Learning from the Failure to Improve Literacy Worldwide
Today we explore the global education architecture and its failures to ensure quality education. My guest is Girindre Beeharry. In a new article in the International Journal of Educational Development, he calls on the international community to focus on foundational literacy and numeracy and says it is high time for the global education community to hold itself accountable.
Girindre Beeharry is a senior advisor on Global Education at the Gates Foundation. He advises on the foundation’s efforts to support partners that focus on improving foundational literacy and numeracy in sub-Saharan Africa and India , having initiated and led the program for four years.
Citation: Beeharry, Girindre, interview with Will Brehm, FreshEd, 233, podcast audio, March 22, 2021. https://freshedpodcast.com/beeharry/
Will Brehm 1:43
Girindre Beeharry, welcome to FreshEd.
Girindre Beeharry 1:44
Hi, Will. And thanks for having me.
Will Brehm 1:46
So, you have worked in development for some time. And there has been quite a lot of focus in development and education for years, decades, most likely, that has focused on improving the quality of basic education for all children. So, in your assessment, Girindre, where are we in terms of improving quality, basic education today?
Girindre Beeharry 2:10
Well, if you think of the first step as being getting kids in school on that front, certainly we have made great progress. If you look at the number of kids out of school today, compared to just 20 years ago. We have about 60 million kids out of school right now, compared to 100 million, about 20 years ago, and that in the context of many more kids going to school. So, that’s phenomenal, and we have more kids in schools than ever in the history of humanity. And the issue here is that the kids who are going to school, for a large part, are not learning anything. So, if you look at the cohort of kids who are in school, about 750 million of them, 390 million are suppose not to achieve any kind of level of competency by the end of primary schooling. Of which about two thirds, would have completed primary schooling. So, we’re having this very strange situation where most kids who are not learning today are in school, not out of school, by a factor of four or five. So, it’s kind of like very puzzling to have solved the problem in one way but not solved the quality problem sufficiently to actually have the promise of schooling turn into education.
Will Brehm 3:07
So, that’s a really strange phenomenon where we have reached access to such a large extent. But what you’re saying is that sort of, what children are learning in school is … very few children are actually learning in school. How reliable are some of these metrics that we’re using to even begin to understand the quality of education? How can we be certain that students aren’t learning something? Because that has to be somehow measurable and comparable across so many countries?
Girindre Beeharry 3:37
Yep. Correct. So, I mean, as part of the so-called SDG work, a collective of people decided upon a few metrics that they will measure and track over time. In the case of early grade literacy, which I’m talking about mostly, there are two key metrics, what they call SDG, 4.1.1a and b, which measure the levels of learning of what they call actually, minimum proficiency levels, at the end of grades two and three or at the end of primary schooling. So, countries are meant to report back against this metric. The issue is that countries often don’t measure those things or measure them inconsistently over time. So, what is reported back to the UIS, which is the custodian agency, for SDG 4 data is a patchwork of information that’s really hard to piece together. And even UIS has developed a bunch of algorithms to decide which of those indicators is reliable, is consistent across time, can be actually used for reporting purposes. The result today is that if you look at the UIS website, and you look at those indicators, especially for Africa, but not only for Africa, it’s just empty. You have data points that are maybe 10 years old. Data points that have come up from time to time, sporadically for a few countries. But by and large, it’s like Swiss cheese with more holes than cheese. And so, it is very difficult to have a sense today of where we are. This saying, I think the battery of tests that has been done. Whether it’s what they call EGRA and EGMA, which USAID has been leading, PASEC tests, which are done pretty rigorously now, as well as what they call the community-led assessments but from the parliament work pretty consistently show you very, very poor levels of learning across those countries, in early grades. Again, I’m looking at the data of SDG on the UIS website. If I believe them, in Ghana today, 5% of kids meet minimum proficiency levels by the end of grades two, three. The birth calendar kind of I think… I’m not sure to fully believe that because I have not interrogated the source of this information, but it’s pretty consistent with what you get from other sources as well.
Will Brehm 5:37
So, I guess, in general, we sort of have an idea. We probably need more data to get a better sense of what’s going on. But we can get a sense that many children are not literate when they’re in schooling. So, and you end up calling for this idea of functional literacy and numeracy. Could you just define what that means?
Girindre Beeharry 6:00
Yeah. Foundational literacy and numeracy.
