Two principles characterize most attempts to define quality in education: the first identifies learners’ cognitive development as the major explicit objective of all education systems. Accordingly, the success with which systems achieve this is one indicator of their quality. The second emphasizes education’s role in promoting values and attitudes of responsible citizenship and in nurturing creative and emotional development. The achievement of these objectives is more difficult to assess and compare across countries (UNESCO, 2004: 2).
UNESCO. 2004. Education for all: the quality imperative; EFA global monitoring report 2005; summary. Paris: UNESCO.
UNESCO promotes access to good-quality education as a human right and supports a rights-based approach to all educational activities (Pigozzi, 2004). Within this approach, learning is perceived to be affected at two levels. At the level of the learner, education needs to seek out and acknowledge learners’ prior knowledge, to recognize formal and informal modes, to practise non-discrimination and to provide a safe and supportive learning environment. At the level of the learning system, a support structure is needed to implement policies, enact legislation, distribute resources and measure learning outcomes, so as to have the best possible impact on learning for all (UNESCO, 2005: 30).
UNESCO. 2004. Education for all: the quality imperative; EFA global monitoring report, 2005. Paris: UNESCO.