Regional Education Agenda

Including All Children in Quality Learning

Speeches and presentations

think big_Marie-Pierre

 

Day 1: 10 December 2013

 

1. The Call for Action:

Seeking political commitment for equity in education

The first component of the Regional Ministerial Education Conference will help set an agenda for quality basic education in the region through the agreement of country delegations to collaborate on the Call for Action to include all children in quality learning. It will focus on strengthening political commitments toward effective reforms for improving equity in education access and in learning. It will foster greater dialogue and horizontal cooperation in the region and beyond, between sectors and between countries.

 

SESSION 1: WELCOMING SESSION – OFFICIAL OPENING OF THE CONFERENCE

Key note addresses 

Ms. Yoka Brandt, Deputy Executive Director, UNICEF

Ms. Anna Susarenco, Youth Representative, Moldova

H.E. Mr. Nabi Avcı, Minister of National Education, Turkey

 

SESSION 2: CALL FOR ACTION – INCLUDING ALL CHILDREN IN QUALITY LEARNING

The 2015 deadline for the MDGs is fast approaching. This is a pivotal moment for collective action. The achievements of the past decade, in the region and beyond, have shown what it takes to succeed: political will at the highest levels, sound policies, and resources to scale up proven methods. However to achieve a breakthrough, an unprecedented mobilization of all traditional and new partners will be needed. The Call for Action document that will be presented in Session 2 urges governments throughout Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia to come together to collaborate to bring about Education Equity Now.

 

Situation of education equity in the region: Setting the stage for the Call for Action 

Ms. Marie-Pierre Poirier, UNICEF Regional Director for Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States
[English][Turkish][Russian]

Presentation of Call for Action 

H.E. Mr. Nabi Avcı, Minister of National Education, Turkey

Presentation of the Youth Statement on Education 

Ms. Ana Maria Duminica, Youth Representative, Romania

[English][Turkish][Russian]

 

SESSION 3: EVERY CHILD IN SCHOOL – PROMOTING EQUITY IN EDUCATION ACCESS AND COMPLETION 

Policy insight debate – Each and every child in the region has the right to quality education. Yet 2.5 million children in the region remain out of school. Many more drop out before completing the compulsory school cycle, enrol late or attend so infrequently that they achieve little within the classroom. The children that are left out of basic education in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia are those that are already marginalized from society by wider patterns of social disadvantage and discrimination, as well as by poor quality education and non-inclusive policies and practices. Poverty combined with inequities relating to gender, disability, language and ethnicity, place of residence and child labour leave children unable to access education or excluded from school learning processes. Session 3 will invite exchange on the following key questions: (1) What are the policy options that ensure equitable access to education for every child? (2) What groups of children require explicit attention in policies and how can these children’s needs be reflected in national laws and policies? (3) What programmes have proven successful in reducing the exclusion of marginalized children from school?

 

3.1 Panel Discussion: Global concern for out of school children – Toward inclusive education and equity for the most marginalized children

Human rights-based approach to achieving equity in education 

Ms. Rita Izsák, Independent Expert on Minority Issues (video statement)

Including every child in school 

Ms. Diane Richler, Joseph P Kennedy, Jr. International Fellow

The Global Out of School Children Initiative 

Mr. Albert Motivans, Head of Education Statistics, UNESCO Institute of Statistics

[English][Turkish][Russian]

 

Discussants: 

Ms. Mukkades Nalbant, Deputy Minister of Education, Bulgaria

Ms. Lia Gigauri, Deputy Minister of Education and Science, Georgia

Ms. Vesna Vučurović, Deputy Minister of Education, Montenegro

H.E. Mr. Remus Pricopie, Minister of Education, Romania

Ms.Tojiniso Fayzalievna Mahmadova , Deputy Minister of Education, Tajikistan

 

3.2 Panel Discussion: Adolescents, equity and upper secondary education

Ending Early School Leaving 

Mr. João Delgado, Head of Unit for School Education Policy, Comenius Programme, European Commission, DG Education and Culture

Mr. Fred Voncken, Director Early School Leaving, Ministry of Education, The Netherlands

[English][Turkish][Russian]

 

