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SYNTHESIS REPORT

FINAL VERSION
January 2000

 
    


CONTENTS

 Introduction - The EFA vision and a region in transition

 I.Economic change and mobilising resources for education

Slow and uneven economic recovery
Public spending on education
Household welfare and private resources for education

 II. Assessing trends in education since 1990

Trends in access to education

    Early childhood development programmes
    Enrolments in basic education
    Enrolments in upper secondary education

Implications for educational quality

    Teachers, textbooks and school conditions
    Monitoring learning achievement

Implications for equity in education

    Disparities by household income
    Disparities by regions

Groups disadvantaged in access to education

 III.Policy priorities beyond EFA 2000

Maintaining educational reform under fiscal constraints
Improving the quality and relevance of education

  Appendix
  References




III. Policy priorities beyond EFA 2000


 This section surveys some of the policy priorities that will help to promote the vision of Education for All beyond the year 2000. As noted in all of the EFA 2000 National Reports, in spite of the difficulties associated with the transition process, countries have taken many concrete steps towards education reform. These reforms have focused on the areas of education legislation, democratisation of curricula and decentralisation of governance and finance. However in some countries, the actual implementation of these reforms have been slow and often difficult. This section focuses on two areas that should be considered to ensure that the Education for All vision is maintained into the next decade: maintaining educational reform under fiscal constraints and improving the quality and relevance of education.


Maintaining educational reform under fiscal constraints

 In light of fiscal constraints, can countries be expected to maintain the commitment to quality education and institutional reforms? There are several reasons to suggest that the present offers certain opportunities. First, there is a window of opportunity in terms of lower fertility, fewer children and lessened demand on the system. Second, spending cuts made now may result in much higher social costs in the near future. Third, for some countries, the influence of European integration on political will may provide added leverage for change.

 Table 1 shows that the sharp decline in birth-rates that has reduced education demand among younger age cohorts quite substantially. Changes in population size and structure have an important influence on the future demands faced by educational systems across the region. These changes create both opportunities: smaller age cohorts mean per pupil expenditures can more easily be maintained; and challenges: growing age cohorts place greater demand on systems already strapped for cash. This provides an important rationale for consolidating large-scale reform. In the medium term, these opportunity will soon become a challenge, i.e., the need to strengthen the knowledge and skills of a shrinking labour force that will be increasingly in competition with European Union markets.

Table 1. Number of children by age in Central and Eastern Europe, 1990 and 1998

(mid-year population, in millions)

1990 1998 Index (1990=100)
Total 95.0 81.2 85.5
0-2 years 14.5 8.3 57.2
3-6 years 20.9 13.0 62.2
7-14 years 40.3 39.7 98.5
15-18 years 19.3 20.2 104.7

Source: MONEE project database, UNICEF – ICDCNotes: Age breakdowns not available for Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia,FYR Macedonia, and Turkey.

 It is important to maintain educational access and quality because the lack of investment in education denies access to those in greatest need of its benefits. Thus, creating a vicious circle where poverty begets low educational achievement and low educational achievement begets rising unemployment and poverty. Investment in education is one way to minimise these risks, risks, which would result in greater human and social costs in the future. The educational system, alongside other institutions, plays an important role in evening out disparities.

 Governments need to reassess the levels of public expenditures and how they are being distributed, but also monitor how well that money is being spent. They must judge whether the poor are excluded from educational opportunities and whether poor regions or neighbourhoods have the available resources to meet the needs of local schools. Clearly, the low levels of funding going to buildings, equipment and teacher wages is unsustainable and threatens the efficacy of educational systems. And while the goal of decentralisation is to make local governments more responsible for and more responsive to local educational needs, central governments still have the responsibility to ensure that sufficient resources reach the areas that are in the greatest need.

