Education Policy Matters!

April 2013 | Issue 15 | UNESCO Bangkok

It's well known that improving student learning in the Asia-Pacific is critical. But HOW? This month, we focus on learning assessment in the Asia-Pacific as UNESCO Bangkok unveils a new platform on quality learning. We interview Dr Esther Sui-Chu Ho on regional assessment trends and we look to how TVET is being assessed. In addition, learn about our training course on education policy formulation and monitoring, 'transversal/non-cognitive skills' in schools, confronting 'shadow education' and the wonderful work of Thailand's Quality Learning Foundation.

Highlight: Learning Assessment

» Asia-Pacific Launches New Platform on Quality of Education
On 27-28 March 2013 in Bangkok, the Network on Education Quality Monitoring in the Asia-Pacific (NEQMAP) was established and launched. This new platform provides an exciting opportunity for countries to share experience on student learning assessment and related areas.

» Improving Student Learning Critical. Let's Focus on How
Countries of the Asia-Pacific region are increasingly concerned with improving educational quality. We spoke with Dr. Esther Sui-Chu Ho of the Hong Kong PISA Centre about student learning assessment, regional assessment trends and NEQMAP.

» How is TVET Assessed?
Since TVET is more practical in nature and oriented towards the world of work, its assessment methods need to confirm that an individual can satisfactorily perform a specific skill or competency as per standards set by industry.

News and Events

» Training on Education Policy Formulation and Monitoring
UNESCO Bangkok opens a five-day training course for education practitioners and policy makers on 27-31 May 2013 in Bangkok, Thailand. It is expected to receive maximum of 25 participants; deadline for application is 15 May 2013. Apply Now!

» Non-cognitive/transversal Skills in Education: Study Begins!
There is more to education than doing well in math and science and other core subjects. Researchers from across the region embark on a multi-country study on non-cognitive/ transversal skills in education and look to the heart of education. 

» Confronting the Growth of Shadow Education
Private supplementary tutoring, known as shadow education has a long history in some parts of Asia but has greatly expanded in recent decades. Tutoring can be beneficial when it facilitates children's learning; yet it can have a negative impact on schooling.

» Advancing Curricular Reform in Thailand
The Quality Learning Foundation (Thailand) invited UNESCO Bangkok to share ‘International Lessons on Curriculum Reform and Development’ at its seminar on 29 March 2013. Read more about the seminar here.

» Vox Pop: Future of Education: Asia-Pacific Responses
Access? Quality? Global Citizenship? Skills/Competencies? Partnerships and Financing? What could be priority areas for education beyond 2015? Participants of a Regional Thematic Consultation gave their views.

» GAW: "We will not Meet our Education Goals without Teachers.”
The 2013 Global Action Week (GAW) on Education for All focused on the theme of “Every Child Needs a Teacher.” In so doing, it reflected the crucial importance of teachers, without whom “a school is just a building,” in the words of this year’s GAW campaign.


Food for Thought

"In the future, Education will be interactive, innovative and inclusive" -- Edwin Zuidema


The Use of Student Assessment in Policy and Learning Improvement
This report provides information from 17 countries in the Asia Pacific on how international and national assessments are used for policy and learning improvements.

Multilevel Analysis of the PISA Data: Insights for Policy and Practice
This book presents analysis by linking student performance to the structure and processes of both the family and the school.

PISA In Focus, Grade Expectations
Countries vary in the way they use marks. Marks not only measure students' progress in school, they also indicate the skills, behaviors, habits and attitudes. 

Online Resources

• Education Beyond 2015
• INESM Portal
• Education System Profiles

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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.