Will Brehm 6:02
Girindre Beeharry 6:04
Again, I’m using this as a way to say the same thing, SDG 4.1.1a and b, which are basically minimum proficiency levels for adequate reading and mathematics. You can also encompass in that the end of primary schooling as another metric. So, it truly is a compendium of both those metrics that I call broadly foundational literacy and numeracy.
Will Brehm 6:25
It’s quite amazing to think that on those metrics, so many school systems are failing children based on those metrics. And yet, in the 1960s, that was the year of development, or the decade of development I should say, and one of the big focuses was on universal literacy. So, how did we get here? How do we from the 1960s until today, are we -you know, we keep talking about literacy but we’re not able to actually achieve it on a global scale?
Girindre Beeharry 7:00
That’s a good question. In my paper, I do a quick review of, not to the 60s, but the last few decades, or so of declarations about literacy and promises that we need to tackle this fundamental problem, and yet continue to face it. I think one reason it’s really hard, especially in a population growth environment, we are playing catch up. You have many more kids now going into school, and therefore you have had to hire many more teachers, train those teachers, create systems around this. So, you’ve been looking at in a very much understandable part of it, which is actually it is like you’re chasing a school system. The other bit is that it’s really damn hard to do that well. If you look at what you inherit, and again, this is referring now to the World Bank, what they call service delivery indicators, SDI, which measure the capabilities of teachers, their learning outcomes in eight countries in Africa. It’s a bit old, now -about six, seven years old now. But if you look at the data, what it shows you is like in a country, like Mozambique, the proportion of teachers that are sampled in the country that can pass, which means get 80% marks, on a fourth-grade test is .3%, it’s 2.4% in Nigeria. So, if your core element, your teachers need to teach kids, and they themselves can’t have the level of competency required. It’s very, very hard to make progress. Now, the next step of this is people will say, “Okay, fine, therefore, let’s train the teachers”, which is the obvious response to that problem. And yet, you see that investments that have been made in teacher training doesn’t really easily convert to students’ learning. Again, if you look at UIS data, if you look at Lesotho. I mean, I’m looking at the data that I have. There is an indicator of 4.c, I think it is under SDG, that looks at the proportion of teachers that are trained in a particular country. In the case of Lesotho, it’s 100%. And look at the data on learning outcomes 4.1.1a is 13%. So, the conversion of training into learning is not very easy to do. And there’s very good reasons for that.
Just picture for example, you are teacher, you’ve been trained in some center some ways and back to your classroom, you had the problem of your textbook dominating how the curriculum is transacted, which means that even if you’ve been trained in something new, you may not be able to do that. Because the expectation from the school, from the system, is to finish my curriculum for this year. If you add to that, things like half my kids are on another grade level, and I’m supposed to be teaching this one textbook to everybody, I’ve lost half my class by the time I start the day. If you add to that teacher motivation, teacher absenteeism, again the data from the Bank’s SDI data tells you that in those countries that are surveyed, teachers are absent from school once a week and from class two days a week. If you add to that, student attendance which can be also very low. You add to that some of the basic inputs are not even there. So, you end up with a very sub-optimal statement of insufficient everything to be able to produce learning and then you’re surprised that it produces low learning. So, in some countries that makes the [inaudible] worse, because the same students are allowed to go from year to year without any kind of like remediation, and the more you wait, the harder it becomes. If I’m a fourth-grade teacher teaching improper fractions and my kids don’t understand numbers, it’s a problem and it’s very hard for me, then to go back and be able to focus my attention to the few kids, actually not the few kids, but to half of the kids who are falling behind. Which is why after all these years of schooling, you can go to school for six years, finish primary schooling. And you have 262 million people today out of 390 million kids who can’t meet the minimum proficiency levels after six years of schooling. So, I think it’s a complex problem, it doesn’t lend itself to easy solutions, which is why I think a lot of rigor needs to be brought to this question. It’s not something you can just solve easily with fast-track solutions, like let’s pay teachers more, lets train teachers more, let’s name, and name and name it, you will have all kinds of solutions being brought, but they’re not sufficient to address the problem.
Will Brehm 10:48
Are there examples of countries that have successfully increased the literacy of their populations to the extent that you’re sort of talking about?
