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  • EducationPolicyResearchSeries

    DiscussionDocumentNo.5

    EducationSystemsinASEAN+6Countries:

    AComparativeAnalysisofSelectedEducationalIssues

  • EducationPolicyResearchSeriesDiscussionDocumentNo.5

    EducationSystemsinASEAN+6Countries:

    AComparativeAnalysisofSelectedEducationalIssues

    EducationPolicyandReformUnit

    UNESCOBangkok

  • Publishedin2014bytheUnitedNationsEducational,ScientificandCulturalOrganization7,placedeFontenoy,75352Paris07SP,FranceandUNESCOBangkokOfficeUNESCO2014

    ThispublicationisavailableinOpenAccessundertheAttributionShareAlike3.0IGO(CCBYSA 3.0 IGO) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/bysa/3.0/igo/). By using thecontentofthispublication,theusersaccepttobeboundbythetermsofuseoftheUNESCOOpenAccessRepository(http://www.unesco.org/openaccess/termsuseccbysaen).ThedesignationsemployedandthepresentationofmaterialthroughoutthispublicationdonotimplytheexpressionofanyopinionwhatsoeveronthepartofUNESCOconcerningthelegal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning thedelimitationofitsfrontiersorboundaries.The ideasandopinionsexpressed inthispublicationarethoseoftheauthors; theyarenotnecessarilythoseofUNESCOanddonotcommittheOrganization.Design/Layout:JinAHwangTHA/DOC/14/004E

  • i

    PrefaceThis comparative report reviews and analyses a range of selected educational issues inAssociation of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)+6 countries, which include 10 ASEANmembercountriesplusAustralia,China,India,Japan,NewZealand,andtheRepublicofKorea.Inparticular,ithighlightsthekeyissues,challengesandopportunitiesforimprovingsystemperformanceandreducingeducationaldisparitiesacrossASEAN+6countries.Itthusprovidesuseful inputs for informing policy options for education development in these and othercountries. The issues reviewed are grouped into three policy areas: 1) sector policy andmanagementframeworks,2)secondaryeducation,and3)technicalandvocationaleducationandtraining(TVET),allofwhichareofcriticalimportanceinthecontextofformulatingandoperationalizingeducationreformagendasinthesecountries.AcomparativereviewofthecurrenteducationalcontextinASEAN+6countriesindicatesthat:

    AllASEAN+6countrieshavealegalprovisionforfreeandcompulsoryeducationforatleastsomelevelsofbasiceducation.

    Educationsystemstructuresvary,however6+3+3isthemostcommonintheregion,followedbya6+4+2system.

    Most ASEAN+6 countries have decentralized some functions and responsibilities tolowerlevelsofadministrationbutremainrathercentralized,especiallywithregardtostandardsettingandteachermanagement.

    Many ASEAN+6 countries have promoted alternative education and the use ofequivalency programmes, however the ways alternative learning programmes areorganized,deliveredandcertifieddiffer.

    There is an increasing recognition of the association between quality of learningoutcomes and enabling factors for quality education such as curriculum andassessment, quality assurance, teaching and learning time, language in educationpoliciesandteacherquality.

    TrendsinTVETenrolmentratesvaryacrosstheregion;inmostcountries,theshareofTVEThastendedtodecreaseoverthepastdecade.AllASEAN+6countriesrecognizethe importance of TVET and many include it in their national socioeconomicdevelopmentplans,howeverTVETcontinuestobeunpopularandthedemarcationbetweengeneralandvocationaleducationisincreasinglyblurred.

    TherearewidevariancesinthewayscountriespreparetheirworkforceandperformeducationallyinTVETbutmosthaveattemptedtoputinplacesystemsforTVETqualityassuranceandqualificationsframeworks.

    Reviewingtheseissuesandthediverseapproachesthatcountrieshavechosentorespondwithhas shed some lights on the possible policy choices for a country wishing to undertakeeducation reform in these areas.Evidence reveals thathighperformingeducation systemsappearto:

    Commitstrongly,bothlegallyandfinancially,toeducation Spendmoreandspendwiselyoneducation Devolvemoremanagementresponsibilitiestosubnationallevels Produceandusemoredata Undertake frequent curriculum reforms to respond to changing needs and make

    educationmorerelevant

  • ii

    Trainandutilizebetterteachers Providealternativepathways toeducationonthebasisofgender,ethnicity,poverty

    andgeographicallocation.Theanalysisofcountryexperiencesinimplementingeducationpolicyreformalsoprovidesvaluable lessons for any successful education policy development. Education policy, inparticularreformpolicy,ismostlikelytobesuccessfulifitisdevelopedwith:

    Visionaryandconsistentpolicy Focusonequityandlearning Monitoringofprogressandoutcomes Partnershipsundergovernmentleadership

    ThepaperisDiscussionDocumentNo.5intheEducationPolicyResearchSeries,publishedbyUNESCOBangkok.Thisseriesofdocumentsaimstocontributetothedebatearoundthemostpressingeducationpolicy issues in theAsiaPacificregion,with theobjectiveofsupportingeducationpolicyreforminMemberStates.ThedocumentsinthisseriesalsocontributetotheUNESCOBangkokknowledgebaseoneducationpolicyandreformissues.