Discussants: 

Mr. Jeyhun Bayramov, Deputy Minister of Education, Azerbaijan

H.E. Mr. Nabi Avci, Minister of National Education, Turkey

 

Day 2: 11 December 2013

 

SESSION 4: EVERY CHILD SUPPORTED BY EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENT GOVERNANCE SYSTEMS – THE MULTI-DIMENSIONAL NATURE OF EDUCATION 

Policy insight debate – Good governance is the foundation of equitable education systems. To advance equity in school access and learning outcomes, governance and financing mechanisms must be efficient, effective, decentralized, provide a child-friendly learning environment and explicitly supportive of marginalized children’s needs. In Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia, the past twenty years have been a time of transition for many governance systems, with decentralization, public finance reform and changes in structures taking place widely. Many challenges remain in establishing strong equity-enhancing governance system. Session 4 will invite a debate around the following key questions: (1) What are the key results achieved in reforming education finance and governance systems in the region? (2) What are the priority challenges for improving governance systems, and particularly coordination across sectors? (3) What governance reforms have proven most effective in creating child-friendly learning environments for children?

 

Panel Discussion: Promoting collaborative governance systems and child-friendly learning environments to enhance equity in education and improve labour market outcomes

Education financing and governance for equity 

Mr. Alberto Rodriguez, Director of Education, Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia, World Bank

[English][Turkish][Russian]

Discussants: 

Mr. Robert Stepanyan, Head of Department of Monitoring and Development Programmes, Ministry of Education, Armenia

Mr. Vassily Budkevich, Deputy Minister of Education, Belarus

Ms. Sabina Glasovac, Assistant Minister and Head, Directorate for Preschool, Elementary and Secondary Education, Croatia

Mr. Yessengazy Imangaliyev, Deputy Minister of Education and Science, Kazakhstan

Ms. Rie Vejs-Kjeldgaard, Regional Director a.i., International Labour Organization

 

SESSION 5: EVERY CHILD LEARNING – ACHIEVING EQUITY IN LEARNING OUTCOMES

Policy insight debate – Education is ultimately judged by the learning outcomes that students take away from school. Learning outcomes determine the skills, competencies, values and knowledge that young people will carry into the labour market, society and their future families. In Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia, many students – more than half in some countries, according to PISA 2009 – leave school without the basic skills and knowledge needed to engage productively in their countries’ workforce and society. Students from disadvantaged social groups achieve learning levels far below their wealthier peers, creating large equity gaps in schooling outcomes and thus labour market access. Session 5 will invite debate around the following key questions: (1) What are the key challenges in improving equity in learning outcomes for the most marginalized children? (2) How is evidence on learning outcomes best gathered and monitored? (3) What policy approaches that have proven effective in the region for improving learning levels among the most marginalized groups? and (4) How can those reforms be integrated into the broader education laws and policies?

 

Panel Discussion: The Learning Imperative

Linking Education Participation and Learning 

Ms. Carol Bellamy, Former Chairperson of the Global Partnership for Education

The Learning Imperative 

Ms. Josephine Bourne, Associate Director, Education, UNICEF

Monitoring teacher quality 

Ms. Kristen Weatherby, OECD, Senior Analyst, Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) Programme

[English][Turkish][Russian]

Discussants: 

Ms. Nora Malaj, Deputy Minister of Education, Albania

H.E. Mr. Spiro Ristovski, Minister of Education, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Mr. Geldymammed Geldymammedov, Deputy Minister of Education, Turkmenistan

Mr. Bakhtiyor Daniyarov, Deputy Minister of Public Education, Uzbekistan

 

SESSION 6: EVERY CHILD LEARNING EARLY AND ENROLLING ON TIME – IMPROVING EQUITY AND QUALITY IN EARLY LEARNING SERVICES 

Policy insight debate – Early childhood education is the most powerful equalizer of inequities in school access and learning outcomes. It is a right for all children and a global commitment spelled out in the Education for All goals. Yet across Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia, access to early childhood education programmes remains severely limited. The absence of early education services coupled with the lack of clear starting age policies means that many children, often the most marginalized, enrol late in primary school – sometimes not until age 8. Thus marginalized children begin school already one to two academic years behind their peers from wealthier families, making it extremely difficult for them to catch up before the end of basic education. Session 6 will incite discussion on the following key questions: (1) What results have been achieved in expanding access to early childhood education services? (2) What legislative and policy approaches have been most effective in expanding access to early childhood education services and in improving the quality of those services? (3) What are the effective policy practices for ensuring on-time enrolment in primary school? (4) How can countries ensure that the most marginalized children access quality early learning services and enrol on time?

