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Development since Jomtíen: E F A in the Middle East and North Africa

Development since Jomtien E F A in the Middle East and North Africa Report of a Seminar on 'Education for All: four years after Jomtien' organized in Amman, Jordan from 19 to 22 October 1994

Edited by Irène Lorfing and R . Govinda

Paris 1995 U N E S C O : International Institute for Educational Planning

The views and opinions expressed in this volume are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of U N E S C O or of the IIEP. T h e designations employed and the presentation of material throughout this volume d o not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever o n the part of U N E S C O or IffiP concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or its authorities, or concerning its frontiers or boundaries. The international cost of this study has been covered b y a contribution from U N I C E F .

This volume has been typeset using IIEP's computer facilities and has been printed in IIEP's workshop

International Institute for Educational Planning 7-9, rue Eugène-Delacroix, 75116 Paris Cover design by Thanh-Hoa Desruelles

© U N E S C O June 1995

IIEP/ph

Preface

In March, 1990, 155 M e m b e r States of the United Nations Organization adopted the World Declaration on Education For All in Jomtien and agreed upon the Framework of Action to meet fundamental educational needs capable of realizing the goals set forth in the declaration. The first article of the declaration lays d o w n the objective to be reached; namely, to respond to the fundamental requirements of every h u m a n being. Six further articles specify the nature of the desired education and the ways and means of implementing it. T h efinalthree articles focus on the requisite conditions for the success of this colossal undertaking: flanking policies, the mobilization of resources, and greater international solidarity. The framework of action contemplates three main levels: (i) direct action within countries; (ii) co-operation between groups of countries which have some features in c o m m o n and which share some concerns; and, (iii) bilateral and multilateral co-operation within the world community. Furthermore, it proposes intermediate and specific targets as well as guidelines for instituting a tentative agenda for the realization of phases throughout the 1990s. The preparatory phase w a s 1990/1991, and from 1990 through 1993 the apparatus for consultation and co-operation a m o n g all the partners w a s to be consolidated and set in motion, with the attendant follow-up procedures. O n balance, what has been the outcome of the three-year follow-up in the different M e m b e r States represented since the above commitments were given? U N I C E F , one of the major promoters of the Jomtien Conference (along with U N D P , U N E S C O , and the World Bank) m a d e a special pledge to help meet the goals adopted and hence took the initiative of

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Preface

organizing - in conjunction with the IIEP - a series of meetings for high ranking decision-makers in various regions and sub-regions of the world. Such seminars meet the concern of U N I C E F and the IIEP to provide support to national efforts in favour of Education for All, to facilitate the sharing of difficulties, successes, and initiatives, and to voice the results achieved to all partners involved in bilateral and multilateral co-operation. Thefirstseminar in this series of meetings was held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, from 6 to 8 April 1993, which brought together decisionmakers from six countries of the Sahelian region. The second seminar was conducted in Kampala, Uganda, from 21-23 September 1993, with participants representing seven countries of Southern and Eastern Africa. This present volume contains the report of a third such meeting held in A m m a n , Jordan, from 19 to 2 2 October 1994. The IIEP wishes to thank the U N I C E F Offices and Governments of participating countries for their co-operation and support in the preparation of reference documents and the organisation of the seminar.

Jacques Hallak Assistant Director-General Director IIEP

vi

Contents

Preface List o f abbreviations Part I S e m i n a r organization and proceedings I. S e m i n a r organization II. S e m i n a r proceedings III. Conclusions a n d implications for action Part II

Status analysis and review of critical issues in seven countries from the Middle East and North Africa

Chapter I General background 1. Demographic and geographical factors 2. Economic and political factors

1 5 9 20

25 29 29 31

Chapter II 1. 2. 3.

Post Jomtien actions taken to plan and implement Jomtien goals Advocacy Planning education for all Implementation of E F A plans

v x

Chapter III Developments in basic education, 1990-1993 1. Availability of basic education services 2. Participation in basic education 3. Quality of basic education 4. Non-formal education programmes for adults and out of school adolescents 5. Financing of basic education

35 38 38 38 42 42 46 54 59 64 vu

Contents

Chapter IV Achievements and future challenges 1. The E F A process in the participating countries 2 . Progress made on access to primary education 3. Improving retention rates 4 . Enhancing quality 5. Paying for education for all

66 67 67 69 69 70

Chapter V Overview of critical issues 1. Pooling of resources 2. Alternative patterns of provision and equity 3. Strengthening retention 4 . Quality of education

71 71 72 73 74

Part III

Case studies presented by the national teams

77

Theme I

Improving access and retention: focus on equity

81

Overview 1. Community schools project - Egypt 2.

3.

The mobile school. A n experimental project for the education of Nomads in Darfur State - Sudan

89

School mapping as a means of devising five-year plans for educational development - O m a n

93

T h e m e II

Enhancing the relevance of basic education through curriculum reform

Overview 1. Improving the quality of primary education through n e w school curriculum - Egypt 2.

Vlll

81 83

Vocational education component and the school curriculum - Jordan

99 99 102

105

Contents

3.

Rural education experiment in some selected schools - Syria

Theme III

Improving the quality of basic education

109 112

Overview

112

1. Learning resource centres - Jordan

114

2.

121

In-service training of teachers - Jordan

3.

Education for awareness and involvement. A pilot project for the development of relevant education - Palestine 126 Theme IV Strengthening links between the community and basic education 132 Overview 132 1.

Youth education project - The Sudan

135

2.

Fathers' and mothers' councils in schools - O m a n

139

3.

Literacy strategies used for the post-literacy stage - Syria

152

Appendices Appendix I Appendix II Appendix III Appendix IV

Information note List of participants Seminar programme Opening address by HRH the Crown Prince al Hassan

161 163 166 177 181

ix

List of abbreviations

ADB

Asian Development Bank

AGFUND

Arab Gulf Programme for United Nations Development Organizations

AIDS

Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome

ALECSO

Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization

ARLO

Arab literacy and adult education organisation

CIDA

Canadian International Development Agency

CSI

Community School Initiative

ECE

Early Childhood Education

EEC

European Economic Community

EFA

Education for All

GER

Gross Enrolment Ratio

GNP

Gross National Product

GTZ

German Agency for Technical Co-operation

IIEP

International Institute for Educational Planning (Paris)

KG

Kindergarten

MOE

Ministry of Education

NCERD

National Centre for Educational Research and Development

NGOs

Non-Governmental Organizations

NPA

National Programme of Action

x

List of abbreviations

ODA

Overseas Development Agency

OPEC

Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries

OXFAM SCF

Save the Children Federation, U S A

SIDA

Swedish International Development Authority

UNICEFMENARO

U N I C E F Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa

UNDP

United Nations Development Programme

UNESCO

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

UNFPA

United Nations Fund for Population Activities

UNICEF

United Nations International Children's Fund

UNRWA

United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

WB

World Bank

WFP

World Food Programme

WHO

World Health Organization

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Part I

Seminar organization and proceedings

Parti

Seminar organization and proceedings

Introduction In March 1990, 155 world leaders and heads of State, gathered in Jomtien, Thailand, for a conference o n "Education for All" (EFA). This key event came as a response to a world-wide concern over the growing population of illiterates, the deterioration of education systems and, as a consequence, the increasing number of children and adults w h o remain functionally illiterate and unable to participate fully in the development of their countries. The Conference was convened by four major organizations concerned with h u m a n welfare and development, namely, U N E S C O , U N I C E F , U N D P and the World Bank. T h e organizers brought together representatives from governments, intergovernmental bodies, nongovernmental organizations ( N G O s ) , institutes and foundations. They all adopted the World Declaration on Education for All, which reaffirmed the international community's commitment for ensuring therightto education for all people. It also effectively broadened the scope of basic education to include early childhood development, primary education, non-formal learning including literacy for adults and youth, and learning conveyed through the media and social action. They also agreed on a Framework for Action to meet basic learning needs meant to serve as a guideline for countries and organizations in their planning and implementation of Education for All. The expanded vision of the concept of basic education has three objectives, to: ensure access to basic education to all children and adults; ensure equal opportunities for all, in terms of distribution and utilization of educational facilities; and

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Development since Jomtien



ensure quality and efficiency of education in order to meet the basic needs of individuals.

Following the Conference Declaration, all national governments as well as international agencies have been engaged in implementing basic education programmes in pursuance of the E F A goals. It is within this context of action that U N I C E F and the International Institute for Educational Planning (1ШР) have been jointly organizing a series of policy-level seminars on basic education, in different regions of the world. The aim of these seminars is to bring together policy-makers from countries in specific regions with c o m m o n concerns and cultural and geographic characteristics in order to share information on the situation of E F A in their countries and to discuss their experiences in moving towards the goal of E F A . W h a t follows, is a report of such a seminar, held from 19-22 October 1994, in A m m a n , Jordan, which brought together senior planners and policy-makers from six countries of the region, namely, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Palestine, the Sultanate of O m a n and the Sudan. Since Jomtien, each of the seven countries involved in the regional seminar has been working towards the achievement of E F A goals. For this purpose, working plans and strategies have been developed and innovative projects implemented. The purpose of this regional seminar was to give the participating countries an opportunity to share experiences and discuss issues and challenges inherent in their struggle to achieve basic education for all.

4

I. Seminar organization

Following the World Declaration on Education for All, U N I C E F and 1 Ш Р have jointly organized two seminars bringing together participants from several countries of Africa. The first seminar took place in Ougadougou, in April 1993, and brought together representatives from six countries of the Sahel. The second took place in Kampala, in October 1993, for seven countries from eastern and southern Africa. The present seminar was the third in the series of policy-level meetings organized by U N I C E F and IIEP. The aim of this seminar was to bring together Arab policy-makers from North Africa and the Middle East, to reflect on their country experiences, discuss c o m m o n issues in the region, share information and k n o w - h o w and strengthen co-operation in their endeavour to reach E F A goals. T h e Seminar was hosted by the Government of Jordan, in A m m a n , from 19-22 October, 1994. The participating countries were Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, the Sultanate of O m a n , Palestine, the Sudan and Syria1. For all the participating Arab countries, the political will to provide Education for All existed before the Jomtien Declaration. S o m e of them had reached E F A goals with respect to provision of education before 1990. However, these efforts to meet quantitative needs for the provision of education have not adequately kept pace with the basic problems of quality, equity and efficiency. The World Declaration on Education for All, has brought an enlightened and expanded vision of what had to be done. It has also offered n e w prospects regarding alternative strategies to achieve E F A goals and n e w possibilities for support, co-operation,

1.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Delegates of Syria could not attend the seminar, although they participated in the preparation of the basic document and sent their papers concerning innovative experiences.

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Development since Jomtien

diversification of funding and aid from International Agencies. Since Jomtien, U N I C E F and other international agencies have been co-operating with national governments in developing national plans of action and strategies and have been supporting basic education programmes, in a conceited effort to universalize basic education. L

Objectives of the seminar

T h e general objective of the seminar w a s to strengthen the implementation of the World Declaration on Education for All, and the subsequent Framework of Action adopted in Jomtien. Within this context, the seminar provided an opportunity for the participating countries to take stock of the progress m a d e in implementing the programmes of basic education for all (see Information Note in Appendix I for more details on the background of the seminar). The specific objectives of the seminar were to: reflect on the relevance of the Declaration of Jomtien, taking into account the difficulties involved in the expansion and improvement of basic education in the region; exchange national experiences a m o n g countries represented in the seminar, e analyse a selected number of promising country initiatives; identify one or two innovations which have obtained results in each country and discuss the possibility of adaptation by other countries in the region. 2.

Participants

S o m e 5 0 participants attended the meeting. There were 2 2 country delegates, from Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, the Sultanate of O m a n , Palestine and the Sudan. The country delegations of Jordan, Palestine and the Sudan were headed by their ministers of education, while other delegations were headed by high-ranking policy-makers from their respective countries. In addition to U N I C E F and U N E S C O , several aid agencies such as U N R W A , O D A ( U K ) , the World Bank, Save the Children Federation ( U S A ) and C I D A were represented at the seminar (see Appendix II for a full list of participants).

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Seminar organization and proceedings

3.

Seminar

programme

The seminar agenda was structured around four themesreflectingthe basic concerns of the participating countries, with respect to basic education in the region. T h e m e I. T h e m e II. T h e m e III. T h e m e IV.

Improving access andretention:focus on equity. Enhancing the relevance of basic education through curriculum reform. Improving the quality of basic education. Strengthening links between the community and basic education.

The seminar consisted of seven working sessions (see Appendix HI for the agenda). In the formal opening session, the official inaugural address was delivered by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Hassan of Jordan, w h o pointed out the need for comprehensive development where education should play a major role in enabling individuals to fully participate in the process and face the socio-economic and technological challenges that beset the Arab world today, (see Appendix IV). The Regional Director of U N I ΠF - M E N A R O delivered a welcome speech and the Senior Programme Co-ordinator of H E P m a d e a brief statement highlighting the educational issues that were to be discussed during the seminar. 4.

Preparation of documents for the seminar

In preparation for the seminar, the H E P prepared outlines for three basic documents: a country paper on the status of Education for All, in each of the participating countries; a basic reference document comparing and analysing the developments in E F A , in the participating countries, four years after the Jomtien Conference; e case-studies of selected innovative experiences in basic education in each of the seven countries.

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Development since Jomtien

For the preparation of various seminar documents, an 1 Ш Р consultant visited each participating country. During this visit, the IffiP consultant held discussions with government officials, U N I C E F officers and other concerned agencies involved in the development of Education for All programmes. T h e basic reference document was prepared using qualitative and quantitative information provided by the national governments and information gathered through discussions with professionals from each country. Three documents were therefore available for the seminar: 9 a basic reference document giving a status analysis and review of critical issues in Basic Education for All, of the seven participating countries - presenting a regional perspective of the status of E F A as well as a comparative analysis of the situation four years after Jomtien (see Part II); a total of 13 case-studies summarizing educational innovations in different participating countries, which formed the basis for discussions during the seminar (see Part III); country papers prepared by each country giving a synoptic account of developments in E F A which were circulated in order to provide further information for the seminar discussions.

8

IL

Seminar proceedings

T h e first session of the seminar included general presentations on the status of E F A in the region and served as a background information session before the participants went ahead with discussing the specific themes around which the seminar was organized. 1.

Recalling the Jomtien

Declaration

During thefirstsession, there w a s a brief statement on the objectives and organization of the seminar, followed by a succinct comparison of educational data from different Arab countries of the Middle East and North Africa. Data illustrated progress m a d e in reaching Jomtien goals and highlighted issues that need to be addressed. 2.

Summary

of EFA in each participating country

T h e head of each delegation gave a quick review of what has been done since Jomtien, indicating achievements, challenges and future prospects. These brief presentations revealed that for all the participating countries, the World Declaration had a profound impact on developments in the area of basic education. Countries reported actions and programmes initiated to strengthen progress, in terms of provision, equitable access and retention, as well as actions aimed at educational reforms to ensure the quality of education. Deep concern w a s expressed by all regarding the need to build curricula that are socio-culturally relevant to the learners, the challenge being in h o w to design curricula that promote relevant cultural values and develop life-skills that match the on-going processes of socio-economic

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Development since Jomtien

development and meet emerging labour market demands. For this purpose, each country has developed policies and national plans of action and established planning, research and administrative task forces to implement basic education action plans and strategies. T h e country presentations were followed by a brief statement by the Director of U N E D B A S , o n the objectives of the Mid-Decade Review of progress towards Education for All, initiated by the U N E S C O - b a s e d Secretariat of the International Consultative F o r u m for Education for All. 3.

Presentation of case-studies

O n e or two successful innovations from each participating country were presented and discussed during the seminar. T h e topics covered by these case-studies were reflective of the efforts to tackle prevailing problems and issues facing these countries in their progress towards the goals of education for all. Theme I.

Improving access and retention: focus on equity

Three case-studies were discussed under this theme. Egypt presented two alternative patterns of basic education programmes: the Community School Initiative (CSI) and the Single-Class Schools for Girls, and the Sudan gave a presentation on Mobile Classes for N o m a d s ' Education in the Darfur State. T h e Egyptian innovations were devised as a response to the problem of access to school for girls aged 8 to 14 years, in remote, deprived and sparsely populated areas, while the Sudanese experiment addressed the needs of nomadic children w h o are difficult to reach, because of the lifestyles of their communities. Several critical issues were raised while discussing the Egyptian and Sudanese case-studies. T h e first issue focused on the rationale behind the planning and implementation of these projects. The need for creating special facilities to reach girls was appreciated by all. However, s o m e felt that in the absence of primary school facilities in the vicinity, creating exclusive educational institutions for girls m a y not solve the problem of universal basic education. Quite often, the problem of access to primary education in remote rural areas is not limited to girls; it is equally applicable to very

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Seminar organization and proceedings

young boys. Discussions also focused on the difference between these special schools for girls and the regular formal primary schools with respect to educational approaches and management. Participants also considered it desirable to treat the Egyptian single class for girls' innovation as a non-formal functional literacy programme in view of the age of users (8-14), the vocational training component in the curriculum and theflexibilityof the schedules. T h e presentation on the mobile classes for children of nomadic tribes in the Sudan, raised considerable interest. This w a s because such conditions prevail in certain other countries of the region, such as Jordan and Saudi Arabia. In this context, delegates discussed to what extent sedentarization of the nomads, as w a s the case in Jordan and Saudi Arabia, could offer a more comprehensive solution for providing education and all other basic services to these people. T h e second issue concerned equity. T h e three case-studies were typical examples of efforts m a d e by governments and international agencies to ensure the full participation in the schooling process of girls and specific marginalized groups in the countries. Results of national studies on cultural factors affecting the equitable access to primary schools, were taken into consideration w h e n planning for these innovative projects. However, the basic equity question as to h o w the educational services offered in these programmes compare with national educational standards, is still to be answered. N o systematic evaluation of output has been m a d e . Another related issue raised by the delegates w a s the question of the qualification of teachers w h o are appointed to teach multigrade classes, as in the case of one-class schools in Egypt and mobile classes in the Sudan. With respect to the community schools in Egypt, where the student is at the centre of the educational process and where self-learning is encouraged, the participants showed interest in the innovation, but recommended that the methodology used be evaluated with respect to teachers' capacities and learner achievements. Another equity issue that w a s raised referred to the possibilities offered to students for pursuing their education beyond the initial education provided under the innovative project schools. S o m e participants inquired about the methods used in evaluating previous learning achievements of school drop-outs, before placing them in the corresponding class levels in the project schools in Egypt.

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Development since Jomtien

Theme //.

Enhancing the relevance of basic education through curriculum reforms

Under this theme, Egypt discussed the approach adopted to reform the primary school curriculum, taking into consideration the recommendations of a national workshop on the subject. During the workshop, representatives of different segments of Egyptian society met for a period of one week to discuss and design various measures to improve the school curriculum. Jordan presented the n e w vocational education curriculum as one of its educational innovations in the area of basic education. T h e n e w vocational education component is part of the scheme of studies in the school which w a s introduced following the recommendations of the National Educational Development Conference held in A m m a n . T h e Palestine delegation presented a pilot project for the development of relevant education called "Education for awareness and involvement". T h e project was implemented by private schools in the West B a n k before the Palestinian National Authority took over responsibility for education. These three innovative experiences for building relevant curricula reflect the deep concern of countries to impart primary education that meets national aspirations with respect to socio-economic development and, at the same time, contributes to the personal development and overall well-being of the individuals. All countries agree on the crucial importance of primary education since a large proportion of their children are not likely to go beyond that stage in the foreseeable future. T h e reported innovations also highlight the n e w educational philosophy that is emerging, which considers education as an integral part of socioeconomic development and as a h u m a n right. T h e aim of this n e w approach is to inculcate in the children a strong sense of religious and cultural identity as well as a feeling of belonging; and to prepare children to face the social and economic reality outside school. While discussing the case-studies, it w a s pointed out that in the rapidly changing socio-economic contexts of these countries, developing n e w curricula which can provide linkages between schools and individuals' aspirations, on the one hand, and national development demands, on the other, is a difficult endeavour. It is in order to meet this challenge that the education policy-makers have to adopt n e w strategies for the preparation of primary school curricula. This is clearly highlighted

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Seminar organization and proceedings

by the case of Egypt, which attempted to ensure effective involvement of all sections of the society in decision-making concerning the content and the teaching methods related to the curricula. T h e approach underscores a constructive dialogue between the authorities at different levels and all other stakeholders concerned with primary education. It was the opinion of m a n y delegates that an important strategy that could facilitate such dialogue was administrative decentralization, with the aim of bringing schools and communities closer together. It is interesting to note that all the innovative curricular frameworks emphasize the practical work dimension as an integral part of the basic education programme. This component is introduced in Jordan and Palestine through pre-vocational subjects, whereas it is incorporated in the practical training in the revised curriculum in Egypt. Several issues were raised during the discussion on the case-studies. T h e first issue w a s existential, stemming from the fluid situation characterizing the economic and social structures in the countries. H o w does one set the n e w goals and contents for the primary education stage? W h a t criteria could one adopt to evaluate the relevance of the changed goals and contents? It was felt that clarity on this issue is lacking in all the countries. Delegates also discussed the question of w h o should be responsible for setting the goals and content of the basic education curriculum: h o w m u c h lead should the government give in this endeavour and what should be the role of the community? E v e n though this did not emerge from the case-studies presented, the issue of the introduction of a foreign language in the primary school curriculum was also discussed. There was a consensus a m o n g delegates that the teaching of Arabic is essential in building the children's national and cultural identity, while the teaching of a second language would help them advance in technology and learn about other cultures. T h e second issue concerned the place of w o m e n in the school curriculum. W h a t is the image of w o m e n in the newly developed textbooks? W h a t are the values associated with w o m e n that are being promoted? D o texts and illustrations reflect the reality of w o m e n ' s lives and their achievements? W h a t is the hidden discourse o n the status of w o m e n in the family and society that is promoted through textbooks and practical training? Does the fact that work-oriented activities such as h o m e economics, carpentry, agriculture etc., are attended by boys and girls solve

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Development since Jomtien

the problem of gender inequalities in education? These were s o m e of the questions that were debated. T h e third question raised w a s regarding theresponsibilitygiven to teachers for identifying different pre-vocational training subjects, the ones that befit the environment of their schools. It w a s wondered whether teachers were sufficiently prepared to m a k e relevant choices and to teach the subjects effectively. Participants also inquired about the effect of this choice on children's opportunities for further learning. In thisrespect,they asked whether teachers' decisions respond to parents' and children's aspirations. T h e fourth issue discussed w a s the relevance of pre-vocational training. According to the revised framework in Jordan and Egypt, prevocational education is part of the official primary school curriculum. It covers, in Jordan, a total of 6 6 0 periods in the ten grades of basic education. In Egypt, 3 0 per cent of all subjects taught in thefirstthree grades of primary school are work oriented. Concerning these curricula, delegates sought for more clarificationsregardingtheir specific objectives. S o m e participants argued that if the main objective is to m a k e children aware of the value of work, the time spent on work-oriented activities might not be justified and could be used for reinforcing basic skills in reading, writing, arithmetic and problem solving. O n the other hand, if the objective is to prepare children for a quicker integration into the labour market, the issue of the relevance of these curricula with respect to market demands, should be given serious consideration. It w a s suggested that potential employers from the labour market be involved in the decision-making process regarding the development of these programmes. T h e final issue concerned the financing of pre-vocational education. S o m e delegates referring to similar experiences in other parts of the world, pointed out that such programmes have considerable difficulties in implementation. Financing the vocational education component in basic education programmes is a major issue, and studies on the costeffectiveness of projects should be at the basis of decision-making and for designing implementation strategies. However, it w a s argued by s o m e that cost-effectiveness could not be the only criterion for decision-making and there were other national considerations that m a y be important.

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Seminar Organization and proceedings

Theme III.

Improving the quality of basic education

Improving the quality of basic education w a s one of the main areas of concern for the participating countries. During the seminar the participants discussed efforts with respect to enhancing the relevance of basic education through curriculum reforms. However, the issue goes beyond relevance of curricula. It is a complex phenomenon that involves the curriculum, the teachers, the school infrastructure, the teachinglearning process and the family environment of the learners themselves. Under this theme, three case-studies were presented. The Sultanate of O m a n i experience referred to the use of school mapping as a diagnostic tool for assessing educational needs, one of the objectives of the exercise being the upgrading of quality and the strengthening of capacities both at managerial and teacher levels. T h e second case-study w a s about the creation of learning resource centres in different govemorates of Jordan, the objectives of these centres being to improve the teaching-learning process by providing educational support materials and to train teachers in the use of these materials. T h e third case-study w a s a brief statement of the situation in the Gaza Strip and the West B a n k after the transfer of educational authority to the Palestinians. T h e case-study illustrated the problems related to the quality of education that need to be addressed immediately. T h e problems highlighted related to the question of unification of programmes, building and renovation of schools, preparation of n e w textbooks, training of teachers and staffing of the administration. While discussing the case-studies, the importance of ensuring costeffectiveness w a s emphasized by the participants. For instance, in the case of the Sultanate of O m a n , the school-mapping exercise lasted three years and w a s expensive. However, it was appreciated that the exercise resulted in necessary information o n existing educational problems, such as regional and gender disparities, class repetition and school drop-out, classroom density, the state of school buildings and basic educational facilities. T h e fourth Five-Year Education Plan took into consideration the results of the school-mapping exercise and has proposed strategies to tackle these problems while concentrating on improving the quality of education. T h e financial implications of the Jordanian project on learning resource centres also c a m e up for considerable discussion. Participants appreciated the potential of these centres with respect to improvement of teaching in schools; individualization of learning; student's creativity; and services

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Development since Jomtien

rendered to teachers and students, in solving their educational problems. However, questions were raised as to whether it would have been more cost-effective in terms of quality of teaching if small learning resource centres had been located in schools, which would have benefited more teachers, rather than creating centralized facilities as has n o w been done. Discussion of the Palestinian case-study o n the creation of a Palestinian Ministry of Education and transfer of responsibilities to the n e w Administration, focused on the question of prioritization of needs and actions. Discussions centred around the question: h o w to help the Palestinian authorities in planning for education during the transitional period? Palestinians have to plan without a fixed budget due to lack of funds and the absence of a communication system and of a database. It w a s suggested that during the transitional period, Palestinians could use the auricular programme of any other Arab country while moving towards building a real national curriculum. It w a s also stated that emphasis should be placed o n the quality of education to upgrade achievements of students in order to address the needs of the future. T h e first priority is to invest in capacity-building, through training programmes for school managers, principals, supervisors and teachers; second, school buildings should be upgraded and facilities improved according to availability of funds; third, an education database is to be developed rapidly; and fourth, action with all donor agencies has to be co-ordinated in a proper manner. Theme IV,

Strengthening links between the community education

and basic

Under this theme, three innovative experiences were presented. T h e first presentation w a s o n strengthening the relationship between the community and the school, through the integration of fathers' and mothers' councils in the process of educational planning and implementation in the Sultanate of O m a n . T h e presentation also included a brief report on the national 'Clean School' competition organized by these councils. T h e second presentation w a s about strategies adopted for universalizing basic education in Morocco. These strategies rely o n administrative decentralization and community participation in order to reach the largest possible number of children, especially girls in remote and sparsely populated rural areas of the country. T h e third case-study

16

Seminar organization and proceedings

presented by the Sudan was on the Youth Education Project for 8 to 14 year-old children, w h o either have never been to school, or have dropped out of school before completion of the basic cycle. It is a non-formal community-based programme that has close links with the regular system of education. T h e first issue raised during the discussion of the case-studies concerned the role of the community in school management. In the case of the O m a n i experience, most of the participants wanted to k n o w more about the role of the fathers' and mothers' councils in the administrative hierarchy of the education system. T h e discussion focused on the evolution of this role and its changing status in the hierarchy. It w a s pointed out that the role of the fathers' councils significantly changed from a grass-roots level council to a civil administrative council. Participants showed interest in learning more details on the w a y nonministry m e m b e r s were chosen for the councils at various levels. Other relevant questions were: W h a t were the parents' inputs for curriculum building and educational strategies? T o what extent were the inputs adopted? W h a t was the relation between grass-roots fathers' councils and the upper-level administrative fathers' councils? W h a t was the specific role of fathers' councils at the ministerial level? W h a t was the relationship between grass-roots fathers' councils and other local councils? W e r e there any studies to evaluate the effect of these councils on the education process? Regarding the differentiation between mothers' and fathers' councils, with respect to their status and representation, delegates sought clarification o n the reasons behind restricting mothers' councils to grassroots levels and in girl's schools. If w o m e n are excluded from upper-level representation on the ground of their lack of motivation and awareness, does this not imply a non-recognition of their vitalrolein society? O n the whole, the participants appreciated the w a y parents are being involved in promoting greater linkage between the school and the community. T h e second issue focused on the role of the community within the scheme of administrative decentralization. In both the Sudanese and the Moroccan case-studies, administrative decentralization was considered as being part of the strategy to involve communities in the education process. In this scheme, communities are asked to share substantially in the financing of basic education and to be responsible for the implementation of educational projects and their sustainability. However, planning is done at the national level, where decisions are m a d e with respect to financing,

17

Development since Jomtien

curricula, and relations with international agencies and governments, the local administration of education being responsible for co-ordination with the communities. T h e importance of decentralization in increasing community involvement in managing primary schools and basic education projects was generally recognized. But some expressed concerns regarding the real motive behind decentralization, wondering whether lack of State funds and the scope for shifting the financial burden to the people was the reason behind the m o v e for decentralization. Participants also emphasized the need for defining the role of the local councils in the implementation of projects in a more realistic fashion. In this respect questions referred to the empowerment and ability of local community m e m b e r s to monitor such projects. The other question related to h o w governments are dealing with multiple efforts to promote basic education and h o w these efforts are integrated within national policies and planning towards reaching E F A goals. T h e question of sustainability and quality of projects also c a m e up for discussion on various occasions. W h a t happens to basic education projects w h e n external aid diminishes? W h a t happens to communities that cannot afford to pay their share for the cost of primary education? It was strongly felt that these are very critical questions that need to be handled carefully but with firmness and a long-term vision. 4.

Concluding

sessions

T h e twofinalsessions of the seminar focused on the implications for action at the national and international levels. T o begin with, the seminar's rapporteur gave a s u m m a r y presentation of the whole proceedings, highlighting the countries' efforts in achieving E F A goals as well as key issues that need attention. After this presentation, country delegates and representatives of aid agencies m a d e brief statements expressing their comments and observations. National delegates expressed their satisfaction for having had the opportunity to share information and discuss their experiences in trying to reach the E F A goals. They indicated that the discussions brought to light c o m m o n basic concerns and challenges that have to be dealt with, at the national, regional and international levels. They all agreed that the most important challenge was the setting up of a system of education that answers the essential question: what kind of society do w e want? and

18

Seminar organization and proceedings

consequently, what kind of citizen do w e want to train? Delegates also reflected on the issue of change from tradition to modernity, the inherent challenge being " h o w to cope with technology and free-market demands without alienating ourselves from religious and culturalroots?".T h e y also expressed their interest in developing operational regional and international networks for tackling challenges posed by lack of funds, and also lack of skills to develop educational management and training; databases; achievement testing and the creation of regional indicators for evaluation of efforts in educational development. Representatives of aid agencies indicated that their presence in the seminar gave them the opportunity to learn m o r e about the context in which they function. In a very frank and direct w a y , they presented their approach to action and the specific interest of their agencies. T h e y also stressed their readiness for co-operation with the participating countries. H o w e v e r , they insisted on the fact that no meaningful and relevant cooperation can be established in the absence of well-defined priorities by the countries themselves.

19

III.

Conclusions and implications for action

T h e following is a brief synthesis of the seminar proceedings, indicating significant developments in the E F A process and critical issues that will still need to be addressed, with respect to the four themes of the seminar. 7.

