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Public-private Partnership in Education Personnel Development

As reiterated in the recently adopted 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, global partnership is crucial for implementation of the new global goals. Cooperation between governments, private sector, civil society, the UN system and stakeholders is needed in order to mobilize all available resources to facilitate implementation of the development agenda at all levels. It has been shown in many development projects that sustainable development is more likely when public-private partnership was established and carried on. The project “Strengthening the Education System of Thailand for Effective Human Resource Development” can be one example.

This project was implemented by the UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) and UNESCO Bangkok in partnership with the Thai Ministry of Education, with financial support from the J.P. Morgan Chase Foundation.  The project was conducted from April 2014 until the end of August 2015.  This project is the extension of the IIEP Programme on Education Sector Planning (ESP) undertaken with the same partners in 2012-2013 for three Asian Countries (Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam).

In the ESP programme, the Distance Education Programme on Education Sector Planning, designed by IIEP in 2008 and first run in East African countries in 2009, was adapted for the three countries. The 11 month programme aimed to fill the gap between the increasing need for coherent educational planning and programming, and relatively limited national capacities available for the preparation and implementation of education sector development plans. The programme was delivered in English and included individual work, group assignments, interaction with international and local specialists in the field of sector planning, and both individual and group assessments. Interactions were mainly conducted at a distance, and were complemented with face-to-face group-work sessions organized at country level at regular intervals throughout the programme. A residential regional workshop was also organized in partnership with the Faculty of Education of the University of Hong Kong to give opportunities for participants from the three countries to exchange learning experience.  This was done with the active support of qualified local training institutions with expertise in the field of educational planning. The implementation at national levels was supported by UNESCO Field Offices in Jakarta, Bangkok and Hanoi respectively. 

The ESP programme trained a group of staff from different departments within the Ministry of Education as well as other ministries and institutions working in the area of education policy formulation and sector planning.  Trainees in the three countries had positive feedback and felt that the contents were rich and useful to their work. In order to upscale the programme, a presentation in English language would have been an obstacle; for better use within the Ministry of Education at central and decentralized levels and appropriation by education officials, translation into Thai and adaptation to local contexts were considered necessary. The project partners took this feedback seriously. With additional support from the J.P. Morgan Chase Foundation, for Thailand, the “Strengthening the Education System of Thailand for Effective Human Resource Development” project was initiated.  The key interventions were the preparation of country-specific education planning materials in Thai language, based on the IIEP’s ESP course materials, and support in the training of Thai trainers.  These involved close collaboration among national counterparts (Thai translator, senior professors and officials as peer review committees and training course facilitators) and support from top management in the Ministry of Education. With Thai language as a medium and Thai experts as the facilitators, the training was adapted to reflect the context of the Thai education system. In addition, case studies and real life examples were included.  This will help the trainees to better understand the course materials and effectively discuss the issues and challenges from their work experience.

At the end of the project, the training materials in Thai were made available for national stakeholders to make use of and disseminate widely for further trainings in the country.  Twenty-five education personnel who were seen to have the potential to be trainers in education planning were trained with the Thai materials. All stakeholders recognized the achievement of the project as a result of the partnership.  However, continuity is needed in order to expand the scope of the activities and sustain the development of education personnel in the country.  Education stakeholders at all levels of the system should continue to seek ways for collaboration in development projects aiming at achieving common goals agreed upon in the 2030 international agenda.

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

Written by Ratchakorn Kulsawet [r.kulsawet(at)]

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