Attaining quality for all - Attaining quality for all
Attaining Quality Education for All
Education planners in government agencies around the world are now responsible for helping to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 4, ensuring “inclusive and equitable quality education” for all. But it is not always easy to know how to improve education quality. What should be prioritized? How will existing practices need to change? Who will accomplish these changes?
To get a sense of how planners around the world are thinking about education quality issues, we asked IIEP Advanced Training Programme alumni from seven countries the following question:
Which aspect of your education system would you most like to improve in order to attain a "quality education" for all?
For these education planners, teacher issues clearly held a high priority. All of our interviewees mentioned at least one issue related to Teachers & Pedagogy, with the specific issue of recruiting and equitably deploying effective teachers at the top of the list. Closely following were issues related to Curriculum & Materials, such as developing more culturally-relevant curriculum, ensuring that textbooks are available, and addressing ICT and other technology issues.
Figure 1: Teacher and Pedagogy issues are the most important to address in order to improve learning, according to the education planners interviewed in seven countries
"Every level of education in our educational system has its specific problems,” commented Lalao Rakotoarivony from Madagascar, “but […] I think teacher training is paramount. Those who want a career in teaching should follow the corresponding initial training. And in-service or continuous training must also be systematic and keep up with technological changes. The State must therefore make arrangements regarding the creation and decentralization of teacher training schools and the establishment of functional teacher management structures.”
Alfred Ampah-Mensa said the focus in Ghana should be on improving pedagogy. “I would love to promote 'learning focused pedagogy' at the basic level. The issue is that we focus too much on teaching in the form of transmission, to the detriment of learning, and this has the potential of making learners passive. […] I believe that a learning focused pedagogy that makes learners active has the potential of motivating students to pursue lifelong learning.”
From Angola, Maria Cristina Amaro pointed out, “A good teacher may be able to give a good class under a tree, while a badly trained teacher will never be able to do it anywhere. On the other hand, pedagogical inspection and supervision should also work along with teacher training in a coordinated and healthy way. These three aspects, operating with a radius of action that includes the community, can raise the quality of education, contribute to healthy leadership, and open a door to the treatment of other issues that are also considered important (such as curriculum, school standards, textbooks, etc.).”
The equitable deployment of teachers was also an important issue. “In my view, equal access and quality of education in primary level in remote areas should be improved to meet the national level,” Soeur Chumnith argued, speaking from his experience in Cambodia. “Teacher deployment, motivation and retention should be carried out effectively and fairly. Curriculum should be updated to meet the regional standard and fully implemented in the whole country. Children must benefit from new paradigms of innovation. We should never leave anyone behind; your child is my child.”
Karim Sere Abdouramane of Burkina Faso agreed, “Training and management of teachers is fundamental in improving the quality of education. PASEC studies have shown that a well-trained and motivated teacher contributes positively to improving the level of students’ learning acquisition. Similarly, a better allocation of qualified teachers is also a factor in reducing disparities in school achievement between different localities. In particular, it will boost the level of acquisition of the most vulnerable students.”
While a central concern, teaching quality was not the only issue mentioned by these education planners. “We need to improve teaching and learning by recruiting qualified and motivated teachers into the system,” Amina Hima of Niger concurred. But, she continued, “We also need to provide a favorable school environment to all without discrimination. Finally, we should develop textbooks that are adapted to the socio-cultural realities of the country.”
In Afghanistan, the preparation and equal treatment of learners is also a key issue, according to Baluch Noori. “In order to attain quality education for all by 2030 in Afghanistan, we need to enhance Early Childhood Care and Education, provide learning opportunities for girls, and improve the literacy rate, gender equality, and provincial equity on quality dimensions such as qualified teachers, curriculum and textbooks, and a suitable school environment.”
Overall, these education planners mentioned many of the strategies for improving learning that we have featured on the Improve Learning section of the IIEP Learning Portal. Click here to read a brief summary of 25 Ways to Improve Learning, or to read our full set of research briefs on learning.
Contributed by : IIEP Advanced Training Programme Alumni