 But increasing financial resources alone would probably not be enough. Parents and communities have to become more involved. Thus, serving as a possible defence against the impact of weak state funding and institutional inertia. Parents can be encouraged to organise groups that develop after-school activities and help restore other aspects of the social support once provided by schools. They can also play a role in monitoring the quality of schooling, which can stimulate better learning outcomes. Getting parents involved in school life may also help ensure that children from disadvantaged backgrounds are enrolled in school.


Improving the quality and relevance of education

 It should first be recognised that enabling young people and adults begins with the young child. Thus, learning begins in kindergarten and through primary school, where cognitive skills are developed. Public policy on early childhood development should consider alternatives to state-run formal kindergartens, such as informal community programmes and parental education. Innovative programmes have, for example, been launched in Croatia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina to promote home-based early child development. Additionally, efforts have been made to introduce active teaching and learning methods, particularly in Croatia (Croatia, 1999) and to support access to low-income families (Bulgaria, 1999).

 Education policies should address needs among youth and adults, but efforts should begin by enabling young children – providing them with a sound foundation in academic and functional skills that promotes life-long learning and mediates the risks of marginalisation at older ages. Young people also acquire civic skills in schools and participation in the educational process is essential to developing this aspect. The educational system should work with social partners, such as parents and communities, to promote meaningful participation.

 Extensive curricular reform is underway, including the promoting further active learning and teaching methodologies, the introduction of new subjects and new textbooks and other learning materials. There is a need for curricula that help to promote ethnic tolerance and civil values in a number of countries. And with the changes in curricula, revised examination methods to ensure selection according to merit should be the rule. Slovenia has already made important reforms in this area, while others, such as Poland (Poland, 1999) and Romania (Romania, 1999) are expected to follow suit.

 To promote the inclusion of children from national minorities in education, the language of instruction is an important factor and is an issue that was noted in a number of national reports. It is important to allow ethnic minorities to take part in the running of the local school system. There have been a number of initiatives to better integrate children with disabilities into mainstream schools, particularly in Slovakia (Slovakia, 1999) and Latvia (Latvia, 1999) but slower progress in other countries. Policies to address the needs of these children are often difficult to formulate due to the limited amount of information.

 Educational and training systems should be flexible in order to facilitate educational aspirations and opportunities for life-long learning. This is an important step to minimising the long-term effects of exclusion from education. It means more diverse educational pathways and more flexible training systems, especially those that are able to cater more to the needs of specific regions, communities and individuals. For example, to help young mothers (teen fertility rates are up to ten times than those in Western Europe) in balancing education and childcare; to help facilitate learning among youth who are working part-time, or an even larger segment that are working full-time and are students; to help rural youth, often at a disadvantage in continuing education because of the lower quality education in rural schools; to help those who merit continuing education, but are unable to meet the costs of attending an elite gymnazium, technical institute or university.

 The demands on education in Central and Eastern Europe have increased markedly during the 1990s, just as resources were drastically reduced. Nevertheless, the next decade provides even greater challenges – the debate over future directions and the wider implementation of reforms will touch upon every part of the educational system and will play a central role in the rebuilding of nations, economies and societies.







APPENDIX: STRUCTURE OF EDUCATIONAL SYSTEMS, 1996

Compulsory ages

No. of years

ECD

Primary

Lower

Secondary

Upper secondary

 

 

 

 

