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Progress of Secondary Education in Asia. Challenges, Responses and Lessons. R.Govinda National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration, New Delhi. Context of Education Development in Asia.

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progress of secondary education in asia

Progress of Secondary Education in Asia

Challenges, Responses and Lessons

R.Govinda

National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration, New Delhi

context of education development in asia
Context of Education Development in Asia
  • Not a long history – the story of building a modern mass education system spans over just 5-6 decades
  • Struggle against many negative factors – poverty – internal strife and political upheavals – false starts – carrying the burden of colonial legacy
  • Asia-Pacific region accounts for about 60% of the world population, of which one fifth are adolescents and over 50% are below the age of 25.
context of education development in asia3
Context of Education Development in Asia
  • A world of paradox – cradle of ancient civilizations – but host to largest number of non-literates in the world
  • Many of them, especially females and other disadvantaged groups, remain out of school, living in poverty and other conditions harmful to their physical and psychological health; many are at high risk of drug abuse and HIV/AIDS.
context of education development in asia4
Context of Education Development in Asia
  • Despite handicaps and internal contradictions an objective balance sheet would highlight the remarkable progress made by the continent in a relatively short period of time
  • It is this story of working against multiple odds and making progress under very unequal and diverse conditions – that makes the experiences from Asia very relevant to the efforts being made to expand secondary education in Africa
this presentation
This presentation
  • Not a quantitative picture of growth of secondary education
  • Illustrations of experiences - challenges and responses that hold lessons for reflection
  • Illustrations from selected countries from East and South Asia
what factors triggered and sustained expansion of secondary education in asian countries
What factors triggered and sustained expansion of secondary education in Asian Countries?
  • According to the 2001 World Development Indicators, the gross enrollment ratio from 1980 to 1997 increased
    • from 29% to 56% in Indonesia,
    • from 64% to 78% in the Philippines
    • from 42% to 57% in Vietnam
    • From 24% to 49% in India
  • In the case of China and Thailand, the ratio increased over 20% during the same period,
    • from 46% to 70% in China and
    • from 29% to 59% in Thailand. 
  • Almost all countries in the Asia region have experienced substantial growth in secondary school enrollments over the past decade
what factors triggered and sustained expansion of secondary education in asian countries8
What factors triggered and sustained expansion of secondary education in Asian Countries?
  • In several East Asian countries, growth in secondary education has taken place along side faster economic growth – Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia – China presents similar but slightly different scene
  • In South Asia, success in expanding primary school enrollment, combined with population explosion, is generating considerable demand for expansion of secondary education - this is the case in countries like India, Sri Lanka ( and the Philippines in East Asia)
  • Yet in all countries, faster growth has been supported by measured steps to increase access by setting targets for growth
expanding secondary education acting on the policy front
Expanding Secondary Education Acting on the Policy Front
  • Many national governments have taken on the challenge of making lower secondary schooling compulsory
    • In 1994, Indonesia expanded its definition of basic education to include nine years of primary and junior secondary school
    • Thailand did the same initially and in the latest Educational Policy vows to make 12 years of schooling universal
expanding secondary education acting on the policy front10
Expanding Secondary Education Acting on the Policy Front
  • India has made 8 years of schooling a Fundamental Right (universal and compulsory) and has drawn up proposals to make secondary education (12 years) universal by 2020
  • Singapore and Korea have achieved high success in making secondary education universal without making attendance compulsory
expanding secondary education acting on the policy front11
Expanding Secondary Education Acting on the Policy Front
  • There is increased feeling among the leadership that primary schooling is not enough – it does not equip even with basic life-skills for the globalised economy and secondary schooling is essential for any progress in personal as well as national development
balancing quantity quality equity the elusive triangle
Balancing Quantity-Quality-EquityThe Elusive Triangle
  • Secondary education historically has the tendency to grow in urban areas and richer neighborhoods – in many countries it has been unfavourable to participation of marginalised groups and girls
  • All countries have attempted to address this issue though in different ways and with different levels of success
balancing quantity quality equity the elusive triangle13
Balancing Quantity-Quality-EquityThe Elusive Triangle
  • Principle 1: Go where you have to – target specific areas which need attention the most
  • Thailand
    • Targeted expansion programme in rural areas - Step taken in 1991 to open lower secondary classes on a free-of-charge basis in selected villages
balancing quantity quality equity the elusive triangle14
Balancing Quantity-Quality-EquityThe Elusive Triangle
  • India
    • Programme of building pace-setting schools in rural areas
    • Building Residential Schools for Marginalised and Ethnic Minority Groups
