Xanthe Ackerman, Associate Director of the Brookings Center for Universal Education (CUE) in Washington DC, visited India to participate in an international seminar on education. At the Brookings India roundtable, Ackerman presented ongoing work related to the Learning Metrics Task Force, an initiative in which Brookings is collaborating with UNESCO. She also discussed the various projects CUE is undertaking related to equitable access, quality, and relevance of education. Apart from the seminar, while she was in Delhi, Ackerman met with various stakeholders in government, the private sector, multilateral agencies and NGOs in the field of education.
During the roundtable, elaborating on CUE’s areas of focus, Ackerman emphasized the equal importance of access and learning outcomes within education. The aim, Ackerman said, is to ensure that education is on the agenda at key national as well as global meetings. In addition, the intent is to mobilize a shift in the global conversation on education from a focus on access to both access and learning. The Learning Metrics Taskforce seeks to redefine and measure learning in order to ensure equitable social and economic access to education.
Ackerman’s talk inspired robust discussion, touching upon the issues of educational policy, measurement of learning outcomes, student and teacher absenteeism and the roles of organizations that seek to enable access to education as a key priority. Those present were Rukmini Banerji, Director of Programs at Pratham; Urvashi Sahni, Nonresident Fellow at CUE; Lalita Panicker from the Hindustan Times; Kiran Bhatty from the Center for Policy Research; Laveesh Bhandari of Indicus; Fatima Karan of CNN-IBN; Natalia Mufel and R.R. Begur of UNICEF; Shubashis Gangopadhyay of Shiv Nadar University; Sonalde Desai of NCAER and Sudhir Mittal of Central Square Foundation.
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