface. Gently rub the clay bar over the surface, using a back-and-forth motion, until the clay bar glides smoothly over the surface. Once the clay bar starts to feel gritty, fold it and knead it to reveal a clean surface, then continue working on the next section of the car. Once the entire car has been clay barred, wipe the surface with a microfiber towel to remove any remaining clay lubricant and inspect the surface for any remaining debris. Repeat the process if necessary.

This will make the paint feel and look as smooth as glass, which is how it should feel and look prior to applying wax. Before moving on to the following stage, make sure the car is entirely dry and that there are no soapy traces left behind.

Step #3: Use Liquid Wax

Connect the wax applicator to the machine buffer’s buffer pad. Next, using vertical or horizontal linear motions, apply wax to your car without turning on the buffer. Finally, activate the buffer and use it to carefully apply wax to the whole surface of your car. Never overpress the buffer; this will prevent you from unintentionally damaging the paint.

With no weight behind it, the buffer should move smoothly across the surface of your car. The metal should flow in the same direction to enable a flawless application. When you’re finished, let the wax dry completely to give your car a hazy appearance.

Step #4: Polish the Surface of the Car

Replace the wax applicator pad with a wax removal towel after removing it from the buffer. To remove the wax, turn on the machine and use long, linear strokes with little pressure. When buffing, avoid using circular motions as this may cause swirl marks to appear on the surface of your car.

Being able to direct the instrument while letting it do the task on its own is essential for success. You shouldn’t have too much trouble buffing your car if you keep this in mind.

Various Machine Buffers are Available

The dual-action orbital polisher and the variable-speed rotary polisher are the two primary types of buffers available on the market. We will discuss their advantages and disadvantages as well as the various levels of competence needed to use them.

1. Rotary Polisher with Variable Speed

The variable-speed rotary polisher may not be the best choice if you have never used a machine buffer before. Although this equipment is excellent at eliminating swirl marks, significant scratches, and other sorts of severe damage, it also makes it simple for beginners to harm the car’s surface by using excessive pressure.

2. Polisher with Dual-Action Orbits

Here is one that is ideal for newcomers. The dual-action orbital polisher is simpler to use and control than its counterpart because it spins properly in both directions. Because you don’t feel the need to apply excessive pressure, it’s ideal for waxing.

If you aren’t working with a surface on your car that has been severely damaged, auto detailing enthusiasts advise employing this gadget. The dual-action orbital polisher can work for you if your car is well-maintained and has few scratches.

The Final Verdict

Using a machine buffer to wax a car not only makes the task much simpler but also guarantees even wax distribution and amazing results. If you haven’t tried it yet, we advise you to do so on the following waxing appointment. Until then, start becoming familiar with the procedure, educate yourself on the many electric buffer types available, and review our simple, step-by-step instructions for using a buffer to wax your car.




Source link


The first thing that comes to mind when you hear the name Textar is probably the quality of the brake pads that they produce and whether or not they are any good.

We will make an effort to respond to this inquiry and provide an answer while also providing you with additional details about Textar as a brand.

What You Really Need to Know About Textar Brake Pads is Presented Here

Quality Textar brake pads are brake pads of the highest quality, and they give a consistent level of performance at rates that are affordable. If cared for and maintained properly, they have the potential to last for more than 65,000 miles. The fact that Textar brake pads are notorious for producing a large amount of brake dust is the single significant disadvantage they have.

Textar has performed exceptionally well in the AMS brake test, which is an accomplishment of which the company should be very pleased. They achieved results that were superior to those achieved by any of their rivals in both hot and cold braking, which is evidence of the superior quality that Textar provides.

In addition, high-end luxury vehicles like Tesla, BMW, Mercedes, and others are equipped with Textar brake pads as standard equipment.

Textar brakes are engineered to provide a level of stopping power that is commensurate with the level of speed that is associated with high-end vehicles. On the one hand, there is sophistication and high speed, while on the other side, there is a one-of-a-kind braking mechanism.

Even though it first rose to prominence in the 1950s, the brand continues to live up to the reputation it earned back then. Even at speeds of up to 256 kilometers per hour, they are designed to stop the vehicle in a way that is rapid, powerful, and risk-free.

You are free to come to a stop whenever you like, regardless of the pace.

Textar brakes are designed to keep you safe and secure without restricting the full capabilities of your vehicle. After all, who doesn’t want to let their inner risk-taker shine through every once in a while?

Who Makes Brake Pads Made of Textar Material?

One of the most reputable industry leaders in brake friction technology, the TMD friction group is responsible for the production of Textar Brake Pads.

Textar is the ideal illustration of how cutting-edge technology may be combined with a sense of time-honored value.

Textar does not prioritize delivering low-cost options despite the fact that it is offered at competitive costs.

Their designs are without compromise, and they construct just what they believe to be the very best available on the market.

Where is the Textar brand of brake pads manufactured?

Textar brake pads were first developed in Germany. These days, products bearing the Textar brand are manufactured in factories located all over Europe.

