Quality of education

Every child has the fundamental right to quality education – one that helps them acquire basic literacy and numeracy, enjoy learning without fear, and feel valued and included, irrespective of where they come from.

Children at desks doing school work
UNICEF ROSA/2014/Nybo

Challenge

Access to education of poor quality is tantamount to no education at all. There is little point in providing the opportunity for a child to enrol in school if the quality of the education is so poor that the child will not become literate or numerate, or will fail to acquire critical life skills. Currently in South Asia, one in three children who reach Grade 4 are able to read basic texts. Millions of children, who have completed primary education, have not mastered the foundational skills of basic numeracy and literacy.

Quality education, which is essential to real learning and human development, is influenced by factors both inside and outside the classroom, from the availability of proper supplies to the nature of a child’s home environment. Improvements in the quality of teaching can reduce dropout rates and ensure better retention and transitions from early childhood learning into primary and secondary education.

South Asia faces significant challenges in providing quality education to all its children. It lacks adequate finances, qualified teachers, pedagogical knowledge, and opportunities for adolescent education and skill utilization. In many parts of the region, learning methods are largely teacher-centred and rote-based, and children are subjected to corporal punishment and discrimination. 

Solution

UNICEF works with governments in the region to develop national educational policies and standards based upon the principles of Child-Friendly Schools. We partner with governments for curricular development, teacher’s trainings and material support to improve the quality of learning in the region. We work to strengthen learning assessment systems to improve teaching and learning practices by identifying disparities in learning outcomes to target support where it is the most needed. 

In South Asia, UNICEF helps strengthen education systems by making more data available. We also support countries in using data to inform policies and more effectively put them into practice. We ensure improvements in the quality of education by collecting, analysing and disseminating information on what is working and what is not. We share good practices and lessons learnt on active learning pedagogy throughout the region. 

UNICEF works closely with governments and partners in the region to make schools accountable to ensure a quality education for all children. We encourage the continuous monitoring of learning outcomes at the national, sub-national and classroom level which can feed into teaching and learning practices. We help strengthen local planning and financial management and help develop school improvement plans. 

Resources

These resources represent just a small selection of materials produced by UNICEF and its partners in the region. The list is regularly updated to include the latest information.