Significant developments in the EFA process

(i) Improving access and retention: Focus on equity Under this theme, the shared innovative experiences indicated: e T h e preoccupation of countries in increasing primary school enrolment for all children and, in particular, girls and other marginalized groups. This w a s illustrated by the innovative projects of Egypt, the Sudan and Morocco, by the school-mapping experience of the Sultanate of O m a n , and by the newly developed national strategies of Morocco for reaching girls and also other children w h o are isolated in the rural areas of that country. A qualitative change in planning in order to increase the chances of all children to enrol in, and complete, the basic education cycle. In order to ensure equity in access and retention, the innovations are increasingly designed on the basis of field survey results. T h e aims of these surveys are to assess quantitative and qualitative needs as well as socio-cultural features of the target populations. A scientific approach to analysis of the demand for education a m o n g the target populations, namely girls and out-of-school children, was used in developing national strategies and specific projects. A growing interest in organizing a national database and reliable educational indicators.

20

Seminar organization and proceedings



A genuine concern for reducing gender and regional disparities as well as for recuperation of school drop-outs. T h e development of alternative patterns of education, through nonformal community-based projects for reaching girls and out-of-school youth.

(ii) Enhancing the relevance of basic education through curriculum reform Since Jomtien, the participating countries have either reformed existing curricula or developed n e w ones. Country studies from Egypt, Jordan and Palestine reflect the trend in the region. T o enhance the relevance of basic education, curricular reforms aimed at: Instilling in students religious and cultural values along with other educational objectives. e Linking basic education with the social reality of the country and the demands of socio-economic development and of the labour market. This trend w a s illustrated by the inclusion of pre-vocational education in the primary school curricula of Jordan and Egypt. • Promoting a dialogue and effective participation of all segments of society in setting the objectives and content of the curricula. This approach w a s reported by Jordan, Morocco and Egypt. Modernizing and strengthening the study of mathematics, sciences and technology. In this context the participants indicated that the teaching of these subjects should be carried out in both Arabic and a foreign language. • Introducing facts-of-life education and environmental awareness through practical school activities, as in the case of the n e w primary school curricula in the participating countries and the project for social awareness in Palestine. (Hi) Improving the quality of basic education In thisrespect,the seminar discussions and the case-studies indicated that the quality of education is a c o m m o n concern in all the participating countries. This concern is revealed by: the efforts m a d e for enhancing the relevance of curricula; the recognition of the necessity to improve the teaching/learning processes;

21

Development since Jomtien

e

the manifest interest in monitoring learner achievements; the recognition of the need to develop reliable educational criteria for evaluating students' achievements; the efforts to upgrade the school environment; the promotion of education resource centres as a means to improve the quality of education, as in the case of Jordan.

(iv) Strengthening links between the community and basic education W h a t has emerged from the discussions is a clear tendency to strengthen links between the school and the community through: administrative decentralization in order to bring schools closer to communities; e entrusting local communities with the responsibility for financing and monitoring basic education as well as implementing non-formal education projects, as in the case of Jordan; the involvement of local councils in the management of basic education within the administrative context of local governments, as in the case of Morocco; the integration of the parent bodies in the educational administrative structure, as in the case of the Sultanate of O m a n ; the participation of representatives from different segments of society in setting the objectives of the n e w curricula, as in the cases of Egypt, Jordan and Morocco. 2.

Critical issues to be addressed

Although the case-study presentations and the discussions that followed indicated progress towards achieving E F A goals, several issues inherent in these developments were raised. T h e critical issues that still need to be addressed refer to: the philosophy of education that has to be adopted to face the challenges of the rapidly changing political, social and economic structures of the countries, the region and the world; the strategies for achieving qualitative E F A goals so as to ensure equity, quality and efficiency of basic education, in order to provide students with basic learning skills and content, equip them with the capacity to m a k e informed decisions and to create a readiness a m o n g

22

Seminar organization and proceedings

e



3.

them to participate constructively in the development of their countries; the role of communities in the educational process; the effect of administrative decentralization on therights,obligations and responsibilities of communities with respect to the management and monitoring of basic education; the importance of reliable databases for the planning of educational strategies, and the development of educational criteria to measure progress; the mechanisms of co-operation with international funding agencies in setting priorities for project funding; the necessity for aid agencies to co-ordinate a m o n g themselves the funding of projects so as to optimize returns nationally and regionally; the study of the cost-effectiveness of educational projects and their sustainability, in the absence of international funds and the impossibility for local communities to bear the costs; the possibility of going 'on scale' with the projects at national level and their adaptation in other countries of the region; the necessity to evaluate projects, curricula, learner achievement, teaching/learning methods and teacher performance; the building of capabilities in education planning, management and teacher training; the place of w o m e n in the education process. Implications for action

T h e preceding overview of the seminar proceedings highlighted key issues in relation to experiences shared by participants. These issues have implications for immediate action both at policy and planning levels. (i) Policy level At policy level, there is a strong need for countries to develop a realistic vision of basic education for the future: a vision mat integrates religious and cultural identity with peoples' aspirations for their future, as well as their countries' needs for technological and economic development. T h e vision should aim at bringing a

23

Development since Jomtien

qualitative change in the perception and understanding of the concept of Education for All. (ii) Planning level T o develop correct databases for educational planning with respect to provision, reduction of gender and regional inequalities, as well as education management and teacher training. T o develop capacity-building in education management at the central level, so as to ensure efficient monitoring and training at decentralized levels. There is a pressing need for training school managers, supervisors, trainers and teachers. T o improve the quality of education through teacher training. T h e training should aim at bringing positive changes in knowledge, attitudes and behaviour so as to enable teachers to conform to the demands of the n e w curricula. T o prioritize needs with respect to the selection of projects and their implementation. T o pay attention to the cost of projects in order to ensure their sustainability and the possibility to go on scale. In this respect, findings of studies including cost-efficiency criteria should be taken into consideration before the implementation of projects. « T o identify strategies that strengthen functionally the link between the community and the basic education system. T o develop evaluation tools to monitor learner achievements on a regular basis, in order to assess the efficiency of the education system in both its formal and non-formal contexts. T o review work-oriented subjects, as well as general teaching materials, with respect to the image of w o m e n and the values they promote concerning the role of w o m e n in society.

24

Part II

Status analysis and review of critical issues in seven countries in the Middle East and North Africa

Part II

Status analysis and review of critical issues in seven countries from the Middle East and North Africa

This part of the volume presents an overview of developments in basic education that have taken place during the last few years in seven countries of the Arab and the North African region, namely, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, the Sultanate of O m a n , Palestine, the Republic of the Sudan and the Syrian Arab Republic. This overview is based o n data collected during a brief preparation mission to these countries in JulyAugust, 1994. In each country, a team of national experts, selected by its Ministry of Education, assembled available data and worked closely with the H E P consultant to review this information and discuss a range of critical issues. The information presented in this review, including the figures given in the tables, is mainly based on the documents supplied by the concerned national authorities. This has been augmented, wherever necessary, by data from other sources such as U N E S C O documents. Yet some data gaps still remain as reliable information on these aspects could not be obtained from concerned national sources. The main purpose of this basic reference document is to provide a comparative analysis of trends and status of 'basic education for all' in the seven countries, as well as to highlight critical issues emanating from such an analysis. T h e document seeks to analyse the similarities and differences which countries are experiencing as they progress towards the goal of education for all. It is also intended to provide a regional overview of the actions initiated in different countries to implement the Jomtien Declaration.

27

Development since Jomtien

e

28

The overview is organized in five sections as follows: a brief presentation of the demographic, economic and political contexts in which the basic education programmes function; a review of major actions taken to plan and implement Jomtien goals; an assessment of developments in basic education between 1990 and 1993; a review of achievements and future challenges; an overview of critical issues.

Chapter 1

General background

7.

Demographic

and geographical factors

National population profiles are a necessity w h e n planning for the provision of education for all. Population figures o n age-sex distribution, growth rates, dependency ratios, density and urbanization are basic indicators for national decision-making with respect to challenges facing policy-makers and planners. Table 1.

S o m e population characteristic

Total population (in millions)

Country Egypt

56,060'

Jordan

4,440'

Morocco

26,954'

Oman

1,697'

Palestine

2, H O 3

Sudan

24.9002

Syria

13,762'

Sources:

(1) (2) (3) (4)

School-age population (Age 6--14) as % of total

39' 43' 39' 49' 27' 46' 52'

Population growth rate 2.5 1 3.3' 2.6' 4.2' 5.1 4 2.6 1 3.6'

World Education Report, U N E S C O , 1993. T h e Republic of Sudan, Central Bureau of Statistics, Census of 1993. Palestinian Bureau of Statistics, data for 1993. T h e World Bank, "Developing the occupied territories: an investment in peace", H u m a n Resources and Social Policy, Vol. 6, Sept. 1993.

29

Development since Jomtien

Table 1 represents three population characteristics of the seven countries visited. T h e figures indicate that whatever the total population sizes are, all these countries have high population growth rates and the basic school-age population (6-14 years) represents a very high percentage of the total population. These two demographic indicators s h o w rapid expansion in the basic school-age population, thus highlighting the magnitude of the task facing each country with respect to education for all. In the case of a high-population country like Egypt, it represents almost 21 million children to be provided with basic education services, compared to the small-size population of O m a n , where it represents around 831,000 children. In general, the large population growth rates, coupled with high percentages of basic schoobage population, indicate a propensity for rapid increase in the d e m a n d for provision of education. Table 2 .

S o m e population distribution figures

Country Egypt Jordan Morocco Oman Palestine Sudan Syria Sources:

* (1) (2)

Population density (per sq. k m . ) 56' 45' 60' 8' ND* 10' 74'

Urban population (as % of total) 44' 68' 46! 11' ND 20.2 2 50'

N o data available. World Education Report, U N E S C O , 1993. The Republic of the Sudan, Central Bureau of Statistics, Census of 1993.

A s indicated in Table 2, population density per square kilometre varies from 8 in O m a n to 7 4 in the Syrian Arab Republic. O n the whole, these countries have high population density in urban areas, especially in capital cities, and in fertile agricultural land.

30

General background

In the large desert areas of O m a n , Republic of the Sudan, Jordan, the Syrian Arab Republic and Egypt, the settlements are scattered and there are also nomadic communities. O n the other hand, in Morocco, in the Atlas Mountain range, the hamlets called 'douars' are scattered o n the mountain slopes. With the exception of Jordan and the Syrian Arab Republic, the majority of the population of the participating countries lives in rural areas, a situation which implies differences in lifestyles. However, the degree of urbanization attained by the countries under study, has been recent, and the anarchic growth of the peri-urban areas in cities such as Cairo, Rabat, Karthoum and Damascus, has been mainly due to intensive rural-urban migration. In these areas, rural lifestyles and attitudes have not totally disappeared, thus bringing about a certain degree of 'ruralization' of the city. With respect to the provision of education for all, these population characteristics imply: 1. that there is formidable pressure, caused by the ever-increasing n u m b e r of children needing to be schooled; 2 . that equitable provision of education for all is a difficult task, especially with respect to access in remote rural areas and a m o n g nomadic populations; 3. the necessity to develop adaptive andflexiblestrategies for achieving the goal of education for all, if education for all is to be extended to children in all regions; 4 . the existence of special difficulties in organizing provision of education in poor peri-urban areas. 2.

Economic

and political factors

T h e ability of any country to provide education for all depends o n its economic capacity to finance the provision of education services, strong political will, identification of universal basic education as a national priority, and an equitable distribution of the nation's wealth.

31

Development

Table 3.

since Jomtien

Economic performance trends G N P per capita in US$

Average annual growth rate (%)

Total debt as % of G N P

Country

1990

1980-1990

1990

Egypt

600'

2.1'

1272

Jordan

1240'

-3.9'

2212

Morocco

950'

1.6'

Oman

5220'

7.1'

Palestine

10223

Sudan

4002

ND ND

972 ND ND ND

Syria

990'

-2.1'

1182

Sources:

(1) (2) (3)

World Education Report, U N E S C O , 1993. H u m a n Development Report, U N D P , 1993. T h e World Bank, "Developing the occupied territories: an investment in peace", H u m a n Resources and Social Policy, V o l . 6, September 1993. Data is for 1992.

Table 3 presents some economic indicators of the capacity of the countries to finance the ever-growing costs of education for all. Data indicate that, with the exception of O m a n , all countries have low levels of G N P per capita. Furthermore, they all had low or even negative average annual growth rates between 1980 and 1990, reflecting poor economic performance and recession. However, in 1992, some countries such as the Syrian Arab Republic, O m a n , Jordan and Morocco have registered an improvement in their economies. For some countries the servicing of their large debts is draining their badly needed resources. Countries have to m a k e choices in budget allocation. Increasing budgeted expenditure on education has become a difficult task. For some of the poorer countries, diversification of the sources of funding for education has become a necessity. Under these circumstances, poor families have to decide whether sending their children to school is cost-effective. Even w h e n education is free, schooling of children entails expenses such as nominal registration fees, uniforms and supplies. In the poorer countries, family choice as to

32

General

background

w h o goes to school and for h o w long, depends mostly on economic need. In order to survive, families need the economic contribution of their children. This contribution can be in terms of family unpaid labour in agriculture or remunerated activities in the industrial or the service sectors. In Egypt, there are around 1,400,000 children working w h o are under the age of 14. Table 4.

Public expenditure on education

Country

As %of GNP

As %of government expenditure

1990

1990

1

Current expenditure as % of total public expenditure on education 1990 2

1993

Egypt

6.0

ND

78.6

Jordan

5.9 2

13.3 2

89.1 3

88.2 3

Morocco

7.4 1

25.5'

90.8 2

922

Oman

3.7

1

14.4

s

Palestine

ND

Sudans

4.8 1

ND ND

Syria

4.4 1

13.7 7

Sources:

(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)

5

98 956 ND ND

ND

995

956 ND 61.48 7

Human Development Report, U N D P , 1993. World Education Report, U N E S C O , 1993. Kingdom of Jordan, National Centre for Educational Research and Development (NCERD). Royaume du Maroc, Les Données de Base pour la construction du modèle INMA. Direction de la statistique, 1994. O m a n , Ministry of Education. Palestine, Ministry of Education. T h e data o n current expenditures are for 1991 and 1993. T h e Syrian Arab Republic, Education Statistics, 1993.

The trend in public expenditure on education between 1990 and 1993, shows the determination of these countries to maintain and increase the share of education in total expenditures. However, these provisions do not necessarilyreflectdevelopment expenses.

33

Development since Jomtien

Data in Table 4 show that, with the exception of the Syrian Arab Republic, current expenditures represent between 78 and 99 per cent of the total education budgets of countries. Therefore, any increase goes primarily on salaries and other fixed expenses, leaving little possibilities for investing in the development and quality of educational services. Finally, it should be noted that figures in Table 4 represent total public expenditures on education and are not reflective of the share of the primary sector of education. Whatever their different forms of government and ideologies, all participating countries have, over the past two decades, invested heavily on education in terms of provision of schools for a large sector of their school-age population. However, the degree of development of basic education does not depend only on political will, but also on economic capacity and the stimulation of demand for basic education.

34

Chapter II

Post-Jomtien actions taken to plan and implement Jomtien goals

It is undeniable that the Jomtien Declaration had a profound impact o n developments in the area of basic education. In all the seven countries, governments have undertaken action to strengthen the goals achieved in terms of provision, equitable access and retention, concomitantly with educational reforms to ensure better learner achievement. In each country, planning, research and administrative task forces were established in order to promote and implement basic education action plans. International agencies such as the World Bank, A D B , U N I C E F , U N E S C O , U N F P A ,

UNDP, UNIFAM, ARLO, ALESCO and AGFUND, have backed the governments in their efforts, either through funding, expertise, training or advocacy. In this respect, U N I C E F offices in each country have actively contributed in advocacy, financing and preparation of national and sectoral surveys to assess needs and demand for basic education, more particularly with regard to girls in rural and poor peri-urban areas. Tables 5, 6, 7 and 8, give a synoptic account of the different measures taken by the participating Arab countries for achieving the set objectives in the area of Education for All. Information in Table 5 indicates that all countries have adopted E F A goals and have included in their national plans of action specific strategies to achieve these goals. M o s t countries have held national policy meetings and created national commissions, task forces or committees for promoting and co-ordinating actions related to basic education. However, only half of them organized post-Jomtien information campaigns to sensitize the public o n the importance of basic education, raised budget allocation for basic education, or met with external funding agencies regarding support for implementation of E F A goals.

35

Development since Jomtien

It appears that all the participating countries are engaged in the E F A process and are willing to follow the Framework for Action to meet basic learning needs that w a s adopted by the Jomtien Conference. Table 5.

Country

T h e E F A process in the participating countries National policy meeting

EFA informatio n campaign

EFA goals

EFA strategy plans

National EFA mechanism

Budget increase

Meeting with donors

+

+

+

Egypt

+

+

+

Jordan

+

+

+

+

Morocco

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

Oman Sudan

+

+

+

+

+

Syria

+

+

+

+

+

Source:

+

+ +

Status and trends: Education for all, U N E S C O , 1993.

L Advocacy Political will alone is not sufficient for developing basic education services and achieving E F A goals. Without people's understanding and participation, E F A will remain an abstraction. In this respect, the role of advocacy is to create awareness and sensitize the public as to the importance of basic education for boys and girls and for illiterate adults. Data in Table 6 indicate that s o m e of the participating countries conducted information campaigns to inform and sensitize the general public regarding E F A ; held national conferences to highlight gender and regional inequalities in education; and organized workshops to inform teachers and education staff about E F A goals.

36

Post-Jomiien actions taken to plan and implement Jomtien goals

Table 6.

Advocacy actions

Country Egypt: a Presidential declaration identifying education as a national security issue, and as an investment sector. • Endorsement of the 1993, Nine Country Education for All, Delhi Declaration. Jordan: • Objectives and strategies of Education for All were published in the 'Teacher's Message', a periodical published by the Ministry of Education reaching all teachers. Morocco: • N e w National Chart stressing universal access to free basic education. • National awareness and information campaign to sensitize parents and more particularly those in rural areas. Advocacy for girls' education (1990). e National Conference on Education in the Rural Areas (1993).

Oman: e

Workshops were held in the different provinces of the Sultanate, to inform education staff of E F A goals.

Palestine: » T h e Palestinian authorities have recently taken over the administration of the education system in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Actions in relation to the E F A goals will be taken shortly. • Creation of Higher Council for Literacy and Adult Education (1990). Sudan: • Presidential Declaration committing the government to pursue the Goals of Jomtien. « National Conference on Education emphasizing the E F A goals (1990). » E F A Round Table ( U N I C E F / U N E S C O 1992). e Strong national and state-level campaign to support literacy programmes (1992). Syria: • National Symposium on Education for All (1990). в Distribution of pamphlets advocating literacy and E F A goals (1990). « Use of mass-media for advocating E F A goals. e Issuing of stamps advocating literacy. • National Conference for the Child: special emphasis on basic education for children and adults (1991).

37

Development since Jomtien

2.

Planning Education for All

All countries have been active in planning Education for All. They have either refocused pre-existing educational plans of action, or have adopted n e w plans and national strategies to cover the development of basic education services. For this purpose, they have created special task forces, councils, commissions and inter-ministerial committees responsible for co-ordination, promoting policies, and implementing strategies that concern basic education. (Table 7). Furthermore, they have created specialized educational centres for curricula and educational materials, evaluation, research, planning and information. S o m e countries have decentralized their administrative education system in order to bring people and education closer together. 3.

Implementation

of EFA plans

Information given in Table 8 indicates that since 1990, the participating countries have started to implement part of E F A plans, such as improvement of database and analysis; curriculum revision; expansion and upgrading of teacher-training programmes; training of supervisors and trainers; improving teachers' living and working conditions; expanding and rehabilitating the existing school network as well as improving the functioning of schools. They are also promoting and implementing, with the collaboration of U N I C E F and other aid agencies, pilot community-based, non-formal education projects for girls and school drop-outs. S o m e countries have been active in community mobilization for the promotion of E F A goals.

38

Post-Jomîien actions taken to plan and implement Jomtien goals

Table 7. Action for planning E F A Country Egypt: President Mubarak's National Project for the Decade of the Nineties. T h e National Council for Childhood and Motherhood created to co-ordinate all EFA-related actions. Creation of the National Council for the Eradication of Illiteracy (1991). Creation of the Centre for Curriculum and Educational Materials (1992). Creation of the Centre for Education Evaluation and Examination (1992). Development of Education Planning and Information Division within the Ministry of Education (1992). Establishment of General Agency for Educational Buildings Decentralization. National Conference on the Development of Curricula in Basic Education (1993). Jordan: Comprehensive procedural ten-year plan, 1989-1998^ for educational development to implement the recommendation of the first National Conference for Educational Development (1987). Restructuring of the education system. Improving qualitative teaching/learning processes. Appropriate usage of resources. _ Establishing independent technical units to assess, review and allocate resources for different subprogrammes. • Establishing a National Centre for Educational Development and Research to support the educational development plan. » Enhancing the role of the General Directorate for Planning, Research and Development in the Ministry of Education. • N e w Education Act of 1994. Morocco: • Implementation of the 1985 reform of the education system in accordance with the economic and social development plan of 1988-1992, emphasizing universal access to basic education. • Elaboration of a Five-Year Plan (1993-1997) for the development of fundamental and secondary levels of education, aiming at reducing gender and regional disparities, implementation of E C E , in addition to literacy and non-formal education programmes. • Elaboration of national programmes for the universalization of basic education in the rural areas, with the participation of local communities, N G O s and the concerned ministries. • Regional survey of basic education, to determine demand and assess status of basic education a m o n g girls in rural areas. « Decentralization.

Oman: •

In line with the preceding three development plans of the education sector, the Fourth National Plan of Action in Education (1991-1995), prepared in collaboration with U N I C E F , stresses the expansion of education for all, improvement of performance and organization of the educational workforce. • A national team of action was formed, to prepare the national plan of action. Palestine: • Unification of educational programmes and systems for the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. « In the process of developing a comprehensive national plan of action. • T h e proposed education budget for 1994-1995 is as follows: U S $150,000,000 for recurrent expenses and U S »101,000,000 for educational development (teacher's training, building of schools, development of n e w curricula...). • B y 1997, arrangements to be m a d e so that all teachers teaching at basic education level will get a Teacher's Training Diploma in addition to their B A degree. Sudan: « Decentralization. • National Council for General Education appointed by the President of the Republic (1992). • Development of a national comprehensive strategy for education with special emphasis on basic education. First Plan of Action concerning basic education (1992-1994). • Formation of a National Council for Literacy and Adult Education (1991). • Establishment of a database centre in the Ministry of Education. • Upgrading the qualifications required for school teachers: from secondary education graduates to university graduates. Syria: • Policies in line with the Reviewed National Education Policy of 1986. • Promoting development-oriented education for all in accordance with the individuals' basic needs and the nation s economic and social development. • Institution of a five-year plan of co-operation between the Ministry of Education and U N I C E F (19911996) to help implement E F A _ goals. ° Focus on primary education in rural areas. Co-operation between the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Agriculture. ° Creation of a special fund for the eradication of illiteracy.

39

Development since Jomtien

Table 8. Actions for implementing E F A plans Country Egypt: • Improvement of database and analysis to assist planners in implementing the reform strategy. • Building of n e w schools and additional classrooms, as well as renovating buildings. • Curriculum revision and provision of textbooks. • Collaboration with faculties of education in developing and implementing pre-service, and in-service training of teachers. • Raising teacher status through better remuneration, incentive compensation and pension funds. • Community mobilization. • Implementing the one-room school strategy for girls in rural areas. Pilot collaborative project (UNICEF/Ministry of Education) on community schools initiative. Jordan: ' Basic education extended to 10 years (age 6-16). Development of curricula and textbooks. • Certification and training of teachers to reach university-level qualification. • Training of supervisors and technicians. • Programme for building new schools and other educational facilities. • Expansion of vocational training. • Promotion of pre-school education. • Non-formal programmes for illiteracy eradication. • Educational development and research: standardization in Arabic of achievement test, school mapping, financial cost of education, comparative studies on learner's achievements. • Encourage community participation in educational development. • Pilot project of Cluster schools. • Creation of educational resource centres in each district. Morocco: » Pilot projects on basic education for girls in rural areas, initiated by U N I C E F / M O E . • Evaluation of the impact of the n e w educational reform (access, equity and learner's achievement). • Intensification of in-service Training of Teachers regarding n e w curricula and teaching methods. • Community mobilization. • Educational planning strengthened. • Amelioration of the functioning of the schools. • Upgrading of Kuttab schools (Koranic) to function as K . G .

Oman: • • • • • « •

40

Replacement of 'Temporary' school premises by n e w buildings; building of n e w schools. Provision of teaching-aid materials. One-year training on school management of all supervisors and principals of O m a n i schools, U N E S C O / M O E . Institution of periodic workshops to promote teachers' capacities. Curriculum revision. Training of M O E O m a n i staff in education research at the N C E D R in Jordan. Monitoring achievement of fourth-grade students (participation in the U N I C E F / U N E S C O assessment project). Monitoring achievement of second-grade preparatory students to assess achievement in mathematics and sciences, in collaboration with U N I C E F .

Post-Jomtien actions taken to plan and implement Jomtien goals

Palestine: • Preparation of national in-service training programme (started in 1993) for teachers to increase their capacities, in collaboration with Palestinian universities. Upgrading certification of 600 teachers with a two-years' teacher-training diploma to reach B A level. Strengthening teaching capacities of 450 teachers holding a B A . This programme is financed by an E E C grant. • Project to promote active learning methods, through the creation of grade 4 worksheets in mathematics, sciences, social science and Arabic, for grade 5 ( U N I C E F , M O E and

UNRWA). •

Evaluation of the impact of mathematics' worksheets on children's achievement in mathematics, Grade 4. • Assessment of the size of school drop-out for the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, as well as determining the reasons behind school drop-out ( U N I C E F funding). Results are not yet ready. • Mathematics and science supervisor's seminar to develop the supervisors' knowledge in pedagogy of mathematics and sciences, develop their capacities to serve as trainers, discuss educational problems and propose solutions ( U N I C E F funding). Sudan: ' National survey of basic education in the six Northern States, with special emphasis on girls ( U N I C E F / M O E ) . » Assessment survey with respect to needs of displaced children. • A study on education cost and financing in the six Northern States. • Operational training of staff in the database centre of the Ministry of Education. • Creation of four pilot sites: "Community-Based Adolescent Education for Drop-out Girls" (operational 1994). • "Child-Friendly Village Initiative" to promote Education for All at village level. • Reach the Unreached: N o m a d s ' Education and Emergency Education. • Focus on implementing Teacher Training Programmes. • Pilot project on: "Teacher Training through Distance Education" (1994). » Curriculum revision. • Upgrade 'Khlawas' or Koranic schools to become Kindergartens ( K . G ) . e Years of primary education increased from six to eight years. • Primary education is the responsibility of the community. Syria: • Improving primary-school environments in rural and deprived urban areas. • Implementation of the 1986 L a w of nine years' compulsory education by stages depending on availability of h u m a n and material resources. • Development of n e w curricula and educational materials. • Training of Teachers, Supervisors and Trainers in new content and teaching methods. • Study on achievements of 13-year-olds in science and mathematics. • Assessment survey to determine reasons for girls dropping out from primary schools. ° Assessment of problems facing illiteracy programmes. • Promoting pre-school education. • Creation of 310 agricultural primary schools, where instruction in agriculture and food production is added to the basic curriculum. • Strengthening existing functional literacy programmes and creation of post-literacy classes, educational materials and training programmes for literacy teachers. ° Mobilization of all unions and organizations in advocacy and support of non-formal education programmes.

41

Chapter HI

Developments in basic education, 1990-1993

In the participating countries, opportunities for basic education are provided mainly by governments. The private sector's share is small, and private schools are mostly found in the Republic of the Sudan, Jordan, Palestine ( U N R W A 1 + Private), Morocco and Egypt. 1.

Availability of basic education services

The provision of basic education is mainly effected through the formal system of education. In five of the seven countries, basic first-level education is compulsory by law. Table 9.

Compulsory education status - number of years of schooling

Countries Egypt Jordan Morocco Oman Palestine Sudan Syria Sources:

1.

42

(1) (2) (3) *

Compulsory education

First-level education

81 101 91 * 102 *

51 101 61 61 102 61 61

93 World Education Report, U N E S C O , 1993. Palestine, Ministry of Education. T h e Syrian Arab Republic, Ministry of Education. In these countries basic education is not compulsory.

There are also U N R W A schools in Syria and Jordan.

Developments

in basic education,

1990-1993

T h e time-span of compulsory education ranges from eight years in Egypt, to a m a x i m u m often years in Jordan and Palestine. Until this year, there were two education systems in Palestine. T h e Egyptian system w a s adopted in the Gaza Strip and the Jordanian in the West Bank. A m o n g the countries, only the Syrian Arab Republic enforces the law for the first six years of schooling and penalizes parents for not sending their children to school. The Republic of the Sudan will be passing a compulsory education law as soon as it is able to meet the demand for schooling, hopefully before the end of the century. A s for O m a n , it is felt by the Ministry of Education officials, that there is no need to pass such a law, as all people are motivated to send their children to school. (See Table 9). Provision of opportunities for primary schooling In all the participating countries, the provision of educational opportunities in terms of number of primary schools, has increased. Table 10.

Growth in provision of basic education Number of primary schools

Country

1990

1993

Egypt

150821

156471

Jordan

24572

2479*

Morocco

ND*

40343

Oman

386

Palestine

4

3594

s

1069i

979

1

Sudan

796

Syria*

95247

Sources:

0) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)

ND 100797

Republic of Egypt, Ministry of Education. Kingdom of Jordan, Ministry of Education. R o y a u m e du Maroc, Les Données de base pour la construction du Modèle INMA, C E R E D , 1994, (quoting Ministry of Education). O m a n , Ministry of Education, the negative percentage is due to the fact that some of the primary schools were developed into preparatory schools and counted as such in the 1993 statistics. Palestine, Ministry of Education. Republic of the Sudan, Ministry of Education, Educational Statistics, 1990/1991. The Syrian Arab Republic, Ministry of Education, Education Statistics, 1993. Data for 1980-81 are 2,318 primary schools. The percentage increase since 1980 is 74 per cent.

43

Development since Jomtien

The figures presented in Table 10 are indicators of sustained efforts m a d e in providing education for all by the concerned governments. Local communities in the Republic of the Sudan share u p to 25 per cent of basic education expenses, which include expenses for building of schools and their maintenance, lodging of teachers, and acquisition of textbooks. The business community in Egypt has largely financed the provision of oneroom schools for girls in the rural areas. However, quantitative increase does not reflect the size, capacity and adequacy of these premises in relation to the needs of targeted populations and quality education. Even though continuous efforts are being m a d e to build n e w schools and spread them equitably to reach all children, and particularly girls in remote rural areas, some issues related to quality of education remain in a sizeable number of primary schools. These include the existence of: a large number of old school buildings needing renovation and lacking basic facilities; a large proportion of one-room multi-grade primary schools in villages and hamlets; a sizeable percentage of primary schools operating on a double-shift basis (representing approximately 77 per cent of all schools in O m a n , 26 per cent in the Syrian Arab Republic and 2 2 per cent in Egypt); and a significant percentage of rented facilities in Palestine, Jordan, Egypt and O m a n . In this respect, international agencies are supporting governments in their efforts to increase the number of schools and for the rehabilitation of existing ones. Jordan has received loans from the World Bank, to be spent on school-building projects. Morocco is supported by the World Bank and the African Development Bank to promote basic education in rural areas. In the Syrian Arab Republic, U N I C E F is helping in the improvement of the primary-school environment in rural and deprived urban areas. Early childhood education In the participating countries, early childhood education is essentially an urban phenomenon. Only a minority of three-five-year-olds go to kindergartens, mainly run by private institutions and N G O s . However,

44

Developments in basic education, 1990-1993

there is an increasing awareness a m o n g governments of the importance of pre-school education with respect to readiness of children to enter primary school. Egypt is planning to include in the near future two preschool years to the period of compulsory schooling. In general, governments are encouraging communities and N G O s to develop the E C E network, and have takenresponsibilityfor registration, the setting of educational standards and curricula, as well as monitoring activities and teacher training. In this respect, U N I C E F has been assisting in global planning of E C E in most of the countries. (Table 11). Table 11.

