Technical paper: Developing robust and responsive education data systems to transform education systems in the Asia-Pacific region
After the declaration of the Incheon Framework for Action at the World Education Forum on 21 May 2015, numerous countries implemented Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 agenda into their national education policy framework, integrating SDG 4 targets into policies, planning and programming. Almost all countries in the Asia-Pacific region have since adopted SDG 4 targets into their respective policies and plans.
Quality data and statistics in education are needed to monitor the progress of SDG 4’s targets. It is crucial to monitor the effectiveness of education policies and plans and develop new strategies to achieve the set goals.
The pandemic has changed our delivery of education programmes; many countries are moving towards online and remote learning because of mobility constraints. Numerous regional nations are slowly opening their schools and with this development, there is a need to ensure the safe return of students and support for learning recovery. This calls for new data in the education sector to develop effective policies and plans for the recovery of learning outcomes and education participation.
Given the importance of data and indicators for planning and monitoring the SDG 4 targets, as well as national education sector plans, this paper’s primary purpose is to make policymakers, planners and practitioners aware of the severe data gap in the region to monitor SDG 4 and the consequences of not achieving the defined targets. In this context, this paper reviews current data availability in the region in order to identify critical data gaps in different data sources.
Furthermore, it carefully investigates the new data demand for safe school re-opening and learning recovery to understand the indicators needed to inform policies and their data sources. Finally, the paper provides a framework to strengthen the education data system in the region in order to achieve a resilient and sustainable education data system with an eye on school reopening, the recovery of learning and filling the data gaps. The paper strongly emphasizes prioritizing the production of education data to accelerate SDG 4 progress
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