 

Panel Discussion: Early education and school readiness – Expanding access and improving quality 

Quality early education services: A key strategy for equity in education 

Ms. Caroline Arnold, Director of Education, Aga Khan Foundation

[English][Turkish], [Russian]

Ms. Sarah Klaus, Director, Early Childhood Programme, Open Society Foundations

[English][Turkish][Russian]

The Starting Age Imperative 

Mr. Keith Lewin, Professor of International Education and Development and Director of the Consortium for Research on Educational Access, Transitions and Equity (CREATE), University of Sussex

[English][Turkish][Russian]

Discussants: 

H.E. Mr. Sredoje Novic, Minister of Civil Affairs, Bosnia and Herzegovina

H.E. Mr. Kanat Sadykov, Minister of Education, Kyrgyzstan

 

SESSION 7: THE WAY FORWARD AND THE POST-2015 AGENDA 

Education is a crucial component in the discussions around the post-2015 development agenda. It is important as a goal and it is important as a strategy for achieving all development goals. In this session, speakers will make the link between the Call for Action and the ongoing discussions around the post-2015 development agenda. These discussions will provide a vision for the way forward for the Call for Action.

Linking to discussions on the Post-2015 Agenda 

Ms. Monika Linn, Chief, Development Policies and Cross-Sectoral Coordination Unit UN Economic Commission for Europe

Ms. Yoka Brandt, Deputy Executive Director, UNICEF

H.E. Mr. Nabi Avcı, Minister of National Education, Turkey

 

Day 3: 12 December 2013

 

2. Strategies for equity:

Working together to implement the Call for Action

The second component of the Conference will provide a forum for knowledge sharing, learning and exchange of good practices between countries and partners on the strategies for achieving the goals of the Call for Action. Discussions will focus on an exchange of successful practices for reducing inequities in education access and learning between countries and partners.

 

SESSION 8: STRATEGIES FOR INCLUDING EVERY CHILD IN SCHOOL – REDUCING DISCRIMINATION, IMPROVING DATA AND CLOSING SYSTEM GAPS 

Governments in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia have made much progress in past decades in advancing universal education. However, still a region in transition, Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia continues to struggle with policy environments that generate inefficiencies in management that translate into obstacles preventing children from learning and flourishing in schools. This session aims to create an exchange between countries and between countries and experts about strategies that have proven effective in tackling those inefficiencies and removing the barriers keeping children out of school. It focuses particularly on ending discrimination, closing data and policy gaps and developing policies to prevent early school leaving.

 

Session 8.1: Reducing Discrimination Against Marginalized Children

Education Equity Now! – Video presentation

Key Note Address – Strategies for ending inequities in education participation and learning 

Mr. Keith Lewin, Professor of International Education and Development and Director of the Consortium for Research on Educational Access, Transitions and Equity (CREATE), University of Sussex

[English][Turkish][Russian]

The Right to Inclusive Education: UNICEF’s Position 

Mr. Gopal Mitra, Programme Specialist, Disability Section, UNICEF NYHQ

‘It’s About Ability’: Changing perspectives on disability in Montenegro 

Ms. Vesna Vučurović, Deputy Minister of Education, Montenegro

[English][Turkish][Russian]

Tackling discrimination against Roma children – Good practices from the region 

Ms. Anasztazia Nagy, Country Officer for Roma Education Fund in Serbia, Montenegro and Croatia

[English], [Turkish], [Russian]

Sharing experience from Romania – Reducing the exclusion of Roma communities 

Ms. Liliana Preoteasa, General Director, General Directorate for Education and Lifelong Learning, Ministry of Education, Romania