Girindre Beeharry 10:59
Yeah, what you have is some countries which perform very highly, but I have not seen a lot of countries kind of jump from one level to the other. Certainly not in low-income countries and even perhaps a bit more in lower- and middle-income countries. I mean, the famous example is Vietnam that your colleagues at UCL … So, Vietnam is spectacular when it comes to PISA testing and so on. ‘At what point did Vietnam grow, and was it always like this? Did it actually grow over time?’ is not something I don’t know much about. What we tend to find in the data is that countries that have already done well in the past, it’s almost like a circular trend that remains quite static. But movements from A to B in a short period of time are very difficult to see. So, in the same way, people used to go to Finland to look at models of schooling, there are now two centers of pilgrimage if you want to look at the improvements in schooling. One is this tiny municipality of Sobral in Brazil, which everybody looks at. Because it’s very small, it’s not a big, but still quite interesting an experience, where they topped the IDEP, the national index in Brazil. It gives you a sense of learning, and they’re a very poor municipality. I refer to that in my paper, there’s actually quite a few blogs about this. So, an example that’s kind of endogenous, government led, etc. The other one is said to be much more driven by NGOs, heavily supporting governments. And there’s a few of those. Probably the more famous ones are the work that Pratham does in India around being able to teach kids how to read. And they do that, by ditching, if you want the curriculum. They say, “Forget the curriculum. It’s not where kids are, so there’s no point in teaching them something that they don’t understand.” So, they came up with this whole teaching at the right level work, which has phenomenal success. The other one, which I’m also very curious about is called Tusome in Kenya, which is a district level of the school system as a whole. It started boutiques in 33,000 schools, and there with the support of RTI, the government of Kenya was able to increase learning levels measurably at pretty significant scale. So, it’s feasible. And one of our research projects actually, right now it’s called Learning at Scale, is trying to kind of corral and crowdsource all the projects that have achieved improvements in learning, improvements in reading at scale, and been measured credibly. So, we actually have a robust measurement behind it. It’s still a work in progress. It was about 10 projects have been identified that have demonstrably achieved kind of improvement in reading at scale. This said, the question still remains for me, not the Sobral example, the other ones. Whether even those improvements in reading that you can see amount to a sufficient level of improvement to get you to grade level competency. Often, they’re not. You see big effect sizes, .5 standard deviation and more sometimes, but that may reflect an improvement of reading fluency from 15 words per minute to 20 words per minute, which will be still kind of like one word every three seconds, which is very far from fluency, and even further from comprehension. So, we need to do a lot more work to understand what needs to be done to tackle a problem that’s very vexing and very difficult to do in low resource environments. It’s not an easy problem to solve.
Will Brehm 13:59
Sometimes I think about historical examples of you know – I know Libya increased its literacy rate very quickly, even under Mao’s People’s Republic of China did so, or in Cuba, you know there are these examples. And I just wonder why they aren’t looked at more closely today.
Girindre Beeharry 14:20
I think they should be looked at more closely. One of the interesting things that I think struck me when I looked at early data on reading outcomes and literacy outcomes by income groups, I think the World Bank’s Development Report, 2018 has a chart like this. What you see is that in each income group, the countries that do better than their peers, all were ex-Soviet Bloc countries or communist countries. The examples you’re giving of Cuba and China also kind of like have the same feel to them.
Will Brehm 14:47
As well as Vietnam, as you mentioned earlier.
Girindre Beeharry 14:49
Exactly. So, what I think is happening is those school systems, and this is like a broad conjecture on my part, nothing more, have an egalitarian ethos, which means to say that the school system as a whole believes and acts as if it believes that all children can and should learn. As opposed to systems, which are, in essence, selective systems, whose purpose is to say, my job, and which is completely consistent with a very ambitious curriculum and the view is like kids need to go to through this crying, the few who survive are the ones who work hard and done well. And we’re going to celebrate those kids. And those who have not done well, it’s not my problem. You know, these are like things that the family circumstance didn’t work well, blah, blah, blah, what can I do about this, it’s not my problem. But I think King and Luis Crouch did some work around this in OECD countries where you see that the countries that do better are the ones that quote unquote, raise the floor, the ones that bring the kids from the furthest behind. So, this idea is not even consistent with the idea of systems that truly believe that, you know, an unfortunate term, but “no child left behind” is embedded in the ethos. And that translates into how teachers see the system, how principals act upon the system, how parents expect the system to behave. You know, I’m sure you’ve been in school visits everywhere, all over the world. And what you see in school systems that don’t have this ethos is the opposite, which is, you go to a class, you ask the teacher, I want to have the kids read to me. A teacher would be very quick to tell you, oh these kids are dumb, these kids are smart. And in some way, having given up on those kids who have been labeled dumb quite fast. So, there’s no effort made to catch them up, to remedy their work, which I think is the difference between systems that do well and don’t do well, at population level. Again, just giving this wild conjecture to be tested.
