Promising Practice: government schools in Vietnam

Having worked with the Ministry of Education in Vietnam for a number of years, I am pleased to see the progress made in education in Vietnam:

[LAUNCH] Promising Practice: government schools in Vietnam

Education Development Trust4 July 2018, 4pm – 6pm (CEST)
IIEP-UNESCO, Auditorium (and available online via livestream)

Vietnam’s government schools have garnered a great deal of global attention since its strong performance in both the 2012 and 2015 PISA student tests. In light of this, Education Development Trust partnered with the Vietnam Institute of Educational Sciences to unearth the factors associated with this success. They are delighted to share the findings of this investigation in their new report: Promising practice: government schools in Vietnam.

Please join us – in Paris at IIEP-UNESCO or online – for the report’s launch on 4 July 2018. The presentation will cover five features of the Vietnamese school system that have contributed to its strong results. We invite you to RSVP here to attend in Paris or to receive a reminder and link to watch the webcast. The report will made available prior to the event.

Learn more here.

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More Than One-Half of Children and Adolescents Are Not Learning Worldwide

Following the recent World Bank report describing how many children and young people in school are not learning another report comes to similar conclusions -education systems are failing too many young people. Quality of education must be the priority,not just access.

More Than One-Half of Children and Adolescents Are Not Learning Worldwide
UNESCO Institute for Statistics

More than 617 million children and adolescents are not achieving minimum proficiency levels (MPLs) in reading and mathematics, according to new estimates from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS).

This paper presents the first estimates for a key target of Sustainable Development Goal 4, which requires primary and secondary education that lead to relevant and effective learning outcomes. By developing a new methodology and database, the UIS has produced a global snapshot of the learning situation facing children and adolescents who are in school and out. The data show the critical need to improve the quality of education while expanding access to ensure that no one is left behind. The paper also discusses the importance of benchmarking and the concept of minimum proficiency levels.

Download this resource.

Curriculum Development -Training Tools

Having been involved recently in early childhood curriculum development in Tanzania,  I realise (i) many curriculum developers have not had training, particularly in developing countries and (ii) its importance is underestimated as it can constrain how a teacher teaches and how children learn.

Training Tools: Curriculum Development
IBE – UNESCO 

The International Bureau of Education (IBE-UNESCO) has the pleasure of announcing the launch of the series Training Tools for Curriculum Development. This new series aims to provide technical assistance and strengthen leadership for education and curriculum reforms. The series consists of a variety of training materials including Resource Packs and Thematic Modules.

By providing comprehensive guidance on current and critical issues, the training tools are used to train and further develop existing capacities of national policy makers, curriculum specialists and developers, assessment experts, teacher educators, teachers, school leaders, supervisors and district level administrators.

Among other initiatives, the project developed a training tool, ‘A Resource Pack for Gender-Responsive STEM Education’. Its overarching aim is to share a broader understanding of the theory and practice of gender-responsive STEM education, in order to support its effective development at the policy, school, classroom and community levels.

The Training Tools for Curriculum Development are available in English, French, and Spanish.

Access the training tools here

School violence and bullying

It was in the ’70s that I joined STOPP -the Society of Teachers Opposed to Physical Punishment (STOPP)  which was set up in the U.K. in 1968 to campaign for the abolition of corporal punishment in UK schools.STOPP was a very small pressure group that lobbied government, local authorities and other official institutions. It also investigated individual cases of corporal punishment and aided families wishing to pursue their cases through the UK and European courts.It was only in 1986 that the UK Parliament abolished corporal punishment in state schools.

It is heartbreaking to see the continuing levels of violence perpetrated against children who come to school to learn (and to be cared for).

Report: School Violence and Bullying  

UNESCO


This report has been prepared by UNESCO and the Institute of School Violence and Prevention at Ewha Womans University for the International Symposium on School Violence and Bullying: From Evidence to Action, Seoul, Republic of Korea, 17 – 19 January 2017. It aims to provide an overview of the most up-to-date available data on the nature, extent and impact of school violence and bullying and initiatives to address the problem

Learn more here. Access the full report here

International Mother Language Day 2016

motherlanguageday

International Mother Language Day 2016

“An estimated 40% of the global population do not receive education in a language that they speak or understand.”