Growth provision of early childhood education N u m b e r of early childhood centres

Country

1990

1993

Egypt

1075'

1335'

Jordan

546

2

32980 3

Morocco

4

50

Oman

ND 6

Sudan

5026

Syria

904 7

Sources: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)

ND ND

383 s

Palestine

666 2

ND 1052 7

Republic of Egypt, Ministry of Education. Kingdom of Jordan, Ministry of Education. Royaume du Maroc, Le Mouvement Educatif au Maroc durant la période 1988-89 et 1989-90. Rapport. Ce chiffre inclut les écoles coraniques. O m a n , Ministry of Education, The National Plan of Action, 1994. Palestine, Ministry of Education. Republic of Sudan, Ministry of Education, Educational Statistics, 19901991. The Syrian Arab Republic, Education Statistics, 1993.

45

Development since Jomtien

The figures in Table 11 show that the number of E C E centres has been increasing steadily, thus implying a growing demand for this level of education. It should be noted that the large number of pre-primary schools found in Morocco and the Republic of the Sudan are mostly traditional Koranic schools. There is, however, a growing interest a m o n g these governments to promote ' m o d e m ' E C E along with traditional Koranic teaching. For this purpose, they are preparing curricula and programmes to upgrade existing traditional teachers' competence, and the training of n e w teachers. This initiative is viewed as a low-cost intervention to promote E C E within an established, historically community-supported, educational endeavour. With respect to E C E it is worth mentioning two successful private initiatives, supported by local N G O ' s and international aid agencies, which address the needs of local communities in this field. These are: the Early Childhood Resource Centre in Jerusalem and the Multi-function Centre for Early Childhood Development, in Cairo. T h e former Centre is nongovernmental and focuses on the development of curricula, in-service training, research and the production of low-cost teaching/learning materials. T h e Centre is financed by Palestinian private schools and N G O s , O X F A M , O D A , N O V E B and the E E C . Between 1985 and 1993 the Centre has trained 560 teachers with different levels of educational achievement. Training consists of 240 teaching and contact hours, and a follow-up component in the workplace. The Multi-Function Centre in Cairo, is a co-operative endeavour between the N C C M , local N G O s and international aid organizations such as U N I C E F and U N D P . Its aim is to implement training and develop experimental programmes, for those working with pre-school children. 2.

Participation in basic education

A m o n g the six participating countries for which data are available, figures in Table 12, indicate considerable disparities in levels of participation rates. These could be attributed either to inadequate provision in relation to target populations, or to factors affecting the utilization of available facilities, by these same populations. In the case of the Republic of the Sudan, provision cannot keep pace with the growth of the target population. In Morocco, provision has been slowed d o w n by the programme of structural adjustment of the economy,

46

Developments in basic education, 1990-1993

and by geographic and socio-cultural factors that hinder both provision and demand, especially in the rural areas and, more particularly, with respect to girls. (Table 12). Table 12. Primary school gross enrolment rates ( G E R ) 1991-1992

1990-1991

1992-1993

Country

Male

Female

Total

Male

Female

Total

Male

Female

Total

Egypt

98.0

83.8

91.1»

97.0

83.6

90.5

97.9

85.0

91.6"

90 77

92 53 92 43 94

911 65я

86.5

86.9

86.7

71.5

53.8

62.6 4

ND ND

ND ND

ND ND

95.9'

97.9

89

93.6'

97.5

87.8

92.7»

501

64.4

49.9

57.3 7

ND

ND

ND

ND

ND

99.3

98.8

ND 99"

Jordan* Morocco* Oman

99.8

Sudan

56 100

Syria

Sources:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 *

**

99i

Republic of Egypt, Ministry of Education. World Education Report, U N E S C O , 1993. Kingdom of Jordan, The Educational Statistics Yearbook, 1991-1992. Royaume du M a r o c ^ " Données de Base pour la Construction du Modèle INMA, C E R E D , 1994. The Sultanate of Oman. The National Plan of Action in Education. Ministry of Education, Muscat, 1994. N o data available. Until this year, education was the responsibility of the civil administration in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and statistics were not available for analysis. Republic of the Sudan, Educational Statistics, 1990-1991. The Syrian Arab Republic, Ministry of Education. These rates represent G E R for the whole basic cycle, that is 10 years. In the absence of separate G E R for the primary cycle, they are useful as indirect indicators of G E R in the Erst six years of schooling. The explanation for the decrease in G E R for 1991-1992, may be the fact thatfiguresfor 1990 and 1991/92 do not come from the same source.

In Table 12, participation rates are expressed in terms of gross enrolment rates, as only these were available in all of the participating countries. However, net enrolment rates would have been better indicators of the reality, since they exclude over- and under-age students. Therefore, the primary school gross enrolment rates should be read as indicators of magnitude considering that the extent of over-estimation as compared to N E R m a y go up to 2 0 per cent. Egypt, Jordan, O m a n and the Syrian Arab Republic, have total gross enrolment rates exceeding 85 per cent. These rates were sustained between 1990 and 1992. In these countries, in addition to maintaining their high levels of enrolment, there are gains with respect to girls' participation. Figures in Table 12 indicate that Egypt and the Syrian Arab Republic

47

Development since Jomtien

have registered an increase of 1.2 per cent and 4.8 per cent respectively in female G E R . This trend is also observed in Morocco and the Republic of the Sudan, where the enrolment rate for girls has grown respectively by .8 per cent and 6.9 per cent, although their achievements in overall enrolment of school-age children are considerably lower. Equality in opportunities and access In spite of significant improvements in enrolment rates, regional and gender inequalities persist. Regional inequalities Available data show that rural areas, and especially girls in those areas, have consistently lower G E R than their urban counterparts. For example, in Morocco in 1991, the G E R in the rural areas w a s 58.1 compared to 88.3 in the urban areas. A s for girls, their G E R in rural areas represents almost a third of that of urban girls: 30.4 compared to 86.5 2 . In Egypt, total gross enrolment ratios in s o m e governorates are as m u c h as 2 0 per cent lower than the national average, thus indicating the existence of important discrepancies between governorates. Furthermore, in these governorates enrolment ratios for girls are consistently lower than the national average3, as well as the G E R for boys. Gender inequalities A s shown in Table 13, Jordan has almost reached parity in primaryschool enrolment between boys and girls. Data for the other countries show that, although indicative of a significant achievement with respect to participation of girls, the percentage of females in overall enrolment is lower than that of boys by at least five percentage points.

2.

3.

48

Royaume du Maroc, Les Données de Base pour la Construction du Modèle INMA,

CERED, 1994.

Egypt, 1993. "Education for All in Egypt". Ministry of Education. The Nine Country Education for All Meeting, Cairo, 1993.

Developments in basic education, 1990-1993

Table 13.

Gender disparities in primary enrolment: Females as a percentage of total enrolment 1990-1991

1992-1993

Egypt

Country

ND

45.29'

Jordan

48.36 2

49.03 2

4

40.5 3

4

45.1"

Morocco

40.03

Oman

45.3

Palestine5

ND

ND

42.8

6

42.9 6

Syria

46.5

7

43.3 7

Sources:

(1) Republic of Egypt, Ministry of Education. (2) Kingdom of Jordan, Ministry of Education. (3) R o y a u m e du Maroc. Les Données de Base pour la Construction du Modèle

Sudan

INMA,

CERED, 1994. (4) (5) (6) (7)

The Sultanate of O m a n , Ministry of Education. Available statistics do not break down by sex. Republic of the Sudan, Ministry of Education. The Syrian Arab Republic, Education Statistics for the years 1990 and 1993.

However, these overall figures do not reflect the regional discrepancies in enrolment between the sexes. In general, in the rural areas, there are consistently less girls than boys enrolled in schools. Even before Jomtien, and more so after Jomtien, international agencies like U N I C E F , U N E S C O , U N D P and local general w o m e n ' s unions, have been advocating gender equality in education, and the issue has been at the core of all negotiations for grants, in planning and in project implementation. The handicapped T h e handicapped population does not have m a n y opportunities for access to education. Most of the countries visited have developed specialized educational centres, but the offer is far from satisfying the demand. There is a scarcity of specialized educators, and most of the centres are run by local N G O s , helped by funding agencies and the concerned governments. There is a lot to be achieved in this area, starting

49

Development since Jomtien

with reliable statistics o n the size and characteristics of the disabled population in each country. In spite of the political will to reduce regional and gender inequalities, s o m e geographic, infrastractural and socio-cultural factors contribute to the persistence of these inequalities. A m o n g these factors, there is the geographic dispersion of hamlets and settlements, coupled with the absence of basic infrastructure like roads, electricity and water. In these cases, s o m e governments have built schools to serve clusters of villages or hamlets. H o w e v e r , the distance between these schools and the settlements has often proved to be a major obstacle for children's enrolment, especially girls, since it is not culturally acceptable for them to travel long distances from h o m e . In addition, if these schools are co-educational, as is often the case, the absence of separate facilities for girls increases the probability that their parents will keep them at h o m e . Other social factors related to the perpetuation of inequalities include parents' illiteracy, which negatively affects their motivation in sending their children to school, especially if teachers are males and curricula are not appealing to rural girls. In view of these factors, U N I C E F , in collaboration with the ministries of education of the participating countries, has developed advocacy programmes for girls' education; undertakenfieldstudies to determine the d e m a n d for education focusing m o r e particularly o n girls; and proposed and implemented innovative community-based developmental projects, on a pilot basis, to promote the education of girls in rural areas. Similar projects are also being supported b y U N D P and other international agencies and N G O s . Completion and drop-out rates Ensuring education for all, does not simply imply initial enrolment, but the assurance that all first-graders will remain throughout the basic education cycle. It also implies the development of quality education to reduce failure in annual examinations and consequent repetition of classes. This factor has also been found to influence parents' and children's decision to drop out of school. In Egypt, for example, in order to reduce repetition and drop-out ratios, a n e w strategy w a s developed. It involves dividing primary education into two stages: grades 1-3 and grades 4-5.

50

Developments in basic education, 1990-1993

Students are evaluated at the end of grades 3 and 5, using nationallystandardized tests. (Table 14). Table 14. Country Egypt Jordan Morocco Oman Palestine3 Sudan Syria Sources: (1) (2) (3) (4)

Primary school completion rates (Cohort 1989) Males 81.1 84 75 93 ND ND 84.5

Females 82.7 91 76 88 ND ND 80.5

Total 82.4 1 872 752 912 ND 762 82.6 4

Republic of Egypt, Ministry of Education. World Education Report, U N E S C O , 1993. N o statistics available. The Syrian Arab Republic, Ministry of Education.

Data in Table 14 indicate that drop-out rates in some countries are significant. A m o n g the participating countries, the percentage of children w h o do not complete primary school, which of course have different durations, varies between 9 per cent in O m a n and 25 per cent in Morocco. Girls in Egypt, Jordan and Morocco tend to have higher completion rates than boys. These figures are general rates and mask regional and urbanrural disparities. In urban areas the completion rates are m u c h higher than in the remote rural areas, where very often village or hamlet schools have only four grades. T o pursue their primary education, children in some countries have to go to another village school in the area, and this m a y m e a n walking three to four kilometres or more. In view of this problem, the Syrian Arab Republic has located schools in such a fashion that the longest distance between a primary school and a settlement is only one kilometre. T o overcome the problem of transport, the O m a n i Government offers free transportation to and from school throughout the Sultanate. In Morocco, Egypt and the Sudan, supplementary food programmes and school canteens encourage parents to send their children to school and,

51

Development since Jomtien

at the same time, give the children food and all the necessary nutrients for their physical and mental development. In Morocco, a very large number of children in rural areas benefit from school canteens. Ibis is a joint project, funded by the Moroccan Government and the W F P . T h erepetitionrate is another indicator of educational wastage. Data available from Egypt, Jordan and O m a n , indicate that u p to Grade 3, repetition rates in Egypt and O m a n are significantly higher than those of Jordan. B y grade 4 , the difference between Jordan'srepetitionrates and those of Egypt and O m a n decreases significantly. (Jable 15). In fact in Grade 4 , the percentage of students repeating their classes increases dramatically for both boys and girls, and amounts to 11.66 per cent in Egypt, 7.47 per cent in Jordan and 9.58 per cent in O m a n . However, repetition rates in Egypt continue to increase more significantly than in other countries, reaching 14.30 per cent in Grade 6. These figures imply that m a n y children are likely to drop out from school before completing the primary cycle asrepetitionand failure are factors that are k n o w n to affect children's completion of primary schooling It should be mentioned that thesefiguresdo not fully complement the completion-rate data presented earlier. This is possibly due to varying sources of data and the fact that the completion-rate computation is not based onrealcohort analysis. Withrespectto factors affecting the demand for schooling, ministries of education in the Syrian Arab Republic, Morocco, Egypt and the Sudan, in collaboration with U N I C E F , have undertakenfieldsurveys to assess the demand for education, particularly in the case of girls in rural areas. A similar survey was done in the West B a n k in Palestine, by the Al Najan University, in Naplous. A m o n g the reasons that affect children's completion of primary schooling, there are factors related to the schools, to economic and social conditions of families, traditions and lifestyles, and general economic factors and labour market conditions. A m o n g the school-related factors, one can cite availability of educational facilities and teachers, quality of teachers, curricula, instructional practices, school environment, distance of school from h o m e s , and school schedule. In relation to social, economic and cultural factors, there is the illiteracy of the parents, poverty and the availability o n the labour market of employment for children under the age of 14.

52

Developments in basic education, 1990-1993

Table 15.

Grade

Repetition rates as a percentage (1990-91 for O m a n and Jordan, 1991-92 for Egypt) Male

Female

Total

Grade 1 Egypt1 Jordan2 Oman3

0.11 2.22 10.32

0.10 2.01 10.04

0.11 2.12 10.19

Grade 2 Egypt Jordan Oman

8.18 1.80 9.88

6.9 1.66 10.30

7.24 1.73 10.08

Grade 3 Egypt Jordan Oman

7.25 2.27 9.35

5.2 1.76 8.21

6.33 2.02 8.81

Grade 4 Egypt Jordan Oman

12.89 7.60 10.83

10.13 7.34 8.06

11.66 7.47 9.58

Grade 5 Egypt Jordan Oman

15.01 10.15 8.09

12.20 9.36 7.47

13.77 9.78 7.79

Grade 6 Egypt Jordan Oman

14.85 8.76 14.30

13.62 7.07 8.71

14.30 7.95 11.75

Sources:

(1) Republic of Egypt, Ministry of Education, Educational Planning and Information Division; Computer Information and Statistics Department. (2) Kingdom of Jordan, National Centre for Educational Research and Development (3) T h e Sultanate of O m a n , T h e National Plan of Action in Education, Ministry of Education, 1994.

53

Development since Jomtien

A s for small girls in general and girls from rural areas in particular, social values require that schooling be safe for them, meaning that the distance between h o m e and school should be very short, that schools be segregated by sex, that teachers be female and that part of teaching content should be adapted to their needs. However, economic necessity, parents' illiteracy and the belief that education cannot guarantee employment in the n e w market economies, seem to affect mostly the drop-out rates. Even if education is free, there is always a cost attached to sending a child to school: small registration fees, supplies, uniforms, etc. Poor families with a large number of children will have to m a k e choices as to w h o will continue and for h o w long. In these sort of dilemmas, it is usually little girls w h o are withdrawn first from school. In Sudan, there are around 1.5 million children less than 15 years old, w h o are presently working or roaming the streets4. 3.

Quality of basic education

T h e question of quality of education is as important as the question of quantitative expansion in the provision of classrooms. If the quality of education is poor, children will not acquire a sufficient degree of proficiency in basic literacy and problem-solving skills, and the drop-outs will eventually relapse into illiteracy and increase the already large number of existing illiterates. However, improving the quality of education is a difficult task, because it requires a co-ordinated and well-synchronized improvement of all elements of the system. T h e quality of classroom instruction is influenced by several related factors such as educational facilities, teachers' qualifications, instructional materials, teaching methods and technology, qualified supervision and management. A d hoc measures of quality upgrading cannot bring effective and positive changes. Following is a brief overview of some parameters related to quality of education in the participating countries. In all the participating countries, the student-teacher ratio decreased between 1990 and 1993, reaching acceptable levels. However, classroom sizes vary between the rural and the urban areas. It is not u n c o m m o n to find small classes offiveto ten students in rural areas and classes of 5 0 or

4.

54

The Sudan, Ministry of Education.

Developments in basic education, 1990-1993

m o r e in cities. In Karthoum's poor neighbourhoods, due to the influx of refugees from the South, there are classes of 100 students and more. Pupil-teacher ratio Table 16. Country Egypt

Pupil-teacher ratio 1990/91

1992/93

241 253 IT 28J

23.3 4

Sudan

37*

223 ND 27s ND 34*

Syria

30.7 7

25.2 7

Jordan Morocco Oman Palestine

Sources:

(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)

32.6*

World Education Report, U N E S C O , 1993. Republic of Egypt, Ministry of Education. The ratio is for public schools. Kingdom of Jordan, Ministry of Education. Palestinian Higher Council for Education, Culture & Science, 15th session, July 1992, rate for 1991. O m a n , Ministry of Education. Republic of Sudan, Ministry of Education. T h e Syrian Arab Republic, Education Statistics for the years 1990 and 1993.

Teachers' qualifications and training In the participating countries, almost all primary-school teachers have at least a two-years' teacher-training diploma and m a n y of them have a university degree. There seems to be n o shortage of teachers. T h e economic recession prevailing in most of the participating countries encourages young university graduates to enter the teaching profession. Another reason for the adequate supply of teachers, especially in Jordan, the Syrian Arab Republic, the Sudan and Palestine, is that the Gulf States are gradually replacing expatriate teachers by their o w n nationals. (Table

m

In addition to the above-mentioned reasons for recruiting and retaining teachers, it should be mentioned that all the participating

55

Development since Jomtien

countries have taken administrative measures to ameliorate the working and living conditions of their teachers. In general, teachers are given incentives for working in rural deprived areas, pension funds have been revised and teachers will benefit from established plans of pre-service and in-service training. Morocco, for example, has developed a grade advancement scheme for primary-school teachers, comparable in terms of benefits and salaries to that of teachers in upper cycles. In order to keep teachers in the primary cycle, according to the n e w scheme, a person w h o has acquired a higher university degree, will receive all the benefits attached to the n e w educational level, but will not be allowed to m o v e and teach in the secondary cycle of education. Table 17.

Percentage of female teachers in primary schools Country

1990

1993

52' 61» 38' 464 ND

Sudan

51.8*

ND 611 ND AT 44J ND

Syria

64.4*

65.2 1

Egypt Jordan Morocco Oman Palestine

Sources:

(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)

World Education Report, U N E S C O , 1993. K i n g d o m of Jordan, Ministry of Education. Ministry of Education. Based on data from six out of seven districts in the West B a n k . O m a n , Ministry of Education. Republic of Sudan, Ministry of Education, Educational Statistics for the years 1990 and 1993. T h e Syrian Arab Republic, Ministry of Education, Education Statistics for the years 1990 and 1993.

T h e above-mentioned policies, plus the pressing demand for female teachers, have contributed to increasing the number of female teachers. In Jordan and the Syrian Arab Republic, the majority of primary-school teachers are w o m e n and in other countries they are not far from representing half of the total number of teachers. Educational policies in all the participating countries focus o n teacher training. In line with these policies they have developed and are implementing plans to upgrade teachers' capacities through in-service and pre-service training. There is a great need for in-service training of rural

56

Developments in basic education, 1990-1993

primary-school teachers serving in one room, multi-Grade schools, and of older teachers with only a teacher's training diploma. For example, government school teachers in the West B a n k and the Gaza Strip, have not had the chance to profit from in-service training for the last 25 years. The reviewing of curricula has also increased the demand for training. In view of this need, growing co-operation has emerged between the ministries of education, faculties of education and aid agencies, especially U N E S C O and U N I C E F . T h e main objective of this co-operation is to develop and implement training programmes for supervisors, trainers, teachers and education managers. In the Syrian Arab Republic, in-service training is institutionalized. All primary-school teachers benefit from in-service training every five years. In other countries, teachers have been benefiting from several shortterm in-service training programmes whenever there was a need to do so. M a n y such short-term training sessions were planned to acquaint teachers with n e w textbooks and auxiliary instructional aids, w h e n curricula were changed or n e w textbooks introduced. However, if any training programme is to be successful in bringing about changes in behaviour and attitude, it has to be continuous and supported by practice. Short-term programmes tend very often to transmit information and have little impact on long-term behavioural change. In this respect, after 1990, the participating countries have s h o w n a strong will to upgrade teachers' certification. In Jordan, the Sudan, Egypt and Palestine, the upgrading of teachers' certification programmes is done in co-operation with the faculties of education in each country. Teachers with a two-years' teachertraining diploma m a y join the local university in order to obtain a bachelor's degree, while teachers with a bachelor's degree m a y join the faculty of education to obtain a teaching diploma. T h e aim of this strategy is to promote and update knowledge and pedagogic skills of all teachers, whatever their initial educational attainment or work experience. In all countries, the trend is towards developing their training capacities and building self-reliance. Curricula and textbooks All countries are working on the construction and development of basic education curricula to meet their specific needs for social and economic development and needs related to quality of education. N e w

57

Development since Jomtien

curricula are being developed on the basis of needs expressed by representative segments of society. In order to increase the relevance of curricula with respect to the social reality of students' lives, subjects related to population matters, the environment, health and other facts for life are incorporated in the curricula. In the Syrian Arab Republic and Jordan, curricula include a form of pre-vocational instruction to sensitize students to manual work and technology. The Syrian Arab Republic has also developed a network of agricultural basic education schools in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, where school instruction includes theoretical and practical teaching related to agriculture and food production. With the exception of the Sudan, where provision of instructional materials and textbooks is quite inadequate, the other countries are managing to provide textbooks to school children. In Sudan there is one textbook for every five children. A s for instructional materials, their availability is unevenly distributed a m o n g schools and between regions. Jordan has tried to overcome this problem by creating educational resource centres in the provinces. Monitoring educational achievements of students All the participating countries recognize the importance of educational evaluation and assessment of children's achievements. Real efforts have been m a d e to establish standardized national tests. Specialized units of educational research have been established, such as the National Centre for Examination and Education, in Egypt, and the National Centre for Educational Research and Development, in Jordan ( N C E R D ) . A m o n g the participating countries, Jordan, the Syrian Arab Republic and Palestine (West Bank) have participated in inter-country assessment studies. Jordan was one of 2 0 countries of the joint U N E S C O / U N I C E F collaborative project to assess learning achievement of Grade 4 students. The West B a n k and Jordan, with U N I C E F support, conducted a comparative study of 8th-Grade student achievement in mathematics. The N C E R D conducted a national survey on environmental knowledge and awareness of 8th- and lOth-Grade students in Jordan, the Syrian Arab Republic, in collaboration with N C E R D , has undertaken an assessment survey of 8th-Grade students' achievement in mathematics and the sciences. T h e objectives of these studies are to measure learning

58

Developments in basic education, 1990-1993

achievements, identify strengths and weaknesses of the system of education involved, and to suggest plans of action. T h e long-term objective is to establish institutionalized national capacity for monitoring educational progress. (Table 18). 4.

Non-formal education pro grammes for adults and out-of-school adolescents

Table 18.

Adult illiteracy rates (15+ age group) Number of illiterates

Illiteracy rate % Country

Total

Male

Female

1990 (000)

Egypt

51.6'

37.1'

66.2'

16492'

Jordan

19.9'

10.7'

29.7'

442'

1

38.7'

62.0'

1526'

Morocco Oman

50.5

56«

At

3

3

4

65

300*

ND

Palestine

47.6

Sudan

72.9'

57.3'

88.3'

10061'

Syria (1993)

20.6 2

11.2 2

30.6 2

2304'

34.3

59.5

3

Sources: (1) World Education Report, U N E S C O , 1993. (2) Syrian Ministry of Culture. Thefiguresin the table are for 1993. (3) Thesefiguresrefer to the West Bank, and are based on a representative sample of 8,000 people. Publications of the University of Bir-Zeit, Vol. 3, 1986. (4) O m a n . The National Plan of Action in Education, Ministry of Education, 1994.

A m o n g the participating countries, adult illiteracy rates (15+ age group) vary between 72.9 per cent (Sudan) and 19.9 per cent (Jordan) with constant literacy gaps between m e n and w o m e n . Literacy rates of m e n are significantly higher than those of w o m e n and the difference varies from 10 to 25 per cent. Provision of programmes for adult literacy has been a component of all the government's educational plans long

59

Development since Jomtien

before Jomtien. However, success in eliminating illiteracy a m o n g adults and a m o n g school drop-outs is still a distant dream for countries where more than half the population is illiterate and where the existing provision of non-formal literacy programmes is small and inadequate. A closer look at the composition of this population of illiterates reveals that the vast majority are w o m e n and that young drop-outs from schools are increasing not only the number of illiterates, but also the complexity of the d e m a n d for non-formal education. Since Jomtien, major international agencies such as U N I C E F , U N F P A , U N D P , U N E S C O , ILO, the World Bank, A D B , A L E S C O , IDA, A G F U N D , A R L O , U N I F A M , W H O , SIDA and G T Z , have provided extensive support for adult literacy and non-formal education programmes focusing on m e n and women, girls, school drop-outs, street children, displaced children and other disadvantaged groups. Local and foreign N G O s have been helping national adult education programmes in most countries. It should be noted that a m o n g the participating countries, it is not always the Ministry of Education which is responsible for these programmes. For instance, in the Syrian Arab Republic, it is the Ministry of Culture, and in Morocco, the Ministry of Social Affairs. T h e increased concern of countries in this area is reflected by the number of innovative projects being implemented; the increasing number of adult literacy classes; the creation of n e w functional adult-education curricula and relevant educational materials; the creation of post-literacy programmes; and the training of literacy teachers. S o far, m a n y of these projects have depended o n mass mobilization and community support, and are characterized by high drop-outrates,poor educational facilities, unadapted curricula and schedules, as well as untrained literacy teachers. Following are s o m e of the important initiatives undertaken in different countries of the region. In Egypt, adult literacy programmes are run by the National Council for the Eradication of Illiteracy and b y numerous national and international N G O s , with an increasing input from international agencies. In 1986, the absolute number of illiterates aged 10 years and over was estimated at 17.2 million. This constitutes a major problem because of the high population growth, averaging 2.7 per cent annually. According to the Ministry of Education, the illiterate population increases every year by an

60

Developments in basic education, 1990-1993

average of 153,000 persons5. In 1993, there were 3,200,000 8-14-year-old children out of school. O f these, 1 million were illiterate and the others had dropped out of school and were working6. In 1993, 498,550 adults benefited from the Council's programme. However, it should be mentioned that the drop-out rate from these literacy classes is 4 0 per cent, and that w o m e n prefer to enrol in N G O - r u n programmes rather than the government-managed ones. In 1992,32,192 w o m e n participating in N G O and literacy programmes sat for the literacy examination, compared to 6,990 from the government-managed ones. With respect to non-formal education projects geared towards préadolescents, the Government of Egypt, with the collaboration of the Ministries of Education, Housing and Planning, local communities and parental associations, have initiated in remote rural areas, hamlets and poor peri-urban sites, the one-room school project for girls. This educational initiative aims at providing school-age girls with appropriate skills and a relevant educational experience. In addition, the programme includes a parallel component for adult illiterate and semi-literate w o m e n of the same community. At present, 827 one-room schools are actually operative7. O n the same lines, a pilot innovative project in rural areas called the Community School Initiative (CSI) w a s introduced in 1992. It is a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Education and U N I C E F , with support from N G O s , aid agencies and residents of the rural communities. T h e project proposes a complementary model for existing traditional basic-education schools, to reach poor children, and especially girls, in deprived rural areas. During thefirstphase of its implementation it has expanded to 25 sites, prompted by increasing demand from the rural communities. In Jordan, the Ministry of Education is responsible for non-formal education, adult education and literacy programmes. Besides traditional evening literacy classes, the government is sponsoring five projects for

5.

Egypt, 1993. "Education for All in Egypt". The Nine-Country Education for All meetings, Cairo.Ministry of Education.

6.

Mid-Decade Conference, Cairo, July 1994.

7.

Egypt, Ministry of Education.

61

Development since Jomtien

the eradication of illiteracy in different districts of the Kingdom. Evening schools provide opportunities for school-leavers to continue their schooling parallel to formal education. The Ministry of Education also provides self-learning programmes for adults, also called home-studies, for those w h o wish to appear for school examinations and continue their studies. The main activity of the Ministry of Education in the area of literacy, is its post-literacy programme, which is free to all. The studycourse in this programme is of two academic years, at the end of which the learner is given a certificate equivalent to the sixth grade. In Morocco, strong co-operation exists in the area of non-formal education, between the Ministries of Social Affairs, Labour, Agriculture, Sports and Youth, and m a n y national non-governmental organizations, mainly l'Union des Femmes Marocaines, with ever-increasing support from international agencies. In Morocco, there are two main types of nonformal education programmes, namely: Literacy programmes for adult m e n and w o m e n in urban and rural areas. In 1990, 254,987 people benefited from these services compared to 42,000 in 1989. This spectacular increase in the number of beneficiaries can be attributed to mass mobilization and greater provision of facilities. Literacy and professional training centres for illiterate and school drop-out adolescents of both sexes. Since 1984, 375 centres were created, of which 182 in rural areas. Adolescent girls get the largest share of this provision through the centres called 'Foyers Féminins'8. It is estimated that there are around 300,000 illiterate adults (15+) in O m a n 9 , of which two-thirds are w o m e n . The Ministry of Education is responsible for literacy education, while the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour participates in the identification of needs and the provision of s o m e physical facilities to conduct literacy classes. N G O s ' involvement is almost non-existent. Between 1990 and 1993,32,286 persons benefited from literacy programmes. A m o n g these beneficiaries, 86.8 per cent were w o m e n . Adult education classes for school-leavers and self-learning

8.

Royaume du Maioc,1988-1990. Le mouvement éducatif du Maroc.

9.

The Sultanate of O m a n , 1994. National Plan of Action, MOE.MuscaL

62

Developments in basic education, 1990-1993

programmes are m a d e available by the Ministry of Education. However, as is the case with literacy programmes, the demand for these services is not strong. It is probable that with the implementation of the fourth National Plan for Education, there will be more awareness and motivation, and that a comprehensive and relevant adult literacy education programme will be devised. In 1992, there were 2,674 adults registered in 200 adult-education and literacy classes in Palestine. These figures indicate the existence of little demand for the programmes offered. The early childhood resource centre offers classes to children and adults to provide them with the preparation and skills necessary for becoming active and productive members of their society. The centre also offers literacy classes for m e n , w o m e n , and youth w h o have dropped out of school. In Sudan, there were 10,061,200 illiterates aged 15 and more in 1990, of which 6,113,500 were w o m e n 1 0 . Thanks to the co-operation between the Ministry of Education, the National Council of Literacy and Adult Education, local governments, N G O s , U N I C E F , local unions, associations, and community support, 2,267,210 persons benefited in 1992 from adultliteracy programmes at thefirstand second levels. The reduction by onefifth of the number of illiterates in two years, w a s achieved due to the successful literacy campaign of the Darfur State in March 1992. This campaign was characterized by strong political will and wide-range social mobilization, both in the public and private sectors and at community grass-roots level. Motivation of people was raised through mobile theatres, traditional female poets, the preaching of sheiks, the mass media and schoolmasters. In addition, two severe measures were adopted by the local authorities: a penalty tax for non-learners, and the retention of salaries until the workers could sign their names. A s a result, 900,000 people graduated from the seven-month basic literacy course in 1993. The success of this campaign has encouraged other States to duplicate the experience. In the same State, the child-friendly village initiative programme is run by village committees and provides basic social services, including basic education and literacy classes through community-based, low-cost interventions. With respect to adolescents, the Sudanese Government, in collaboration with U N I C E F , is promoting community-based adolescent

10.