Information Regarding the Manufacturer Of Textar Brake Pads

Nisshinbo group company TMD friction has 135 years of knowledge in the field of brake technology, making it an invaluable asset. It is the brand that the most prestigious names in the automotive industry turn to when they need something special.

When it comes to brake technology, the innovative approach that TMD friction takes is what sets it apart from its competitors. They take a different approach than other companies and concentrate not on the actual stopping power of the brakes but rather on the friction that is involved in their operation.

It’s possible that the most important function of brakes is to bring the car to a halt, but what about all the other possibilities? Do we not frequently apply the brakes in order to decrease our speed or to keep our current pace rather than coming to a complete stop?

TMD Friction is aware that it is not only about being able to bring your vehicle to a stop, but also about making use of friction in general. The friction of the brakes is essential to our ability to manage and maintain a smooth and effective drive.

TMD friction was ahead of its time because to exactly this kind of exceptional mindset, which was developed by the company. The organization has formed strategic alliances with some of the most successful brands in the automotive sector.

In addition, TMD friction makes all of its goods with materials that are made specifically for them.

TMD friction has accumulated knowledge over the course of 100 years, and they continue to produce the most recent market breakthroughs. That is the level of performance that we should anticipate from world leaders of their stature.

How long will brake pads made of textar last?

Ceramic disks are used in place of metal ones in Textar brake pads, which results in greater durability compared to competing brands.

We are aware that the typical lifespan of brakes is somewhere around 40,000 miles.

On the other hand, if you use brake pads made by Textar, you won’t have to worry about any problems for approximately 65,000 miles.

How much does the average set of brake pads for a Textar cost?

The price of brake pads made by Textar is lower than the price of many other brands now available on the market. Pads made by Textar can be purchased for anywhere from $50 to $270, depending on the size. It is reasonable to assume that they will not set you back more than $300.

Despite delivering some of the most cutting-edge technology, Textar brakes are available at costs that are more than reasonable. You can acquire one of the brakes that is of the highest quality for the cheapest possible price.

Advantages such as these are what place Textar among the most desirable options available in the aftermarket.

At these costs, finding ceramic brakes of a good grade that are both noiseless and have a long lifespan is difficult. Textar comes knocking; when they do, they always make an offer that’s too good to pass up.

Where exactly can you purchase them?

There are 1451 Textar outlets spread out over the continents of Europe, Asia, and the United States. You can use your current location to locate the retail store that is most convenient for you.

You may also purchase them online from well-known websites such as Amazon and Go mechanic as an additional option. There may be more possibilities accessible in your country if you buy anything that is made locally.

Top 3 Textar Brake Pads

Because Textar manufactures such a vast selection of brake pads, it is impossible to determine which one is superior than the others. With the following three recommendations, we have made an effort to cut the list down to size.

Textar Brake Pads for Passenger Cars

There are 1,600 different disc brake pad models available for passenger cars to choose from.

Brake pads are customized in a way that is exclusive to each brand and model.

Each model of Textar brake pad delivers performance on par with the original engine at a cost that is one-fourth that of its competitors.

To put it another way, every single model of Textar brake pad that you can buy is the greatest one available. In this case, we are able to state that the Textar brand name is the company’s most successful offering.

Textar E-Pad

The Textar E-pad is a cutting-edge gadget that provides a braking sensation that is unadulterated and uncomplicated.

The E-pad makes use of cutting-edge friction technology, which combines a variety of materials in ingenious ways.

Because of this, any vehicle that is equipped with Textar E-pads will have frictionless and noiseless braking capabilities.

In addition to this, Textar E-pads make a significant improvement to the overall visual appearance of your vehicle. You will be astounded by how long the materials retain their pristine appearance and luster.

One of the most forward-thinking products to recently make its debut on the market is the Textar E-pad. In general, this is the ideal brake pad to choose if you want the braking sensation to be smooth and untense at the same time.

Brake Pads Made of Textar Material for Commercial Vehicles

More than 135 different varieties of disc brake pads manufactured by Textar are designed to be compatible with virtually all commercial vehicles sold in Europe.

We are able to rely on Texar because the brakes on 70 percent of European cars are manufactured by Texar.

Safety and ease of travel are both ensured by the latest generation of strong and lightweight Textar brake discs. In addition to this, each product is hand-crafted utilizing materials that have been specifically designed for it.

Textar has an advantage over other companies for a variety of reasons, and this is only one of them.

Each and every model of brake pad sold in commercial markets is of comparable quality to the others. When it comes to Textar, this is precisely why we argue that the brand itself is the product.

Textar Brake Pads Alternatives

We advise going with Bosch pads if you’re seeking for an alternative to Textar’s offerings.

Brake pads manufactured by Bosch strike an excellent balance between comfort and stability. When it comes to alternatives to Textar, this one is always at the top of our list.

Despite the fact that it is priced similarly to Textar products, Bosch does not equal the level of quality offered by Textar.

Brake pads manufactured by Brembo are an additional fantastic option. You can learn a lot more about the differences between Textar and Brembo by reading our in-depth comparison of the two.

