Quality and Inclusive Education
Every girl and boy, everywhere, is entitled to have a high quality education
Education has a life-changing role for all people around the world, opening opportunities and potentials for development and change. But even though it is important, simply getting children in school is not enough. Children need quality education which will help them to fully use their potential and increase their chances to become happy, healthy, successful and contributing members of society. Children need quality education that is going to help them develop into well-behaved, confident, critical and socially well integrated beings. Most of all, children need quality education that will be easily accessible for all of them.
International assessments such as PISA, PIRLS and TIMSS which evaluate education systems, however show that the country is not fulfilling its obligation to provide quality education for all children. In fact, the results on the latest assessments are not only poor, but show that educational quality is declining.
Access to quality education is a fundamental right of all children
There are several reasons behind the poor outcomes of the country’s education system. Education policies not based on data and facts heavily influence overall performance. Teaching programmes are not updated to follow the latest research and achievements in science and are too often poorly implemented.
Low motivation of teachers is also among the factors that seriously contribute to the low quality of education. In addition, most of teachers lack up to date competencies and resources to ensure that all children fully realise their right to quality education. This directly influences the quality of teaching, which in turn decreases the knowledge and skills acquired by children and lowers their employment opportunities.
Some children miss out on school simply because they are different
Unfortunately, depending on where they live, the wealth of their families, their ethnicity, disability or simply because they are different, some children are not able to fulfil their right to education.
Children with disabilities are particularly at risk of missing out on school. Almost three out of four children with disabilities don’t attend school, at all, mostly because of stigma, physical barriers, lack of support services and low expectations of parents for their children with disabilities.
For UNICEF, urgent reforms that will help the country to create accessible quality education are needed, so that every child’s potential is fulfilled to ultimately contribute to society, improve its economy, decrease poverty, and help the country stabilize politically and become a well-developed and prosperous country where all children have equal chance to survive and thrive.
UNICEF is dedicated to making sure that all children can enjoy their right to a quality education. For this to be achieved we are supporting the Ministry of Education and Science to set national standards for learning outcomes, which are essential for curriculum reform. All reforms must be based on data and evidence which is why we are supporting the creation of an analytical unit within the Ministry of Education and Science to continuously analyze performance data and work on the creation of evidence based policy. We also engage with OECD to conduct a review to strengthen the evaluation and assessment system in the country and create an assessment system that recognizes the talents and interests of all students, encouraging them to remain engaged for longer.
There is growing consensus that virtues such as honesty, self-control, fairness, gratitude and respect which contribute to good moral character are part of the solution to many for challenges facing society today. That is why we are working on developing character education starting from preschool and continuing in other levels of education.
Based on models developed through the pilot schools programme, we have introduced onsite training in inclusive education for all schools in the country. This is supported by mandatory online training for all teachers on inclusive education. We continuously invest in creating resources, manuals and guidelines on inclusive education to be used for improving the access and participation of all children in the teaching and learning process and raise their achievements.
We are working to ensure that the results achieved in school improve and continue to grow over time and that no child is left behind!