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Education

What can Laos teach us about organizational learning?

Naazneen Barma's picture
A collection of photos in the Champassak provincial office of Électricité du Laos shows the blue-shirted employees in action. Photo: Naazneen Barma/The World Bank
The hallways of the Électricité du Laos (EDL) provincial offices in Champassak Province are filled with posters bearing bar charts and diagrams illustrating the public utility’s remarkable success in delivering electricity to the country’s still heavily rural population.

It is easy to see that data is crucial to the agency’s operations. Sitting down with EDL’s employees and managers—all wearing the agency’s signature blue-shirt uniform with pride—it also becomes apparent that the science of numbers and the art of managing people have gone hand in hand at this agency. This combination has enabled EDL to make organizational learning a central pillar of the agency’s success.

Institutions Taking Root, a recent report of which I’m a co-author,  looked at nine successful institutions in fragile and conflict-affected states that share a core set of internal operational strategies. 

Developing the Youth Workforce in Solomon Islands

Stephen Close's picture



I see it every time I come back to Honiara, Solomon Island’s bustling capital, soon after I arrive.  Young people on the streets, wandering around in groups or by themselves with nothing to do.  It’s the same thing my local friends and colleagues mention.  Solomon Islanders also ask, “What kind of future lies ahead for our kids?” 

Solomon Islands face new economic challenges and a rapidly expanding, youthful population.  Seven out of 10 Solomon Islanders are under the age of 29. 

Việt Nam: Một kỳ thi quốc gia có đánh giá được hết năng lực học sinh?

An Thi My Tran's picture
Also available in: English
Học sinh Việt Nam tham dự kỳ thi tốt nghiệp trung học phổ thông.
Photo: Van Chung/World Bank

Sau nhiều tháng thảo luận sôi nổi, Bộ Giáo dục và Đào tạo cuối cùng đã ra thông báo về việc tổ chức một kỳ thi quốc gia chung để xét công nhận tốt nghiệp trung học phổ thông (THPT) và lấy kết quả làm căn cứ tuyển sinh đại học, cao đẳng.

Cho đến năm học vừa qua, học sinh Việt Nam vẫn phải tham gia hai kỳ thi riêng sau khi hoàn thành 12 năm học phổ thông: một kỳ thi tốt nghiệp THPT và sau đó là kỳ thi tuyển  sinh đại học, cao đẳng. Cả hai kỳ thi này đều có tính quyết định cao và tạo nhiều áp lực lên các em học sinh và gia đình.

Vietnam: Can One National Exam Test All?

An Thi My Tran's picture
Also available in: Tiếng Việt
Students in Vietnam attend the high school completion exam.
Photo: Van Chung/World Bank

After months of impassioned public discussion, Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training has finally announced that one national exam will determine high school graduation and the exam results will be used as the basis for university entrance admission.

Until recently, Vietnamese students took two tests after completing 12 years in school: one was for high school graduation and the next was for university entrance. Both were high stakes tests that created pressure on students and their families.

Refleksi Reformasi Guru di Indonesia

Andrew Ragatz's picture
Also available in: English


Pada tahun 2005, saya merasa beruntung berada di Indonesia saat upaya reformasi guru dimulai. Parlemen Indonesia menetapkan sebuah undang-undang komprehensif mengenai guru disertai agenda yang besar. Program utamanya adalah sertifikasi yang bertujuan meningkatkan kesejahteraan sekaligus kualitas guru secara signifikan. Guru yang telah menerima sertifikasi akan menerima gaji dua kali lipat. Syarat sertifikasi adalah memiliki gelar S1 serta kompetensi untuk memberikan pendidikan yang berkualitas.

Semua bahan untuk melakukan perubahan besar sepertinya tersedia. Regulasi yang bagus, dan upaya yang dipimpin seseorang yang mengepalai sebuah direktorat baru di Kementerian Pendidikan dengan mandat khusus untuk meningkatkan kualitas guru dan staf pendidik.

Reflections on Indonesia’s teacher reform

Andrew Ragatz's picture
Also available in: Bahasa Indonesia


In 2005, I had the great fortune of being in Indonesia just as its major teacher reform effort was beginning to take off.  Indonesia’s parliament had passed a comprehensive law on teachers, along with its ambitious agenda. Its signature program of certification intended to dramatically improve both teacher welfare and quality.  Certified teachers would receive a doubling of salary, and certification was to require that teachers hold a four-year degree and demonstrate possession of competencies necessary to provide good quality education.
 
The key ingredients for major change seemed in place.  Good legislation, and an effort led by a dynamic champion who headed a newly established directorate in the Education Ministry, with the specific mandate of improving the quality of teachers and of educational staff.
 

Philippines: Education that Knows No Boundaries

Nicholas Tenazas's picture
Filipino pride and boxing champion Manny Pacquiao completed highschool
under the Alternative Learning System, after taking the required exam in 2007
Photo by the DepEd

My relationship with the Philippine Department of Education’s (DepdEd) Alternative Learning System is one of ignorance, humiliation and inspiration.

As a young economist joining DepEd back in 2002, I was full of ideas on how to improve the country’s education system. I was coming in as a junior staff for a World Bank-funded project focusing on elementary education in poor provinces.

At around the same time, I had been hearing about this ALS program, which was providing basic education to out of school youth and adults, but I really paid no mind to it. All I knew about it was that it was largely non-formal, that it was conducted periodically through modules and that it was too small to make any significant statistical impact on globally-accepted education performance indicators.

Tahun-tahun yang terbuang: Mengapa anak-anak Indonesia belajar lebih sedikit?

Samer Al-Samarrai's picture
Also available in: English

Sekarang, saat semua sudah tenang setelah hasil  hasil PISA keluar, mari kita coba pikirkan faktor-faktor penyebab di balik performa buruk Indonesia.  Bagi yang belum tahu, Indonesia berada di posisi lebih rendah dibanding semua negara yang berpartisipasi, kecuali Peru dalam hal matematika dan sains, serta negara kelima dari bawah dalam hal membaca. Hal yang lebih mengkhawatirkan mungkin adalah rendahnya tingkat pembelajaran yang dilaporkan untuk anak-anak Indonesia usia 15 tahun.  Dalam hal matematika, tiga perempat dari siswa berada dalam atau di bawah acuan terendah – tingkat yang diasosiasikan dengan keterbatasan kemampuan serta terbatasnya kecakapan berpikir lebih tinggi. 
 

Wasted years: Why do Indonesian children end up learning less?

Samer Al-Samarrai's picture
Also available in: Bahasa Indonesia

Now that the dust has settled around the PISA results we have been thinking about the reasons behind Indonesia's poor showing. For those of you who haven't seen them, Indonesia ranked lower than all participating countries except Peru in mathematics and science, and was fifth from last on reading. Perhaps more worrying were the low absolute levels of learning reported for 15-year-olds. In mathematics, three-quarters of students were rated at or below the lowest benchmark – a level associated with only rudimentary levels of proficiency and a lack of higher order thinking skills.

Điều gì lý giải cho kết quả ấn tượng của Việt Nam trong kỳ thi PISA 2012?

Christian Bodewig's picture
Also available in: English
Kết quả của kỳ thi PISA 2012 - Chương trình đánh giá học sinh quốc tế (Program for international Student Assessment) cho thấy hệ thống giáo dục phổ thông của Việt Nam thành công hơn khá nhiều các hệ thống giáo dục ở các quốc gia giàu có hơn,xét trên khả năng cung cấp cho học sinh những kỹ năng nhận thức cơ bản như đọc, viết và tính toán.

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