The Sudan, Ministry of Education.

63

Development since Jomtien

education programmes for school drop-outs aged 8 to 14. T h e Ministry of Education estimates their number at 1,227,837. T h e objectives of this programme are: to develop relevant curricula linking education to community needs; setflexibleeducation methods and strategies to reach girls, working children and other displaced children, and, finally, to establish a bridging system with the formal sector of education. A t this stage, they are ready to implement the project, through the establishment of eight classes (six for girls and two for boys) in each of the nine states. In the Syrian Arab Republic, almost all school-age children are enrolled in schools and the majority of school drop-outs are recuperated by the formal education sector, through a special educational programme. A s a consequence, all the efforts in the non-formal sector are geared towards combatting adult illiteracy. There are 2 5 , 6 0 9 n illiteracy classes in the Syrian Arab Republic, distributed in all the Mohafazat. They are under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Culture. However, it should be mentioned that these programmes receive great support at the local level from the General Union of the Syrian Arab Republic W o m e n , labour and peasant unions, youth and students' organizations. These organizations participate in advocacy, administration, voluntary teaching and monitoring, under the control of the Directorate of Literacy. Since Jomtien, all curricula were revised to integrate learning of writing, reading and counting; basic living skills, legal rights for w o m e n , and facts for life education. In order to m a k e programmes more attractive, the time planning for literacy and post-literacy classes, is adapted to the needs of agricultural societies. Workers are entitled by law to take two hours a day leave from work, to attend literacy classes. 5.

Financing of basic education

W h a t has emerged from this brief overview of post-Jomtien developments in basic education a m o n g the participating countries, is the strong political will to provide quality and free basic education for all. However, despite their good intentions, governments cannot raise dramatically their education budgets in order to meet the ever-increasing cost of quality education for all. T h e regional and national socio-economic

11. The Syrian Arab Republic,Ministry of Culture.

64

Developments in basic education, 1990-1993

and demographic contexts are characterized b y economic recession, structural adjustments of economies, heavy external debts and large rates of population growth. These factors hamper the countries' possibilities to invest in quality education for all. In view of these constraints, governments are trying to mobilize n e w resources through partnerships between governmental, non-govemmental and international agencies and between the private sector, local communities and community organizations. S o m e countries, such as Egypt, Sudan and Morocco, are promoting increasing participation of communities and N G O s in the cost of primary education. Other countries, like Jordan, the Sudan, O m a n and Morocco, are encouraging the extension of the private education sector. In addition to these initiatives, all the participating States have requested, and are receiving, well-targeted support from international agencies, mostly in terms of financing n e w school buildings; production and, sometimes, supply of educational materials; training of teachers, supervisors and educational planning officers; expertise in allfieldsof educational planning and research; and the promotion of community-based projects to reach the under-privileged, especially girls and school drop-outs.

65

Chapter IV

Achievements and future challenges

T h e review of achievements of the participating countries, has to be placed in context. These countries are facing m a n y challenges in their struggle towards attaining the Jomtien goals, namely: providing universal access to basic education; reducing regional and gender inequalities; reducing illiteracy by at least half its 1990 level; and improving individual educational achievements. In this respect, the preceding analysis of the countries' developments in education illustrates their determination to pursue E F A goals against all odds. With respect to the political context, the ever-lasting civil war in the Sudan, coupled with the absence of foreign aid, has reduced tremendously its capacity to meet education costs. In Palestine, during the 'intifada' m o v e m e n t , schools were closed for long periods of time. This situation has affected children's learning achievements and has increased the dropout rates, especially a m o n g girls. However, the greatest challenge posed to all countries is related to the economic situation, both at the regional and national levels. At the regional level, the drop in oil prices has affected not only the oil-producing countries, but also their Arab neighbours, because of the significant decrease in the amounts of aid they used to receive from the former. O n the whole, the Gulf W a r has affected regional economic growth and, more particularly, that of Jordan. Jordan's e c o n o m y w a s shaken by the embargo imposed on Iraq and by the massive return of Jordanian expatriates from the Gulf countries. In 1990/91, Jordan had tofindplaces in schools for around 70,000 additional students. Within this regional context, s o m e of the participating countries are restructuring their economies, and have contracted heavy debts to restore their economic growth. These initiatives have brought about an escalation of prices, inflation, cuts in public budgets, unemployment and a growing gap in living standards between a small group of very rich people and the general population. It should also be noted that these economic challenges

66

Developments in basic education, 1990-1993

are aggravated by very high population growth rates. However, thanks to the prevailing strong political will (post-Jomtien) and prospects of cooperation and international support from aid agencies, the struggle to achieve E F A goals goes on. Since 1990, a strong and articulate partnership has been established between governments, local communities, N G O s and international aid agencies. 1.

The EFA process in the participating countries

After Jomtien, countries have promoted advocacy for E F A goals through national information campaigns and conferences. During these campaigns, advocacy focused more intensely on the need to educate young girls. During this period, O m a n , Egypt and the Sudan have developed national plans of action in education, while the Syrian Arab Republic, Morocco and Jordan have accelerated the educational reforms of their already-set plans. All countries held policy meetings, organized task forces, and met with donors. However, one of the most important achievements is the growing awareness of the importance of an adequate database for informed decision-making and monitoring with regard to resources, accessibility, equality and learning achievements. In this respect, the N C E R D in Jordan is becoming a regional resource centre for consultancy and training. In Egypt, the Ministry of Education has instituted an Education Planning and Information Division. 2.

Progress made

on access to primary education

The present high enrolment ratios in Egypt, the Syrian Arab Republic, Jordan and O m a n , were reached before Jomtien. N o w , efforts are being m a d e towards achieving full enrolment and further reduction of gender and regional disparities. In this respect, Egypt has more to achieve than Jordan, O m a n and the Syrian Arab Republic. In Egypt, while boys' enrolment remained steady at around 97 per cent, girls ratios increased from 81.9 per cent in 1990, to 85 per cent in 1993. However, gender disparities in rural areas remain higher than the national ratio. In Morocco and Sudan enrolment ratios have been moving towards the E F A target, with some improvements in participation trends of rural children in general and girls in particular.

67

Development since Jomtien

In the seven countries, noticeable efforts to increase access to education were m a d e , especially in the rural areas. Between 1990 and 1993, the provision of pre-primary schools increased by at least 16 per cent. During the same period, primary schools grew in number. T h e percentage increase was .9 per cent in Jordan, 3.75 per cent in Egypt, 5.8 per cent in the Syrian Arab Republic and 8 per cent in Palestine. In O m a n , 6.9 per cent of the primary schools were developed into preparatory schools. However, establishing quality universal primary education by the year 2000, will require gigantic efforts from the poorer and high-population countries. T h e Egyptian Ministry of Education projected the following needs for the period 1994-2000: 187,201 additional classrooms for a ratio of 4 0 students per class; 271,441 classrooms for a total of 30 students per class, and 339,287 additional classrooms for an average of 25 students per class. These projections, if realized, will m a k e obsolete double-shift schools, reduce the density of the classroom, accommodate out-of-school children and those with special needs, and keep pace with the annual demographic increase12. T h e proposed strategy alsorequiresthe building of 35,000 pre-primary classes and 26,102 n e w one-room schools for the 'girl child'. In order to start addressing these needs, a strong mobilization of resources has been necessary, whereby the government, the private sector, local communities and international donors have increased inputs. In all countries, progress has been m a d e in terms of primary school enrolment and equitable access for girls. In this respect, international agencies like U N I C E F , U N D P and the World Bank, and national and international N G O s , have been active in advocacy and action either through the formal system, or through alternative patterns of non-formal educatioa In spite of serious efforts on the part of the governments, regional disparities in access to primary education for both boys and girls still persist, with marked differences between and within countries. In each of the seven countries, there are set targets for enrolment increase and reduction of inequalities.

12.

68

Egypt, 1994. Education and mid-decade goals, strategies and policies. Ministry of Education, Cairo.

Achievements and future challenges

3.

Improving

retention rates

Ensuring universal initial enrolment in primary schools is necessary, but not sufficient for guaranteeing that boys and girls will remain throughout the basic education stage. The problem of school drop-outs is found in all the participating countries. Primary school completion rates indicate that between 9 and 25 per cent of children drop-out from school. However, in rural areas completion rates tend to be lower. In these areas, the existence of incomplete or Grade 4 primary schools, is a factor affecting completion rates. In general, there is awareness of the problem that young drop-outs will probably relapse into illiteracy. T h e relatively high rates of repetition of Grades, tend to increase drop-out rates and educational wastage in general. 4.

Enhancing

quality

Since Jomtien, the question of quality of education has been at the core of the countries' concerns, along with the necessity to address issues of access and equity. For some countries, the race towards increasing the provision of class space to all children, has affected somewhat the quality of education, especially in terms of physical infrastructure, school environment, availability of instructional materials and teacher training. O n the whole, the participating countries have been working on the establishment of n e w curricula to meet the needs of learners as well as national needs for social and economic development. They have also focused o n reducing teacher/pupil ratios, where they have achieved acceptable levels. Teachers' in-service and pre-service training is one of the areas where all the concerned countries are investing heavily. T h e tendency is towards upgrading the certification of teachers, and the quality of pre-service and in-service training, with the co-operation of universities and aid agencies such as U N I C E F and U N E S C O . There are also programmes to train trainers, supervisors and school management personnel in an effort to institutionalize the in-service training function, develop self-reliance, and training capacity. However, this endeavour will take time to bring qualitative changes in education, since it relies on skills, understanding of trainers, support from management and motivation of teachers in changing attitudes and behaviours. M a n y of the newcomers into the training profession are young

69

Development since Jomtien

university graduates, w h o enter the profession because there are no other job opportunities. This trend m a y in the long run affect the quality of teaching. O n the other hand, m a n y of the older generation of teachers, especially those serving in the rural areas, have not had the opportunity to benefit from regular in-service training, or been exposed to n e w knowledge and instructional techniques. Addressing the issue of teachers' training and accreditation is not only a long-term process, but also a costly one. T h e challenge for the participating countries is to sustain the effort in teachers' training along with other improvements in quality of education, such as student/teacher ratio, adequate infrastructure and availability of instructional materials, and proper supervision and professional support structures. 5.

Paying for education for ail

In spite of economic difficulties, all the concerned countries have maintained and, in some cases, increased their allocation to education. However, most of the budgets are spent on teachers' salaries and other fixed expenses, leaving little possibilities for investment in development. W h a t has emerged after Jomtien is that governments, in their determination to address basic education as a priority issue, have looked for partners to finance part of the cost of the expansion of quality education for all. T h e n e w partnership includes governments, local communities and aid agencies. S o m e governments are also encouraging private initiative to take part in the national plans for the development of basic education in the country. T h e main challenge facing these governments is to balance the pace of social and economic development with the pace of progress in basic education, whereby an amelioration of the standards of living will bring about an increased participation of local communities in the financing of basic education. T h e assurance of continuous community support for basic education will be the only answer w h e n , eventually, external assistance will decrease in the future.

70

Chapter V

Overview of critical issues

This brief analysis of post-Jomtien developments in basic education, has s h o w n that the participating countries have maintained a steady pace in their efforts to achieve E F A goals. However, their w a y to progress is hampered by economic constraints, high population growth rates, sociocultural, infrastructural and institutional problems. In order to overcome these difficulties, countries have developed n e w strategies for financing basic education; are developing alternative patterns of provision, strengthening retention of children and especially girls; and are improving the quality of education. At this stage of implementation of strategies s o m e critical issues need to be highlighted. Reaching universal primary education for all requires the attention of all those w h o are working to improve education and the quality of life of the people. 7.

Pooling of resources

D u e to the increasing cost infinancingE F A , and in line with the Jomtien spirit, which emphasized co-operation and partnership, countries have been developing strategies to promote partnership with international aid agencies, N G O s , local communities and the private sector. In most countries, E C E , adult education and literacy programmes are largely run and financed by local and international N G O s and aid agencies. S o m e countries have decentralized their administrative education system in order to promote local communities' participation in primary education. Others have adopted policies encouraging the private sector to invest in education. All these forms of partnership raise a number of critical issues related to their articulation, through clear definition of the roles and functions of each partner, and consequently definition of responsibility and accountability. In this respect: W h o sets the priorities in terms of financing?

71

Development since Jomtien

e

*

2.

Are the available databases adequate in measuring the magnitude of the problems to be addressed, especially in the absence of recent census figures and meaningful disaggregated statistics for use in educational planning? H o w m u c h do governments k n o w about the programmes run by small local N G O s ? H o w to go about increasing co-operation and co-ordination between these N G O s so as to ensure a better use of their resources? W h a t is the role of local communities in these partnerships? Is this role restricted to provision of m o n e y , materials and labour? Did decentralization of the education system reinforce this partnership and give the community authority for local planning and management? W h a t is the best avenue to guarantee sustainability of local community participation? W i n the increase in the number of private educational institutions answer the problem of equitable provision? O r will it contribute to increased inequalities? Alternative patterns of provision and equity

In every country there are groups of children w h o remain unreached by the classical pattern of formal primary education. In the participating countries these groups have been identified, including children in remote rural areas and poor urban neighbourhoods, particularly girls, refugees and children living in war zones in the Sudan, and school drop-outs. T o meet their needs, alternative patterns of providing basic-level education have been established. In this respect, the help of the international aid agencies such as U N I C E F , U N D P and N G O s has been essential in advocacy, funding and planning. T h e majority of these programmes focus on little girls, and tend to be community-based and provide essential learning tools, basic learning content and vocational training. Curricula are built around the concept of functionality and relevance with respect to little girls' lifestyles and basicrolesin life. The other non-formal education programmes cater to out-of-school and street children. In Egypt and the Sudan, they are mostly funded by international aid agencies and N G O s . In the other countries, the majority of these initiatives are run by governments and are not always under the

72

Overview of critical issues

supervision of the Ministry of Education. They also do not have a link with the established formal education system. These non-formal education programmes are relatively few, are found mostly in the cities and are characterized by high drop-out rates. In addition, there is low demand for these programmes. In relation to alternative patterns of provision the main issue to be addressed here is one of equity. H o w do educational standards compare? D o children enrolled in these programmes attain comparable levels of achievement to those enrolled in the formal system? e W h a t should be the training requirements for teachers to enable them to work in these centres? • H o w to evaluate and monitor educational achievements? W h a t is the role of the Ministry of Education and local administration with respect to these programmes? H o w m u c h empowerment do communities have in terms of control and management? H o w to m a k e these programmes an integral part of the social structure of the community in order to ensure sustainability w h e n external financing will decline? a In the case of school drop-outs, would it not be more cost-effective and equitable if the governments looked for measures to reintegrate these children within the formal system of education? 3.

Strengthening retention

Understanding the d e m a n d for schooling is essential, if effective strategies to strengthen retention rates are to be developed. In this context, U N I C E F , in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, has undertaken field surveys in order to assess factors that affect the demand for schooling in general, and girls in particular. T h e results of the survey showed the existence of socio-cultural, educational and economic factors. A m o n g these, poverty had the strongest influence, followed by social values related to girls' roles and status in society and, lastly, by parental education. In view of these findings, the issues here refer mostly to the stimulation of demand and retention. H o w to reduce or eliminate costs of schooling? H o w to prove to parents and children that education is a long-term investment, w h e n they struggle for daily survival?

73

Development since Jomtien

H o w to break the circle of poverty generating illiteracy and illiteracy generating poverty? H o w to provide for more 'safe' schools for girls without overstretching the already meagre resources available for education? H o w to maintain school standards and reduce repetition rates? A n d , most importantly, h o w to m a k e learning appealing to children? With respect to adult illiteracy, the problem of demand is also crucial. Absenteeism and high drop-out rates characterize these forms of adult education programmes. Illiterate adults do not usually consider that changing their status into literates will bring them any improvement in their daily lives. Furthermore, w o m e n have large families and cannot spare time to enrol in literacy classes. If they do, they are too tired to m a k e the necessary effort to master the skills. Usually, only the young and the very motivated persist. Governments, international agencies and N G O s have invested in the development of curricula, pedagogic approaches, and the preparation of textbooks. However, the shortage of trained literacy teachers, the poor environment of classes and the unadapted schedules are also affecting demand. T h e main questions to be answered are: H o w to develop innovative strategies to motivate illiterate m e n and w o m e n to join literacy programmes? W h a t is the quality of programmes already in place? Is class instruction appropriate for adult audiences? Are literacy teachers adequately trained in the use of instructional programmes and materials? D o programmes have relevance in terms of immediate utility for adults? 4.

Quality of

education

All countries have been concerned with improving the quality of their education systems. Efforts have been channelled towards improvement of school facilities, student/teacher ratios, reform of curricula, and teacher training. Quality of education is evaluated in terms of relevance and efficiency and is reflected in the quality of its 'products'. Quality of education is multi-dimensional and requires a synchronized improvement of all its elements. In this respect, special attention has to be paid to the relevance of primary-school curricula with regard to learner needs,

74

Overview of critical issues

aspirations and prospects for a productive life. However, the relevance of curricula is not sufficient for quality. Poor teaching/learning environments have negative effects on teacher performance and student achievement. Poor pre-service and in-service training also affect teacher performance. Short-term sporadic in-service training in the use of n e w textbooks or teaching methods can only bring information. T o bring about significant attitudinal and behavioural changes, it is necessary to institute regular inservice training programmes, with theoretical and practical components. At the same time, those involved in supervisory and support structures have to be trained to b e c o m e more efficient and organized so as to extend their services to all teachers in the country. Teachers' living and working conditions also have to be improved, in order to increase their commitment and motivation. All countries have defined their compulsory basic education cycle as consisting of two levels: the primary and the lower secondary. However, data on school participation show that a sizeable portion of children enrolled in primary schools drop out before completing the cycle, and that m a n y students do not continue their education beyond Grade 6. Since the prospects for all children to finish the preparatory cycle is not envisaged in the near future, the question to be asked here is: D o the present conditions and quality of education offered in primary schools meet all Jomtien's objectives with respect to providing basic learning tools and content, enabling children to m a k e informed decisions, improve the quality of their lives, and participate constructively in development?

75

Part III

Case studies presented by the national teams

Part III

Case studies presented by the national teams

A s mentioned earlier, one of the aims of the Seminar was to analyse significant national experience in basic education that could influence future E F A strategies in the region. Accordingly, 12 case studies of innovations were presented and discussed. This part presents a resume of the case studies, classified under four major themes of the seminar, as indicated below1. Theme I. 1. 2. 3.

Community schools project - Egypt The mobile school. A n experimental project for the education of N o m a d s in Darfur State - the Sudaa School mapping as a means of devising five-year plans for educational development - O m a n .

Theme II.

1. 2.

1.

Improving access and retention: focus on equity

Enhancing the relevance of basic education through curriculum reform

Improving the quality of primary education through n e w school curriculum - Egypt Vocational education component and the school curriculum Jordan.

This themewise classification and titles of the case studies do not fully correspond to what w a s adopted for presentation during the seminar.

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Development since Jomtien

3.

Rural education experiment in s o m e selected schools - Syria2.

Theme III. 1. 2. 3.

Learning resource centres - Jordan. In-service training of teachers - Jordan2. Education for awareness and involvement. A pilot project for the development of relevant education - Palestine.

Theme TV.

1. 2. 3.

2.

80

Improving the quality of basic education

Strengthening links between the community education

and basic

Youth education project - the Sudan. Literacy strategies used for the post-literacy stage - Syria2. Fathers' and mothers' councils in schools - O m a n .

These case studies were circulated but not formally presented and discussed during the seminar.

Theme I

Improving access and retention: focus on equity

Overview M a k i n g primary education facilities accessible to all children is the basic requirement for achieving the goals of universal basic education. Tremendous progress has been m a d e in this regard in almost all countries of the region. Yet, reaching all the children and ensuring that all of them benefit from the available schooling facilities has remained an unfulfilled task in some of the countries. A n important issue is that while some sections of the population m a k e use of the services, others tend to stay away from the primary schools. It is found that in several countries, girls are invariably at a disadvantage; in other countries, the facilities have remained outside the reach of certain ethnic groups; rural-urban disparity continues to be a problem in all the countries. W h y is there little demand for basic education a m o n g certain sections of the population? H o w can one m a k e the primary education programme m o r e equitable? This calls for a better understanding of socio-cultural factors characterizing the society. But one has also to search for schoolrelated factors which tend to inhibit participation of certain population groups. Keeping these problems in mind, several innovative efforts are being implemented in order to enhance the participation of special groups such as girls, nomadic tribes and so on. T h e case study on the Community Schools Project in Egypt represents a unique attempt to enhance participation of children in remote and underdeveloped areas. Special attention is being paid in the project implementation to enhance enrolment and retention a m o n g girls. E v e n though considerable progress has been m a d e in recent years to bridge the gender gap in primary education enrolment figures, disparities in the participation of girls and boys continues to be a matter of concern in Egypt. It has also been realized that strategies which aim only at

81

Development since Jomtien

enhancing enrolment will not suffice. T o m a k e an adequate impact, it is necessary to tackle several fundamental issues concerning curriculum, teacher attitude and orientation, parental awareness, and so OIL T h e community school project is designed with such a perspective. T h e basic implementation strategy of the project is to create community school committees, making primary education a partnership between the school and the community. T h e community schools provide the equivalent of a full primary-school programme through methods and organization adapted to the needs of rural multi-grade teaching. T h e second case study presented under the theme is the Mobile School Project of the Sudan. This is an integrated project involving primary education for children, as well as adult-education programmes especially suited to the needs of the nomadic population in Darfur State of the Sudan, w h o constitute about 16 per cent of the population in the State. The mobile schools are single-teacher schools which m o v e with the tribal caravans. The teacher lives and travels with the tribal group and caters for their educational needs. In itsfirstphase of implementation, the mobile schools appear to be quite successful in reaching the children of the nomadic tribes w h o have traditionally remained outside the schooling network. T h e other case study under the theme was on School Mapping as a means of ensuring rational distribution of educational facilities under the five-year educational development plans in O m a n . Again, the venture, which began even before the Jomtien Conference, w a s prompted by recognition that the location of schooling facilities w a s not in accordance with the basic education needs of certain sections of the population. This is of special importance in the Sultanate due to the geographical conditions characterized by desert-like and mountainous areas. T h e strategy is to locate schooling facilities nearer to the residence for about 18 per cent of children in the age group 6-10 for w h o m the nearest school is more than 10 kilometres away. Local committees have been set u p in each govemorate to identify small and remote areas which need special services for schooling.

82

Theme I - Improving access and retention: focus on equity

1. Community schools project - Egypt 1. Introduction A s part of its national commitment to provide education for all, the Government of Egypt gives very high priority to ensuring the participation of all girls in elementary education. Recognizing the higher levels of illiteracy a m o n g w o m e n , and relatively lower participation rates in primary school a m o n g girls, the government has initiated a number of special measures for the education of girls. It is within this perspective that the Ministry of Education, in collaboration with U N I C E F has launched a project on community schools. 2.

Objectives

The project aims to achieve the goal of 'education for all' by addressing the basic educational needs of certain poor groups that are deprived of educational services in the rural areas, especially in farms, hamlets and small villages. The enrolment of girls from these remote areas is of particular concern. The specific objectives of the project are as follows, to: 1. deliver educational services to remote areas, so that long distances are no longer a barrier to enrolment in schools; attract drop-outs from the official education system, especially girls, to continue their studies in these community schools; give girls from rural areas the opportunity to enrol in schools that are close to their homes; 4. choose female teachers, w h o will encourage parents to send their daughters to school without any reservations; up-date teaching methods to suit various environments and teach children self-learning skills; supervise the administration of education in the community schools, in partnership with local communities; 7. respond to the circumstances of learners by considering the requirements of the local community w h e n designating the study times, curriculum and teaching methods;

83

Development since Jomtien

8.

introduce the seeds of vocational education through certain exercises in accordance with the requirements of the community and the students; 9. provide health and nutritional care to the students; 10. provide awareness programmes in those communities regarding the importance of education in community schools for the targeted groups, especially girls; 11. devise a strong model that provides quality basic education. 3.

Project

framework

T h e project is carried out in the framework of the Ministry of Education projects in co-operation with U N I C E F and a number of nongovernmental organizations such as Caritas. T o guarantee the continuity of the community schools, the following criteria were considered: e Selecting teachers from the local community is important so that their commitment will be stronger by virtue of their belonging to the community. Establishing productive projects linked to the community school to guarantee that the community will continue to assume the cost of maintaining the school. The teacher should m a k e constant efforts to attract children to the school, encourage their continued attendance, and prevent them from dropping out. Students in community schools Community schools accept 8-14-year-old children. Children as young as six years, whose circumstances prevented them from enrolment in schools, m a y also be accepted. Educational services have m o v e d to farms, hamlets and remote areas to receive children of various educational levels. This helps to increase the enrolment of girls as the location of these schools does not require them to leave their places of residence. T h e experiment also provides working children with an opportunity to enrol in a community school in view of the flexibility of study hours. It also gives another chance to drop-outs, w h o otherwise will return to the world of illiteracy.

84

Theme I - Improving access and retention: focus on equity

Community

schools curricula

C o m m u n i t y schools apply the elementary-stage curricula of the Ministry of Education. S o far, no special curricula have been devised. T h e experiment relies on the system of a single class accommodating learners of various ages, where the class is divided into 'corners', each of which is supplied with the required learning tools. T h e student chooses the corner where she would like to start and then progresses to other comers of her o w n volition. T h e teacher's role is to facilitate the learning process. She directs the students and provides them with assistance as required. She gathers together the learners at specific times, whether for the purpose of preparing them for study, for a group activity, or sport. This achieves the following: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Active participation and interaction of the student in learning. Training in life skills and compatibility with the conditions of the local environment, Giving due heed to the multiplicity of the educational levels of the learners. Teaching children the skills of self-learning. Practising the various educational activities. Teachers in community schools

T h e Ministry of Education selected a group of teachers and workers from local communities in small villages, hamlets and farms in which community schools have been opened, and conducted six extensive training programmes for the facilitators before they started their work. These courses are conducted in co-operation with the regional faculties of education, so that the teachers are given the opportunity to facilitate the student's self-learning process. T h e Ministry has also enacted regulations for technical supervision and guidance that cope with the experimentation of the project. This has resulted in the following: (a) Concentrating the training methods on the applied aspects and linking them to the actual training requirements of the teachers. (b) Choosing all teachers (facilitators) as m u c h as possible from the same villages and hamlets. If this is not possible, the teachers will be chosen from the nearest village. This guarantees that the teachers will

85

Development since Jomtien

persevere in their daily work and will exert their best efforts because they will be benefiting their o w n communities, (c) People's acceptance of the teachers has increased because they are not 'foreign' to the community and because their families are k n o w n there. This facilitates their job and invokes the respect of the people in rural areas. T h e educational service is provided in community schools free of charge. This includes textbooks and materials. N o fees are imposed, nor are students required to wear special uniforms. Productive projects in cooperation with the community schools m a y be established to provide the schools with the necessary maintenance and expenses. T h e project has taken into consideration the requirements of the community regarding the work of children in helping their parents in agriculture or at h o m e . Accordingly, the programme design guarantees flexibility in fixing the daily timetable and gives the learners seasonal vacations at planting and harvest times. Participation by the local community O n e of the distinctive features of the community schools project is the participation of the local community in supervising education and continuous interaction between the school and the community. This is achieved through the following: (a) Participation of the community in providing a place suitable for the establishment of a community school. T h e school becomes the property of the local community. (b) Formation of a committee consisting of members of the local community to supervise the management of the school through an education sub-committee, and another committee that acts as a parents' association to follow-up on the school and the development of the teaching process. (c) T h e school can play arolein adult education, especially in the field of illiteracy eradication.

86

Theme I - Improving access and retention: focus on equity

4.

Implementation strategy

(a) T h e implementation of this project started in the scholastic year 1992/93, by opening 19 schools in faims and hamlets in Manfalout in Asuit Governorate. Six more schools have been opened in the hamlets of Dar-Al-Salam in Souhag Governorate. This was followed by the establishment of several community schools in Q e n a Governorate. (b) T h e parents provide the sites for teaching, while U N I C E F provides the furniture. U N I C E F trained the facilitators (female teachers). The Ministry of Education provides salaries, books, health care and nutrition supplements. U N I C E F and the Ministry share the supervision of the educational process itself. (c) The community schools experiment will continue for three years. It was expanded in 1993/94, to increase the number of schools to 124. There are plans to provide 100 more schools during the third year. Following that, the experiment can be expanded by establishing community schools in all the regions. 5.

Expected

outcome

of the project

It is expected that through the community schools, nearly 25 per cent of girls will be educated in rural communities involved in the project. Up-grading the teaching process (a) T h e community school adopts the philosophy of self-learning, the participation of the child in the teaching process, and thereby encourages development of creative capabilities and problem-solving ability a m o n g the children. (b) T h e community school supports work in small groups through vocational training and various other activities in the community. Establishing learner-centred education In a community school, the students are at the centre of the educational process. Various resources are m a d e available to them to facilitate the learning process. Community schools apply the elementary-

87

Development since Jomtien

school curriculum with particular emphasis on technical and sports activities. T h e method of 'corners' in the classroom is utilized in the community schools, where the aids and facilities required for the student's activities are m a d e available, which encourages reliance o n self-learning. T h e community school is equipped with furniture, facilitating various classroom activities. Involvement of the community T h e community is a full partner in supervising and managing community schools. Using female teachers (facilitators) in community schools has encouraged girls, hitherto deprived of education, to enrol in school, which is the objective of teaching this rural group. Developments, in the experiment of community schools, are continuously examined under technical supervision and guidance. 6.

Achievements

and difficulties

T h e following were a m o n g the indicators of the success of the community schools in thefirst(1992/93) and second (1993/94) years: 1. The ratio of girls to boys in the classes of the community school is 8 to 10. 2. T h e drop-out rate is less than 10 per cent. 3. Absenteeism is less than 10 per cent 4. Facilitator absenteeism or irregular hours are zero. 5. During a period of eight months, students successfully completed the official first-grade curricula in the Arabic language (reading and writing), arithmetic and religion, in addition to other activities characteristic of community schools. This was revealed in the official evaluation by the National Educational Examination and Evaluation Centre at the end of 1993. 6. T h e children's daily manners improved, as did their habits. Their interest in hygiene and general good appearance w a s also demonstrated. 7. A total of 26 illiteracy-eradication classes were opened for females w h o could not be absorbed in the community schools.

88

Theme I - Improving access and retention: focus on equity

8.

The effect of the community schools was felt to have convinced the local community of the benefits of developmental projects.

Co-ordination between the General Directorate of single-class schools at the Ministry and its branch directorates in the regions with U N I C E F , is necessary. T h e branch directorates and U N I C E F supervise community schools, with the purpose of integrating their efforts and achieving the objective of enhancing girls' participation in all types of schools.

2. The mobile school: an experimental project for the education of N o m a d s in Darfur State - the Sudan 1.

Introduction

T h e education of the nomads is one of the challenges facing the Sudan in its effort to provide good-quality basic education for all. The percentage of nomads in the population is considerable. The 1993 census showed that their absolute number is 2,119,958,representing8.5 per cent of the total population of the country. The area across which they m o v e forms one-third of the area of the Sudan. The life of the nomads is related to their animals to such an extent, that their social position and status is determined by their animal wealth. The value of the nomads' animal wealth was estimated to be 7 0 million Sudanese pounds in 1992/93 and represents 12 per cent of G N P {source: Ministry of Agriculture, 1992/93). Keeping the national commitment of the Sudan to provide education for all in mind, the National Centre for Curriculum Development and Educational Research launched a research study to gain a deeper understanding of the nomads and their distinctive w a y of life, so as to facilitate the process of making decisions about their education and that of their children. Based on the findings of their study and the discussions during a workshop on the education of nomads in Darfur State, the present project of mobile schools was designed. The design of the project keeps in view the following points: N o m a d s are from the least-developed sectors in Darfur State. • Previously-established education services did not cater for nomads.

