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Introduction

A great diversity of research dictates the sorts the policies, priorities and strategies that can improve access to and quality of education.

But equally diverse and rich are the many political, social and economic contexts within which these policies may operate. Because of this, there is limited evidence as to what education policy decisions are best within a given socio-economic and political context and thus, which policies will actually provide an enabling environment for a coherent and sustainable education system.

Simultaneously, individual policies and initiatives that may look good on paper do not always benefit an education system. If incomplete, ill-considered or implemented in isolation from other policies, such efforts may in fact impinge upon the effectiveness of a given education system, rather than strengthen it.  Hence, there is a growing recognition of the importance of system-wide analysis, development and monitoring of education policies.

In 2012, UNESCO Bangkok conducted a literature review of existing research on education system performances to identify key features of “good” education systems. The review found that “higher performing systems” (e.g., high enrolment, high scores in international assessments, low disparity in access and learning achievement) tend to show strengths in several system areas including:

1.            Coherent policy and institutional framework;
2.            Evidence-based education planning;
3.            Strong linkages between policy and finance; and
4.            Regular monitoring for accountability.

To support countries of the Asia-Pacific region in strengthening their education systems, especially through ensuring stronger linkages between education policy, planning, financing and monitoring, UNESCO Bangkok is organizing a five-day training workshop from 27 to 31 May 2013 in Bangkok, Thailand. The workshop is aimed at strengthening capacity in developing and implementing education policies and reforms that are relevant, coherent and consistent through a deepened understanding of systemic issues in the education sector.

This workshop is designed for Government officials and managers from countries of the Asia-Pacific region, especially those involved in public policy, strategic planning and system management of the education sector. The workshop will involve an interactive approach to learning combining a mix of presentations and practical exercises on policy design and monitoring.

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