However, even these numbers, underestimate the situation in pockets of disadvantage. 

Governments are less happy to monitor this situation and certainly less happy to publicise this data.
Even in reports on achievement, people are still surprised that children entering grade 1 without the language of instruction are underachieving at grade 3 -which should be quite obvious,being taught in a ‘foreign’ language. It is also usual for grade 1 teachers not to have training to teach bilingually or at least training to understand the difficulties inherent in teaching children of diverse backgrounds (i.e. inclusive education).
National languages have a political dimension, quite often, with a search for ‘national identity’ so the argument about children’s underachievement, somehow gets lost, particularly if it may be to do with an ethnic minority or relatively small groups living in poverty.

Awareness without action may be self defeating. Some say that the figures in the report, quoted above, are high, but I think, even these numbers, underestimate the situation in many pockets of disadvantage. 

 

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Another example of how language is used and misused by politicians, this time in South Africa:

The Soweto uprising is probably one of the most impactful demonstrations for language and learning rights to take place across the globe. It placed the anti-apartheid struggle on an international platform and presented a massive shift in gear for the struggle for a free South Africa. These events took place 40 years ago. We should remember them as we celebrate International Mother Language Day this week.

Students gathered in Soweto 40 years ago to protest the use of Afrikaans as the medium of instruction in black, but not white schools. The new language education policy was enforced through the Afrikaans Medium Decree of 1974, which stated that Afrikaans and English should be used in a 50-50 mix as the medium for instruction.

 

Sustainable Development – a resource bank

This blog tries to reach out and find suitable education resources,  so here is another opportunity to discover new resources by using the new UNESCO Clearinghouse on Education for Sustainable Development.

Clearinghouse and Resource Bank on Education for Sustainable Development  
UNESCO 

Clearinghouse and Resource Bank 

UNESCO has just released a Clearinghouse on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), containing important information, news, events, good practices and links around the Global Action Programme on ESD (GAP). It aims to serve as an online platform to share knowledge, experiences and competences of the ESD global community of practice.
The Clearinghouse comes with a comprehensive Resource Bank, gathering hundreds of ESD publications, videos, photos and other documents from all over the world. With an interface in English, French and Spanish, it is designed to help create synergies and cross-cutting collaboration through access to a wide selection of resources.

Click here to access the Clearinghouse.

Click here to access the Resource Bank.

IIEP – a new Learning Portal

There are plenty of opportunities to access learning material, but sometimes it takes too long to trawl through a range of disconnected sites. The new IIEP Learning Portal is worth a visit if you are an education planner and decision maker or an education practitioner -particular with an eye on the quality of education.

IIEP Learning Portal
IIEP

We are pleased to announce the launch of the IIEP Learning Portal, an interactive platform designed to help decision-makers and education practitioners plan for quality education and improved learning outcomes in the post-2015 era.

The IIEP Learning Portal responds to the needs of education planners, policy-makers, civil society actors, and funders throughout the world, by offering:

  • Brief summaries of the research on 25 ways to improve learning,
  • An overview of each step involved in creating a plan for learning improvement,
  • Tools and approaches to monitor learning and put the data to use,
  • A weekly blog and a daily selection of news articles on learning from around the world,
  • Ways to learn about major controversies and participate in e-Forum discussions,
  • glossary of key terms and a chance to ask a librarian to help you find the resources   you need,
  • More than 1,000 resources in a searchable database including research and reports on efforts to improve learning, sample policies, current debates and a wide range of experiences on learningissues.

We invite you to visit the new portal – http://learningportal.iiep.unesco.org/ – join the community (subscribe to our newsletter and connect on Twitter and Facebook) and discover how you can participate and benefit from its many resources on educational planning for improved learning.

Questions? Contact.learning@iiep.unesco.org