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Development since Jomtien



The nomads in Darfiir represent 16 per cent of the population. They have a vital role to play in the State's economy, as they o w n 21 million heads-of-animal wealth, contributing 60 per cent of the national exports of cattle, 4 0 per cent of sheep and 2 0 per cent of camels. The number of schools required for the nomads was estimated to be 430. The State Government has fully supported a special administration which was established for follow-up, monitoring and implementation of primary education for the nomads. T h e four-year mobile school is considered the best option for providing basic education to the nomads without disturbing their normal life. 2.

Objectives of the project

The main objective of the mobile schools is to provide basic education to the nomads in Darfur so as to: 1. improve the w a y of life of the nomads within their natural habitat; 2 . enable the nomads to participate in development through education and to bridge the gap between themselves and other communities; 3. to make nomads aware of theirreligiousduties; 4 . to equip the nomads with recent methods of animal breeding and environment conservation. 3.

Project

framework

The mobile school is to be a one-teacher school, which reduces costs and ensures availability of teachers. These schools are to be established among two categories of nomadic groups, the camel breeders in the North (Maraheel) and the cattle breeders in the South (Baggara). Each school needs two tents, one for the classroom and one for the teacher, and some portable furniture (tables, chairs, a blackboard and other basic items). All students use locally-made mats for sitting purposes. Pupils are to be provided with slates to write on. The teacher is to be provided with a bed, four chairs, a table and some basic equipment.

90

Theme I - Improving access and retention: focus on equity



Textbooks, exercise books and other stationery are to be provided by the State and are under the control of the teacher. C o m m u n i t y participation is a very essential factor in the project, it is intended that the nomads will participate in all issues affecting the school. T h e major duties of the community will be: 1. to protect the schools from hazards and ensure a secure environment for the teachers and students; 2. to assist the teacher in organizing the students; 3. to allow part of the nomads' Zakat (tax) to be assigned to support the mobile schools; 4. to top-up any lack of supplies in the schools; 5. to provide means to transport the school equipment (tents, blackboard, etc.); 6. to provide the teacher with basic needs, such as water. 4.

e

e

в

Implementation strategy

T h e mobile school project started in September 1993. The timetable and schedule of the school calendar w a s prepared by the newlyestablished administration for the education of nomads. T h e intake is from six year olds. After receiving education for four years in the mobile school, the children will be encouraged to join schools in towns and villages, to continue their basic education until the eighth grade and then compete for higher education. T h e national curriculum is adopted, with a few alterations to suit nomadic life. Adult education is incorporated into the system, together with other health education aspects. T h e teachers w h o will manage the mobile school must be able to adapt to a nomadic life. Hence, teachers of nomadic origin will be preferred amongst the applicants. All teachers w h o manage the mobile school should already have been trained in a teacher-training institution, together with further training in: first aid; immunization; acquaintance with c o m m o n veterinary diseases and cures; and female teachers are to be trained as midwives.

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Development since Jomtien

Table 19 shows the number of schools opened in 1993/94 by province, in the State of Darftir: Table 19.

Schools opened in 1993/1994 N " of schools approved

N " of schools opened

Ed Daeim

26

26

1484

Bur a m

21

21

987

Kutum

20

7

238

Geneina

15

9

309

Wadi Salih

10

9

434

Zallingei

10

-

-

Idd el Firsan

10

4

182

Province

El-Fasher

5

Nyala

5

U m u Caudate

5

Note:

92

of pupils

The main reason for the approved schools not opened, is due to the lack of teachers.

5. 1. 2. 3.



Expected difficulties

Delay of textbooks and school equipment. Inconsistent movement of the nomadic groups. Overcrowding of the classes.

Theme I - Improving access and retention: focus on equity

T o overcome the above obstacles, the following measures are being taken: 1. to provide the school with its needs as soon as possible; 2. N o m a d leaders should oblige their people to adhere to travel that fits within the school calendar, 3. the school can have two shifts to accommodate the pupils. 6.



Achievements

At the beginning of the school year the State Government approved the establishment of 100 mobile schools in the various provinces of Darfiir State. A n education department for nomadic education has been established. Education authorities at the provincial level were asked to recruit n e w teachers or transfer teachers w h o wish to teach in the mobile schools. Textbooks and exercise books have been provided and distributed to the provinces. S o m e of the schools have been visited by education officials from the Department of Nomadic Education. The nomadic community has been able to provide incentives in cash and in kind for the teachers. A teacher receives 10 sheep, a camel for carrying his belongings, a female camel plus a monthly allowance of 5 Д Ю Sudanese pounds, in addition to free meals.

3. School mapping as a means of devising five-year plans for educational development - O m a n 1. Introduction T h e educational ladder in O m a n consists of the following: Elementary level: The period of study in these schools is six years. Preparatory level: The period of study in these schools is three years (at the end of this cycle, leavers are granted the Preparatory School Certificate). Secondary cycle: The period of study in these schools is three years. U p o n the successful completion of this level, students are granted the Preparatory School Certificate.

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Development since Jomtien

Intermediate colleges: These institutions offer a two-year study programme following secondary schooling. University level: T h e period of study in the university will be four years as of the academic year 1995/1996. T h e Teachers' Rehabilitation Institute: This one-year study period follows graduation from university. Both secondary and preparatory schools subscribe to a two-semester per year system. The term 'school m a p ' , as used in thefieldof educational planning, is a tool in the hands of the educational planner, helping to identify the future educational requirements of local communities, by recording the circumstances of the status quo of the school network according to the local demographic, geographic, and social environment. Educational planners can then deduce the criteria for developing the school network and devise a logical strategy for the future. Therefore, the school m a p provides a dynamic overview of the country's educational system, including its institutions, buildings, furniture, etc. Hence, it was decided to adopt the school m a p in the Sultanate to assess circumstances and objectives in various local environments and to determine h o w best to develop educational services in these environments. 2.

Specific objectives of the project

At the beginning of the Second Five-Year Plan (1981-1985), it became apparent that attention to the principle of equal educational opportunities was of utmost importance. This could be achieved by providing all citizens access to education. In turn, this necessitated a study of various local communities that considered all demographic elements as well as the demand for educational services. T h efirstobjective of the plan stipulated that, as far as elementary education w a s concerned, a policy should be adopted that combined the objectives of reaching remote areas and maintaining appropriate qualitative standards of education. This could be accomplished through establishing an equilibrium a m o n g the various levels of the educational ladder, diversifying education, and upgrading the quality of education by establishing adequate schools, accommodating teachers in proper housing, providing the educational

94

Theme I - Improving access and retention: focus on equity

stages with facilities that meet their requirements, and up-grading the standard of teachers and O m a n i officials at the Ministry of Education. In a bid to m a k e the ministry's plans more representative of the country's actual educational needs, work started on the school m a p project during the Third Five-Year Plan (1986-1990). 3.

Preparation

of the school map for the Sultanate

First stage: Diagnosis of the current situation of the schools network and of the extent to which this situation meets communities' requirements within the framework of the general educational policy. W o r k was based on an analysis of the existing educational data and their relevance to the local demographic, geographic, social and economic conditions. T h e diagnosis showed an imbalance between the available supply of educational services and the demand for such services, and the various factors at play in this demand. Second stage: During this stage, several indicators relevant to the development of the prevailing situation were determined. These indicators were the number of school-aged children, trends in the demand for education for boys and girls and other demographic and school-related factors. Third stage: During this stage, the future of the educational services w a s conceived, along with the need for educational establishments in every district, and their requirements. T h e school-mapping exercise dealt essentially with the ways and means of enhancing efforts to achieve opportunities in the local communities. This involved gathering data concerning the numbers of children enrolled in schools, the percentage of acceptance in the schools, their geographic distribution, and the distances of these schools from the pupil's place of residence. Determination of the qualitative aspects were restricted to aspects that could be quantified; for example, the provision of laboratories, libraries, and facilities for student activities, as well as the availability of evening school and the number of pupils per classroom.

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Development since Jomtien

4.

Diagnosis

of the situation and actions initiated

(a) Non-availability of schooling facilities T h e exercise revealed considerable disparities in the schooling facilities available in different regions. This necessitated giving priority to less developed regions of the country. Accordingly, the project plan essentially concentrates on the spread ôf education b y building n e w schools in remote areas, or by expanding the existing ones. (b) Remoteness of schools from pupils' residences T h e study showed that the h o m e s of 17.9 per cent of pupils in the age group 6-10 years, are more than 10 kilometres away from the nearest school. This is to be expected in view of the geographic conditions in the Sultanate, especially in those areas where the climate is predominantly desert-like or mountainous. In each govemorate, the local committees have identified those places where the schools are too distant. S o m e of these areas require special measures to extend services to the smaller, scattered small-population centres. (c) Remote population centres Studies conducted by local committees revealed that children in s o m e population centres did not enrol in elementary schools. This meant that priority should be given to extending the educational services to these places or to areas that are nearer to children. (d) Density in the classroom T h e study showed that classrooms in s o m e population centres (mainly heavily populated areas) have a large concentration of pupils. T h e number of these areas is increasing. This necessitates the establishment of n e w schools to alleviate over-crowding in these schools and to accommodate the expected increase in the number of school-aged children.

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Theme I - Improving access and retention: focus on equity

(e) The suitability of school buildings It w a s suggested that a n u m b e r of school buildings need replacement A n u m b e r of other schools need additions to b e c o m e suitable to achieve their educational purposes. (f) Afternoon shifts It w a s found that s o m e schools offer afternoon courses, and it is expected that the n u m b e r of such schools will increase if m o r e school buildings are not m a d e available to m e e t the increase in d e m a n d for education. T h e s e facts w e r e being considered in drafting the next FiveY e a r Plan. 5. 1.

2.

3.

Prospects

for the future

Raising the enrolment ratio at elementary-school level within the next five years. This necessitates increasing the number of registered pupils in the 6-11-year-old age group. It will also require an increase in the number of elementary classrooms in order to cope with the expected increase of enrollees. In designating the number of classes, the following factors were considered. The density of pupils in classrooms which are over-crowded with more than the specified number of pupils. « T h e majority of n e w schools are located in sparsely populated areas; therefore, the density of pupils in the classrooms is likely to remain low. Increasing the n u m b e r of preparatory school enrollees and the development of the preparatory school network, should b e undertaken with the intent to increase the n u m b e r of classrooms. This is necessary to cope with the increase in the n u m b e r of enrollees. Increasing the n u m b e r of students enrolled in secondary schools. Thi s will require increasing the n u m b e r of secondary school buildings with boarding facilities, to a c c o m m o d a t e students w h o are expected to b e promoted to the secondary level, rather than adding secondary classes to existing preparatory schools. T h e Third Five-Year Plan seeks to gather students from remote areas to utilize boarding facilities.

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Development since Jomiien

4.

5.

In distributing the school buildings required to offer equal educational opportunities for all citizens and give priority to remote population centres, care should be taken to effectively meet the needs of remote areas. Raising the standards of existing schools. This can be accomplished by meeting basic-facility requirements such as science laboratories, libraries, or applied-science workshops. 6.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Difficulties in implementing

the project

T h e lack of detailed demographic information. T h e distance between population centres. T h e reluctance of some citizens to give information about the number, gender and educational standards of their families. T h e difficulty in accessing certain population centres, especially in the mountain areas. T h e tendency to immigrate from one area to the other within the Sultanate, especially a m o n g people w h o rely upon fishing or herding for their livelihoods.

In designing for the Fourth Five-Year Plan, perspectives of supply and demand were considered. This plan, which is almost complete, sought to achieve most of the aforementioned indicators, with concentration on improving the quality of education in the Sultanate. All unfit school buildings have been replaced and other improvements have been m a d e in relevant areas, especially in the fields of raising the standard of teachers, developing m o d e m curricular and introducing modern technologies in thefieldof education.

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Theme II

Enhancing the relevance of basic education through curriculum reform

Overview Basic education programmes should contribute to the overall well-being of the individual and effectively meet national aspirations. T h e main instrument for achieving this well-accepted goal of education, consists of the curricular experiences provided in the primary schools of the country. Responsibility for the basic education programme in this regard is crucial in any country, as a major proportion of children in most countries do not go beyond this level. Also, with the acceptance of direct responsibility by the State for this level of education, often through national commitment for enforcing compulsory primary education, national governments have a major role to play in ensuring that the curricular inputs provided in the schools are relevant to the life of the learners and linked to the national development goals. C a n w e safely assume that the primary education curriculum in all the countries meet these basic requirements? Is it not necessary to build explicit linkages between the school inputs and development demands? Obviously, creating such linkages would have wide-ranging implications for designing the curricular as well as for the organization of teaching-learning processes. Another emerging area of concern is that the aim of basic education is not only to prepare the learners for productive life, but also to inculcate in them a sense of social concern and cultural identity and to equip them with relevant life-skills which g o beyond concerns for production activities. Keeping this in view, basic education programmes in s o m e countries are being designed to incorporate such life-skills into the curriculum and m a k e the process of education more wholesome and socioculturally relevant to the learners.

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In response to these critical concerns, therevisionof the primary education curriculum is a feature observed in almost all countries of the region. The main thrust of these efforts is to m a k e the school curriculum more relevant to the socio-cultural environment of the children and to link it to the developmental needs and aspirations of the society. Further, these exercises are being guided by two important principles. First, the curriculum revision should not be seen only as a technical exercise to be carried out by specialists. Rather, it should be m a d e participatory, involving all the interested groups such as teachers, parents, employers and so on. Indeed, one of the case studies discussed in the seminar highlighted this aspect. Secondly, the curriculum has to be m a d e dynamic and futuristic so that it can effectively prepare the children for the twentyfirst century. In this context, the need to emphasize knowledge and skills related to modern science and technology was highlighted. The question of studying English as a second language in the primary school is another issue being debated in m a n y countries of the region. The importance for all children to learn English is generally accepted by everyone. However, evolving an appropriate strategy for teaching English without undermining the importance of learning through the mother tongue, namely Arabic, needs immediate attention. It is necessary to arrive at a suitable policy for teaching two languages at the primary stage in all the countries of the region. At present, the policy in this regard varies from one country to another and there has been no systematic attempt to examine their effectiveness and derive feedback. The three case studies under the theme of curricular reform are from Egypt, Jordan and Syria. The Egyptian case study represents a comprehensive effort m a d e in the country recently to reform the existing curriculum at the primary stage. The curriculum reform project laid emphasis on two important factors: (i) to m a k e the curriculum morerelevantto the socio-cultural environment of the children, as well as meeting the ever-changing demands of modern society; and (ii) to ensure that good-quality textbooks are produced and m a d e available to all children according to the revised curriculum. T h e n e w curricular framework has divided the primary stage into two levels, consisting of 1-3 Grades and 4-5 Grades, with external examination at the end of each level as an important component. Also, production of goodquality textbooks is being promoted through healthy competition a m o n g

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Theme II - Enhancing the relevance of basic education through curriculum reform

authors and publishers. The initial phase of experimental implementation of the revised curriculum and textbooks began in 1994-1995. T h e case study presented by Jordanrepresentsan attempt to increase the relevance of primary education programmes through the introduction of vocational educational components into primary-school curriculum. Under the revised scheme, vocational education is imparted to all children through a total of 660 periods during the ten grades of the basic education programme. T h e main purpose of the vocational education component is two-fold. O n the one hand, it intends to establish a direct linkage between the school curriculum and the everyday life of the children and, on the other, it is to help students acquire s o m e basic and practical skills in order to confront the requirements of the labour market. Vocational education is also seen to have a critical role in transforming schools to developmental institutions that combine education with productive work. A s part of the project, vocational education teachers as well as integrated vocational training workshops are being provided in m a n y schools. T h e third case study included under the theme is from Syria, which has a unique approach, attempting a n e w curriculum which is specifically designed to suit rural conditions. The underlying assumption of the project is that this would m a k e the rural elementary schools more effective by enhancing interaction between the school and the local environment, and by enabling the students to acquire applied skills in the fields of agriculture and local industries. The curriculum tries to rationalize the use of practical field application with the agricultural cycle. School is thus m a d e a centre for productive activities in addition to transmitting theoretical knowledge and literacy and numeracy skills. Government has given priority to these schools and has provided skilled engineers to give technical support for implementing the project. Limited financial and h u m a n resources seem to be the main problem encountered for sustaining and expanding the scope of the project.

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1. Improving the quality of primary education through n e w school curriculum - Egypt L Introduction Elementary education constitutes one of two stages in the compulsory education period in Egypt. Beginning with the scholastic year 1988/89, this stage lasts for five years. T h e Education L a w stipulates that basic education is the right of all Egyptian children, and that the State is responsible for providing it. Furthermore, it requires parents to adhere by its stipulations for a period of eight years, defining 6-14 as the compulsory education age group. Elementary education is divided into two levels. T h efirstincludes three grades, while the second includes the fourth andfifthgrades. A t the end of each level, a two-tier examination is held at the level of the educational directorate. Elementary education is currently provided through the following types of schools: official elementary schools; experimental elementary schools (official schools that give English language courses and teach sciences and mathematics in English); private schools (Arabic); private schools (foreign languages); and special education schools for the handicapped. 2.

1.

2.

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Objectives

T h e basic objectives of the curriculum reform project were: to design a n e w curriculum for the elementary education stage which is relevant to the socio-cultural characteristics of the society, o n the one hand, and which will meet the demands of a modernizing society, on the other, to ensure that good-quality textbooks based on the n e w curricula are m a d e available to all children at the elementary stage.

Theme II - Enhancing the relevance of basic education through curriculum reform

3.

Revised

curricula and textbooks

Elementary schools currently offer the following courses to pupils in all grades: Arabic language, religious education (Islamic and Christian), mathematics, art education, and music education. In addition, pupils in grades I to III are given a unified general information curriculum (consisting of information and activities in the various scientific, social, agricultural and home-economicsfields).Pupils in Grades IV and V are given special curricula in social studies and scientific and health studies, in addition to the practical fields selected by the school in accordance with the school's environment. These subjects m a y be in the industrial or agricultural field for boys, and in the field of h o m e economics for girls. T h e subject of maintenance and repairs is taught to both boys and girls to enable them to acquire basic practical skills in these fields. T h e basic characteristics of the n e w curricula are as follows: (a) Elementary education, in all its grades, should give due attention to the requirements of the child's growth in this age group which, more than in any other age group, is characterized by dynamism, liveliness, freedom and exploration. This m a y be accomplished through educational activities, including physical, artistic, musical and theatrical educational skills, using the appropriate practical and technological skills that are suitable for the pupil's abilities. (b) Emphasis should be placed o n teaching reading, writing, Arabic, calligraphy, mathematical skills, and religious and national education. T h e time designated for these subjects must not exceed 70 per cent of the total study plan. T h e remaining 3 0 per cent should be dedicated to educational, social, religious, artistic and theatrical activities, and training in the appropriate simple practical and technological skills. T h e teacher must be given the opportunity to choose the activities that are suitable to the environment and the pupil's interests. (c) Concentration in the cognitive aspect of education should be o n training the pupils to discover the sources of knowledge - most important of which is the library - by themselves, in order that they acquire self-learning skills and m o v e from mere memorization to understanding, thinking and utilizing information in practical life.

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(d) English language education should begin during the fourth grade, under the instruction of qualified teachers. This w a s started at the beginning of the current scholastic year 1994/95. (e) The principle of continuous development of the elementary education curricula must be adopted to keep pace with advances in science and technology, as well as developments in educational sciences and teaching strategies. This should go hand in hand with the creation of development mechanisms and supporting these mechanisms with h u m a n and material resources. Subjects are taught in accordance with a study plan for the 'regular schools' (schools that teach regular curriculum). Another study plan is followed in the 'foreign-language schools' (those that teach in the foreign languages). It must be remembered, however, that the science and mathematics curricula that are taught in official foreign-language schools and in private schools, are the same as those taught in regular schools. W o r k is currently underway on introducing the 'full day' attendance system in elementary schools, where part of the scholastic day would be designated for educational activities and practical skills. This will further enhance the achievement of the cognitive objectives of elementary education. 4.

Process of curriculum revision

In January 1993, a national workshop to discuss the development of the n e w elementary school curriculum brought together 110 Egyptian participants representing different sectors of society. The workshop was convened in order to ensure that the n e w curriculum will be relevant with respect to the needs of children and to the demands of national development. The 110 participants included representatives from parents' associations, teachers' unions, primary-school teachers, school principals and supervisors, teacher trainers from the Ministry of Education, university professors from faculties of education, representatives from private schools, researchers from the national institutes of research, evaluation, examinations and curriculum development, as well as representatives from the business community, political leadership and policy-makers from the Ministry of Education. For one week, the 104

Theme II - Enhancing the relevance of basic education through curriculum reform

delegates discussed issues related to the development of the curriculum, particularly with respect to: objectives; content; evaluation criteria and teaching methods. It is on the basis of the workshop's recommendations that the objectives of the elementary school education curriculum were established during the Conference on the Development of Elementary School Curriculum, in Cairo, from 18-20 February 1993. The convening of this Conference was unique in that, for thefirsttime, all parties involved in teaching children - teachers, supervisors, experts, professors, public and intellectual leaders in the community - took part to discuss the development of the elementary education curricula. 5.

Project

implementation

Executive measures have already been adopted to implement these recommendations. Elementary education curricula for Grades I through to V have already beenfinalized.Books and educational materials have been produced through competitions a m o n g authors and specialists. Application of the n e w curricula and use of n e w textbooks started during 1994/95.

2. Vocational education component and the curriculum - Jordan

school

7. Introduction Since 1985, the Ministry of Education in Jordan has been conducting an extensive revision of all aspects of the educational process. This revision, continuously supported by the political leadership and m a n y social figures, aims at devising an educational system that incorporates the variables at work and looks forward to a better future for Jordanian society.

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Development since Jomtien

T h e recommendations of the Educational Development Conference, held in August 1987, underlined the necessity of developing the curricula of various subjects at all grades, with a special concentration upon the following: 1. teaching problem-resolution strategiestothe students and encouraging critical thinking, creativity, and innovation; 2. stressing the functional and demonstrative aspects of the curriculum; 3. observing individual differences. T h e vocational education subject attracted great interest from all those involved in the educational development process. Although this subject was only experimentally taught at a limited number of schools in the past years, the recommendations of the conference highlighted the importance of applying it to all schools in view of its significant bearing on the future of both pupils and society. T h e number of vocational education periods w a s increased from two to four periods a w e e k for the 8th, 9th, and 10th grades. 2.

Scope and rationale of the project

Vocational education is directed at all early school pupils, and covers a total of 660 periods in the ten grades of basic education. T h e main features of the n e w vocational education curriculum are as follows: 1. T h e curriculum is c o m m o n to both girls and boys at the different grades. This gives boys the opportunity to study h o m e economics, and girls to practice agricultural, industrial, and other activities. Consequently, thefivefieldsof the curriculum are equally available for both genders. 2. T h e direct linkage between the curriculum and the student's everyday life, which demands more variation in the curriculum to achieve this unity. 3. Flexibility in curriculum implementation, which has created several options for the student and the teacher to choose the most suitable curriculum for their capabilities and environment. This gives the teacher more freedom in creating n e w activities.

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Theme II - Enhancing the relevance of basic education through curriculum reform

4.

Textbooks are prepared in aflexiblemanner to give freedom to both student and teacher and to offer m a n y alternative activities for the teacher to select the most suitable for his class conditions.

T h e rationale for introducing vocational education in the context of basic education in Jordan were the following: 1. Helping students acquire some basic and practical professional skills and preparing them psychologically to confront the requirements of life in the labour market whenever they are forced to terminate their educatioa 2. Helping students enter practical life smoothly b y breaking the psychological barriers with workers in the various fields of life. 3. Exposing students as early as possible to vocational education in a bid to encourage their interest in work and help develop their personalities by integrating the educational, cultural and vocational dimensions of the educational process from early childhood. 4. Reinforcing the vocational experiences acquired by students through practice, application, and field visits to job and production sites. 5. Observing individual differences by preparing a number of special programmes to suit the students' interests, as well as various individual and group activities to correspond to the abilities of students and capabilities of the school. In m a n y cases, the activities are linked to the conditions of the school's environment and utilize the raw materials of the local environment in the practical exercises required of the students. 6. Encouraging students to spend their free time pursuing useful activities. 7. Helping students choose their future career through offering opportunities for early vocational education, data about future careers, and the appropriate branches of learning. 3.

Organization

of the vocational education

programme

T h e vocational education programme for the basic education cycle has been devised in a w a y that takes the following points into consideration. 1.

T h e study plan includes the following:

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Development since Jomtien

2.

3. 4.

5.

(a) O n e period per w e e k for thefirstfour basic education grades. T h e curriculum focuses upon creating a professional sense on the part of the student through the continuous practice of simple manual tasks and other experimental and applied activities. (b) T w o periods per week for Grades V , V I and VII. T h e curriculum focuses upon building a basis for the student's various vocational skills that have very useful social impacts. (c) Four periods per week for Grades VIII, IX and X . T h e curriculum concentrates upon allowing the students the chance to discover their o w n abilities and helps them choose a future career to enrol in. (d) T h e curriculum for Grades VIII, IX and X includes various units in the five fields; each unit includes a specific vocational task in terms of practical skills and theoretical background. The number of training units for Grades VIII, IX and X is more than the number of units that can be covered in one year. Therefore, the school chooses the most suitable number for its environment and capabilities, and the students choose those units that cover at least two of the five vocational education fields. T h e number of training units for Grades VIII, IX and X is not definite, and it is possible to add n e w units whenever necessary. Schools m a y propose n e w training units, corresponding to their special conditions and environment, only if they can teach such units. Consequently, the Ministry studies these proposed units to take the necessary action. Whenever possible, the plan provides opportunities to students in the last grades of basic education for actual vocational training, during the s u m m e r vacation, at work and production sites. 4.

1.

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Expected impact of vocational education on

development

The ten-year basic education system that replaced the previous nineyear system represents a qualitative leap in the general perception of the country's educational, economic, and social system. Vocational education becomes important for the students w h o finish the basic education cycle and intend to join the labour market.

Theme II - Enhancing the relevance of basic education through curriculum reform

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

Students will be able to m a k e decisions regarding their future career in a more informed manner regarding the job market. Also, the early recognition of the students' vocational potential and orientation is likely to protect them from failure in their future practical life. Success in applying the vocational education curriculum will enable students to understand the basic processes of production and ensure the continuous provision of qualified workers to the labour market. This, in turn, will decrease the economic burdens of m a n y communities. Accustoming students, at an early age, to accurate and precise work will, in the long run, result in promoting efficiency and quality of production. Vocational education has a critical role in transforming schools into developmental institutions that combine education with productive work. T h e provision of integrated vocational training workshops in m a n y schools, as well as providing an adequate number of vocational education teachers w h o are able to utilize these workshops, will enable schools to participate in developing their local community and production activities.

3. Rural education experiment in some selected schools - Syria L Introduction T h e Syrian Arab Republic recognizes the importance of h u m a n development as the basis of progress which, in turn, relies on universal basic education and expansion of technical and vocational education. In conformity with this, the Ministry of Education has been conducting a number of educational experiments whosefindingsreinforce the efficiency and upgrade the performance of elementary education. Т Ъ е rural education experiment in selected schools is one such project for improving the efficiency of elementary education in Syria. T h e Ministry of Education plans to foster links between elementary education and the environment, in a manner that interacts with and meets the needs of the environment. T h e Ministry is putting into practice the

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Development since Jomtien

environmental introduction in a number of elementary rural schools. This is done by assigning schools to give theoretical and practical agricultural education, beyond the subject of rural industries, which fit the local resources of the environment. There were 360 such schools during the last academic year 1993-1994. Within the schools, the main focus is on training of students from Grades IV, V and V I . T h e training is again carried out in close cooperation with various bodies concerned with education, families near the school, concerned organizations and centres of rural development. 2. *

Objective of the

experiment

T o enhance school interaction with the local environment and to achieve practical collaboration between the school and the surrounding social environment. T o enable students to acquire applied skills in the fields of agriculture and local industries and to utilize scientific knowledge in the improvement of environment and resources investment. 3.

Project components

and processes

(a) Besides the prescribed educational curricula, the teaching plan recommends the following: theoretical and practical agricultural education; local rural industries education; implementation of practical application activities; an approved plan for each individual school. T h e purpose of the plan is to rationalize the use of practical field application within a fixed and programmed agricultural cycle, subject to evaluation and alteration whenever necessary. T h e field will be an experimental venue for the cultivation of n e w agricultural species that grow in the environment. N e w species will be circulated a m o n g all the farmers in the neighbourhood after they have proven their viability.

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Theme II - Enhancing the relevance of basic education through curriculum reform

(b) T h e products of the rural elementary school gardens, whether in kind or in part, are distributed in accordance with the laws and regulations in force which provide for the following: 3 0 per cent for the students and 10 per cent for the principal and the teachers of agriculture at the school; 5 per cent for the guards; 30 per cent to provide agricultural equipment needed for development of rural areas, including: fertilizers, agricultural machinery, motors, seeds, medicines, seedlings, beehives and poultry; 15 per cent for the development of the local environment; 10 per cent for the public treasury. (c) A number of agricultural engineers in each governorate were relieved of their normal jobs to give technical assistance to teachers and students in these schools. A n educational supervisor was also assigned to oversee teachers specialized in agricultural education and to contribute to the school plan and its continuous evaluation. Necessary resources such as water, an experimentalfieldin the school, industrial materials and other agricultural tools have been provided. Training courses are being held for rural education teachers to enhance their knowledge and acquaint them with up-to-date methods of rural education. 4.

Problems

and prospects

T h e Ministry tries to expand rural education within the limits of available resources. T h e availability of land and water-wells, and the provision of agricultural machinery and supplies to the school, link the school with the local environment and local community. T h e Ministry is co-operating with U N E S C O , and other international organizations interested in this type of education, to maximize benefits from these projects. However, the obstacle inhibiting expansion of this experiment is the difficulty in providing required materials.