  • iii

    AcknowledgementsThisreportwasinitiallypreparedasabackgroundpaperprovidingcomparativeanalysisoneducationsectorpolicy,planningandmanagementacrosscountriesoftheAsiaPacific.Theideaofa comparative reportonASEAN+6educationsystemswas initially conceivedwhenUNESCOwas calleduponby theMalaysianMinistryofEducation to conduct anEducationPolicyReviewinNovember2011andlaterbyMyanmarMinistryofEducationinthecontextoftheComprehensiveEducationSectorReview(CESR)inMyanmarinJune2012.ThereportisbasedonfactfindingmissionsfromvariousUNESCOstaffaswellasanalyticalworkbyUNESCOBangkoksuchastheAsiaPacificEducationSystemReviewSeries,theonlineEducationSystemProfiles(ESPs),secondaryeducationcountryprofiles,andselectedcountrycasestudyreports.DifferentsourcesofinformationarenotalwayscitedexplicitlybuthavebeenverifiedtotheextentpossiblebyUNESCOBangkok.The report also builds on a brief literature review of academic articles, policy reports,government documents and international agency reports examining the various topicscovered in the report. As such, the report does not provide an exhaustive analysis of theeducation systemsbut focuseson thoseareas that are closer to themandate, comparativeadvantageandcountryexperienceofUNESCOintheregion.AteamfromUNESCOBangkoksEducationPolicyandReform(EPR)Unit,comprisingLeThuHuong, Satoko Yano, Ramya Vivekanandan, Margarete SachsIsrael, Mary Anne ThereseManuson, Stella Yu, Barbara Trzmiel,William Federer, Diana Kartika, Karlee Johnson andAkinaUeno.PeerreviewandcommentswereprovidedbyGwangCholChangandYoungSupChoi.ThereporthasbeenfurtherreviewedandeditedbyRachelMcCarthy,AyakaSuzukiandJinAHwang.Comments or questions on the report are most welcome and should be sent toepr.bgk@unesco.org

  • iv

    ListofAcronyms

    ADB AsianDevelopmentBankASEAN AssociationofSouthEastAsianNationsASEAN+6 AssociationofSouthEastAsianNations+sixcountriesASEM AsiaEuropeMeetingCBT CompetencybasedtrainingCESR ComprehensiveEducationSectorReview(Myanmar)CVET ContinuousVocationalEducationandTrainingEFA EducationforAllESPs EducationSystemProfilesGDP GrossDomesticProductGDVT GeneralDepartmentofVocationalTraining(VietNam)GNP GrossNationalProductHRD HumanResourceDevelopment(Singapore)HRDF HumanResourceDevelopmentFund(Malaysia)IBE UNESCOInternationalBureauof EducationILO InternationalLabourOrganizationISCED InternationalStandardClassificationofEducationIVET InitialVocationalEducationandTrainingLMI LabourMarketInformationMEST MinistryofEducation,ScienceandTechnology(RepublicofKorea)MOE MinistryofEducationMOEL MinistryofEmploymentandLabour(RepublicofKorea)MOET MinistryofEducationandTraining(VietNam)MOHR MinistryofHumanResources(Malaysia)MOLISA MinistryofLabour,InvalidsandSocialAffairs(VietNam)MOLSW MinistryofLabourandSocialWelfare(LaoPDR)MOLVT MinistryofLabourandVocationalTraining(Cambodia)MTEF MediumTermExpenditureFrameworkNQF NationalQualificationFrameworkOECD OrganisationforEconomicCooperationandDevelopmentOJT OntheJobTrainingPES ProvincialEducationService(LaoPDR)PISA ProgrammeforInternationalStudentAssessmentPPP PublicPrivatePartnershipsSDF SkillsDevelopmentFund(Singapore)SEAMEO SoutheastAsianMinistersofEducationOrganization

  • v

    TVED TechnicalandVocationalEducationDepartment(LaoPDR)TVET TechnicalandVocationalEducationandTrainingUIS UNESCOInstituteforStatisticsUN UnitedNationsUNESCAP UnitedNationsEconomicandSocialCommissionforAsiaandthePacificUNESCO UnitedNationsEducational,ScientificandCulturalOrganizationUNEVOC UNESCOInternationalCentreforTechnicalandVocationalEducationand

    TrainingVCs VocationalCollegesVET VocationalEducationandTraining(Australia)

  • vi

    ContentsPreface............................................................................................................................................................................iAcknowledgements................................................................................................................................................iiiListofAcronyms......................................................................................................................................................ivListofTablesandFigures...................................................................................................................................viiIntroduction.........................................................................................................................................11.ARegionalPerspectiveonEducation......................................................................................3

    1.1 TheGreatDiversityoftheAsiaPacificRegion.............................................................................31.2 MacroTrendsShapingEducationDevelopmentintheRegion.............................................5

    2.EducationSystemsinASEAN+6Countries..............................