Will Brehm 16:30
I mean, it seems to me like some of what you’re talking about is the systems that really have been built around this idea of meritocracy, where you put in the effort, and you will succeed. And so those people who don’t put in the effort, sort of it’s their own failure. And then you’re sort of describing systems that are more egalitarian. And actually, meritocracy doesn’t actually enter the conversation, at least in the beginning years, right? And you want everyone to be able to read. And then from there, you can sort of justify inequality in different ways.
Girindre Beeharry 17:01
Exactly, right. And that’s not an attitude I see in most systems that I’ve visited so far. I mean, it’s interesting, going back to this question of why is it hard to get reading right? If you did care about what you said that all children should learn, now you’re facing a class of 40 kids, you have one textbook, you have one teacher who’s more or less trained. Even if you were motivated to try to address this problem of kids falling behind and many teachers are who are heroic and I visit them, if you ask them, what do you do about those kids who are behind? And the answer often is, I do my best, I try to help them at lunchtime, but there is no system behind it. Which is why when you have a good NGO, like Pratham, come in and do that for you, it shows you that those children can learn but the school system itself, which is struggling with pupil-teacher ratio, etc., etc. doesn’t know how to address this problem systematically, right? So, it’s very hard to do. There’s a whole suite of work and options for doing that. But the question we’re not asking right now is that how do you do that kind of remediation, which is going to happen, no matter what you have as school system will be needed. What are my options in a low capability environment? Kind of going over to Finland for a second, the reason why Finland, among many things, does well, high capability teachers etc. But also, they have this what they call the pit crew mentality, which is if one kid is falling behind, like a Formula One circuit, you don’t wait for five rounds to catch them up. To identify the one which is falling a bit behind, and you help them catch up. That model may be feasible in high and rich environment. You have the teachers that you need, you have small classrooms, you have lots of resources to help. You can’t do that in other systems, who don’t have the capabilities. You know, Central African Republic has 96 kids per class per teacher. So, it’s very hard to do this kind of model there, and yet it is going to be needed because they too have kids who are falling behind. So, how do you solve this problem? So, I think a lot of work needs to be going into that kind of research to know what is feasible in low capability environments to kind of catch kids up and keep them up when they fall behind.
Will Brehm 18:56
So, I want to turn to the global education architecture, which you focus on specifically in your article. And I guess the question is about, to what extent is that architecture, the sort of international community, so to speak, to blame for this in a sense learning failure worldwide? So many children not reaching this foundational literacy and numeracy?
Girindre Beeharry 19:21
I mean the blame, I think is shared, right? Because on the one hand, you could say, donors, no matter what we say about it, are marginal. I mean, certainly LMICs and above donor contribution to those education budgets is very marginal -it’s about 2%. For low-income countries, donors are a big part of that financing. So, I would say they do pay a shared responsibility, what they’re doing there, are they’re doing their best possible work, are they pulling in the same direction? I would say at a minimum we should interrogate what the donor community is doing, and whether it’s doing its best, most focused, most rigorous work pulling in the same direction or is it not. And I would say today, it’s hardly made the case that they’re pulling in the same direction and are doing the most rigorous work, I think.
Will Brehm 20:05
So, what are some of the reasons behind this sort of collective failure, I think, is the word you used in the article, of the international communities. What can we point to as the reason that we haven’t been able to support countries or even school systems achieve literacy, even if it’s only partly to blame at that international donor level?
Girindre Beeharry 20:29
I think a few things. So, if you look back at the MDG era, there was one education goal, it was universal primary completion. Now we have 10 indicators, 43 targets, one or the two?
Will Brehm 20:41
Yeah, 163 indicators or something like this?