Ill

Theme III

Improving the quality of basic education

Overview T h e quality of education provided in primary schools is an area of major concern in all the countries. While the countries have m a d e considerable progress with respect to bringing children to schools, the question of what happens in the school is only beginning to be seriously addressed in most countries. Parents are asking the question, " H o w well are the schools performing the roles assigned to them by society?" H o w m u c h are our children really learning in primary schools?" In fact, there is widespread dissatisfaction a m o n g all concerned regarding the quality of the primary education programme. Improving the quality of schools demands careful analysis and long-term actions involving all the stakeholders. It would imply actions on several fronts, such as improvement in classroom teaching/learning processes, improvement in teacher-preparation programmes, provision of adequate learning facilities for children in and outside the classrooms, and so on. In fact, all the above questions are being addressed by the educational planners in the region. O n e of the important issues being seriously examined is that of teacher education. In m a n y schools, and for the majority of the learners, the teacher embodies the only available academic resource; in s o m e schools, even good-quality textbooks and basic learning materials are beyond their reach. Thus, improving the pedagogic capabilities through appropriate training is considered an area of strategic investment that would have direct impact o n the quality of basic education. It is c o m m o n l y felt that the current practices in teacher education fail to equip the teachers with the skills necessary for dealing with real classroom situations. There is a need to revamp the teachereducation programmes so as to become more sensitive to the varying needs of the classrooms, particularly in the rural areas. T h e emphasis is on strengthening the teaching capabilities through in-service education

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Theme III - Improving the quality of basic education

programmes. But w e are still faced with several crucial questions, such as: D o w e have the resources to provide the necessary training inputs to all the practising teachers? Will it be useful if w e provide training just once in the career of the teacher? W h a t kind of in-service training can be provided and what would be the most effective strategy for doing so? Another critical question faced is "will training alone be enough to improve the quality of the teaching/learning process?" O n e of the serious problems often highlighted is that of low motivation a m o n g the teachers. H o w to create conditions congenial for maintaining high morale and motivation a m o n g teachers? Is it necessary to create suitable mechanisms of incentives and accountability? In fact, recognizing the absence of information on learner achievement standards, efforts are being m a d e in several countries to establish national testing programmes. While this is generally a welcome feature, two significant observations are to be m a d e as to their relevance and utility. First, the national testing programme is useful only if it becomes a periodic feature integrated into the overall system for monitoring the quality of education. Second, to be meaningful, testing should be followed by a systematic process of feedback to every school and locality. It is alsorecognizedthat mere teacher training will not suffice unless it is accompanied by improvements in teachingAearning conditions. This w a s highlighted through a case study on Learning Resource Centres in Jordan, which are well-equippedresourcecentres designed to cater to the needs of the teachers. T o date, several such centres have been created in Jordan. These centres consist of a number of component units such as a School Laboratories Unit, Comprehensive Libraries Unit, Educational Aids Unit, and Educational Computers Unit. Each Centre consists of halls, workshops, offices, and warehouses built on an area of 1,500-2,000 square metres. It m a y , however, be noted that there are only a few resource centres located in a centralized manner. It should be worthwhile to ensure that these resource centres are more easily accessible to all the teachers, particularly those working in isolated locations. Another case study included under this theme is also a project being implemented in Jordan. T h e case specifically deals with the in-service education activities implemented in Jordan under the comprehensive teacher-training programme initiated in February 1990. T h e programme consists of three components: (a) school-based training programme; (b)

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Development since Jomtien

global education programme; and (c) programme for developing teachers' attitudes. T h e school-based training programme is an interesting effort to develop co-operative team-work a m o n g teachers, supervisors and school directors, by creating co-operative grouping a m o n g neighbourhood schools. T h e programme on global education is supported by U N I C E F , which involved analysis of curricula and textbooks and formulation of strategies for upgrading teaching and learning. Several technical-training workshops were organized for the teachers. T h e target groups for the third programme, on attitude development, were teachers and supervisors. T h e aim w a s to develop a positive attitude towards employing interactive teaching techniques to enhance the quality of the classroom-teaching processes. The third case study presented here is from Palestine. It m a y be mentioned that Palestine w a s in a special situation with respect to the Jomtien Declaration, as the Palestinian National Authority was established only in M a y 1994. Keeping this in view, the Palestinian delegation has shared their experience in implementing quality-improvement measures since 1985/86 in a limited number of private schools in the West Bank. T h e main thrust of the project has been to enhance the quality of the teaching-learning process and its impact on the learners by making it more relevant to them and to raise a m o n g them a sense of awareness and involvement In order to achieve this, the project initiated considerable changes in the teaching methods as well as the curricular contents. It underlined the importance of equipping the school-leavers with some productive skills and, for this purpose, organized career counselling for all children in the project schools.

1. Learning resource centres - Jordan 1. Introduction Jordan has m a d e tremendous progress with respect to participation of children in the basic education programme. If involvement and attendance are taken as indicators of educational development, Jordan is well advanced within the Arab region. T h e country's attention is n o w focusing more on the qualitative aspects of primary education. It is recognized that provision of adequate resource support to teachers is

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Theme III - Improving the quality of basic education

central to any quality improvement effort. It is in this context that the Learning Resource Centre Project has been initiated in Jordan. 2.

Specific objectives of the project

T h e main objective of the learning resource centre project is to strengthen the support system for teachers. This is expected to be achieved in the Resource Centres by: (a) Providing and producing educational aids, as well as training teachers o n the production and utilization of these aids in the classrooms. (b) Providing references, books, encyclopaedias, video-tapes and audiocassettes, as well as educational materials and equipment; distributing these materials and equipment to schools; and training teachers and students on the proper utilization of these educational aids. (c) Encouraging self-learning by teachers, educational supervisors, and students through the centre's educational equipment and audio-visual and printed materials. (d) Upgrading the qualifications of teachers and educational supervisors by training them o n the utilization of educational equipment and the production of the materials they need in the classroom. (e) Improving the teachers' teaching methods by training on the modern skills and techniques. (f) Exchanging technical experience with other educational and cultural institutions in the local community through the establishment of technical and consultative committees, as well as the distribution of brochures, conducting visits, holding training sessions, etc. (g) Offering various educational services in the field of educational technology to governmental institutions o n national and religious occasions. 3.

Components

of the Learning Resource

Centre

Learning resource centres are educational institutions that offer teaching and learning services to students, teachers and the local community. T h e y are provided with well-trained technical h u m a n resources and up-to-date high-technology education equipment. T h e y vary in size, equipment and staff, according to the n u m b e r and category of the centre's users. T h e objectives of these centres are to improve teachers'

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Development since Jomtien

educational techniques and up-grade their educational qualifications, as well as to encourage self-learning, and produce educational materials to support the curricula and the n e w textbooks. They also contribute to the training of teachers on using and utilizing teaching materials and equipment to facilitate the teaching/learning processes in the classroom. Each learning centre consists of the following units: (a) The administrative unit This unit includes the following: 1.

2. 3.

T h e centre's supervisor, w h o holds a degree in education (master's degree in education, majoring in educational technology or educational administration) and is responsible for administering the centre, preparing annual plans to activate the technical and production units, monitoring and assessing the performance of teachers, preparing the annual budget and accounting for all expenditures. T h e supervisor also acts as the co-ordinator between the centre and other educational institutions. A secretary-typist, w h o is responsible for following up all the centre's incoming and outgoing correspondence,filingand typing. T h e centre's assistant supervisor, w h o holds a degree in education (master's degree in education, majoring in educational technology or educational administration), and is appointed only if the number of schools and users of the centre is high. (b) School laboratories unit

This unit includes chemistry, physics and biology, and general sciences laboratories. These facilities are well-equipped and furnished in accordance with the study requirements. T h e three laboratories are supervised by qualified laboratory technicians, holding bachelor's or master's degrees in the particular laboratory's subject matter. This unit is responsible for training laboratory supervisors and science teachers, as well as school students, on using laboratory materials and equipment, which are produced at the Laboratory Equipment Centre from local raw materials by Jordanian m a n p o w e r , a process which helps to save hard

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Theme III - Improving the quality of basic education

currency and provides cheaper equipment. These, in turn, are distributed to the different schools in the country. (c) Materials supply unit This unit is supervised by a storekeeper, w h o is responsible for keeping organized and classified, materials and equipment. (d) Comprehensive

library unit

This unit is supervised by two qualified librarians holding a bachelor's degree in art and high diplomas in educational technology and library science. The library holds references to printed and audio-visual materials, as well as book-slides, transparencies, models, video and audiocassettes, m a p s and educational charts. A m o n g the library's duties are lending whatever materials are available, to teachers, educational supervisors and the local community, as well as providing schools with books and references supplied by the Ministry of Education or bought from students' contributions. In addition, the unit is responsible for training school librarians on the different library services, such as cataloguing, classification, cancellation and weeding, etc., following u p on their performance at schools and supervising their libraries to ensure good services for the teachers and students. (e) Educational aids unit

1.

2.

This unit is entrusted with the following tasks: Production of educational material: This section is supervised by a qualified technician in the field of producing educational aids. H e holds a diploma in educational technology. T h e section secures different educational aids to support the curricula, including charts, m a p s , transparencies, slides, models, brochures, etc. Also, this section is responsible for training teachers on the utilization of these aids in the classroom. Maintenance of educational aids: Maintenance is supervised by two to three maintenance technicians holding a scientific degree in electricity and electronics. These technicians are responsible for the maintenance of all educational equipment available at the centre and

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Development since Jomtien

3.

4.

5.

6.

in schools served by the centre. They are alsoresponsiblefor training teachers on the safe and proper ways of maintaining, storing and retrieving the equipment. Maintenance of laboratory equipment is handled by the laboratory equipment centre, which has the required spare parts, and employs technicians specialized in the maintenance of such equipment. Video and audio-cassette recording and dubbing: This task is supervised by a qualified technician, w h o holds a degree in educational technology and is responsible for copying video-cassettes for distribution a m o n g schools for use in the classroom. Follow-up of the utilization of programmes produced by the Educational T . V . School Broadcasts Department of the Ministry of Education, with the purpose of assessment and development under the supervision of a qualified officer holding a bachelor's degree in arts. Protection and monitoring: This activity includes a show-room containing all the educational materials and equipment produced by the centre. T h e section is supervised by the centre's officer in charge of educational aids, w h o holds a diploma in educational technology. Photo- and electronic-copying: This section is supervised by a qualified technician holding a community-college diploma. H e is responsible for photocopying all documents on the centre's activities and documenting model lessons. if) Educational computer unit

1.

2.

3.

118

This unit is supervised by: A n officer in charge of the educational computer, holding a degree in computer science, w h o is responsible for employing educational software in classrooms that have computers, and ensuring their proper use. A qualified maintenance technician, holding a diploma in computer science, w h o is responsible for the maintenance of computers at schools. A computer engineer responsible for supervising the proper use and maintenance of computers.

Theme III - Improving the quality of basic education

4.

Institutions involved requirements

in implementation

and financial

D u e to a variety of implementation procedures, institutions involved in implementation are varied. They include the following: 1. Directorate of Educational Technology, which is responsible for planning; collecting data; determining specifications for the components of the premises; the equipment; materials; books; h u m a n resources; supplies; training; supervision; follow-up; and evaluation. 2. General Directorate of Projects and Buildings, which is responsible for the implementation of projects according to specifications, locating land and property suitable for construction, providing furnishings and equipment in accordance with specifications, and conducting the maintenance required for the centre. 3. General Directorate of Financial Affairs, which is responsible for providing the necessary funds for the supply of equipment according to specifications. 4. General Supplies Department, which is responsible for providing the necessary equipment and furnishings in accordance with specifications. 5. T h e Directorate of Education, under whose jurisdiction the centre lies. 6. Other neighbouring Directorates of Education. 7. Schools. Financial requirements

the 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

T h e implementation of the Learning Resource Centre project, requires following allocations: Cost of construction: J D 180,000. Equipment, fixtures: J D 600,000 H u m a n resources: Allocations vary with salaries and qualifications of the staff members. Training the centre's personnel: A n average of J D 3,000 per person. Other expenses of the centre, including materials and equipment, maintenance, transportation, overtime, etc.: J D 100,000 per year.

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5.

Major problems and expected outcomes

of the project

Implementing the research project, with its multifarious units, has not been an easy task. T h e following were s o m e of the major problems faced in its implementation : 1. inconvenient location; 2. inadequate financial allocations; 3. inadequate means of transportation; 4. non-specialized, unqualified, or inexperienced personnel; 5. inadequate equipment and materials; 6. unrealistic planning that can be too difficult to materialize; 7. negligence of follow-up and continuous evaluation; 8. limited authority delegated to the centre's supervisor, 9. lack of co-ordination between the centre and the neighbouring directorates concerning planning, implementation, follow-up, and evaluation of the centre's activities. U p o n the complete implementation of the project, it is expected to have the following outcomes: 1. introducing a variety of advanced educational means, useful for both teachers and students; 2. improving the teaching techniques of the teachers and those specialized in school educational techniques; 3. up-grading the learning standards of the students and getting them accustomed to self-learning strategies; 4. bridging the gap between the centre and the local community with respect to the latter's participation in the educational development of the process; 5. assisting teachers, students, and the local community in solving their educational problems, and developing their investigative and research skills. 6.

Scope for further spread of the centres in the country

W h e n establishing a learning resource centre, w e must take into consideration that it must be run on an experimental basis for no less than three years. At the end of this period, the experiment must be evaluated, and modifications must be introduced accordingly. In the light of the

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above, the project m a y be replicated in other parts of the country, which is exactly what happened in the case of Jordan. The Jordanian project began with three centres distributed geographically in the North, the Centre and the South. Follow-up and evaluation were performed at the end of the three-year period. In accordance with the results of the experiment, n e w modifications were introduced to cover the organizational structure of the centre and the qualifications of h u m a n resources, together with the installations and facilities. Such modifications will be taken into consideration w h e n three more n e w centres are established.

2. In-service training of teachers - Jordan L Introduction In the light of a comprehensive evaluation of the current conditions of education, and in a bid to introduce quantitative and qualitative improvements in the educational process, thefirstNational Conference on Educational Development, c a m e up with a general plan for educational development in Jordan (1989-1998). T h e plan covers eight main areas of development, including the teachers' training and qualifying programme, which generally seeks to develop the skills and attitudes of teachers, administrative officials, technicians, and educational supervisors, in Jordan, with the object of improving the standards of teaching in schools and, hence, developing the education system's outputs in accordance with requirements and changes of time and society. 2.

Objectives

T h e major concerns of this overall effort to improve teacher training are as follows: 1. to reinforce the infrastructure of the Directorates of Education in terms of financial and h u m a n resources to enable them to plan, execute, and evaluate training locally; 2. to plan, execute and evaluate qualitative and innovative programmes in co-operation with the Directorate of Education;

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3.

to follow up and evaluate central and local training, as well as preparereportsand studies, and provide information to the concerned authorities at the Ministry of Education.

This paper reviews the country's achievements in thefieldof inservice training and qualifying of basic-education teachers from 1989 to 1994, with special focus on the educational innovations thereof. 3.

Implementation strategies and component activities

T o achieve the above objectives, a comprehensive educational training programme w a s started in February, 1990. A core team, trained both inside the country and abroad, was formed to shoulder this responsibility. Consequently, this team developed a n e w training programme stemming from the n e w educational policies of Jordan and from the development trends recommended by the National Conference on Educational Development. Thus, teams of senior trainers of trainers, then teams of local trainers, each consisting of educational supervisors, technical directors, and school principals, were set up. These teams could together train around 37,977 teachers and school principals. During the scholastic years 1991/92, 1992/93 and 1993/94, planning for training, together with preparing and producing training materials, was conducted centrally. However, the implementation was done locally by local training teams in the various Directorates of Education. A s part of this overall endeavour, the following programmes were executed: School-based training programme. Global education programme. Developing teachers' attitudes programme. School-based training programme This programme is supported by the British Overseas Development Agency ( O D A ) and is concerned with the development of educational and training techniques at schools (from the first to the fourth grades). T h e implementation of the project started at the beginning of the school year 1993/94, whereby schools in neighbouring areas co-operate through groups, each comprised of three schools. Each group forms a unit of educational supervisors, directors andfirstto fourth-grade teachers.

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T h e y all co-operate to develop the profession within the following framework: 1. W o r k with pupils to acquire additional skills. This is done in three stages. 2. W o r k with adults, educational authorities and parents, to acquire additional skills, also to be done in three stages. 3. Provision of a suitable educational environment, also in three stages. 4. T o master particular educational skills, such as planning, organizing, asking questions, activities, class tasks, etc., also in three integrated stages. T h e educational supervisors (one in each school) act as co-ordinators and trainers in co-operation with principals and teachers, directly at the school or classroom levels, to achieve the goals that qualify the involved schools to acquire additional skills and b e c o m e local training centres for other basic-school supervisors, principals and teachers. Teachers of one school form a working team along with the school's principal and supervisors. This team, in turn, co-operates with the working teams of the other two schools in the same group, with a view to exchanging experiences. Consequently, such experiences will be exchanged with other groups of schools. Therefore, the work in these schools strives for continuous cooperation a m o n g those involved in the educational process, i.e. supervisors, principals, teachers, parents, and students. T h e main concerns underlying these efforts are as follows, to: 1. m a k e the child the focal point of the teaching-learning process; 2. m a k e the teacher's role that of a facilitator and organizer of the learning process; 3. enable the headmaster to act as a teacher whenever necessary and thereby facilitate the learning process; 4. alter the classroom environment by changing the arrangement of furniture and other equipment in the classroom; 5. offer a variety of learning resources to children so that the teacher ceases to be the sole source of knowledge to the learners.

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Global education

programme

T h e objectives of this programme are to develop educational activities that would realize the dimensions of global education in terms of time, place, and issues; be suitable to the characteristics of the educational system in Jordan; and maximize the benefits of textbooks and curricula. In order for teachers to properly apply these activities, the programme includes training the technical group m e m b e r s and the teachers in utilizing methods of learning and teaching. This group will consequently enable teachers and students to acquire the concepts, skills and attitudes of global education, and extend the effects to the classroom and society. T h e Ministry of Education, in co-operation with U N I C E F , Jordan, worked together on the experimental implementation of the project, which started at the beginning of M a y 1993, and included the following educational activities: (a) Educational training workshops were conducted to prepare the technical team and acquaint it with the concepts of global education philosophy strategies, as well as the practical techniques employed in applying global education to curricula and school programmes. Forty outstanding supervisors and teachers participated in the workshops, which were conducted by two specialized experts from the Department of Education at Toronto University, in Canada. (b) A n educational training workshop w a s held in mid-July 1993, in which members of the technical team analysed the curricula and textbooks of thefifthand sixth basic-education grades, to determine the activities that might be developed, taking into consideration the objectives of the curricula, textbooks and global education within subjects and units of study. A number of educational activities in the fields of social sciences, health education, science and mathematics were prepared, covering the first and second units of the second semester for thefifthand sixth grades. In all, 5 0 learning activities have been developed and tested in four governmental schools, representing boys' and girls' schools, as well as urban and rural areas, from four Directorates of Education. A group from the technical teams handled the training of teachers, w h o were assigned for the application of these activities, according to a prepared plan. It is worth mentioning that special tools for programme assessment were

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developed to cover observance and monitoring of the students' characteristics, attitudes and academic and educational skills before, during and after performing these activities. T h e results of the evaluation process have revealed high interaction a m o n g students, teachers, supervisors and others concerned, in the schools where these activities were applied. Such interaction w a s very effective in developing positive attitudes towards co-operative work, respect for the ideas of others, thinking, accepting criticism, self-awareness, conflict avoidance, and prediction of the expected and desired future. In the light of the above, the Ministry extended the experiment in the current academic year 1994/95 to cover 2 0 schools in ten different Directorates of Education. Furthermore, the technical team and the team of teachers and supervisors w h o will develop and apply the teaching activities, were also expanded. These educational activities will cover the textbooks of thefirstand second semesters of the Arabic language, social education, and mathematics, for thefifthand sixth basic grades, as well as thefirstand second units of thefirstsemester of the seventh and eighth basic grades. Teachers' attitudes development

programme

In the light of feedback from the teachers' training programme, which targeted teachers and encompassed the plan for applying n e w curricula and textbooks, a programme w a s designed that would develop positive educational attitudes towards educational development. The programme executed by the Ministry of Education, in co-operation with the British Overseas Development Agency ( O D A ) , aims at developing positive attitudes on the part of educational supervisors and teachers. A core team w a s instructed on the preparation of training materials and on employing interactive techniques in teaching. After the success of the experimental application of the programme, a training package is currently under preparation for developing teachers' attitudes towardsrealizingthe objectives of educational development. T h e programme will consist of four clusters of educational supervisors and groups of teachers and will be executed gradually to cover, finally, all educational supervisors.

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4.

Conclusion

All the innovative efforts for teacher training are in the initial stage of implementation. T h e early evaluation reports have revealed a positive impact on the teachers' abilities and attitudes. Yet it is too early to draw any conclusions on such a large-scale programme, covering all teachers and supervisors. However, in general, the strategy to bring all persons concerned, namely, teachers, head teachers and supervisors, into a c o m m o n training framework which has facilitated effective peer-learning and exchange of experiences, has been highly appreciated.

3. Education for awareness and involvement: a pilot project for the development of relevant education Palestine 1.

Introduction

T h e Palestinian National Authority was established in the Gaza Strip and in Jericho, in M a y 1994. T h e Ministry of Education w a s set u p in mid-August 1994. T h e authority for education in the West B a n k w a s transferred from the Israelis to the Ministry, on 28 August. Preparations were m a d e by the Ministry, and the n e w school year 1994/95 started with the Palestinianflagraised in all schools and children chanting the national anthem for thefirsttime in the contemporary history of the Palestinian people. Before this historic event, Palestinians never had a say in their educational decision-making. Education in the West B a n k and Gaza was under the firm grip of the Israeli military authorities. T h e Israeli authorities did not permit any innovation within the educational governmental sector. Moreover, they obstructed any innovations outside government schools which aimed at empowering Palestinians in developing their educational system. So, despite the Jomtien Declaration in 1990 on Basic Education for All, practical steps by the P L O to implement the Declaration were not possible. Therefore, the Palestinian Ministry of Education was not able to present a successful innovation at the national level, and chose to share the implementation of an initiative taken by a number of private schools in the West Bank. It is worth noting

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here that all the educational innovations that took place in the occupied Palestinian territories, were initiated by private schools and Palestinian N G O s . These schools and N G O s played a leading role in Palestinian education, and still do. This paper describes the pilot project "Education for awareness and involvement", initiated in 1985/6 in a limited number of private schools in the West Bank. It aimed at creating a working model of school education which is relevant to the needs and aspirations of the Palestinian people. T h e activities of the Project were stopped for a period of, at least, four years after thefirsttwo years of its initiation, due to the collective closure of Palestinian schools imposed by the Israeli Military Authorities and to the volatile conditions in the West B a n k during the 'intifada'.

2. Background T h e West B a n k is the Eastern middle part of historic Palestine, occupied by the Israeli army in June 1967. It has an area of 5,650 square kilometres and a population of about 1 million people. The population depends basically on agriculture, the services industry and manual labour in Israel. T h e economy of the West Bank suffers heavily from its dependence o n the Israeli economy. This situation might drastically change as a result of the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations. T h e West B a n k has a student population of more than 350,000, distributed in three kinds of schools: government-housing - 78 per cent of the total; private - serving 12 per cent, and U N R W A schools, serving 10 per cent. T h e private schools enjoy almost total freedom in their financial, administrative and employment policies, and have added courses to the curriculum offered in government schools. A m o n g the private schools in the West Bank and Gaza, are the five Evangelical Lutheran Schools that house 2,300 M o s l e m and Christian students. These students c o m e mainly from the middle and the poor classes. During the early eighties, the Evangelical Luthern Schools started raising questions about the quality and relevance of the education they offered. With the help of educators from West B a n k universities, they developed a vision for a more appropriate education. A follow-up Committee for the project was formed and lengthy meetings were held over a whole scholastic year to decide on the n e w educational policies the

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schools should adopt. T h e Committee approached a number of people concerned with education in the West Bank for their feed-back. In 1985, a project document entitled "Education for Awareness and Involvement" was prepared and the process of raising funds started. 3. (i)

(ii) (iii)

(iv) (v) (vi)

(vii)

(viii) (ix)

4. (i)

128

Objectives Improving the self-esteem of the student through raising his awareness on physical, emotional and mental capacities, and encouraging him to discover his talents, skills, capabilities and interests, Raising the awareness of the student about his environment - his h o m e , school, neighbourhood and community, Raising the student's awareness and knowledge about the situation of the West Bank, as part of the Palestinian reality, through increasing his knowledge about its geography, economy, demography and culture, Raising the awareness of the student regarding obstacles facing economic and social development in the West Bank, Helping the student develop a positive attitude towards productive manual work and manual workers, Providing the student with the appropriate knowledge and skills to prepare him to become a productive m e m b e r in the development of his community, Providing the student with knowledge of the job market through career counselling and an opportunity to experience thefieldof work which interests him. Developing the capacity of the student to appreciate the natural environment and to preserve it. Developing within the student appreciation for the Palestinian culture and other cultures. Components

of the project

Changing teaching methods and practices from those focusing on rote learning to those encouraging active learning on the part of the student.

Theme III - Improving the quality of basic education

(ii)

Introducing vocational education: T h e schools should aim at providing the student with a number of vocational skills he can use in his daily life, e.g., electrical work, carpentry, metalwork, agriculture,first-aidand book-keeping. Vocational education should be taught along with all other academic courses and include visits to work-places and a work-orientation programme, whereby students are placed on work-sites for short periods. Career counselling: T h e student should be helped to choose a career which meets his interests and capabilities with the help of a trained career counsellor, w h o will provide him with information about the job market Addition to school courses: A s the student should be aware of his society, a course on the history of Palestine, its demography, economics, culture and prospects of the development of the West Bank, should be added to the curriculum. Linking the student to his community: Since the schools aim at providing an education which is more relevant to the needs and aspirations of society, they should be closely linked to the community. This m a y be implemented through active parent associations and by involving the students in voluntary work. School environment: T h e social environment in the school should not be authoritarian, but democratic, aiming at raising the selfesteem of students, making them active in the teachmg/learning process and strengthening their sense of belonging to their community.

(iii)

(iv)

(v)

(vi)

5.

Achievements

T h e project was started at the beginning of the school year 1985/86. During thefirsttwo years the following were achieved: (i)

Training courses were held for teachers in allfields,to transform their teaching methods and practices from those relying on rote learning to those encouraging the active participation of the student in the teaching/learning process. In the teaching of the natural sciences, 'learning by doing' w a s emphasized through active and continuous use of the school laboratories. Teaching of computers w a s introduced to all schools participating in the

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project. Vocational education was added to the curriculum and appropriate workshops for computer use and vocational education were established. Work-orientation programmes and visits to different work-sites were initiated, enabling the students' introduction to different work possibilities. Community work was introduced; as were student environment committees. A book on Palestinian history, demography, economy, culture and prospects of development w a s prepared by a number of university professors and the book was taught at seven schools, as well as m a n y other West Bank schools at a later stage. The book is entitled: The Palestinian Society in the West Bank and has been printed twice, to date. Parent associations were formed and parents were introduced to the project and asked to help in its implementation. T h e project was also publicized locally and internationally, through brochures, newsletters, progress reports, and published articles. A curriculum for vocational education was prepared.

(ii)

(iii) (iv)

(v)

(vi) 6.

Evaluation of the project

At the end of 1991, the project w a s evaluated. In 1993, it w a s evaluated for a second time by educational specialists from outside the schools participating in the project. Results of the evaluation include the following: (i) T h e project did not succeed in transforming the teaching practices of teachers, (ii) A clear achievement w a s noticed in the field of vocational education. The vocational education workshops established at the different schools were always very active and both male and female students enjoyed learning n e w skills. The students also showed considerable appreciation for manual work and workers, (iii) T h e project w a s successful in adding n e w courses to the curriculum. The book "The Palestinian Community in the West Bank and Gaza", was very well received by m a n y schools. The Palestinian Ministry of Education is at present studying the possibility of using the book in its plans to improve the teaching

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materials used in schools in the areas of history and social science. T h e project succeeded in creating better ties with the community. T h e extra-curricular activities that called for the participation of the parents in giving seminars and lectures to students, were particularly successful. T h e community work involving students, teachers and parents was also a success. T h e project succeeded greatly in its w o r k o n the Palestinian environment. Through the project, at least ten booklets on the environment of Palestine were published. Furthermore, an environment magazine is published quarterly. T h e schools ' atmosphere improved because of the project, as was noted from questionnaires given to students and teachers, as well as by the noticeable increase in participation in extra-curricular activities.

(iv)

(v)

(vi)

7.

Conclusion

T h e components and the objectives of the project 'Education for Awareness and Involvement' are congruent with the Jomtien Declaration on 'Education for All' in m a n y important aspects, especially in its emphasis on learning, equality between the sexes, education for the less privileged and linking education to the actual needs of the community, as well as enabling the learners to participate in the development of their communities. T h e position of the Ministry of Education in the Palestinian National Authority is to benefit from the educational projects that preceded the establishment of the Ministry, especially those initiated under the Israeli occupation with a view to linking school education to the emerging needs and aspirations of the Palestinians. T h e Ministry has already contacted those in charge of the project, to benefit from their experience and to study the possibility of implementing several elements of the project 'Education for Awareness and Involvement' in the government-school sector, which suffered during the period of Israeli occupation from lack of educational innovations and initiatives.

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Theme IV

Strengthening links between the community and basic education

Overview Provision of adequate facilities for basic education is accepted as a fundamental requirement in all societies. Seen from this perspective, every primary school should be perceived by society as a public asset belonging to the whole community. Considering that the primary education system in most countries is almost fully financed b y the State, it is the community which pays for maintaining the primary schools. This should engender in the community members a feeling of ownership of the school and generate motivation to use the educational services provided. Does this happen at all? Unfortunately, it is not so in most countries, including those participating in the seminar. In fact, it is often felt that the primary schools are becoming more and more alienated from the local community in m a n y places. This is in spite of the fact that all countries in the region recognize the centrality of community-school linkage for progressing in basic education both in quantitative and qualitative terms. It is often observed that, in m a n y cases, the primary schools function in isolation from the community they serve. The policy orientation in most countries supports measures to strengthen school-community relationships. It is recognized that the functional efficiency of the school in terms of its capacity to attract and retain children for the full cycle of primary education, is determined to a great extent by the level and quality of interaction between the school and the community. H o w do w e rectify the situation and establish effective linkage between the community and the institutions providing basic education? This is a question engaging the attention of educational planners and policy-makers in several countries. O n e of the ways adopted to strengthen links between the community and primary schools is to allow for greater participation of the community in managing the primary schools attended by its children. This is well illustrated by the case study presented by O m a n on Fathers' and Mothers'

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Theme IV - Strengthening links between the community and basic education

Councils in Schools. Under this project, a fathers' council is established in every boys' school and a mothers' council in every girls' school. These councils are viewed as important instruments for facilitating close interaction between the community and the school at all levels. T h e councils play a crucial role in establishing linkage between the school and the h o m e , with two-fold objectives. O n the one hand, the councils help the schools in mobilizing parental support in performing their tasks effectively. O n the other hand, they act as a means for promoting greater awareness a m o n g parents on the socio-economic and development needs of the community. T h e underlying principle in the project is to gradually e m p o w e r the community to monitor the basic education programmes and develop a sense of ownership in the school activities. But, h o w far can w e go? Are the parents, m a n y of w h o m have had very little formal schooling, ready to play an effective role in this process? These are questions that continue to engage the attention of educational planners. Along with this approach of giving a larger role to the community in school management, s o m e countries are going for cost-sharing by the parents as part of community-financing measures. This is generally described as a m o v e to increase the sense of ownership and responsibility a m o n g the community towards basic education. However, the real reason seems to arise out of dwindling public funds to finance the increasing cost of providing basic education for all. This is causing concern a m o n g m a n y . It is often felt that this trend m a y increase the burden on the poorer sections and thereby affect the participation of children from the poorer communities. Will it not, in turn, affect equity and increase disparities? These are s o m e significant questions that need to be closely examined. Also, in addition to direct intervention in school management and financing, s o m e countries consider that an effective community-based adult literacy programme can act as a significant catalyst in bringing the community and the primary schools closer. T h e case study from Syria on Strategies used for post-literacy programmes highlights this point. T h e emphasis of the strategy is to focus efforts on rural w o m e n with a view to eradicating illiteracy a m o n g them and equip them with appropriate productive skills. T h e Project is a collaborative venture between the Ministry of Culture and the General W o m e n ' s Union, with support from other national and international organizations. A variety of media organizational arrangements are used in the programme, which include popular culture symposia, multi-media packages, local libraries, mobile

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cultural units and popular theatre. With the help of all these means provided under the project, the General W o m e n ' s Union Organization plays a prominent role in organizing educational and vocational training activities for the neo-literate w o m e n . Involvement in popular organizations in the implementation of various activities has heightened awareness a m o n g all on the value of education in general and the need for ensuring school participation by the children. For this purpose, the implementing organizations use such school fora as the fathers' and mothers' councils in schools. S o m e countries are trying out community-based, non-formal education programmes for out-of-school youth. Functioning largely outside rigid bureaucratic control, these programmes help promote spontaneous participation by the community m e m b e r s and create a feeling of community ownership. T h e Youth Education Project of the Sudan is an innovation of this kind. T h e project is targeted at those children, in the age group 8-14, w h o have for various reasons failed to benefit from the existing formal primary schools. Under the project, an integrated educational programme has been designed which effectively covers the eight-year primary education programme in a m u c h shorter period of four years, making use of the fact that the children are cognitively m o r e mature and are invariably more motivated as the participation is completely voluntary. T h e project hasresultedin the production of a n e w package of learning materials with innovative andflexiblemethods of curricular transaction. T h e programme is m a d e fully needs-based in order to ensure a high level of participation by the out-of-school youth. Special efforts are m a d e to ensure that the community supports and participates in the programme fully. It is considered that the children w h o arerelativelyolder can act as a more effective link between the family and the educational institution thereby influencing the attitude and orientation of the community as a whole towards the basic education programme. Innovative projects of this kind highlighted the importance of viewing programmes of basic education within a broadened framework and within a n e w community perspective. C a n w e m a k e such efforts more widespread without modifying the existing structures for formal primary education? In other words, h o w can convergence of interests at the community level be translated into administrative realities, within the existing bureaucracies? It should be worthwhile to examine these questions in the

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Theme IV - Strengthening links between the community and basic education

light of the experience gained through innovative actions in s o m e of the countries. O n the whole, one can conclude that the importance of establishing closer linkage between the school and the community was recognized by all the countries of the region. But, a closer examination of the existing arrangements indicate that adequate action to achieve this goal has been wanting. In this context, the innovative efforts being m a d e in different countries of the region represent significant steps forward. Yet, it m a y be pointed out that if community participation in education should become a permanent feature, w e have to view it as part of an overall process of decentralization and democratic process. Also, the community should not be seen in a narrow fashion as constituting the parents whose children are in the school. W e have to also include other interest groups in the process of consultation and management. For instance, potential employers constitute one of the important interest groups and they should also be included in the process of community involvement for school management. Obviously, these are issues that need greater in-depth analysis before community participation in basic education becomes a regular feature in all the countries of the region.