[English][Turkish][Russian]

 

Session 8.2: Closing data gaps on out of school children

Improving data on out of school children in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia 

Mr. Albert Motivans, Head of Education Statistics, UNESCO Institute of Statistics [English];

and Ms. Erin Tanner, Education Specialist, UNICEF Regional Office for Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States

 [English], [Turkish], [Russian]

Improving data on children from Roma communities – MICS in Bosnia and Herzegovina 

Ms. Sanja Kabil, Education Officer, UNICEF, Bosnia and Herzegovina

[English][Turkish][Russian]

Improving data on children with disabilities 

Mr. Daniel Mont, Principal Research Associate, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London

[English], [Turkish][Russian]

 

Session 8.3: Upper secondary education – Preventing dropouts and promoting relevant skills and employability

School to Work Transition: Promoting skills for the 21st Century 

Ms. Margarete Sachs-Israel, Programme Specialist, EFA Global Partnerships Team, UNESCO

[English][Turkish][Russian]

Monitoring Early School Leavers in the Netherlands 

Mr. Fred Voncken, Director Early School Leaving, Ministry of Education, Netherlands

[English][Turkish][Russian]

Collecting data on OOSC of Upper Secondary School Age 

Mr. Salih Çelik, Deputy Under-Secretary, Ministry of National Education, Turkey

 

SESSION 9: STRATEGIES TO FOSTER GOOD GOVERNANCE – ENHANCING EDUCATION FINANCING AND COORDINATION ACROSS SECTORS 

Financing and coordination mechanisms are key strategies for reducing inequities in education. In Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia, monitoring and evaluation systems need strengthening and communities and young people need to be more involved in school and local governance mechanisms. Administrative, budgeting and financing processes often create obstacles for the most marginalized children and coordination across sectors needs strengthening. This session aims to create an exchange between countries and between countries and experts about strategies that have proven effective in strengthening these key administrative systems.

Panel Discussion: Enhancing education financing and improving cross-sectoral collaboration to promote equity

Key Note Address – Education financing for equity 

Mr. Jan Herczynski, Senior Research and Advisor to the Polish Ministry of National Education, Institute of Education Research, Warsaw

[English], [Turkish], [Russian]

Trends in education financing reform – impact on equity 

Mr. Philippe Testot-Ferry, Regional Education Advisor, UNICEF Regional Office for Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States

[English][Turkish][Russian]

Education financing in Moldova 

Ms Liliana Palihovici, Deputy Speaker of the Parliament, Moldova

[English], [Turkish], [Russian]

Multidimensional monitoring of child well-being: lessons and suggestions 

Mr. István György Tóth, Director, Tárki Social Research Institute, Budapest, Hungary

[English][Turkish][Russian]

Linking social protection to education inclusion 

Mr. Robert Stepanyan, Head of Department of Monitoring & Development Programmes, Ministry of Education, Armenia

[English][Turkish][Russian] 

 

SESSION 10: STRATEGIES FOR EXPANDING QUALITY EARLY LEARNING FOR EVERY CHILD 

There is a serious shortage of pre-primary school services and facilities in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The services that do exist are largely based in urban settings and are private in nature, making them inaccessible to the poorest, most marginalized children that would benefit most. Additionally, the quality of preschool services is of concern in the region, as little information is available on the effectiveness of teaching-learning processes in pre-primary school services, which often are unregulated by the state. This session will invite national and international technical experts in early childhood education to share their experience and successes in expanding access to early education services and in improving quality.

Session 10.1: Expanding access to early education services 

Investing in early education for equity 

Mr. Jan van Ravens, Yale University, Child Study Center

[English][Turkish][Russian]

Sharing experience from Tajikistan – Expanding access to early education with the half‑day model 

Mr. Abdujabor Aliev , Head, Department of Preschool & General Secondary Education, Ministry of Education, Tajikistan

[English][Turkish][Russian] 

Sharing experience from Turkey – Improving access to early education 

Ms. Funda Kocabıyık, Director General of Basic Education, Ministry of National Education, Turkey

[English][Turkish][Russian] 

 