    • Programme for bringing back street children and child labourers into school mainstream through Residential Bridge Courses (Andhra Pradesh)
balancing quantity quality equity the elusive triangle15
Balancing Quantity-Quality-EquityThe Elusive Triangle
  • Principle 2: Compensate/Support those who really need – Direct transfer instead of subsidizing schools where they study
  • Female Stipend Program of Bangladesh
    • All girls in rural areas who enter secondary school are eligible for a monthly sum ranging from Taka 25 in Class 6 to Taka 60 in Class 10 (between US$0.37– $0.88). Girls receive additional payments in Class 9 for new books and in Class 10 for exam fees.
balancing quantity quality equity the elusive triangle16
Balancing Quantity-Quality-EquityThe Elusive Triangle
  • Malaysia - Poor Students Trust Fund (KWAPM)
    • The Fund was created to assist parents who face difficulty in putting their children in school – children have to be from Below Poverty Line families
  • Matriculation and Post-Matriculation scholarships for Scheduled Caste children in India
facilitating transition between and within secondary cycle
Facilitating Transition between and within Secondary Cycle
  • Transition between cycles is fairly high – around 80% - this represents high aspirations among parents and children
  • But grade transition within the cycle is relatively low in some countries - In some countries around 50% children entering the cycle do not complete the lower secondary cycle
    • Inability to adjust to the academic demands
    • Failure to pass annual examinations
    • Cost considerations – opportunity cost of schooling
facilitating transition between and within secondary cycle18
Facilitating Transition between and within Secondary Cycle
  • Overcoming Structural impediments
    • Should lower secondary be attached to primary or be made part of secondary schools?
    • The former is likely to improve easy transition to secondary classes. But what are the cost implications? And what is the impact on quality of infrastructure provisioning and teacher supply?
    • Needs careful school mapping exercise – perhaps there is no standard solution for all regions even within a country
  • Asian countries present too varied a picture
what kind of education orchestrating secondary curriculum
What Kind of Education? Orchestrating Secondary Curriculum
  • In general, lower secondary is not seen as a terminal stage of schooling.
  • One of the aims is to ensure that as many students as possible continue into the upper secondary phase, even though a substantial proposition of children do not pass the school final examination and therefore move into working life.
what kind of education orchestrating secondary curriculum20
What Kind of Education? Orchestrating Secondary Curriculum
  • What about diversification? - General trend is to have common general education programme for a longer period of time – India follows a common curriculum for all till grade 10th
  • East Asian countries have introduced some diversification as well as vocational content at the lower secondary stage - yet this is not significant particularly at the lower secondary level
what kind of education dilemma of modernisation and internationalisation
What Kind of Education?Dilemma of Modernisation and Internationalisation
  • Science and Mathematics study occupies prime place – about 50% of teaching time is devoted to these subjects
  • Computer literacy forms an integral part of secondary education in all countries though with different levels of skill expectations
  • How to update and modernize curricula while preserving national identity? - A deep concern to develop curriculum fostering respect for, and preservation of, cultural traditions and indigenous values and ways of life
what kind of education dilemma of modernisation and internationalisation23
What Kind of Education?Dilemma of Modernisation and Internationalisation
  • Citizenship education is firmly built into the curricula of the majority of the countries;
  • Value education is also emphasized in most countries of the region
  • Recent curriculum reform in India has introduced peace education as an important component
who will teach in the new schools supply of qualified teachers
Who will teach in the new schools: Supply of Qualified Teachers
  • Need for subject specialisation? University based courses? It is not just fixing the TPR
  • A mixed bag
    • In India, generalist teachers at early part of lower secondary to university trained specialist teachers during the latter part of lower and upper secondary
    • China has the tradition of subject specific teachers even during the primary stage
  • This is an important issue impacting supply of teacher with adequate and possessing officially specified academic and professional qualifications
who will teach in the new schools supply of qualified teachers25
Who will teach in the new schools: Supply of Qualified Teachers
  • Need for lead time for proper expansion linked to capacity of pre-service teacher education system
  • Problem of science and mathematics teachers is almost universal
  • Demand for English language teachers is also expanding
who will teach in the new schools supply of qualified teachers26
Who will teach in the new schools: Supply of Qualified Teachers
  • Alternate Measures during lead time
    • Accelerated preservice teacher training
    • Relaxation of teacher certification requirements
    • Contract teachers with at a lower monthly salary
    • Use of Distance Education for Pre-service training
  • Setting up of a statutory body for monitoring teacher quality and their certification
    • National Council of Teacher Education in India
  • There is also a downward linkage of tertiary education influencing the growth and supply of teachers for secondary education – the case of Karnataka science stream in India
making the school work
Making the School work
