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Decentralized Education Planning in the Context of Public Sector Management Reform

Training Course for the Coutries of the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS)

To help build modern education planning capacity in the GMS countries, the Mekong Institute and UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education jointly organized the first intensive three week training course on "Decentralized Education Planning in the Context of Public Sector Management Reform" in February 2007.  The course was the first in a new core capacity building program which the Mekong Institute and UNESCO will be jointly carrying out in the coming years. 

Rationale of the Course

Today, education planning and plan implementation take place at a time when many countries in Asia and in other regions of the world are engaged in modernizing the management of public sectors.  Education is the largest public sector (next to defense) in terms of personnel and recurrent expenditure and a large public sector in terms of capital expenditure.  Therefore, government policies and measures aimed at modernization of public sector management have significant impact on education sector management.

Of the principle features of public sector modernization, three are directly relevant to education:
(i) decentralization,
(ii) program-based planning and resource allocation, and
(iii) medium-term financial planning.
They shape the way in which the education sector will be functioning in future, in particular education planning and plan implementation monitoring.

In many countries, education sector reform and innovation depend to a large extent on external funding partners and technical assistance. Therefore, donor cooperation strategies and actions have increasingly significant impact on education sector planning, resource allocation, and plan implementation monitoring.  

The measures which governments will be taking in the coming years in these areas have direct implications for the management of the education sector at central as well as at local (province, district, commune, school) level.  However, many countries still lack modern planning and management capacity required to effectively implement education reform and innovation as part of the modernization of the public sector management.

The first intensive three week training course was held at the Mekong Institute (Khon Kaen, Thailand), in February 2007 for senior officials from Ministries of Education, Planning, Finance from the six Greater-Mekong Sub-regions (GMS) countries, including Cambodia, China (Yunan province), Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam.
 
The course produced a comprehensive set of materials that can be used for:

  • Self study and as reference materials by persons who are involved in education sector planning and management.
  • As reference and work materials for training courses organized by ministries of education, planning institutes and universities.

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