ISCED0

ISCED1

ISCED2

ISCED3

ISCED 4

ISCED5

Czech Republic

6-14

9

3-5

6-10

11-14

15-18

19-23

Slovakia

6-14

9

3-5

6-9

10-14

15-18

19-23

Poland

7-14

8

3-6

7-14

15-18

19-24

Hungary

6-15

10

3-5

6-9

10-13

14-17

18-20

18-23

Slovenia

6-14

9

3-5

6-10

11-14

15-18

19-25

Croatia

7-14

8

3-6

7-10

11-14

15-18

19-24

FYR Macedonia

7-14

8

3-6

7-10

11-14

15-18

17-18

19-25

Bosnia-Herzegovina

7-14

8

3-6

7-10

11-14

15-18

19-24

FR Yugoslavia

7-14

8

3-6

7-10

11-14

15-18

19-24

Albania

6-13

8

3-5

6-9

10-13

14-17

18-23

Bulgaria

7-14

8

3-6

7-10

11-14

15-18

18-19

19-23

Romania

7-14

8

3-6

7-10

11-14

15-18

19-21

19-24

Estonia

7-15

9

3-6

7-12

13-15

16-18

19-20

19-24

Latvia

7-15

9

3-6

7-10

11-15

16-18

19-20

19-24

Lithuania

7-15

9

3-6

7-10

11-15

16-18

19-20

19-24

Belarus

6-14

9

3-5

6-9

10-14

15-16

17-19

17-22

Moldova

7-15

9

3-6

7-10

11-15

16-17

17-18

18-23

Russia

7-15

9

3-6

7-10

11-15

16-17

17-18

18-23

Ukraine

7-15

9

3-6

7-10

11-15

16-17

17-19

18-23

Note: Based on ISCED 1997, except for Croatia, FR Yugoslavia, Belarus, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine, which are based on ISCED 1976






REFERENCES

A. EFA 2000 NATIONAL REPORTS

Belarus (1999)

Ministry of Education of the Republic of Belarus/Belorussian State University/

National Institute for Higher Education

Basic Education in Belarus: National Report of the Republic of Belarus

National coordinator: Sergei Vetokhin

Authors: S. Vetokhin and V. Stepanov

Bosnia-Herzegovina (1999)

Federal Republic National coordinator: Ramiz Selimovic

Authors: Balkovic Vlatka, Fako Atija, Ganibegovic Maida, Jabucar Abdulah, Merlo Mira, Nalo Jasminka, Pandzo-Hasanbegovic Emina, Radic Nadezda, Saracevic Azra, Smajic Adaleta, Suljagic Mensur, Topuz Hanefija, Vesnic Smail, Alic Hajrudin and Hadziefendic Enes.

Bulgaria (1999)

Ministry Of Education And Science/National Institute For Education/Republic Of Bulgaria

Education For All: The Year 2000 Assessment

National coordinator: Dr. Violeta Mircheva

Authors: Stoianka Daskalova, Kalina Madjirova, Violeta Mirtcheva, Maria Makedonska, Petia Asenova, Iordanka Fakirska, Iotchka Anastasowa and Dimitar Peevski.

Consultants: Stanio Stanev, Ivan Ivanov

Editors: Elka Nikolova, Stanimira Morfova

Croatia (1999)

Croatian Institute for Promotion of Schooling

National coordinator: Misela Bras-car

FYR Macedonia (1999)

Ministry of Education

Education for All – Report 2000

National coordinator: Marija TaÓ eva

Project coordinator: Simeonka Gu… eva

Authors: Simeonka Gu… eva, Ljiljana Samardñ iska-Panova, Kiro Poposki,

Gjorgi Andreevski, Divna Lakinska, Gorica Mickovska, TaÓ e Stojanovski,

Gjorgi Kosev, Nevena Pa… emska, Marijana Vardñ iska, Sokrat Panovski, Marija Kitanova

Latvia (1999)

Department Of Education Strategy

Ministry Of Education And Science

Education For All: The Year 2000 Assessment

National coordinator: Antra Mazura

Lithuania (1999)

Ministry Of Education And Science Of Lithuania

Institute of Pedagogics Education For All 2000: The Year 2000 Assessment

National coordinator: Mr. Arunas Pliksnys

 

 

Republic of Moldova (1999)

Ministry Of Education And Science

National Report: Education For All – 2000

National coordinator: Mihai Paiu

Poland (1999)

Ministry of National Education

Education For All: The Year 2000 Assessment

National coordinator: Krzysztof Kafel

Authors: Andrzej Bogaj, Krzysztof Kafel, Stefan M. Kwiatkowski, Rafał Piwowarski

The EFA indicators calculated by: Alina Baran, Lucyna Nowak, Stanisław Radkowski

Romania (1999)

Ministry of National Education – Institute for Sciences of Education

Romania: Education for All

National coordinator: Cezar Birzea

Authors:Florentina Anghel, Magdalena Balica, Mircea Bădescu, Irina Boca,

Romulus Brâncoveanu, Diana Ghinea, Rodica Hriţac, Mihaela Jigău, Andrei Novak,

Cornelia Novak, Viorica Pop.

