Strengthening the Ministry of Education Leadership in the Implementation of Education Policy and Reforms

Strengthening the Ministry of Education Leadership in the Implementation of Education Policy and Reforms

During the past 50 years South and East Asia witnessed massive demographic changes, resulting mainly from falling fertility rates and migration. Other trends impacting on the provision of education services include urbanization that has contributed to reduce densities in rural areas, thus increasing the costs of reaching the remaining rural school age population.

Counterbalancing these trends have been the massive increases in participation in schooling, most countries in the region achieving universal basic education.

While the education sector has been relatively well served in terms of resource allocation in past decades changes in the populations’ age structure across the region as well as a slowing global economy are likely to contribute to changes in resource allocations. Education may not be treated as generously in the future. At the same time it is important to recognize the institutional challenges associated with reorganizing education service provision.

The redeployment of education personnel for example is an issue likely to yield high political costs for any government, and school closures remain difficult as local schools are seen by rural communities as a core component for a viable community life.

For these reasons it is vital for education policy makers and planners to understand the directions and assess the impact of demographic changes, migration and urbanization in their country. This assessment underpins the planning of future education services and resource allocation decisions.

The Malaysian Government-UNESCO/IIEP project aims at providing Ministries of Education with an analytical framework and an information base needed to reflect these crucial dimensions in plans and guide education policy, investment decisions and institutional reforms.

Key Activities

The main achievements from the project can be summarised as follows:

  • Presented the project to representatives from research and training institutions members of ANTRIEP at a regional workshop organized by NUEPA in March 2015
  • Produced and completed methodological framework for country-based policy research and data collection.
  • Organized technical workshop, in Delhi on 22-23 April 2016, to discuss and come to consensus the agreed research methodology to case countries and concretely plan the country-based research.
  • Organized a second technical workshop at IIEP in Paris from 2-4 November 2016. The three country profiles were reviewed; key education policy and resource management issues identified, focusing on a comparison across countries, also discussed structure for a publication of country case studies.
  • Organized the ANTRIEP Policy seminar in Malaysia from 2 – 5 May 2017. The regional seminar provided an opportunity to compare country experiences; and to make the project known widely among the community of specialized research and training institutions in Asia as well as Ministries of Education.
  • Conceptualized dedicated web portal to disseminate research and information related to the research topic.
  • Publication undergoing final process and will be ready by March 2018 for dissemination. The dedicated webpage will be launched at the same time.

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