Education Policy Matters!

March 2013 | Issue 14 | UNESCO Bangkok

A topic of increasing concern in the region, the highlight of this issue is transversal skills, often referred to as non-cognitive, 21st century or transferable skills and competencies. Also, we are pleased to present the outcomes of a regional consultation on education in the post-2015 development agenda. In addition, we would like to announce that the user guide for Education Policy and Strategy Simulation Model (EPSSim) has been published and is now available online.  We hope you will make use of it to support hands-on learning experiences.

Highlight: Transversal Skills

» Mapping Transversal/Non-Cognitive Skills in Education
In today’s rapidly changing and interconnected world, the capacity to learn, keep on learning and be adaptable to change is critical. Many countries of the Asia-Pacific region are trying to promote “transversal” skills in education.

» Integrating "Zest for Living" in Japan Education Policies
“Zest for Living” was first introduced in the 1996s in response to growing concern over what was considered a highly competitive education system in Japan. To date, challenges remain: among others is lack of shared understanding among stakeholders.

» What Skills for the World of Work: Studies Discuss
Education serves to enhance one’s cognitive skills including literacy, numeracy, logic, scientific knowledge and ICT literacy. A large body of evidence suggests that transversal skills and competencies are increasingly in high demand for life and the world of work.

» Of Transferable Skills, Teachers and TVET 
Given that recruitment and retention of high-quality TVET teachers is already a challenge in countries of the Asia-Pacific region, this emerging need for the integration of transferable skills in TVET programs is adding further complexity to TVET teacher policies.

News and Events

» Education Beyond 2015: Collective Voices from Asia-Pacific 
Education post-2015 should guarantee equitable opportunities for all to take part in quality learning -- providing knowledge, skills, competencies and values for decent life and work, and inclusive and sustainable development -- the regional consultation concluded.

» Strengthening Education Policy through EPSSim
Education Policy and Strategy Simulation Model (EPSSim) has been adopted by dozens of countries across all regions and continues to serve as a planning and resource projection tool to improve national education systems. An updated User Guide is now available. 

» UNESCO supports the development of Uzbekistan’s ESP
The first Education Sector Plan of Uzbekistan was drafted early this year. To support the revision and improvement of the Plan, UNESCO held a technical workshop for government officials from concerned Ministries.

» What are the Three Most Important Skills a Child should Learn?
Participants at a recent Asia-Pacific Regional Thematic Consultation on Education in the Post-2015 Development Agenda shared their views on what are the three most important skills young people should learn.


Food for Thought

"Noncognitive outcome measurement is more challenging to assess than cognitive because of its highly diverse dimensions.” » source


This paper presents a collective voice from the region regarding education priorities for post 2015 development.» more

This paper discusses issues related to the teaching and assessment of 21st century skills and competence in OECD countries.» more

EPSSim is a simulation model used to analyze and project changes to complex social and economic systems.» more

Online Resources

• Education Beyond 2015
• ERI-Net 2013
• INESM Portal
• HighScope Publications

Our Networks

UNESCO encourages you to keep connected through:

• UNESCO AP Twitter
• The World We Want 2015

Invitation: Readers are invited to provide feedback and to contribute links to relevant news, articles and publications for the next issues of our e-Newsletter by email to epr.bgk(at)  

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Education Policy and Reform Unit

UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education,
920 Sukhumvit Road, Prakanong, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the articles of this newsletter are those of the authors and editors and do not necessarily reflect the policies or views of UNESCO. All rights remain with the respective copyright owners, as indicated for each resource.