There are also other options available, such as Hawk, Eicher, Carquest, Bendix, and so on. Check out our previous posts for more information on these brands!


Are brake pads made of Textar any good? This is a question that is asked by anyone who is familiar with Textar but is hearing it for the first time.

When it comes to brake technology, Textar brakes provide breakthroughs that are one of a kind and at the cutting edge of what’s possible. They have over 1,600 different varieties, making them one of the most prolific manufacturers of brake pads on the market.

Each product is crafted with materials that are developed specifically for that product.

Brakes made of Textar are the wave of the future. When it comes to Textar, you are aware that it is a brand that you can have complete faith in. In addition, they are available at costs that are shockingly affordable.


Image Credits:



Source link


Part of a series of blogs on recent research on foundational literacy and numeracy in Africa.

A recent report has placed the spotlight on foundational literacy and numeracy in Senegal. The work was undertaken by the GEM Report and the Association for the Development
of Education in Africa (ADEA) in partnership with the Ministry of National Education and the Consortium pour la recherche économique et sociale (CRES). The Spotlight on Basic Education Completion and Foundational Learning in Senegal is one of five country reports on foundational literacy and numeracy, which feed into a continental Spotlight report on Africa, Born to learn, the first of a three-part series, in partnership with the African Union. The research used a common set of research questions, analytical framework and approach.

The report highlights a challenge with access to primary education in recent years with the gross enrolment rate in primary education stagnating since 2015 just above 80%. As displayed on the VIEW website, which presents the results of an estimation model that compiles data from multiple surveys, 51% of children are now completing primary school ‘on time’ (i.e. by age 15), a figure considerably higher than 18%, where it stood two decades ago. Eventually just over 6 in 10 children complete primary. But these data as well suggest that progress has slowed down in recent years.

Timely and ultimate primary completion rate in Senegal

Source: VIEW website

Senegal has actively participated in comparative learning assessments although the interpretation of the data is not always straightforward. In 2021, in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis, the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, with the financial support of the Global Partnership for Education and the technical support of the Australian Council for Educational Research, organized the Monitoring Impacts on Learning Outcomes (MILO) assessment in six sub-Saharan African countries. In the four francophone countries, one of which was Senegal, there was close collaboration with the PASEC regional assessment, managed by CONFEMEN. Among students at the end of primary school, 34% reached the minimum proficiency level in mathematics and 13% in French. Both results were consistent with the analysis of 2019 PASEC data.

Percentage of students at the end of primary education who meet the minimum proficiency level in reading and mathematics, Senegal and other sub-Saharan African countries, 2021

Source: UNESCO Institute for Statistics (2022).

As part of the research for the report, small-scale fieldwork was carried out visiting 22 schools , of which one third was in rural areas. Lesson observations took place with classes in grades 1-3, while a qualitative survey was conducted with 315 basic education stakeholders. Interviews were undertaken with school authorities (academy inspectors, regional education training staff, education and training inspectors and school head teachers) as well as with mayors. Focus groups discussions were organized with teachers and communities.

The fieldwork noted considerable differences in the responses of various education and training inspectorates (IEFs). It found that relatively successful schools had significantly smaller class sizes, were better equipped with teaching materials, did not run a second shift or hold classes in temporary shelters, and had teachers who demonstrated stronger teaching skills in class. These results underline an urgent need to upgrade teacher skills to improve the level of student learning.

The report identifies two positive case studies that Senegal should share with its peers.

First, it has organized effective bridge classes or second-chance schools. These integrate children who have never been to school, or who left prematurely, and gives them a second chance to realize their right to education. The Ministry of National Education has drawn up Schooling Acceleration Plans in regions. The implementation of bridge classes brings together academy and education and training inspectorates, local authorities and civil society organizations active at the local level.

Second, Senegal has organized remedial lessons, corrective actions integrated into the pedagogical process to help students overcome difficulties and to prevent the accumulation of such obstacles from jeopardizing future learning. Remedial education occurs, in principle, at the end of each learning task and aims to inform pupils and teachers of the degree of mastery achieved. The results of the World Bank 2021 Service Delivery Indicator survey showed that 82% of schools provided remedial lessons. This proportion is lower in urban areas (77%) than in rural areas (86%), which reflects the higher prevalence in public (85%) than in private schools (68%).

Launched along with a campaign supported by the Ministry of National Education, #BorntoLearn, the Spotlight report on Senegal offers a diagnosis of the current state of foundational learning in the country and identifies policy solutions that are critical for improving education outcomes for all students – and which are worth discussing with other countries that face similar challenges.

Five recommendations were drawn from the diagnosis and discussions with basic education stakeholders:

  • Increase teacher skills, as poor mastery of the basic education curriculum has a negative impact on students learning.
  • Take all necessary actions to allow widespread use of national languages in the early years of primary education.
  • Develop a national policy for assessment of learning in basic education and establish a national system to conduct regular standardized assessments.
  • Shift the allocation of public education spending in favour of basic education.
  • Invest in school infrastructure to reduce the number of pupils per class and eliminate temporary shelters, which are a source of demotivation for pupils and teachers.


Source link