  • What the Developed Countries do, we can also do (– overcoming ‘We are a poor country’ syndrome) but in our own way
  • New methods of quality monitoring – establishment of independent Quality Assessment and Monitoring Agency is one such – Thailand and Malaysia
  • Attempts are being made for empowering School Management Committees to introduce School Improvement Planning as a standard feature of Secondary schools in Karnataka in India
  • ICT based School Governance Network for Educational Improvement in Northwest China
making the school work28
Making the School work
  • Improving Information system for monitoring school functioning for Greater Transparency
    • In India, a School Report Card is posted on the internet for every school in the country
  • Setting basic norms of school provision - benchmarking
    • Physical infrastructure, academic facilities
    • Teacher-pupil ratio and teacher qualification
    • sufficient numbers of textbooks
    • …..
  • Introducing National Testing Programme is another method adopted by some countries to impact on school quality
reaching the unreached through alternative models
Reaching the Unreached through Alternative Models
  • Alternative modes of Delivery tend to have lower per student costs than conventional schools even while providing access to populations and areas that are typically more expensive to serve.
  • Different models in differing combination are being tried out: Distance Education; Open Learning; Non-formal Education outside the school
  • Indonesia’s Equivalent Non-formal Education Programme (Paket B and Paket C) – Transfer to and from the formal school is ensured through legislation
reaching the unreached through alternative models30
Reaching the Unreached through Alternative Models
  • Different countries have adopted Distance Education model with varying levels of technology - simple postal correspondence to internet based courses
    • The case of National Open School in India – emergence of State Open School in different States
    • Air Correspondence High Schools in South Korea
    • The Philippine Nonformal Education Project
    • Indonesia – Open Junior Secondary School – supported by audiocassettes, radio programmes and TV or video programmes – follows a group-study model
    • Use of dedicated Educational Satellite in India with several thousand points for downlinking – providing for interactive learning
reaching the unreached through alternative models31
Reaching the Unreached through Alternative Models
  • China plans to train during next 10 years, One million persons with applicable skills in rural areas and with secondary vocational education diploma. Among them, there will be 350,000 skilled farmers in crop and animal farming and product processing; 450,000 skilled in farm business management and 200,000 skilled in different disciplines and sciences and technologies of importance to rural areas.
  • The Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) of Pakistan has been running since 1986 the Women’s Secondary Education Project (WSEP) through distance learning - to make secondary education available to women who did not have access to formal high schools after completing middle-level education (up to Grade 8).
public financing of secondary education how and how much
Public Financing of Secondary Education – How and How much?
  • Is there and should there be a role for private providers in expanding secondary education?
  • This was not a serious issue in those countries which have already achieved high levels of enrollment – they did this at a different time
  • But in countries which are trying to expand now – in the present day world of WTO and economic liberalisation – discourse on this issue cannot be shut out
public financing of secondary education how and how much33
Public Financing of Secondary Education - How and How much?
  • The central issue is Not “if public spending on education has to increase” or “if the State has to take major responsibility for expansion”
  • There is fast, almost uncontrolled, expansion of self-financing private schools in many developing countries - Poorer the country more serious is the issue
  • Questions to explore:
    • How to ensure that scarce public resources benefit the really needy in the expansion process?
    • More important - How to attract private resources to public education?
public financing of secondary education how and how much36
Public Financing of Secondary Education - How and How much?
  • The Indian case is interesting
    • One, should government supported privately managed schools be the route to achieve private – public partnership and attract private resources for public education system?
    • Two, there has been a significant increase in participation of Non-Governmental and Corporate sector in promoting primary education – could this be the route for attracting private resources for secondary education?
  • Old models may not be relevant – need for out-of-the-box thinking
in conclusion
In Conclusion …
  • Merely looking within the formal school walls is not enough – break the intergenerational spiral of low or no education by reaching out-of-school youth through non-formal education – create a literate environment
  • We are operating in a new world of ICT which has the potential to change almost every dimension of school provision – demands new way of looking at expansion – not merely building school rooms and appointing teachers
in conclusion38
In Conclusion …

Socio-political realities have enormously changed - Children are now Growing up in a Pluralistic World – More than ever before

Expansion should not mean giving more of the same … Capability and right attitude to ‘live together’ in a world underscored by cohabitation of multiple perspectives of religion, culture, language and ideology are critical requirement for everyone

Secondary Education is the right period to imbibe this capacity for learning to live together

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