Experts highlighted the stark disparities in educational outcomes across the Asia-Pacific, with a focus on boosting foundational literacy and numeracy skills. At a policy dialogue in Bangkok that IID co-hosted, discussions stressed the critical role of high-quality teaching and the need for enhanced teacher training and support.
Emphasis was also placed on equity and inclusion, striving to bridge achievement gaps and ensure equal opportunities for all, including marginalized groups. Additionally, leveraging assessment data as a key tool for identifying learning gaps and refining teaching methods was recognized as essential for elevating educational standards.
The policy dialogue was co-hosted by UNESCO Bangkok, in collaboration with Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) and IID on December 8 2023 at UNESCO Bangkok.
Addressing Educational Disparities
The dialogue opened with a keen focus on the significant disparities in educational outcomes across the region. While some countries are setting global benchmarks, many middle-income countries are struggling with substantial learning challenges. This contrast underscores the urgency of addressing these issues.
Foundational Learning and Teacher Impact
A major emphasis was placed on bolstering foundational skills in literacy and numeracy to prepare children for future challenges. The quality of teaching was identified as a pivotal factor influencing student learning, highlighting the need for more investment in teacher training and professional development.
Equity, Inclusion, and Data-Driven Approaches
Equity and inclusion in education emerged as pressing topics, with discussions centered on providing equal opportunities for all students, including those from marginalized and disadvantaged backgrounds. Additionally, the effective use of assessment data was recognized as vital for identifying learning gaps and shaping teaching practices.
Participants and Hosts
The dialogue featured Mr. Sangay Tshering, Md. Mahmudul Ami, Ms. Kitignavong Khampaseuth, Mr. Sar Sarin,Ms. Munira Muhammad Rangwala, Mr. Marc Kralj, Mr. Pendem Rambab, and Ms. Priyanka Sharma are among its panelists—a diverse cohort of educational leaders, policymakers, and practitioners hailing from various countries across the Asia-Pacific region. Their collective expertise and perspectives enriched the discussion, offering a wealth of insights and experiences that contributed to a comprehensive and enlightening exchange.
Event Overview and Forward-Looking Statements
This policy dialogue, co-hosted by UNESCO Bangkok and the IID, marks a significant step towards addressing the educational challenges in the Asia-Pacific region. The discussions and insights shared provide a roadmap for future policies and practices aimed at creating a more equitable, inclusive, and high-quality educational environment for all students in the region.