Friday, December 9, 2011

Day 4 ‘A letter to the Minister’

This day focused on politics and policy-making. It provided insights in what is actually happening and how reality shapes the degrees of freedom one has to respect in defining and implementing solutions. With the growing exchange of research findings, experiences, models and strategies it becomes more and more apparent that whereas we are at the same time very different determined by social, economic, historical and cultural factors, on the other hand we share underlying principles, not in the least our passion, motivation and/or ‘craziness’ to care for those in our societies that struggle and don’t get the chances they deserve. Also whereas many agree that it is not effective to copy a solution one on one from elsewhere the mechanisms behind solutions provide insights in directions to take. 

  • First things first: Addressing the largest injustices such as reducing the  number of schools under trees, eliminating  the situation of children having to bring their own chairs to school, addressing  illiteracy, preventing exclusion of girls
  • Applying action strategies including cash or in kind transfers to poor families to keep their children at school, public investments in educational inputs for poorer schools, mix of investments in material inputs targeted to poorer schools (infrastructure, text-books, learning resources)
  • Linking education to jobs
  • Balanced role between central and local government including using central funds to spur and support reform where conditions for success exist, while avoiding risks of decentralization that foster inequity or exclusion
  • Focus on teachers, teachers, teachers
  • Communality in strategies to strengthen the education opportunities of minority, migrant and refugee groups
  • Commitment, dedication, patience and persistence

A simple exercise at the end of the day called ‘a letter to the Minister’ immediately demonstrated that knowing what is needed is one thing, realizing it is another. But after four days, we are ready to approach the last day where we will focus on transitions and next steps with shared values and a shared inspiration!

Posted by: Gerben Van Lent
Executive director for Knowledge Management,
Market Support and Governance at ETS GLOBAL

1 comment:

carmel borg said...

Excellent seminar, rich in content and well organised. Now that the seminar is over, I will advocate, more than ever, for access to technical, educational knowledge which developing countries desperately need. Cheap or free transfer of knowledge is one vital area we did not touch upon during the seminar.