Girindre Beeharry 20:44
Correct. So, I think the success of the MDG -because I think it drove that end results- drove people to say, okay, we want a piece of that, too. We want also our own agenda to be reflected there. And because it’s supposed to be a global agenda, we tried to put in there what Australia needs, and Armenia needs, and what Korea needs, what Malawi needs in the same packet. So, what you have right now is basically a smorgasbord of everything you can possibly want. And instead of saying, okay fine, this country is at this maturity level, we need to focus on x, we pretend as if the problem today for Malawi is the same as it is for Korea, which is global citizenship. You know, what does it mean in this school system. So, I think in some ways that that kind of like ability to now focus on everything but have legitimacy of the SDG behind it makes it more difficult for people to agree what is more fundamental than other things. And governments as well, I think are very prone to say, what do I do in education, and you know, maybe more keen to address issues they feel are more important, like university education, lifelong learning, or face a cohort of kids who have gone to school, finished university and don’t have jobs. We’ll have a growing middle class that is clamoring for free secondary schooling and in that environment, it is very, very hard for governments to maintain the focus on the building blocks of education, which is you cannot leapfrog, which is basic education. If you’re building this kind of like structures over a very, very weak foundation. And what you need to do in that case is down the line begin to make up later on in the school system, for what it lacked early in the school system. So, countries are very focused on that. And I think donors because you have to meet the country needs, or the country dialogue, feel often the reluctance to kind of like press the point about foundational learning as a key element. But the result today is that what you have is an infinite number of indicators. And all of them are underpowered. The work behind them is underpowered to the point -and maybe people are going to accuse me of literalness. But when I think about the SDGs and being influenced by the work we do in our health sector- you don’t treat those indicators as aspirational. When we talk about eradicating polio, we don’t mean that as like, oh, it would be nice to do. We don’t say let’s put a little bit of money here and maybe God knows if we’re going to have some effect or not. We just go after it with everything you have in terms of ingenuity, innovation, advocate, everything you want, right. So, if you treating SDG 4 not as some dream, but as some objective that you’re trying to pursue, it’s very hard today how we can have, meet those objectives. All of them in all the countries with the money that we have. And that for me leads me to the question of like, focus, prioritization. In the paper, I try to explain why it’s very hard for the existing actors to actually play that role of prioritization in the context of SDGs, which are all encompassing.
Will Brehm 23:28
Yeah, I mean, there’s obviously a lot of competition among such a diverse range of actors that have their own agendas, their own histories, their own sort of commitments, potentially to the taxpayer, in whatever country that’s funding them, or maybe donors that are giving money. Yeah, I can see how it’s a real smorgasbord, I think is the word you used earlier. I mean, it would be so hard to sort of herd all of these different organizations in the same direction. And then when you have a global agenda that is so diverse and is sort of a grab bag of everything you can imagine put into one, it just becomes a sort of a recipe for nothing to get done, or very little to get done, or to have the political will to move sort of in a common direction. So, I guess, what you’re saying is you’re calling for a narrowing of the focus, at least for this moment. We should focus in on something that is sort of essential to future learning, essential for participating in society, and essential to get all of these diverse people’s minds and institutions’ minds on sort of a single goal. From my understanding, that is sort of what you’re calling for.
Girindre Beeharry 24:40
Yeah, I mean, that ideally would be the case, right? Like because I think we should agree that this is no progress in the countries without it. I mean, you don’t get to go to secondary school if you fail primary school. So many of the aspirations we have with the SDGs are built upon the premise of a good basic education. So, that would be, I think, needed. I understand as well, from what you just described it’s like, everybody has their own incentives, their own agenda, and those are very powerful. You know, we’ve seen it in health as well. Even when you try so hard to get people to coalesce around certain goals, it’s very hard to do so because your within-agency incentives trumps any between-agency kind of incentives. The way I kind of like more modestly try to tackle that is to say, fine, people can do whatever they want but those who agree upon this idea that foundational literacy and numeracy is capital -and there’s a few agencies and a few countries that believe that- at least let’s work with those in a compact with those. Which means that holding us as accountable, which means like tracking progress over time, and not deluding ourselves, not talking up learning outcomes that don’t exist. Because it’s going to be really hard work to get that done in those few countries. And a part of me also wants to kind of like get to your earlier question, which is there’s so few case studies of success at country level, that makes it very hard for donors to say, hey, I want to put more money behind this because it’s working, I think we need to show some success. It creates a more positive view about like what education investment is like for donors without which it’s always going to end up being a case of its important for you to do because education is important but don’t ask us too many questions about results, which I think is handicapping as well the energy of donors to say let’s put money in education, because it doesn’t convert results quite as easily. So, if you could show some success in next three, four or five years, that will be great.
Will Brehm 26:31
Thinking about trying to find successful countries, and the ones that we sort of mentioned earlier, begs the question, if some of the sort of big actors in the global architecture in education right now -the World Bank, OECD, UNESCO, etc., and some of the big NGOs- if there’s sort of an ideological difference at play, that’s sort of preventing being able to learn from a socialist country, inside say, the World Bank seems like a big gap to bridge.