1. Y o u t h education project - the S u d a n 1. Introduction T h e Sudan is committed to the provision of education for all, up to the age of 14. However, there is a considerable percentage of population in the age group 8-14 w h o are out of school. There are also m a n y children w h o went to school but dropped out before the completion of the basic cycle or acquisition of permanent educational and life skills. The group could also include those w h o manage to complete the basic stage but did not go further in their educational achievements. T h e Youth Education Project addresses the basic education needs of these groups of children.

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2.

Objectives of the project

T h e main aim of the project is to provide good-quality basic education for the population in both sexes in the age group 8-14, w h o have been deprived of basic education services. T h e specific objectives are: 1. to prepare integrated educational programmes for the out-of-school population in the age group 8-14, with special emphasis on girls; 2. to provide basic education to this group according to their needs, interests and conditions, that will enable them to develop their abilities, skills, knowledge and hence to improve their living conditions and to participate effectively in their community's development; 3. to open channels between out-of-school and formal education, to enable those w h o wish, to continue education; 4. to develop innovative andflexiblelearning methods that m a k e it easier to reach the unreached, especially girls; 5. to encourage the local community to serve the aims of this kind of education through participation and community support 3.

The strategy for

implementation

Duration, site and the starting time of the project: This project targets a group of the population w h o are older than the entry age for primary school. Therefore, it is expected that their ability to assimilate is higher than in those admitted to the basic formal school. With this proposition in mind, the duration and the curriculum for the education of youth was suggested. It is suggested that the period of study in youth institutions can be of four years' duration, as compared to eight years of basic education in the formal school. T h e school will be an evening school, to ensure the attendance of those w h o work during the day time. T h e schools are to be situated in areas where no formal schools, or very few of them, are found, since this programme is primarily designed for the out-of-school population. The curriculum: T h e curriculum aims at enabling pupils to possess the basic tools of learning such as the 3Rs, verbal expression and problem

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Theme IV - Strengthening links between the community and basic education

solving. The curriculum also aims at equipping the pupils with the basic knowledge that will enable them to continue their further education, as well as basic life skills, so as to be able to contribute to the advancement of the society and to participate effectively. Since the curriculum is to equal the basic school curriculum, but is to be taught in half the duration of the basic school, a national workshop of experts was conducted to discuss and design the best ways of achieving such an objective. Teachers: Since the project is of a large scale and costly, it is thought that educated people in the local community can be approached to teach if they have the will and the ability to do so. Teachers will receive the necessary training that will enable them to teach the syllabus and to deal with the target group effectively. Examinations: There will be annual examinations for promotion from one grade to another. Those w h o can successfully pass the grade IV examination will be awarded a certificate equivalent to the completion of the basic stage of general education. Evaluation and follow-up: The project is to be evaluated twice a year. Concerned units in the Ministry of Education will develop a system of evaluation to be implemented by local councils in close co-operation with the project's units. Teachers will be asked to report on attendance, performance and the degree of acceptability of the project by the local community. 4.

Achievements

T h e first stage of the experimental project has been successfully conducted. It covered the period from November 1993 to M a y 1994, during which time the following activities were implemented: e A steering committee was formed in November 1993. A field survey was conducted to establish the size of the target group. T h e survey covered four states, Blue Nile, North Kordofan, Kassala and Nile State. • Contacts were m a d e to form a local council for supervision from leaders of the community. • Teachers were selected in March 1994. e T h e workshop on the development of the curriculum was conducted in N o v e m b e r 1993 and the syllabus for thefirstgrade, which is the

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equivalent to first and second grades of the basic school, has been completed. T h e printing of textbooks was completed in M a y 1994. T h e site for the experimental project w a s chosen in the aforementioned States. T h e criteria for selection were the following: 1. the site to be within easy reach for follow-up measures; 2. the existence of a greater number of illiterate youth; 3. absence of educational institutions; 4. participation of the local community; 5. the desire of youths and their parents to have access to education. In January 1994, a research study was conducted in the chosen sites to determine the target group and to develop awareness of the size of the problem, to assess the available resources and to choose the teachers and the target group. In April 1994, an intensive training course w a s conducted for teachers aiming at developing a positive attitude towards the project and to increase their competence in teaching. T h efirststage of implementation started in June 1994, covering 600 girls and 2 0 0 boys. 5.

Financing

In itsfirststage, the project was financed by non-government sources. U N I C E F shares 75 per cent of the budget. In future, the project will be financed by the State governments and, to a greater extent, by the local community. This is expected to be the case during the second and the final stages of the project. T h e second stage will last for three years, during which time educational activities will begin, together with the training of teachers and construction of classes for the second, third and fourth grades, as well as the printing of textbooks. After the evaluation of the second stage, the projects will expand to cover all States in the final stage.

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Theme IV - Strengthening links between the community and basic education

2. Fathers' and Mothers' Councils in schools - O m a n 1. Introduction The school is a social institution that serves the community and helps achieve its objectives in teaching and bringing u p n e w generations. Its success depends upon the achievement of this message to the extent that it is linked to the community around it. Its curricula and programmes must contain the characteristics, natural requirements, aspirations and values of the community. H a r m o n y between school and community is a very significant issue. The one supplements the other by virtue of the close relationship between them. For the relationship between the environment and the school to grow, programmes must be prepared to link citizens to the school. This m a y be accomplished through the demands the school places on parents and through the assistance it expects from them in developing their children's learning potentials. Hence, the Sultanate of O m a n has encouraged the establishment of mothers' and fathers' councils with a view to enhancing this linkage. 2.

Objectives

The fathers' and mothers' councils in O m a n , are a m o n g the most important instruments that link the school to the community. They contribute towards animating school life and monitoring its efficiency. In addition, these councils are functional in co-ordinating and organizing services, both inside and outside the school. The objectives of the fathers' and mothers' councils are: (a) Increasing means of communication and co-operation between the h o m e , the school and the various institutions of the community; strengthening these means in an atmosphere of co-operation and respect, with a view to improved bringing up of children;raisingthe standard of the educational process and preserving the environment and public health.

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(b) Helping the school in performing its role of educating, guiding and teaching pupils, as well as up-grading the efficiency of the teaching process to cope with the social changes that take place in the community. (c) Directing efforts of fathers and mothers towards raising the general standard of the local c o m m u n i t y and achieving its socio-economic development. (d) Strengthening ties between parents and teachers, with a view to establishing co-operation between the two groups in bringing up pupils as good citizens. (e) Examining the pupils' requirements with a view to solving their c o m m o n problems and developing their talents. (f) E x a m i n i n g affairs related to the school environment with a view to establishing co-operation in thefieldof upgrading this environment's standards. (g) Assisting the school in performing its role as a centre of enlightenment in the community. 3.

Implementation

procedure

During the councils' periodic meetings, agreement and co-ordination are established regarding the type of education provided to the children, the m a n n e r of dealing with it and the w a y s to b e followed in solving any potential problems. This orientation guarantees that the educational efforts of both parents and teachers are pooled together. For these councils to be effective, it has been decided that each council should be headed b y one of the parents themselves. T h u s , fathers of the children in b o y s ' schools, and mothers of children in girls' schools, are given the complete opportunity to look positively at serious, fruitful w o r k that serves the educational process and the school environment M e c h a n i s m s for implementing the project are as follows: e Distributing responsibilities between fathers and mothers, o n the o n e hand, and teachers, o n the other. Involving the t w o groups in following u p the implementation of decisions adopted b y the councils. e Establishing linkage between the school and the parents through inviting fathers and mothers, periodically and o n all special occasions, to discuss with school officials the educational standards of their

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Theme TV - Strengthening links between the community and basic education

children and the areas where these children demonstrate excellence or weakness. Organizing getting-acquainted encounters between the fathers, mothers and teachers of pupils, in every individual grade of the school. Involving fathers and mothers in all the school's projects, programmes and occasions. Organizing social, cultural and sports competitions in which fathers, mothers, teachers and students take part. Devising a time schedule for 'open day' programmes for fathers and graduates, the activities of which include selecting an 'ideal father' and an 'ideal graduate' for every school. Intensifying informationregardingthe message of the fathers' and mothers' councils through seminars, lectures, debates, publications and posters. 4.

Organizational structure of fathers' and mothers'

councils

(a) Fathers' ¡mothers' councils at the school level In every boys' school, a fathers' council shall be established, with m e m b e r s drawn from the General Assembly and headed by a father correspondingly. In every girls' school, a mothers' council shall be established, with a General Assembly headed by the head-mistress and a mothers' council drawn from the General Assembly and headed by a mother. (b) Fathers' council at the level of the educational region T h e fathers' council for any particular educationalregionis composed of representatives from all districts in the educational region. It is headed by the Director-General, the Director of Education in the region, and with one of the fathers acting as his deputy.

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(c) Fathers' councils at the Ministry of Education-level The fathers' council at the level of the Ministry of Education, is formed under the chairmanship of the Deputy Minister and includes representatives of the region, in the person of the president and deputy president of the educational region's council. (d) Committees Committees are drawn from the fathers' and mothers' councils to supervise the day-to-day operations. These are the Educational Affairs Committee, the Social and Health Affairs Committee and the Educational Activities Committee. 5.

Achievements

of the project

T h e various types of fathers' and mothers' councils which are formed in all schools and educational regions, as well as the Ministry of Education itself, have implemented m a n y programmes and projects with a view to contributing towards bringing up a generation that strives to achieve progress for the community and homeland and enrich the educational process. It is worth mentioning that most of these projects and programmes are implemented through the citizens' o w n efforts and, as a result of the interaction and co-operation of all - parents and teachers - with the various institutions of the community, in an atmosphere of co-operation and mutual respect. FoUowing is a summary of the main accomplishments of the fathers'/mothers' councils: (a) Establishing linkage between the school and the h o m e , with a view to assisting in solving the pupils' various problems through participation of the family in the school's educational and teaching tasks. (b) Organizing public-service projects and work camps to be implemented at the level of schools and educational regions, and inviting fathers and mothers to contribute their efforts and/or m o n e y to such projects. This will fortify the spirit of allegiance to the

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Theme IV - Strengthening links between the community and basic education

h o m e l a n d and the c o m m u n i t y and impart the fathers' experiences and k n o w l e d g e to their children. (c) Utilizing all the capabilities and experiences available to the school, the fathers'/mothers' councils and the local c o m m u n i t y , with a view to assisting pupils with w e a k records and eliminating or alleviating the causes of their weakness. (d) Providing m u c h of the equipment required by handicapped children to enable them to utilize their capabilities to the utmost. (e) Implementing several special care p r o g r a m m e s geared to benefit the learning of handicapped and retarded children (e.g., special trips, c a m p s , entertainment p r o g r a m m e s , etc.), which will surely alleviate the severity of their handicaps and help them integrate into society. In this respect, emphasis is placed o n the role of the councils in following u p and raising the pupils' standards through encouraging them, allocating special prizes for excellence, helping the school in contacting parents with the aim of raising their awareness of the urgent need to follow their children's progress and exchange views o n the problems of dropping out of school, failure and recurrent absenteeism. (f) Organizing seminars, lectures and debates o n the following: • c o m m u n i t y issues, with particular emphasis o n understanding such issues and the best w a y s and m e a n s of dealing with them; e religious and moral values and their effects o n the welfare of the individual and the progress of society; » raising the awareness of fathers and mothers to m o d e m educational methods, with a view to unifying the educational policies of the h o m e and the school; (g) Organizing programmes on sharing social responsibilities and the implementation of religious and social values, such as: • visiting patients in hospitals and giving them nominal presents; donating blood, etc. T h e fathers' and mothers' councils have implemented m a n y meaningful and sustainable projects in schools, with the aim of serving both m a l e and female pupils. These projects w e r e implemented in response to individual ideas b y council m e m b e r s and through their o w n

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Development since Jomtien

voluntary efforts, based on a thorough examination of the school's requirements. T h e following are examples of such projects: installing shelters (umbrellas), in certain parts of the school to protect pupils against the sun's heat; « levelling, repairing and maintaining roads leading to schools; planting trees in school-yards and along roads leading to schools, with a view to maintaining health, purifying the atmosphere and beautifying the school's surroundings; organising campaigns aimed at raising awareness of the importance of cleanliness, pest control, disseminating health messages both inside and outside the school, booklets o n environmental issues, advertisements, pictures, etc. 6.

Difficulties facing prospects for

expansion

S o m e councils, especially in remote areas, have encountered certain difficulties, such as absenteeism by s o m e mothers from the periodic meetings of the mothers' councils. This m a y be attributed to lack of sufficient awareness of the importance of these councils and of the activities they transact. T h e school administrations and the educational directorates, however, are exerting great efforts to raise the awareness of mothers as to the necessity of their positive participation in the periodic meetings of these councils and in following u p the progress of their children. T h e fathers' and mothers' councils constitute an application of the shura (consultation) principle and the exchange of views between the school personnel and the parents. They are a m o n g the important bodies that enable schools to be successful in performing their functions in the best possible manner. These councils are considered to be part of the administration that co-ordinates and organizes services both inside and outside the school. Therefore, the project will be strengthened further within the country, and it has good potential to be adopted in other countries of the region.

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Theme TV - Strengthening links between the community and basic education

H y g i e n e a n d E n v i r o n m e n t a l Health Competition Objective Preparing the student for practical life in the community is a m o n g the main objectives of education in O m a n . This objective is linked to reinforcing the students' environmental awareness, maintaining the country's sanitary and environmental hygiene and protecting the environmental system against man-inflicted damage. Since pupils constitute a broad sector of the society, and since the school has a leading role in disseminating awareness, whether through its pupils, w h o are drawn from the community itself, or through programmes dedicated to fathers, mothers and other members of the community, the Ministry of Education has devoted great attention to this project. It has given responsibility for it to the schools themselves, with a view to developing in the pupils positive attitudes towards hygiene, health and environmental safety. Thus, the dangers of pollution and disease m a y be curbed. T o achieve the aforementioned objectives and to curb the dangers of pollution and disease, the Ministry of Education launched the "Hygiene and Environmental Health Competition". The competition, proclaimed by ministerial order, seeks to encourage pupils to protect the environment and adopt sound hygienic and health practices. This involves the cleanliness of the pupil's o w n body, clothing and appearance, as well as the cleanliness of the school itself and the materials, tools and instruments the pupils use. T o give the competition an imposing quality, His Majesty Sultan Qaboos, wished that a reward, named after him, be given to the winners. With this boost, interest in the competition mushroomed, and its rules and regulations were amended by virtue of a ministerial order. The overall concept of the project is contained in a guide that specifies the competition's time-schedule, explains its objectives, components, implementation procedures, evaluation and the announcement of winners. A central committee was created to supervize, follow up and evaluate the competition's activities at the level of the Sultanate of O m a n . A local subcommittee w a s formed in each of the country's educational directorates

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Development since Jomtien

or departments to follow up and evaluate the competition at the local level. Objectives of the project 1.

Pupils acquire knowledge, information and facts, related to problems arising from unclean premises and individuals, and from bad behavioural health patterns and practices in the school environment.

2.

Pupils acquire good healthy habits and cleanliness patterns of behaviour, and deepen their awareness of sound health and protection values and principles. Pupils appreciate the importance of maintaining the cleanliness of the environment, as well as their personal cleanliness, and follow sound health and protection practices. Pupils accept their role in protecting their school's facilities and possessions and maintaining the cleanliness of their body, clothes, books, tools and instruments, and act accordingly, with a view to establishing such practices as desired habits. Schools provide health security and protection to both learners and the surrounding community, through the launching of programmes promoting the cleanliness of school facilities and possessions, water sources, public health facilities and the environment. Schools perform very positive roles in fostering their links with the h o m e and the community. This is done through organizing seminars, lectures and awareness-raising campaigns, as well as student camps and competitions relevant to hygiene and environmental health, with a view to passing health information, knowledge and concepts to the community at large.

3.

4.

5.

6.

Technical description a n d implementation steps of the project

146

1.

Components

of the competition

The The The The

competition includes the following components: pupils' personal cleanliness. cleanliness of the school and its facilities. appearance of the teaching staff and other workers.

Theme IV - Strengthening links between the community and basic education

• •

Safeguarding the school's possessions. Guidance and awareness-raising relevant to cleanliness and health. T h e school's o w n outstanding activities in such fields as maintenance, tree-planting, erecting shelters to protect people against the heat of the sun, irrigation, etc. 2.

°



Conditions and time-schedule for the competition

Competition activities c o m m e n c e with the beginning of every school year. T h e competition is organized separately for every school stage (elementary, preparatory, secondary), for boys' or girls' schools, and for schools in urban or remote areas. If the same school building houses classes belonging to more than one educational stage (elementary, preparatory, etc.), the stage that bears the school's n a m e is chosen. All the pupils participate periodically in all the cleanliness activities related to classrooms, public facilities, etc. In schools that have two shifts, one of the shifts, depending on its contribution and efforts, is nominated to win at the local level. C o educational schools will be classified as boys' or girls' schools in the light of the gender of the majority of the student body. T h e education directorates or departments will m a k e the competition available to all schools at the beginning of the school year, to give them ample time to prepare for the activities. A committee of teachers is formed to do the following: (a) evaluate the cleanliness of every classroom and every school facility and give a grade for the activity of each competing class; (b) choose and honour outstanding pupils in every class, and enter their names periodically in the honours list. 3.

Programme

of action at the school level

Every school will devise a plan of action and a programme of implementation of the competition's activities over the entire school year. Supervisors will take part in devising the programme, which will be implemented by all those involved. T h e roles are determined as follows:

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The pupils' role T h e pupils should pay attention to the following: (a) Maintaining their personal cleanliness: attire, body, books, school instruments and tools, etc. (b) Participating in cleaning the school and its facilities and safeguarding its possessions. (c) Taking part in a whole-day c a m p , to be held o n the school campus and attended by teachers, m e m b e r s of the fathers '/mothers' councils and representatives of the local community, with the objective of fostering ties between the school and the h o m e and enhancing the role of the school's activity groups. (c) Cleaning the school's co-operative association room, (e) Joining m e m b e r s of the school-cleaning groups in the supervision and follow-up committees. Role of the school administration T h e school's administrative and teaching staff should attend to the following: (a) C o m m i t m e n t to showing a good example in both behaviour and appearance. (b) Preparing and sustaining radio programmes for the school broadcasting system and organizing meetings and lectures to promote personal cleanliness. (c) Urging the pupils to use the school's facilities properly. (d) Advocating positive co-operation between the administrations of shifts in two-shift schools, in order to protect the school building and its facilities. (e) Emphasizing the importance of protecting natural resources and spreading awareness through the curricula whenever the opportunity arises. The role of supervisors Supervisors visiting schools should follow u p and oversee the implementation of the school plan and evaluate the performance of the

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Theme IV - Strengthening links between the community and basic education

school administration and the extent to which pupils have fulfilled their commitment to their duties and responsibilities. 4. (a)

Follow-up

and evaluation

Follow-up

Continuous follow-up is essential to verify sound implementation in the best possible manner and to iron out difficulties that hinder the implementation process. Follow-up is carried out throughout the year by the supervisors and local committees. (b) Principles and tools of evaluation Evaluation of the competition is carried out in two stages. T h e first, at the level of the education directorate or department, is to be carried out by the local committee with a view to choosing those schools that win first, second, third and fourth places at the regional level. The second stage is carried out by the central committee to determine the educational regions that win thefirstthree places at the level of the entire Sultanate, and to classify schools in each stage: boys; girls; urban; remote; etc. T h e evaluation process is m a d e using the following instruments: 1. the evaluation blank form at the local level for urban schools; 2. the evaluation blank form at the local level for schools in remote areas; 3. the evaluation blank form at the central level for urban schools; 4. the evaluation blank form at the central level for schools in remote areas. T h e educational region winningfirstplace, is awarded the C u p of His Majesty the Sultan, together with a cash prize. T h e educational region winning second place is awarded the Ministry of Education's C u p , with a cash prize, and the region winning third place is given the Ministry's Shield, together with a cash prize. Schools winning thefirstfour places at the Sultanate level are awarded cups, shields, medals and certificates, together with proportionate cash prizes.

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Development since Jomtien

5.

Costs and sponsors

The projectreliesonfinancingby the Ministry of Education, which allocates around 100,000 O m a n iriyals(US $260,00), a year in its annual budget. This sum is used for purchasing sanitary fittings, as well as the cups, shields and medals, and for paying the cash prizes. In addition, there are the personal inputs m a d e by the citizens through the fathers'/mothers' councils, in the form offinancialassistance to certain projects and activities undertaken by the school within the framework of the competition, or any of its components. 6.

Advantages

The competition has brought m a n y advantages, including the following: 1. Participation in the competition enabled pupils to acquire knowledge, information and concepts related to the importance of cleanliness, protection and hygiene, and the dangers that m a y arise from negligence of these matters. 2. Pupils started to pay attention to their o w n appearance and cleanliness and acquired behavioural patterns, habits and practicesrelatedto their hygiene and health. 3. The competition provided schools with a vehicletoperform their task of providing health care to their pupils. 4. Activities within the competition enabled pupils to acquire m a n y technical, social, agricultural and practical skills. 5. A spirit of honest competition was created a m o n g the pupils through the minor competitions conducted at the school level as part of the activities of the main competition. 6. Schools acquired a dignified appearance as aresultof the pupils' interest and participation in cleaning their classrooms, as well as the school yards, gardens and other facilities. Schools also benefited from the m a n y projects the pupils implemented as part of the competition, such as planting trees, beautifying the school's entrance, or painting the school's walls, doors and windows. 7. T h e competitive spirit created by the competition was extended to cover also the h o m e and the community at large. This prompted parents to providefinancialsupport to the schools and to contribute 150

Theme N - Strengthening links between the community and basic education

8.

to beneficial projects, such as erecting shelters to protect pupils against the sun, paving interior roads or establishing canteens, etc. H o m e s and the local community acquired information, knowledge and concepts related to the importance of hygiene, as well as awareness of the dangers of disease. This was accomplished through the visits which pupils m a d e to families with the object of raising the awareness of fathers and mothers and providing them with guidance on fighting environmental pollution, garbage disposal, combatting flies and cleaning water reservoirs, in addition to m a n y behavioural patterns and cleanliness-related habits that disseminate health awareness and the importance of vaccinating children against diseases at the specified times. 7.

Difficulties facing

implementation

Initially, the project faced some problems related to itsfinancialand administrative aspects. The Ministry of Education succeeded in ironing out these difficulties. T h e project was also shrouded, at the beginning, in an atmosphere of caution and fear that the competition's activities would not be enthusiastically accepted by those involved in education. There was also fear that the competition would have negative effects on the educational process. But these fears vanished soon after the competition was launched. The actual implementation revealed enthusiasm and acceptance that led to accomplishments that had not been envisaged. It was also demonstrated that the competition's activities, which actually served the educational process, had positive effects on the teaching-learning process, and created a n e w spirit that led pupils to embark on their studies with increased enthusiasm and vigour. 8.

Expansion in the Sultanate of Oman, implementation in other countries

and prospects for

Evaluation of the competition is carried out year-round by the central committee and its sub-committees. T h e process involves progressive evaluation as the competition is being implemented and a final evaluation at the end of every school year. This is accomplished by the distribution of questionnaires to measure public opinion, and by conducting interviews

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Development since Jomtien

and discussions with pupils, parents, teachers, principals and supervisors, to find out their views and attitudesregardingthe various components of the competition and the ways and means of developing them. These views and attitudes are then analysed and translated into a detailed report to be submitted to the Education Council at the Ministry for discussion and adoption. In the light of this report, the components of the competition are developed and its plan and activities are expanded. T o further these efforts, the Department of Educational Research is currently conducting a comprehensive study to evaluate the competition through intensifying the positive aspects and remedying the weak points. The project m a y be implemented in other countries, which can benefit from O m a n ' s achievements in this important environmental programme.

3. Multi-media strategies for post-literacy p r o g r a m m e s - Syria 1. Introduction The Syrian Arab Republic attaches special importance to programmes at the post-literacy stage due to its high potential to influence the production skills of youth and adults. The programmes are designed to have a special focus on the vocational knowledge and skill requirements of adult w o m e n , particularly in rural areas. Professional educators in the country have acquired considerable experience through the execution of several projects to eradicate illiteracy a m o n g rural w o m e n and equip them with vocational qualifications. T h e Ministry of Culture, the General W o m e n ' s Union, concerned national and international institutions, have been working in a co-ordinated manner in implementing these programmes. The present project of post-literacy strategies is one such cooperative effort of several such organizations, with the General W o m e n ' s Union as the main implementor. 2.

Objectives

The projects on post-literacy strategies have the following objectives: (a) Maintenance of the skills acquired during literacy training and consolidation and utilization of these skills in daily life. This is

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Theme ¡V - Strengthening links between the community and basic education

accomplished through the practical application of these skills in order to develop various personal, social and vocational capacities. (b) Continuing education after a m i n i m u m level of basic education is attained through formal or non-formal measures. (c) Linking the education process to multi-dimensional development needs of the individual and the society. It is considered important that irrespective of age, literacy efforts enabling adults to acquire basic reading, writing and arithmetic skills, should be continued. These literacy efforts should be linked to the development of skills at higher levels in order to have an enlightened citizen with renewable knowledge and experience congruent with a changing society. 3.

Target categories of the post-literacy stage

(a) Those w h o are only recently literate and are unable to continue formal schooling, or those w h o have left formal education, as well as those w h o could not continue their post-basic education. (b) Recent literates w h o have been deprived of education due to social, economic or geographical background or political factors. This group includes w o m e n and girls, inhabitants of rural and slum areas, marginalized city dwellers and Arab citizens living under Israeli occupation. (c) Graduates of elementary schools w h o are unemployed because of professional and vocational inefficiency. (d) Individuals in need of suitable basic education through non-formal educatioa 4.

Component

strategies

T h e project is designed to reach a variety of target groups in a comprehensive w a y . Obviously, this has resulted in the incorporation of a wide range of component activities to meet the needs of different categories of learners.

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Development since Jomtien

Strategies to educate and qualify rural w o m e n pivot on the following: (a) Developing awareness regarding the importance of continuing education This component utilizes several means, s o m e of which, implemented in co-operation with the Ministry of Culture, are as follows: • Branches of the General W o m e n ' s Union, in collaboration with w o m e n ' s leagues and units, continuously hold fathers' and mothers' councils in all schools. In these meetings, m e n are alerted to the importance of educating girls and w o m e n , and literate females are m a d e aware of the necessity to continue learning. Parents are invited to these meetings via written invitations from school teaching staff. They are also invited to school for other relevant continuing education activities. • Meetings with w o m e n in villages are convened in the presence of school headmistresses and the leadership of female units, to illustrate the importance of educational continuity. • Meetings with villagers are organized for the purpose of participation, giving opinions and recognizing community needs. • Encouragement of literate citizens to continue their learning, through religious sermons delivered at places of worship. Access to mobile cultural units belonging to the Ministry of Culture, which take turns in announcing times for fathers' and mothers' council meetings. Use of daily programmes by the General W o m e n ' s Union on Syrian radio (family programme) and the Union's weekly television programme to extend invitations for participation in the teaching and training courses. T h e Union's Journal, "The Arab W o m a n " , also serves this purpose. Co-operation with other popular organizations to achieve literacy awareness. Preparation of two types of programmes: one that seeks to support work-related literacy training, and the other which encourages recently literate people to take advantage of the educational and training opportunities available to them.

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Theme IV - Strengthening links between the community and basic education

(b) Organization of training courses for teachers Training courses for teachers in post-literacy education have the following objectives: to provide male and female trainees with the expertise and skills necessary for optimal execution of the task with which they are entrusted; to train teachers in adult education methods according to the framework of the comprehensive curriculum; to provide theoretical lectures about techniques of adult education, in addition to practical, model lessons and workshops to manufacture teaching aids; to include population education in the teachers' training courses. Vocational training projects provide working cadres with the skills required for vocations within the local environment. Diversification of follow-up programmes requires the design of qualifying courses in accordance with those programmes in terms of aims, content and techniques. (c) Organization of teaching courses A decision taken by the Higher Council for Eradication of Illiteracy, stipulates that two working hours should be allocated for illiterate workers to attend literacy classes. This m a y be one of the most important decisions that has helped reduce illiteracy and promote continuing education in the labour sector. Another significant decision in this field is the authorization of governors to divide the study session into two parts, according to agricultural seasons, in order to give the learners the chance to continue their studies. T h e stimulation of learning at the post-literacy stage is of high importance. Moreover, the choice of content, multiplicity of tools, various techniques and incentives,flexibilityof evaluation methods, adoption of a systematic approach, and availability of convenient meeting-places, are also significant factors, even if literacy and h u m a n relations are the basic motivations for the continuation of one's education.

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Development since Jomtien

(d) Field practicáis Field practicáis encourage enhancement of skills. For example, it has become possible for literate females to carry outfieldpracticáis in various spheres, such as plantation and cultivation of vineyards, production and maintenance of dairy products, conservation and drying of fruit,firstaid, child care and h o m e economics. (e) Popular culture symposiums Popular culture activities include a n u m b e r o f s y m p o s i u m s to foster public awareness o f various health, social a n d e c o n o m i c s issues. A positive response to the s y m p o s i u m s has b e e n clearly demonstrated a n d e m b o d i e d in the dialogue o f each s y m p o s i u m . Specialists participate in these s y m p o s i u m s - a positive factor that d r a w s target groups o f citizens to t h e m . Relevant films are also a useful element in this respect. (f)

Vocational follow-up

and continuing education

courses

Recently, literate people, a n d others w h o w i s h to acquire literacy training a n d qualifications in certain fields, h a v e c o m e to benefit from w h a t is offered b y the ministries a n d other popular organizations concerned with education a n d vocational training. N e w literates, accordingly, benefit from institutions a n d centres belonging to these ministries a n d organizations. In agriculture, the literate c a n utilize the subsidiary courses offered b y the Farmers General U n i o n , w h i c h trains m a l e a n d female farmers in organization a n d m a n a g e m e n t , a n d also teaches m o d e r n m e t h o d s o f crop cultivation a n d disease a n d pest control. T h e y also benefit from the training courses o f preparatory farming institutes. T h r o u g h co-ordination with the Ministry o f Agriculture, a n d local c o ordination with agriculture directorates, short training courses are held to train w o m e n in gardening, supplying t h e m with crops that m e e t their daily needs, a n d teaching t h e m scientific m e t h o d s . Short training courses are also offered to train w o m e n in poultry farming. S u c h courses m a y c o m b i n e theoretical lessons with practical training, in order to ensure relevant learning a n d skills.

