A Year of Achievements for EPR

The year 2014 continues to be no different – EPR worked hard to support education ministries plus produce a number of important regional meetings, workshops, studies and publications all of aimed at strengthening education systems from the region. Below is a reflection upon achievements and milestones over the past year for the entire Unit. All staff  been employed by tirelessly to produce these important functions. We thank them all for their incredible efforts.


Lastly, thank you, our readers!   May 2015 be a great year for any in our continued commitment to building up education development outcomes across our own region. Happy holidays and happy reading!


Looking Back on 2014


In 2014, the training Research and Foresight Team, along with UNESCO’s APPEAL Unit, was given the particular monumental task of organizing the particular Asia-Pacific Regional Education Conference (APREC) in cooperation with UNESCO’s companions (including the  Ministry of Schooling, Thailand, the Ministry of Schooling, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan, the Ministry of Schooling, Republic of Korea, and UNICEF).   APREC brought together thirty seven Member States and Associate Associate States, 10 United Nations  as well as other intergovernmental organizations, and 43 city society organizations, businesses,   nationwide institutes and centres  to discuss issues, challenges and priorities for education beyond 2015 on the basis of the nationwide EFA reviews and in light of emerging development challenges.   The particular Conference helped to develop regional recommendations (the “Bangkok Statement”) for the worldwide framework for action to be adopted at the World Education Forum in Incheon, the Republic of Korea, in 2015.


The job of the Policy and Planning Team has spread across a number of essential areas, only some of which we can squeeze into this article! In 2014, the plan and planning team in collaboration with the German Institute of  Worldwide Education Research (DIPF) and the Center for Research on Educational Examining (CRET)/  Bennesse Corporation, organized the first working group meeting  on Globalization and Education. This collaboration will assist you to create a long-term, 3–tiered strategy to determine challenges and risks of globalization, identify how education can effectively deliver the skills and competencies to deal with these challenges, and ultimately create an assessment framework to monitor plus evaluate the progress of learners. Stay tuned for follow up to this important work in 2015.


As a secretariat of ERI-net, the plan and planning team also caused the second phase of ERI-Net regional research on “transversal competencies” (also frequently referred as 21st century skills or even non-cognitive skills). In 2014, this particular involved a regional study centered on how education policy in this area is certainly interpreted and practiced at the school level.   To this end, ten countries and economies of the area are undertaking a country case study, although preliminary findings were shared from 2014 ERI-Net annual meeting, upon 26-28 November 2014, in Hangzhou, China, in collaboration with Zhejiang University and with support from Ministry of Education, Culture, Science plus Technology—Japan, Tokyo Institute of Technology and Korean Educational Development Institute (KEDI). Case studies from the ten education systems will be synthesized as being a regional study early in 2015.


In addition , the particular team also provided technical help and capacity building support towards the Myanmar Ministry of Education, within the framework of the Comprehensive Education Industry Review. The team conducted specialized training workshops for officials within the areas of decentralized education planning plus management as well as costing and plan simulation, and developed a customized EPSSim model of the Myanmar education system to enable the Ministry in order to assess the financial implications of various plan options for its costed National Schooling Sector Plan.


The particular policy and planning team completed the year by providing technical assistance within the development of a new Education Blueprint within the Kingdom of Bhutan, working carefully with the Ministry of Education. The training Blueprint, set to launch in December 2014, aims for a rapid and organized reform of the education system in Bhutan.


The particular EPR Unit’s Quality team furthermore had a particularly significant number of activities under its web in 2014. The Quality team, which coordinates the particular Network on Education Quality Checking in the Asia-Pacific (NEQMAP), organised a second annual meeting from 31 March –1 April 2014 in Bangkok, preceded by a second NEQMAP Guiding Group meeting on 14 March. The meetings focused on the debate and exchange of ideas around the implementation of network activities foreseen for the immediate future and past. In addition , NEQMAP successfully organized its first capacity development workshop, offering an “Introduction to Large-Scale Assessments of Learning” from 23-26 Sept in Bangkok. Attended by a lot more than 40 participants representing ministries of education, assessment/evaluation bodies from 16 countries in the Asia-Pacific region plus partner organizations, the workshop offered an excellent opportunity for participants not only to achieve further understanding of various assessments, their own implementation and effective use in plan formulation but also to benefit from energetic exchange of knowledge and experience of several countries and organization. In 2014, NEQMAP was also able to expand its membership circle to 28 users across 19 countries.


The Quality team also published a synthesis report on “Learning to live together” in early 2014. Carrying findings from ten countries within the Asia-Pacific, the report looks at exactly how education systems are promoting this particular concept to build more peaceful plus equitable societies. In addition , as a part of combined research project in collaboration with the Korean Women Development Institute (KWDI), a regional study was conducted to be able to explore various factors affecting girls’ and women’s career choice in STEM fields across 7 countries in the region. The synthesis report from the study is being finalized and due to be published early 2015.


Finally, in 2014, the particular EPR Unit’s TVET team centered on transversal/transferable skills development. Thus in July 2014, the regional research entitled  Transferable Skills in Technical and Vocational Education and Schooling (TVET): Policy Implications  was published. The study focused on the ways in which transferable/transversal skills are defined in procedures and curricula in 13 countries of the Asia-Pacific region. Based on nation reports from this study, the 3rd  issue of  TVET@Asia online magazine was published in June 2014. Looking forward, the second phase of the research upon transferable/transversal skills in TVET will look at pedagogies and assessment of transferable/transversal skills in seven countries of the region. The study is currently becoming conducted and is expected to be completed in the first half of 2015. In this framework, the TVET team has also created the  Asia-Pacific Education Policy Brief  which focuses on the skills needed to create well-rounded learners in the 21st century.


All in all, this legendary spread of conferences, workshops, research and publications reflect the fruitful efforts of the EPR Unit throughout a range of areas important to education growth in 2014. Looking forward, we are already excited and eager for 2015 as well as for all the exciting new projects plus follow up initiatives we’ll be involved in. As always, we look forward to sharing up-dates and news with all our visitors via Education  Policy Matters! E-Newsletters.



Created by  Education Policy and Change Unit



Related Links


•  Asia-Pacific Regional Education Conference (APREC)
•  Asia-Pacific Declaration on Education Beyond 2015 (Bangkok Statement)
•  Asia-Pacific Regional Schooling Conference (APREC) Final Report
•  Network on Education Quality Monitoring in the Asia-Pacific
•  ERI-Net annual meeting
•  Introduction to Large-Scale Assessments of Learning
•  Learning how to live together
•  Transferable Skills in Technical and Professional Education and Training: Policy Implications
•  Asia-Pacific Education Plan Brief
•  Education  Plan Matters! E-Newsletters.

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