This month, UNESCO and the five beneficiary countries of the Better Education for Africa’s Rise project (BEAR II) - Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Tanzania and Uganda - will organize two-day validation workshops to conclude the planning phase at country level.
The project is the second phase of a five-year joint initiative between UNESCO and the Republic of Korea, which aims to strengthen national Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) systems in selected African countries to strengthen the opportunities for decent employment and entrepreneurship for young people.
The beneficiary countries for this second phase of the BEAR project are Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, United Republic of Tanzania and Uganda. During the workshops, UNESCO will share findings from recent scoping missions to the national stakeholders, and propose interventions in the framework of UNESCO’s Strategy for TVET (2016-2021), outlining overall goals and the scope of the project.
The validation workshops will propose and discuss specific interventions for TVET in the chosen prioritized sectors and will provide a platform for building synergies between stakeholders to ensure an inclusive consultation process and national ownership. The participants will be concerned ministries, TVET authorities, TVET institutions, Vocational Training centres, and enterprises.
Three main areas of intervention will be discussed in working groups, concerning Relevance, Quality and Attractiveness of TVET. The validation workshops will also identify potential synergies that the BEAR II Project could help create in order to complement existing interventions.
About the BEAR II project
The first phase of the BEAR project collaborated with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia, Malawi, Botswana and Namibia.
In alignment with the Sustainable Development Goal on Education and the Education 2030 Framework for Action, the BEAR II project promotes the relevance of TVET systems in Eastern Africa to give young people a better chance to access decent employment and generate self-employment.
The BEAR II interventions will focus on specific sectors that are carefully chosen in each of the beneficiary countries for their potential to create jobs. The project supports efforts in updating curricula, training teaching staff and engaging employers and enterprises to help create more relevant TVET Systems.
The BEAR project contributes to the global efforts for implementing the Education 2030 Agenda, the Continental Education Strategy for Africa (2016 – 2025), and the UNESCO Strategy for TVET (2016 – 2021).
The strategy was developed with input from the international education sector, including an online survey and a series of workshops in 2016 to identify the future challenges and opportunities of international education in New Zealand. ENZ and the Ministry of Education are leading the strategy development.
Feedback options are explained on the website and include an online survey, a series of workshops for the sector, and a session on the draft strategy during the NZIEC conference in August.
Consultation will close on 31 August 2017. The strategy will be finalised and an implementation plan developed for launch towards the end of the year.Further information
His Excellency Dr Hang Chuan Naron, Minister of Education, Youth and Sport of the Kingdom of Cambodia, spoke to UNESCO about the need for collaboration to achieve quality education. “Governments alone cannot meet all the learning needs of their population and need the support of civil society,” said Minister Naron.
In Cambodia, civil society provides support to schools and institutions in remote areas and floating villages. It provides, for example, additional training and support to meet the learning needs of students with disabilities both in public schools and in specialized centres. “In the long run the students being taught in these specialized centres have to be integrated within the public school system,” asserted the Minister.
Cambodia’s education policy is a precursor of the Sustainable Development Goal 4, having started on a similar path with the reforms it has introduced since 2013. The country's goal was to move from a low-income country to a middle-income country. To do so, the country needed a skilled workforce. Thus, the Ministry of Education set out to expand and strengthen its education system. The Minister noted that they realized that this could be achieved without increased funding for the sector. “We have worked to steadily increase the education budget from 1% of GDP to 2.5% of GDP and 18.5% of current expenditure with the objective being 20%,” indicated Minister Naron.
A diagnosis of the education system in 2013 pointed to a variety of reforms that were necessary in order achieve the goal of a quality education for all. These involved, among other aspects, a focus on school-based management, teachers, learning outcomes, access to basic as well as higher education.
To address the teacher challenge, Cambodia put in place a comprehensive “Teacher Policy Plan” in order to make the teaching profession respected and attractive once again, attending to salary levels, initial and in-service training and career development.
They also recognized that the investment in expansion in access, school based management and teachers would be wasted if learning outcomes were ignored. “We needed to make sure the children were actually learning,” affirmed Minister Naron. As such, Cambodia reviewed the literacy and numeracy learning assessments. The Ministry also reviewed curricula to make it more relevant, responsive to students’ needs and their specific contexts. Particular attention was given to science, technology, engineering and mathematics education (STEM) education, as there was a recognition these were the skills most needed by youth and adults alike, in a context of changing labour demands.
While developing national policies in these areas, Cambodia has targeted implementation of the reforms at local school level with supported from the community. “Reforms are very difficult to trickle down so we decided to implement them directly at school level,” explained Minister Naron.
Civil society is also involved at policy level with NGOs participating in bi-annual joint Education working group meetings and various other regular consultations on education policy that the government holds with all stakeholders. To strengthen civil society participation in the region, “what is most important is not to copy each other’s systems but to reflect on our own systems’ strengths and weaknesses while also learning from each other,” said Minister Naron.
Claude Bisson-Vaivre, médiateur de l'Éducation nationale et de l'Enseignement supérieur, a présenté son rapport pour l'année 2016, le jeudi 29 mai 2017.
Le médiateur a fait le point sur les mesures prises en réponse aux recommandations du rapport 2015. Ce dernier met l'accent sur deux sujets majeurs : la scolarisation des élèves en situation de handicap, et l'étape cruciale de l'orientation vers l'enseignement supérieur des lycéens avec la plateforme Admission Post Bac (APB).