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Theme N - Strengthening links between the community and basic education

In thefieldof industry, the literate benefit from the courses organized by the preparatory trade union institutes affiliated with the Federation of Workers' Trade Unions. These courses seek to upgrade workers' industrial skills and abilities. Through co-ordination with the Ministry of Industry and with industry directors, short training courses are held to increase the efficiency of female workers in relevant institutions. In other training and qualification spheres, literate females, in particular, benefit from the educational, vocational, health, and agricultural, theoretical as well as practical, programmes offered by the 200 countryside-revival centres throughout the country. Literate females also benefit from the courses organized by the popular culture institutes of the Ministry of Culture, which are located in the govemorate and district centres. Popular culture institutes include: general culture, w o m e n ' s culture, vocational culture, artistic culture, commercial culture and living languages. Literate groups draw on s o m e of these branches. Training and qualification courses organized by the General W o m e n ' s Union Organization, play a prominent role in continuing the educational and vocational training of literate females. Since its establishment, the Union has emphasized the vocational training and education of w o m e n . Its main objective is to integrate w o m e n into the development process and to help their social and economic status. Vocational-qualification courses have varied in accordance with the requirements of daily life. S o m e courses emphasize health through teaching first aid and civildefence skills. Courses arranged by other popular organization are also being utilized. (g) Personal free reading (i)

Booklets on functional education

T h e following are steps taken by the Ministry of Culture before developing books for the post-illiterate: • becoming familiar with the local communities, and defining the resources, motives and aspirations of each;

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getting acquainted with the needs, interests and problems of educated people and their society; choosing teaching methods and organizing them within fullyintegrated teaching units. In the light of w o m e n ' s interest topics relevant to their daily lives, simplified and illustrated booklets are being prepared on these topics to be printed and distributed in the country. Teachers explain the contents of these booklets in literacy courses at the basic stage and reiterate them during the follow-up training courses (Appendix I). (ii) Stocking libraries with simplified books to meet literacy needs T h e library consists of a mini-cultural centre which lends books. T h e Ministry of Culture places library stations in villages and remote areas to provide services required by their inhabitants w h o cannot m a k e use of cultural centres far from their places of residence. T h e libraries include simple books that suit the educational level of the recently literate. T h e availability of books at these library stations, suitable for individuals w h o have recently b e c o m e literate, encourages them to visit. Other books with graded levels available at the libraries, will help to expand their reading skills and encourage their gradual integration into a readers' community. A successful method of using simplified books to develop literacy skills is to supply Arab cultural centres with elementary books and the organization of 'book seminars'. T h e topics of these books are discussed between the participants and trained cultural superintendents, w h o direct the seminars. (h) Three-dimensional and diverse aids These aids include the following categories: (i) Teaching portfolios and packages A teaching portfolio consists of integrated and various aids organized for a specific teaching topic and use of diverse means to efficiently achieve the goals.

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Theme IV - Strengthening links between the community and basic education

(ii) Mobile cultural units Mobile cultural units are linked to Arab cultural centres in Syria. These units are supplied with books, films and audio-cassettes to be exhibited and lent to rural citizens. Syria has 4 0 units, belonging to 9 9 cultural centres. (iii)

T h e popular theatre

T h e Ministry of Culture initiated a travelling theatre in 1970, to present theatrical shows to villagers and factory workers. T h e m e s of these performances are relevant to rural life and help to develop the people's culture, while providing recreation and entertainment. It m a y be said that the travelling theatre has helped to develop positive attitudes a m o n g rural people concerning the importance of learning, while encouraging the spread of adult literacy. W h a t distinguishes this theatre from others, is the method it employs in creating simple and purposeful dialogue a m o n g the audience and a m o n g those in charge of the theatre. It has proved to be successful in fostering awareness in the targeted public. T h e benefits of intellectual and effective inter-communication between the audience and theatre officials are two-fold: communication creating positive attitudes a m o n g the audience, on the one hand, and the acquaintance of officials with the audience's circumstances and concerns, on the other. These will eventually be reflected in future productions. 5.

Implementation of diversified strategies, sources of finance and the role of concerned ministries and organizations

Internal financial resources for the post-literacy stage are either provided by the Ministry of Culture or popular organizations such as the General W o m e n ' s Union Organization. Financial assistance from the Ministry of Culture covers various channels of expenditure. T h e role of other ministries lies in providing the expertise necessary forrequiredfields.

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T h e Ministry of Agriculture, for example, contributes agricultural engineers and veterinary doctors to carry out activities related to these two fields, while the Ministry of Education, in co-ordination with the Teachers' Association, offers educational supervisors, teachers and schools to be used as head offices of activities. Popular organizations, in turn, contribute awareness campaigns and nominate staff to supervise newlyopened classes. Outside aid comes through Arab and international organizations providing technical expertise and certain other requirements.

160

Appendices

Appendix I

Information note

It is nearly five years ago that more than 150 countries of the world met at the World Conference on Education for All (Jomtien, Thailand, March 1990). Since then, countries have been implementing various programmes to reach the goal of 'Education for All' by the year 2000. However, during this period, several countries have also been affected by serious economic problems. This has consequently created a number of difficulties for educational planners and policy-makers in their efforts to further develop basic education. It should, therefore, be appropriate to undertake a review of the programmes implemented and targets achieved in basic education during the past four years since the Jomtien Conference. It is envisaged that such an exercise would pave the w a y in reshaping the strategies and working towards the goal of 'Education for A W in a realistic manner. It is in this perspective that U N I C E F , in co-operation with IIEP, is organizing a policy seminar on 'Education for All: Four years after Jomtien'. This seminar, to be hosted by the C r o w n Prince Hassan of Jordan, in A m m a n , from 21-23 September 1994, will bring together decision-makers from certain selected countries of the Middle East and North Africa. Objectives T h e general objective of the seminar is to strengthen the implementation of the World Declaration on Education for All and the subsequent Framework for Action adopted in Jomtien. T h e specific objectives of the seminar are to: • diagnose the difficulties faced by different countries in implementing basic education programmes both in the school system and in the outof-school sector,

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identify the positive features of existing systems/programmes in an effort to explore the scope for their eventual adaptation in other situations. Programme The seminar will be organized around a sequence of three principal activities: 1. A reflection on the relevance of the Declaration of Jomtien, taking into account the difficulties in the expansion and improvement of basic education in the region. 2. A n exchange of national experiences among the countries represented in the seminar, and the identification of examples for possible adaptation in other countries. 3. A n analysis of a selected number of initiatives which seem promising, enriched by the presentation of one or two innovations which have obtained good results in countries of other regions. Participants The seminar will bring together three senior national decision-makers from each participating country, w h o have a good knowledge of the steps taken to implement the Framework for Action of Jomtien. They could, for example, be general secretaries of national ministries of education, directors of primary or basic education, directors of out-of-school programmes (such as literacy programmes, non-formal education programmes, etc.), directors of planning and project implementation units, or chairpersons of E F A committees. During the seminar, the abovementioned decision-makers will work together with specialists from U N I C E F and a few other international agencies. Working

method

The proceedings of the seminar will essentially consist of an exchange of experiences among the different countries. Each country will present an overview of the most significant achievements made in thefieldof basic education since the Jomtien Conference.

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Appendix I: Information note

T h e presentations will be followed by a general debate aiming at the identification of innovative strategies in specific areas, such as girls' and w o m e n ' s basic education, the reduction of school drop-out rates and repetition, the development of n e w curricula and textbooks, the introduction of n e w pedagogic approaches, the participation of local communities, teacher training andretraining,etc. O n e or two innovations which have been successfully implemented in different countries of other regions, will also be presented, in order to enrich the debate. Documentation T h e main working document will be a comparative analysis of national experiences in the development of basic education in the participating countries. This document will focus on the following issues: 1. T h e status of school and out-of-school education programmes during the past five years and their evolution since 1990. 2 . T h e actions initiated, following the Jomtien Declaration, for the expansion and improvement of basic education: • from the point of view of policy priorities; in terms of emphasis placed on different targets and programmes, the problems faced in implementing them, and their results. 3. T h e innovative projects/programmes tried out in different areas of basic education. In addition, the members of each country team will present a brief description of one or two successful innovations adopted in their country, as part of the efforts to reach E F A goals. Preparatory

work

T h e main working document for the seminar will be prepared by 1 Ш Р , in active collaboration with national experts. T h e precise terms ofreferencewill be communicated to the national teams at a later stage, and a consultant from IffiP will visit each of the participating countries o n mutually-convenient dates.

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Contact addresses for further information International Institute for Educational Planning (IDEP) 7-9, rue Eugène-Delacroix 75116 P A R I S France Tel: (33-1)45.03.77.00 Fax: (33-1) 40.72.83.66

U N I C E F A m m a n Regional Office P . O . Box 811721

AMMAN Jordan Tel: (9626) 629571 Fax: (9626) 640049

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Appendix II

List of participants

Egypt 1.

Dr Hassan Abd El Shafy First Under Secretary Ministry of Education Falaki Street Cairo

2.

Dr M a y M . Shehab Deputy Director National Centre for Educational Research and Development P . O . Box 836 Cairo

3.

D r Sami M . Nassar Lecturer Institute of Educational Research and Studies 33 Mesaha Str Dokki Cairo

Jordan 4.

H E M r Abdul Rauf Rawabdeh Minister Ministry of Education P . O . Box 1646

Amman

Development since Jomtien

5.

D r Izzat Jaradat Secretary General Assistant for Administration and Services P . O . B o x 1646

Amman 6.

D r Thaugan Obeidat Director General for Training Centre and Secretary, General Assistant Ministry of Education P . O . Box 1646

Amman 7.

D r A h m a d Hiyasat Director General for Curricula and Educational Technologies Ministry of Education P . O . Box 1930

Amman 8.

D r M o h a m m a d Al-Wahsh Director General for Education Ministry of Education P . O . Box 1646

Amman 9.

M r Ibrahim Al-Akesh Director General for Planning Development and Research Ministry of Education P . O . Box 1646

Amman

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Appendix II

10. M s Badia Murad Director of Cultural Relations Ministry of Education P . O . Box 1646

Amman 11. M r Issa Nassar Director of Planning Ministry of Education P . O . Box 1646

Amman 12. M r Munther Masri Secretary General Ministry of Education P . O . Box 1646

Amman 13. M r Anwar Khasawneh General Directorate of Planning, Directorate of Research and Development Ministry of Education P . O . Box 1646

Amman 14. Dr Nour Dajani Programme Specialist in Literacy P . O . Box 2270

Amman 11181 15. Dr Victor Billeh President

NCERD P.O. Box 560 Al Jubeiha 11941

Development since Jomtien

16. Dr Mousa Al-Nabhan Researcher NCERD P.O. Box 560 Al Jubeiha 11941 17. Dr Kapur Ahlawat Researcher NCERD P.O. Box 560 Al Jubeiha 11941 18. D r Tayseer Al-Nhar Researcher NCERD P.O. Box 560 Al Jubeiha 11941 19. D r I. Maslamani Chief/Field Education and Administration P . O . Box 484

Amman 20. Dr M . Touq Chief of Education P . O . Box 484

Amman 21. M r s In'am Al Mufti Adviser to Her Majesty Queen Noor Noor Al Hussein Foundation 22. M s Sophia Hijazi Education Programme Manager P . O . Box 9363

Amman 11191

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Appendix II: List of participants

The

Sudan

23. H E Professor Ibrahim A h m e d O m e r Minister Karthoum Ministry of Education and Scientific Research 24. M r Abdel Basit Abdel Majed Secretary-General of Education Ministry of Education Karthoum 25. M r A b u El Hassan M . Makein Director General of Education Ministry of Education P . O . Box 284 Gezera State Wadi Medeni 26. M r Ibrahim El Dasis Director of Planning Ministry of Education Karthoum Sultanate of Oman 27. M s Rahila bint A m e r Al Riyami Director of Education Planning Department Ministry of Education P . O . Box 3, Code 113 Muscat 28. M r M o h a m m e d bin Sullaym Al-Yacoubi Director of General Education Ministry of Education P . O . Box 3 Code 113 Muscat

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Development since Jomtien

Palestine 29. H E Yasser A m r o Minister Ministry of Education Ramallah 30. D r Khalil Mahshi Director General, Cultural Affairs and Public Relations Ministry of Education P . O . B o x 66 Ramallah West Bank 31. D r Said Assaf Director General, Training, Qualification and Supervision Ministry of Education P . O . B o x 1866 Ramallah West Bank 32. D r Abdallah Abdel M u n ' e m Assistant to the Deputy Minister Ministry of Education and Higher Education Gaza Morocco 33. M s Sabah Knani Education Project Officer UNICEF 28 rue oum Rabia Agdal Rabat

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Appendix II: List of participants

34. M r Mossadeq Abdelilah Directeur de l'enseignement secondaire Ministry of Education Bab Rouan Rabat 35. M r Mahtat Boujemaa Chef du service des Etudes et de la Documentation Direction de la Planification Ministry of Education 1 rue El Mourabitine Hassan Rabat International Agencies 36. M r Dennis Brown Co-ordinator

U N R W A UHB P.O. Box 484 Amman 37. M r Paul Clemenston Manager, Development Services British Council P . O . B o x 634

Amman 11118 38. D r Abdel Kader El-Atrash Director

UNEDBAS P.O. Box 2270 Amman 11181

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39. M r Mark Eldon-Edington Save the Children Federation Middle-East Area Director P . O . B o x 9363

Amman 11191 40. Dr Malika Moussaoui Senior Education and Training Specialist/ Africa and Middle-East Branch CIDA 2000 Promenade du Portage Hull, Quebec Canada K 1 A 0 G 4 41. D r David Pennycuick Senior Education Adviser

ODA United Kingdom 42. D r Nabil Salame Programme Specialist in Basic Education

UNEDBAS P.O. Box 2270 Amman 11181 43. Dr Meinem Salman Portfolio Manager Population and H u m a n Resources Division Country Department II Middle East and North-Africa Region The World Bank 1818 H Street N . W . Washington D C 20433

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Appendix II: List of participants

UNICEF 44. Dr Frank Dali Regional Education Adviser UNICEF P.O. Box 811721

Amman 45. M s M a n a Homsi Assistant Project Officer

UNICEF P.O. Box 811721 Amman 46. M s Najwa Kefaya Assistant Project Officer/Education P . O . Box 811721

Amman 47. M r Carl Tinstman Representative UNICEF Yemen International Institute for Education Planning (HEP)

UNESCO

48. M r Gabriel Carrón Senior Programme Co-ordinator UNESCO/IIEP 7-9 rue Eugène Delacroix 75016 Paris 49. Dr R . Govinda Resident Fellow UNESCOAIEP 7-9 rue Eugène Delacroix 75016 Paris

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Development since Jomîien

50. M s Irène Lorfíng Consultant UNESCOAIEP 7-9 rue Eugène Delacroix 75016 Paris

176

Appendix HI

Seminar Programme

Wednesday,

19 October 1994

08.30 - 09.30

Registration

10.00 - 11.00

Opening session (in Mukhtar 2 Hall)

10.00 - 10.15 10.15 - 10.30

M s S.Vittachi, U N I C E F M G . Carrón, IIEP

10.30 - 11.00

H R H Crown Prince al Hassan's Speech

11.00-11.30

Tea break

Session I - Chair: The Sudan 11.30- 12.15 Objectives and organization of the Seminar, R.Govinda Teaching progress in reaching Jomtien's Goals for M E N A , F. Dali 12.15 - 13.15

Brief statements on E F A situation by leaders of National Delegations

13.15 - 13.30

Statement of Mid-Decade Review on behalf of E F A Forum, A . K . El Atrash

13.30 - 14.30

Lunch break

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Session II - Chair:

Oman

Afternoon session theme: Improving access and retention: focus on equity 14.30 - 15.10

Community schools and single-class schools, paper presentation and video-tape show (Egypt)

15.10 - 15.40

N o m a d s ' education in Darfur (mobile classes) (The sudan)

15.40 - 16.00

Tea break

16.00 - 16.45

School mapping: A technique used in preparation for the Five-Year National Development Plan (Oman)

19.00 - 23.00

U N I C E F Reception: Dinner at H a n Zaman/Transport provided

Thursday, 20 October 1994 Session HI - Chair: Syria Morning session theme:

Enhancing the relevance of basic education through curricula reform

09.00 - 09.40

Improvement of primary-school curriculum - Egypt

09.40 - 10.40

Enriching the curricula through vocational training Jordan

10.40 - 1 1 . 0 0

Tea break

11.00 - 12.00

Education for awareness and involvement - Palestine

12.00 - 13.30

Lunch break

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Appendix III: Seminar programme

Session TV - Chair:

Morocco

Afternoon session theme: Improving the quality of basic education 13.30 - 14.40

Remedial education programme for schoolchildren (with video-tape show) - Syria

14.40 - 15.30

Learning resource centres - Jordan

15.30 - 16.00

Tea break

16.00 -17.00

Transfer of educational authority to the Palestinians Palestine

Friday, 21 October 1994 Sightseeing trip Saturday, 22 October 1994 Session V - Chair: Palestine Morning session theme:

Strengthening links between the community and basic education

09.00 - 09.40

Strengthening the relationship between the community and the school for a better education process - O m a n

09.40 - 10.20

Strategies for universalizing Morocco - Morocco

10.20 - 10.45

basic education

in

Tea break

10.45 - 11.25

Community-based children's education through literacy classes - The Sudan

11.25 - 12.05

Life-skills oriented post-literacy education - Syria

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Development since Jomtien

12.05 - 13.30

Lunch break

Session VI - Chair: Egypt 13.30-15.15

Implications of the seminar discussion for action at national and international levels (Khalil Mahshi Rapporteur)

15.15-15.30

Tea break

Session VII - Chair: Jordan 15.30 - 16.30

Panel discussion Comments and observations by Door and Technical Assistance Agencies (CIDA, the World Bank, O D A , S C F / U K , Norway)

16.30 - 17.00

Closing session (G. Carrón and R Dall)

180

Appendix IV

Opening address by His Royal Highness Crown Prince al Hassan

Your Excellencies Honoured Guests Ladies and Gentlemen M a y the Almighty's Blessings be upon you, It is indeed a pleasure to welcome you all to this Seminar "Education for All: Four Years After Jomtien". It gives m e pleasure to welcome you to A m m a n , a worthy meeting place for regional and international events, thanks to the efforts of its citizens, w h o embody so well the true meaning of openness towards international cultures and of regional and international co-operation, the foundations of which have been laid by H M King Hussein. Allow m e , first of all, Ladies and Gentlemen, to thank their Excellencies the Ministers of Education from the participating countries, the esteemed country representatives, all of the participants, and the organizing bodies: U N I C E F and U N E S C O ' s International Institute for Educational Planning (HEP), as well as all of the organizations and bodies represented at this seminar. B y being here, these esteemed organizations offer living proof of their relentless pursuit of progress in the field of education and the lofty goal of education for all. Your Excellencies, I had the honour of participating in the 1990 Jomtien Conference o n Education for All, where I addressed the delegates on behalf of the Arab Group. Today, four years later, I address you once again, to underline the fact that regional and international co-operation and consultation in various fields has become a necessity in our m o d e m world in this day

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and age, w h e n challenges and dangers facing the international family, have never loomed so large, and at a time w h e n the interaction, relations and interdependency a m o n g the nations and regions of the world have never been closer. Y o u are meeting here today, an elite group of Ministers representing seven countries in the region: Egypt, Morocco, O m a n , Syria, the Sudan, Palestine and Jordan, in order to review the outcome of your countries' commitment to the Education for All strategy; it is an opportune time to look closely at and to learn from your respective experiences and achievements, as well as from the obstacles that still hinder your efforts to spread elementary education throughout the Arab World. Your deliberations will n o doubt form an appropriate stepping stone for overcoming difficulties and will allow you to capitalize o n successes achieved since the Jomtien Conference. They will also provide the opportunity to afford every child in the participating countries the chance to receive the high-quality education and skills he/she needs to deal with the social, economic and political challenges that the Arab World n o w faces, right at the threshold of the twenty-first century. Ladies and Gentlemen, The rapid spread of education since the nineteenth century has been accompanied by the evaluation of the nation-state concept, b y the need for more cohesion a m o n g citizens, by the building and strengthening of institutions, and ultimately, b y great strides in development. M a n y economists and sociologists have stressed the importance of the h u m a n factor in the job market, and have particularly emphasized, the need to raise the skills and performance level of workers in the production sector. Scientific studies carried out over the last few decades in thisfieldhave, beyond any doubt, confirmed the close interaction a m o n g education, development and science and technology, as well as the productive exchanges that occur a m o n g these fields whenever the goals, policies and procedure applied to them have been strong and sound.

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Appendix IV: Opening address

A quick look at the h u m a n resource indicators in our region reveals that in spite of our efforts to overcome educational problems, there is still a lot of room for improvement. For example, w e see that the average illiteracy rate a m o n g females is still high, at 5 0 per cent; and that only 64 per cent of schools in the countries of our region have achieved a net enrolment of over 8 0 per cent in thefirstprimary class. Other more positive indicators related to elementary education conceal a less optimistic reality, which is that some countries have witnessed an increase in drop-out rates and class repetition, in spite of the existence of legislation making elementary education compulsory. It is worth noting here that school curricula are inappropriate, and that traditional methods of teaching are ineffective; these problems, which are further exacerbated by current negative trends in education, are the main causes of truancy in our schools. Consequently, if w e want educational development to be the mainstay of progress in our countries and in our region, then priority must be given to actions and policies which ensure that children stay in school long enough to acquire not only sufficient reading and mathematical skills, but also the positive attitudes and skills they require to participate in the development of their respective societies. Ladies and Gentlemen, T h e twentieth century has witnessed rapid, profound, and far-reaching cultural changes, which are unparalleled in history, and which have had a tremendous impact o n various aspects of everyday life - so m u c h so that they have been described as explosions: the knowledge explosion, the population explosion, the explosion of popular ambitions to achieve democracy and improve the standard of living, and the explosion of education systems. It is worth noting here the positive impact these contemporary changes have had o n standards of living, health, education and mass communications, but it is also important to recognize the more negative effects evident in the wide disparity a m o n g the various nations with respect to resources and wealth, and in the disputes and conflicts that inevitably ensue as a result Since w e stand to benefit from the lessons and experiences of the twentieth century, reality necessitates that w e highlight, here and n o w , s o m e of the constituent elements of these changes - elements that have

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Development since Jomîien

been behind both the competition and co-operation a m o n g nations, behind their pursuit of prosperity for their peoples, and behind the preservation of world peace.



e

Chief a m o n g these elements are: Underlining the need for comprehensive development in social, economic, cultural and political fields, and keeping in mind that mankind must be the priority focus. Education should play a major role in enabling students to avail themselves of methods of m o d e m education and technology, both for the benefit of the individual and for the preservation of the Earth's resources and a clean and unpolluted environment. Education systems must focus on the h u m a n being as the cornerstone of comprehensive development strategies, and must enable individuals to play a pioneering role in forging the shape of the future. These systems should also enable the educated sector to deal with rapid social and cultural changes, and to point them in the right direction, instead of being themselves led and overwhelmed by the evolutionary process.

T h e education system cannot meet these challenges all alone, however. Education does not operate in a vacuum, and is not isolated from the other factors affecting society. It must have the help of other concerned bodies, N G O s and voluntary organizations, which can play a complementary role at the international, regional and national levels, in the areas of political economics, education and social affairs, and whenever and wherever the need arises. T h e pioneering role to be played by education in forging a cultural direction constitutes an enormously difficult endeavour. T h e education system must develop the ability of individuals to absorb education and to mould it to the benefit of mankind. It must also be concerned with h u m a n resource development and must enable each individual to contribute towards comprehensive development. Finally, it is responsible for the teaching of humanitarian values. A s these roles constitute great burdens for the education system, w e must question the possibility of achieving the desired goals in the foreseeable future.

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Appendix IV: Opening address

T h e severity of these challenges and problems and their cultural dimensions will undoubtedly act as a catalyst in galvanizing all efforts and resources in the various national, regional and international arenas. These should not constitute an insurmountable problem for the educational sciences, or for the achievements of scientific research in the various aspects of education. Ladies and Gentlemen, T h e basic challenges and problems that beset the Arab world today are closely interconnected. T h e various aspects of military security, of food and social security, and of technology and other related factors, seen in the light of the population explosion and the depletion of the earth's resources within the next few generations, require that w e consider the following: e first, w e must to the best of our ability, support efforts at complementarity a m o n g the Arab Nations; second, w e must match educational efforts to actual supply and demand; e third, w e must investigate the need to restructure the job market; e fourth, w e must m a k e available trained personnel, and also m a k e every effort to support scientific research and technological development; and e fifth, w e must start today - not tomorrow, to prepare for these challenges, because time does not stand still, and there is not m u c h of it. W e n o w face another kind of challenge here in Jordan and Palestine, one related to the changes that dividends of peace will bring. The newly opened borders, expanded free markets and intensified competition; place n e w demands upon us that must be speedily and effectively met if w e wish to remain an economic, cultural and political unit. I do not want to appear fearful or pessimistic. O n the contrary; I a m confident that if w e pool our efforts and deal with the coming challenges within a regional context, w e will be able to seize the opportunities presented here and use them to build a bright future for this region.

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Ladies and Gentlemen, T h e importance placed on education in the Arab World derives from our ancient and deep-rooted cultural heritage. It is well k n o w n that the Arab World is the cradle of h u m a n civilization and of the three monotheistic religions. It is in this region that the alphabet and writing were developed, and where schoolsfirstappeared. Education reached its peak during the Islamic period, w h e n learning w a s m a d e one of m a n ' s and society's religious obligations. T h e advancement of education contributed to the development and prosperity of Islamic civilization and facilitated great leaps in scientific advancement It also created an awareness and tolerance of past civilizations, while working to preserve its o w n heritage. M a n y n e w areas of learning evolved and were explored. O n e of the most important of these was modern science based on experimentation, the methods and concepts of which were transferred to Europe where they contributed to the onset of the Renaissance, and later formed the basis for future areas and trends of learning for m a n y generations to c o m e . It is only in this m o d e m era, however, that attention to the development of m o d e m methods of education has reached its peak in the Arab World. T h e intensified efforts during this period are manifested in the qualitative and quantitative increase in educational institutions, in the number of teachers and educated individuals, and in the ever-increasing budgetary allocations directed towards education. This development process has not been without problems and crises; these have been most clearly evident in the inadequacy of education policies and the repetitive changes they have undergone, in the bias towards younger as opposed to older students, towards males as opposed to females, and towards urban areas as opposed to rural areas, and in focusing on theory as opposed to practice. There is also a tendency in education to respond to social demands, and in doing so to neglect those most deserving of special attention, of those w h o would benefit most from the appropriate educational opportunities, whether young or old. Finally, there is a chronic lack of proper instructional materials. N o matter h o w steep the costs m a y appear in relation to G N P in the Arab World, w e must commit all the resources necessary to overcome the inadequacies of our education systems.

186

Appendix IV: Opening address

Ladies and Gentlemen, In spite of advances m a d e in respect to providing access to elementary education in the Arab World, there are still inequities and imbalances in our education systems. W e must adopt measures aimed at integrating the less privileged groups and areas into the system, especially females and those in more remote rural areas. There is also a need to develop the quality of elementary education in step with m o d e m educational concepts, particularly in the field of teacher training and in the use of m o d e m educational technology. Appropriate steps must be taken at the national, regional and international levels to implement the recommendations of the International Conference on Education for All, and in a more general sense, to improve education and link it to individual and societal needs and demands, andfinallyto improve the planning and administrative aspects of the education systems. Ladies and Gentlemen, T h e efforts m a d e during the 1990s to provide education for all — which means enabling approximately one-fifth of the Earth's population to acquire basic educational skills, and providing them with the opportunity to use this windfall to improve their standards of living indeed a great goal worthy of the entire world's attention and cooperation. These efforts c o m e at a time w h e n the world is showing signs of global harmony and understanding, at the beginning of a n e w era full of hope as w e m o v e into the twenty-first century. T h e real challenges facing education are closely related to the future of world development. W e must formulate n e w and comprehensive strategies based on a more complete understanding of the problems and dangers w e face, and then w e must work on all levels to deal with them. W e must also do our best to facilitate complete co-operation a m o n g the relevant ministries and institutions in each country, because the responsibilities of education do not lie solely with the Ministry of Education, but rather require the participation of all sectors of society, so that the necessary tools of learning can be provided and education for all can be achieved.

187

Development since Jomtien

Finally, Ladies and Gentlemen, please allow m e on behalf of Jordan and of all those concerned, to thank you all, and to express m y deep appreciation to U N I C E F and to U N E S C O ' s International Institute for Educational Planning, for holding this seminar, as well as to the organizations and bodies that have responded to the invitation to attend. I pray that the Almighty will help us to succeed in our endeavours to raise the level of education, and in doing so, to preserve the dignity of m a n . I salute you all and wish you and your seminar every well-deserved success. M a y the Blessings of G o d always be with you.

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П Е Р publications and documents

M o r e than 750 titles on all aspects of educational planning have been, published by the International Institute for Educational Planning. A comprehensive catalogue, giving details of their availability, includes research reports, case studies, seminar documents, training materials, occasional papers and reference books in the following subject categories:

Economics of education, costs and financing. Manpower

and employment.

Demographic studies. The location of schools (school map) and sub-national planning. Administration and

management.

Curriculum development and evaluation. Educational technology. Primary, secondary and higher education. Vocational and technical education. Non-formal, out-of-school, adult and rural education.

Copies of the catalogue may be obtained from the П Е Р Publications Unit on request.

The International Institute for Educational Planning The International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) is an international centre for advanced training and research in thefieldof educational planning. It was established by U N E S C O in 1963 and is financed by U N E S C O and by voluntary contributions from M e m b e r States. In recent years the following M e m b e r States have provided voluntary contributions to the Institute: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, India, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Venezuela. The Institute's aim is to contribute to the development of education throughout the world, by expanding both knowledge and the supply of competent professionals in thefieldof educational planning. In this endeavour the Institute co-operates with interested training and research organizations in M e m b e r States. The Governing Board of the IIEP, which approves the Institute's programme and budget, consists of a m a x i m u m of eight elected members and four members designated by the United Nations Organization and certain of its specialized agencies and institutes. Chairman: Lennart Wohlgemuth (Sweden), Director, Nordic Institute of African Studies, Uppsala. Designated Members'. K. Y. Amoako, Director, Education and Social Policy Department, The World Bank. Harka Gurung, Director, Asian and Pacific Development Centre ( A P D C ) , Kuala Lumpur. Cristian Ossa, Director, Macroeconomic and Social Policy, Analysis Division, Department of Economic and Social Information and Policy Analysis, United Nations. Tito Egargo Contado, Chief, Agricultural Education and Extension Group, H u m a n Resources, Institutions and Agrarian Reform Division, Food and Agriculture Organization ( F A O ) . Elected Members: Isao Amagi (Japan), Special Adviser to the Minister of Education, Science and Culture, Tokyo. Mohamed Dowidar (Egypt), Professor and President of the Department of Economics, Faculty of L a w , University of Alexandria, Alexandria. Kabiru Kinyanjui (Kenya), Senior Programme Officer, Social Sciences Division, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Nairobi. Tamas Kozma (Hungary), Director-General, Hungarian Institute for Educational Research, Budapest Yolanda M . Rojas (Costa Rica), Academic Vice-Rector, University of Costa Rica, San José. Michel Vernières (France), Professor of Economic Sciences, University of Paris I, Pantheon-Sorbonne, Paris.

Inquiries about the Institute should be addressed to: The Office of the Director, International Institute for Educational Planning, 7-9 rue Eugène-Delacroix, 75116 Paris, France.

International Institute for Educational Planning 7-9 rue Eugène-Delacroix, 75116 Paris, France