Russia (1999)

International Consultative Forum on Education For All – Russia

Education for All: Assessment 2000

National coordinators: A.M. Kondakov and A.V. Talonov

Authors: A.Ya. Savel’iev, I.G. Kukhtina, V.M. Zouev, V.K. Zaretskiy

Technical group: V.B. Lidova, T.L. Ivanova, Yu.I. Kuftyrev, V.N. Samorukova

Slovakia (1999)

Education for All in the Slovak Republic: Country report

Author: Ľudmila Šimčáková et al.

Working team: Ministry of Education, Institute of Information and Prognoses in

Education, National Institute for Education, Research Institute of Child

Psychology and Pathopsychology, Slovak Pedagogic Library, Ministry of Health,

Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Environment.

Turkey (1999)

Ministry of National Education

Education for All: Year 2000 Assessment

Technical commission: Fikri Üst, Mehmet Sever, Aysel Sezer, Rahmi Selenay,

Esin Fenercioglu, Seref Dilmen, Emel Saral, Fatma Nurhan Baykal

High commission: Assoc. Dr. Ata Tezbasaran, Kamil Zengin, Aydin Parlak,

Nahide Yilmaz, Osman Akkus

Ukraine (1999)

Ministry Of Education Of Ukraine

Education for All: 2000 Assessment

National coordinator: Yevhen Polischuk

Working group: K.Korsak, G.Stepenko, O.Lokshyna, R.Remizova, V.Vysotska

Contributors: M.Fomenko, L.Uschenko, V.Vorobiov, V.Pokas, D.Bachev,

G.Naumenko, Y.Zavalevsky

 

B. OTHER SOURCES

Barrow, Michael (1997) "Structure, Governance and Finance of Education in Central Europe," Florence: UNICEF International Child Development Centre. Mimeo.

Beaton, A.E, I.V.S. Mullis, M.O. Martin, E.J. Gonzalez, D.L. Kelly, and T.A. Smith (1996), Mathematics Achievement in the Middle School Years: IEA’s Third International Mathematics and Science Study. Chestnut Hill, MA: Centre for the Study of Testing, Evaluation and Educational Policy, Boston College.

Cusan, Alessandra and Albert Motivans (1997), "Education in Transition: Trends In Finance, Access and Quality," Florence: UNICEF International Child Development Centre. Mimeo.

EBRD (1999), Transition Report 1999: London: EBRD.

EFA Forum (1996), Education for All: Achieving the Goal. Paris: UNESCO.

Klugman, Jeni (1997), Education and Equity in the Former Soviet Republics: Disruption and Opportunities in Financing and Governance, Florence: UNICEF International Child Development Centre. Mimeo.

Micklwright, John (1999), "Education, Inequality and Transition" Economics of Transition, Vol. 7:2.

NIPERC (1996), The Quality of Education and Local Educational Administration in Hungary: Final Report. Budapest: National Institute of Public Education Research Centre.

UNICEF (1998), Education for All? Regional Monitoring Report, No. 5, Florence: UNICEF International Child Development Centre.

UNICEF (1999a), After the Fall: the Human Impact of Ten Years of Transition, Florence: UNICEF International Child Development Centre.

UNICEF (1999b), Situation Report on Education in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Mimeo.

UNICEF (1999c), Women in Transition, Regional Monitoring Report, No. 6, Florence: UNICEF International Child Development Centre.

Vari, Peter, ed. (1997), Are We Similar in Math and Science? A Study of Grade 8 in Nine Central and Eastern European Countries, IEA.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
   
 
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