Online platform to improve learning worldwide is now live

12 January 2016

UNESCO’s International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) has launched the IIEP Learning Portal, an interactive platform designed to help decision-makers worldwide plan for quality education and improved learning outcomes. Bringing together more than 1,000 resources in a searchable database, the IIEP Learning Portal offers—at no cost to users—comprehensive, up-to-date, relevant information on learning issues, from primary through secondary education.

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"There is a global learning crisis today preventing millions of children from reaching their full potential. Only by improving learning outcomes can societies truly unlock the power of education and enhance the capacities of all citizens,” said IIEP director Suzanne Grant Lewis. “The new Portal is an important tool for countries working towards the Education 2030 agenda and will provide a range of education actors with the resources they need to improve learning outcomes.”

Why focus on learning?

While many countries have expanded access to education since 2000, when the six Education for All (EFA) goals were established, recent studies have indicated low levels of learning among primary school children. Worldwide, 250 million children are not learning the basic skills they need to reach their full potential, earn a decent livelihood and participate fully in society.

This highlights a new reality today: it is not enough to simply expand student enrolment, but rather ensure that high-quality learning takes place. This will require in-depth discussions of what constitutes learning and how governments can guarantee equal educational quality for all.

What does the IIEP Learning Portal offer?

The IIEP Learning Portal responds to the needs of education planners, policy-makers, civil society actors, and funders throughout the world, by offering:

  • Brief summaries of the research on 25 ways to improve learning,
  • An overview of each step involved in creating a plan for learning improvement,
  • Tools and approaches to monitor learning and put the data to use,
  • A weekly blog and a daily selection of news articles on learning from around the world,
  • Ways to learn about major controversies and participate in e-Forum discussions,
  • A glossary of key terms and a chance to ask a librarian to help you find the resources you need,
  • More than 1,000 resources in a searchable database including research and reports on efforts to improve learning, sample policies, current debates and a wide range of experiences on learning issues.

A dynamic online community

The IIEP Learning Portal strives to foster an online community where decision-makers and education stakeholders can collaborate and exchange information in multiple ways on how to improve learning. Users are invited to subscribe to the Portal’s newsletter, connect on Twitter and Facebook and create a free account to participate in forums, contribute to the blog and share news. A series of e-Forums — to be held in English, French and Spanish — is also envisioned as a way to stimulate debate on issues central to solving the global learning crisis.

The Portal held its first e-Forum in November 2015, bringing together more than 900 participants from around the world. Entitled ‘Inclusive and equitable quality education for all: Towards a global framework for measuring learning?’, the online conference explored how learning outcomes are assessed in different regions and education systems worldwide.

Participants —34% of them from national agencies or ministries of education and 42% of them from sub-Saharan Africa, with every other continent also represented—brought diverse perspectives to bear on the question of what role learning assessments may play in the context of the new Education 2030 agenda and Sustainable Development Goals.

The IIEP Learning Portal is supported by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and The Partnership to Strengthen Innovation and Practice in Secondary Education (PSIPSE), a multi-donor collaborative including the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Intel Foundation, and The MasterCard Foundation.