Session 10.2: Improving and monitoring the quality of early education services

Young child well-being and quality early education 

Ms. Deepa Grover, Regional ECD Advisor, UNICEF Regional Office for Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States

[English][Turkish][Russian] 

Improving quality of early childhood education programmes 

H.E. Mr. Dime Spasov, Minister of Labour and Social Policy, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Q&A – The link between quality early learning, on-time enrolment and learning in primary school 

Ms. Caroline Arnold, Director of Education, Aga Khan Foundation; and Mr. Keith Lewin, Professor of International Education and Development and Director of the Consortium for Research on Educational Access, Transitions and Equity (CREATE), University of Sussex

 

Day 4: 13 December 2013

SESSION 11: STRATEGIES TO SUPPORT EVERY CHILD TO LEARN 

Education is ultimately judged by the learning outcomes that students take away from school. Learning outcomes determine the skills, competencies, values and knowledge that young people will carry into the labour market, society and their future families. In Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia, as elsewhere in the world, many students leave school without the basic skills and knowledge needed to engage productively in their countries’ workforce and society. This serious inefficiency results from a lack of quality standards, from a lack of monitoring of learning outcomes and from poor quality teaching-learning processes that detract from the very purpose of education. This session aims to create an exchange between countries and between countries and experts about strategies that have proven successful for improving learning outcomes, with particular focus on the most marginalized children. It focuses particularly on making teaching-learning processes more inclusive and of better quality through standards, monitoring of learning and investment in teachers.

 

Session 11.1: Monitoring and improving learning outcomes 

Key note address – Monitoring learning outcomes through PISA 

Mr. Andreas Schleicher, Deputy Director for Education and Skills, OECD (video)

Analysis of learning outcomes according to PISA 2009 

Mr. Philippe Testot-Ferry, Regional Education Advisor, UNICEF Regional Office for Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States

[English][Turkish][Russian] 

The role of national assessments 

Mr. Aaron Benavot, Professor, School of Education, State University of New York

[English][Turkish][Russian] 

Improving learning outcomes: the experience of Croatia 

Ms. Michelle Bras Roth, Head of the PISA Centre, National Centre for External Evaluation of Education, Croatia

[English][Turkish][Russian] 

 

Session 11.2: Reforming teacher recruitment and qualifications systems 

Teacher quality in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia 

Ms. Gita Steiner-Khamsi, Professor, Teachers College, Columbia University

[English][Turkish][Russian] 

Active learning and standards of quality basic education 

Mr. Emin Amrullayev, Head of Education Quality Section, Ministry of Education of Azerbaijan

[English][Turkish][Russian]

Improving teacher quality in Uzbekistan 

Mr. Fayzilla Akhmedov, Head of Main Department for Organization of the Activities of Educational Institutions, Ministry of Public Education, Uzbekistan

[English][Turkish][Russian] 

Education standards for the 21st Century 

Ms. Liana Ghent, Executive Director, International Step by Step Association

[English], [Turkish][Russian] 

 

Session 11.3: Making education staff and services more inclusive for learners 

Key Note Address – Closing policy gaps: policy strategies to support inclusive education for children with disabilities 

Ms. Kate Lapham, Senior Program Manager, Education Support Program, Open Society Foundations

[English][Turkish][Russian] 

Inclusive schools for inclusive education and care for children with disabilities – the Bulgarian experience 

Ms. Mukkades Nalbant, Deputy Minister of Education, Bulgaria

Ending school segregation 

Ms. Galina Bulat, Inclusive Education Project Manager, Lumos

[English][Turkish][Russian] 

Inclusive schools for inclusive learning 

Ms. Natasha Graham, International Disability Expert, Partnership for Child Development

[English], [Turkish][Russian] 

Inclusive learning for children with disabilities 

Ms. Denise Roza, Executive Director, Perspektiva

[English], [Turkish][Russian] 

 

SESSION 12: CLOSING REMARKS 

Mr. Andreas Schleicher, Deputy Director for Education and Skills, OECD

Ms. Marie-Pierre Poirier, UNICEF Regional Director for Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States

Mr. Yusuf Ziya Yediyildiz, Director General of European Union and Foreign Relations, Ministry of National Education, Turkey