Girindre Beeharry 27:03
I don’t know, I mean, they’re the ones who kind of like brought to my attention the fact that those countries were doing better, or the former. But I think it’s a different kind of scholarship, you need. A more historical view upon like, I’m more interested today in like Korea, in the 50s and 60s, than I’m into Korea today. Or Vietnam in the 70s and 80s, than Vietnam today, because that was the path that they grew. Whereas now you’re looking at a fully formed baby, a fully formed system that’s performing highly, but it’s very hard to know what they did to become high performing. I think those kinds of scholarship on the history of the educational systems is fairly lacking. I haven’t seen it myself, maybe I did miss out on the literature on this one.
Will Brehm 27:40
I agree. I think it’s very minimal. And I agree with you, I think it is absolutely needed. And there’s so much to learn. Particularly because this development agenda, there’s been so much work from the 1950s, really, and we need to sort of dig through that history and learn from it for today. I absolutely agree with you. So, in your paper, you do this really wonderful thing where you sort of look through these different players, and you sort of make recommendations on potentially what they could do. And I’ll recommend to the listener to go and actually read that, because I think there’s some really powerful statements that you make. And you know, you do it in the sort of spirit of learning, right? It’s we’re working together, we want to learn from our failures, in a sense. I mean, you’re sort of bringing up this idea of, there’s a lot to learn from when we fail and not to be ashamed of failure and use it. And which is a really nice pedagogical tool that we use with students all the time. So, it’s nice to think about that in terms of institutions. And so, I want to end the conversation today by asking about the institution where you’ve spent a long time, the Gates Foundation and what sort of learning could you do from Gates’ work over the last few decades, and in particular, some of the failures that it’s had in education? What could it learn to better achieve this sort of goal of trying to focus attention on foundational numeracy and literacy?
Girindre Beeharry 29:09
It’s a fair question. And one thing I really enjoy about being at the foundation is exactly that. Which is there is a strategic focus, whatever you might want to choose. Whether it’s building a new vaccine for malaria, or eradicating polio, or getting education right. There’s an enormous amount of examination on a continuous basis, an annual review of progress, an invitation in those kind of can be pretty brutal reviews of what has worked or not worked, and what you’re going to do differently. In a sense, spirit, I think, is needed here, which is to say, obviously, we’re going to get it right. As I said, very difficult problems. I’m not underestimating the difficulties or the problems. But if we’re not stopping and saying, are we actually making progress? We’re not saying, what are we doing right wrong, what can we do more or less of collectively, I don’t know what we do. So, it’s for me, like fundamental to everything you do. If you had a recipe that we can just import and block into every country, we would do it. But education is political, it’s path dependent, it’s like linked by, from so many different conditions. So, I think the only difference between kind of like what keeps us from fooling ourselves or being ideological about things is data and the ability to track over time whether or not whatever it is that our conjecture might be, is actually materializing. In our own work internally, we have complete change of approaches every two, three years in every one of our program areas, because you realize what you’re doing is not working, and you stop doing it. For me, that idea of adapting, iterating, correcting is key. You could have a 10-year plan that you just implement blindly. But what I see today is a lack of attention to “are we making progress,” and see that conversation as being a needed one, not one that causes us to be defensive. It should cause us to be kind of reflective about why it’s happening or not happening. But if we see data and lack of progress as reflecting upon our own bad work, I guess then what we do is we’ll sugarcoat the data, we don’t look at it, we ignore it, etc. For me the idea of having some accountability globally, which basically means shedding light and having honest conversations about progress and lack of progress is capital for progress. I don’t see how we can make any progress without having these hard conversations collectively. And my invitation is exactly that. I’ve been looking for the forum that is willing to have that it doesn’t exist today, hoping that somebody picks up on that idea and does something with it, but it’s above my paygrade. So, I don’t know what’s going to happen.
Will Brehm 31:31
I think that’s a really nice invitation for maybe someone who’s listening to pick this up and create an international forum to talk about progress and lack of progress and learning from the hard data that we might not want to actually look at. Girindre Beeharry, thank you so much for joining FreshEd, it was a real pleasure to talk today.
Girindre Beeharry 31:50
Thanks so much, Will. It was fun.
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Related Guest Publications/Projects
The pathway to progress on SDG 4
Accelerating foundational literacy and numeracy
UNESCO Institute of Statistics (UIS)
Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA)
Early Grade Math Assessment (EGMA)
Service delivery Indicators (SDI)
Getting education right in Ceará and Sobral (Brazil)
Tusome Early Grade Reading Activity (Kenya)
Raising the floor on learning levels
Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL)
The early grade reading assessment: It’s theoretical foundations, purpose and limitations
Sustainable schools: Renovating educational processes
Scaling up successfully: Lessons from Kenya’s Tusome national literacy program
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