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2015 ERI-NET Expert Meeting: Phase III Study on Transversal Competencies

How are teachers prepared and supported to facilitate acquisition of transversal competencies (TVCs) is the main focus of ERI-NET’s School Education Group Phase III research study this year. This topic was agreed upon by the members during the recently concluded ERI-NET Expert Meeting for School Education Group held at Holiday Inn Bangkok last April 20-21, 2015.

©UNESCO\A. Serrano

This study is the third and the last to be conducted among the series of research work on TVCs spearheaded by ERI-Net. The last two phases of TVC studies focused on how TVCs are defined, integrated and implemented in education policy and practice both at country and classroom levels.

With funding support from Malaysian Funds in Trust, the meeting was organized by UNESCO Bangkok and brought together ERI-Net Members and research experts from eight (8) countries/economies namely Malaysia, the Philippines, Mongolia, Japan, Hong Kong (China), Thailand, Vietnam, India, and representatives from UNESCO Jakarta and UNESCO Beijing Offices. The meeting was called to finalize the 2015 ERI-Net research framework and questionnaire, come up with a doable timeline to conduct the research study and identify possible research topics for 2016 and beyond.

At the meeting, Ms. Satoko Yano, Head of the ERI-Net Secretariat, summarized the 2014 ERI-Net activities including highlights of the results of Phase I and Phase II studies, while Mr. Gwang-Chol Chang, Chief of EPR Unit presented a proposed research framework for 2015. The members agreed to focus this year’s research topic on teachers’ preparedness in facilitating acquisition of TVCs in general, while also investigating impact of globalization and regional integration on education reforms, especially in the areas related to TVCs. Consequently, the over-arching research questions were revised to conform to the new research topic with the aim of getting teachers’ view and perception, and students’ perception if possible, about the subject.

The last day of the meeting centered its discussion on possible research topics for 2016 and beyond. Mr. Chang reminded the participants of the importance to align the 2016 and beyond research topics to ERI-Net’s mandate and keep in mind those emerging development challenges and key aspects in education that were highlighted in UNESCO-Bangkok’s position on education post 2015 such as lifelong learning, inclusive and equitable access to quality education, and sustainable development.

In the end, the brainstorming session provided an opportunity for the participants to reflect further how major education issues such as equality, access, equity and social mobility have been addressed and prioritized globally. The group acknowledged that the broadness and diversity of issues in education was far too much to immediately agree on specific research topics in such a short period of time. Instead, the participants initially identified “equity in education” as the main research agenda for 2016 and beyond. Meanwhile, ERI-Net Secretariat will continue to coordinate with members of school education group to facilitate the discussion and come up with specific research topics and questions (under the agreed research agenda) in upcoming weeks. Overall, ERI-Net members expressed interest in moving forward and continuing its work on the “frontier areas” to further contribute to improving education in the Asia-Pacific region.

For more information, please contact Satoko Yano [s.yano(at)] at the Education Policy and Reform Unit.

Written by  Amalia Serrano [am.serrano(at)]

Related Link:
• ERI-NET Expert Meeting