Cold Hard Facts in the Provision of Quality Education
With 2020 in full swing, we know 2030 is slowly but surely approaching, and the global deadline for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) inches closer and closer. As Wellspring works towards SDG Goal 4, quality education for all, our desire is to ensure that all students are across Rwanda accessing education that equips each student with the knowledge, character, and skills to achieve their God-given potential.
Reading an article by the Global Partnership for Education titled, With the right data, we can still reach the world’s education goal, it’s clear that something quantifiable is missing from the pursuit of quality education. That something is cold hard facts, hard evidence, concrete data.
In the grand scheme, the collection of quantifiable data is crucial to the transformation of education. Data that tracks children’s progress through school, shows what works, and finds gaps in the system, or in other words, “where education systems need to change track, target their resources and accelerate their efforts to deliver a quality education for all.” So, when we look at our part in the educational picture, we know there is something we can be doing in the pursuit of quality education for all. You’ve guessed it; we’re committed to not letting any children fall through the cracks. Wellspring has made a commitment to focus on gathering solid and robust data around our work, to more fully participate in this global commitment for quality education in Rwanda, our small pocket of the world.
And, we believe we’re on the cutting edge of data collection and analysis! We are proud of the innovative reporting system we’ve developed, that not only greatly improves our own monitoring and evaluation efforts, but provides an example of what’s possible for other organizations and countries! Our project called MERIT (Monitoring, Evaluation & Reporting with Integrated Technologies) has been implemented to increase efficiency and accuracy in data collection and reporting from our trainers as they work with school leaders, teachers and parents in the pursuit of quality education.
With MERIT, our trainers are able to collect and input information much quicker, and we’re able to access the data in real time! This means that we can quickly establish how we can best build on our training in each school, and develop approaches that meet the specific needs of each school community. In the end, it’s all about giving children the educational opportunities they need to thrive, and we’re so grateful for the ways in which this new tool will help us to do that for years to come.
While 2030 may feel far away, the GPE speaks with urgency based on the preliminary need for “accurate, current, and comparable data on education”. While the goal deadline is 2030, there are kids in classrooms TODAY who deserve a quality education, just as much as those who will be in classrooms in 2030. These young people are not just our future… they are our incredible and powerful present!
So, now more than ever is it time to prioritize data as a means of showing progress and gaps as we partner with other organizations tirelessly working towards Goal 4. There is still time to learn and course correct before 2030 to ensure that quality education for all is a goal that is fulfilled. And with a tool like MERIT, we continue to prioritize collecting and reviewing our data from the field, in order to guide our actions as we work to fulfil Goal 4 each and every day.
After all, transformation only comes when we know what is and isn’t working to give us a clearer picture of what we can do to ensure that Goal 4 – quality education for all students across the globe – can be secured in our partner schools in Rwanda.
Click here to learn about our work in Rwanda as part of the broad pursuit of quality education for all: thewellspringfoundation.org/our-work