Education, Human Rights, Fundamental Freedoms

Posted in: Comment, New Publications

Further browsing of UNESCO's Issues and trends in Education for Sustainable Development  [A. Leicht, J. Heiss and W. J. Byun (ends)] reveals this on p. 225

Monitoring on the basis of the 1974 Recommendation 

The Recommendation concerning Education for International Understanding, Co-operation and Peace and Education relating to Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, or the 1974 Recommendation, has become one of the main sources of data for global indicator 4.7.1 of SDG Target 4.7. The reporting process for the 1974 Recommendation, which is conducted every four years, was recognized as a mechanism for country reporting on Target 4.7 (UNESCO, 2016a). The latest report is to be published by the end of 2017.

The 1974 Recommendation was revised to make it easier for countries to complete, in order to improve the response rate. The questionnaires are now available online as well as in paper format, and pose more closed-ended, multiple choice questions with only a few open-ended questions (paragraph 6) (UNESCO, 2016a). Questions also address national education policies, curricula, teacher education and student assessment. The questionnaire also enquires about types of subjects and education, school level, teaching hours, pedagogy, student decision-making, non-school programmes and informal learning, and enabling factors for progress.

The questionnaire for the country reports on the implementation of the 1974 Recommendation originally focused more on civic education, while the new questionnaire concentrates more on the global indicator for Target 4.7. Non-formal and informal learning which are related to Youth and local ESD initiatives in Priority Action Areas 4 and 5 of the GAP are only addressed in a limited manner. (UNESCO, 2016c: 9-10).

Challenges also remain with regard to self-reporting by countries. These reports are filed by governments and mainly concern their own activities although, ideally, reports should be developed with stakeholders. Crosschecking findings with other data sources is important to offset bias introduced by self-reporting.

I had little – in any – idea about the 1974 Recommendation.  It's drafters would be pleasantly surprised, no doubt, to see these being used 40 years on in so important a venture.

Posted in: Comment, New Publications


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