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									                    AIDE ET ACTION AND SEAMEO-UNESCO

Responding the millennium goals, developing countries are encountering increasing
difficulties in providing education for all because of high density of illiteracy and
children, the lacks of school managements and accessing to quality education

Aide et Action in Southeast Asia has devoted its efforts, successfully, to the betterment
of the conditions of schooling, which enables us to assess the progress made in the field
of education in our areas of intervention. Aide et Action is engaged in constructing,
renovating or extending schools, equipping them with learning materials, furniture,
books, manuals, teaching aids, and sport and cultural equipment that are indispensable for
the overall development of children. But this is not enough.

Aide et Action also promoted quality teaching by setting up learning centres, by
conducting seminars for the training or re-training of teachers, by providing suitable
documentation and skills exchange and networking with relevant stakeholders.
The main goals of Aide et Action in Southeast Asia are:

      To defend the fundamental right to education for all children and particularly
       those who are most disadvantaged.
      To contribute to the basic education of children in developing countries where the
       levels of schooling are amongst the lowest. We do this by coming up with
       solutions adapted to needs, with the help of partners in the countries where we act
       (companies, parents, teachers, local education authorities, non-governmental

Recently, Aide et Action staff attended the international seminar organized by SEAMEO-
UNESCO took place from 27-29 May, 04 in Bangkok, Thailand. The seminar was
focused on education issues, which were emphasized on three main areas as mentioned

              Equity and Access to Quality Education: Road to Poverty Alleviation
              Openness to Change and Respect for Diversity
              Technology Advancement: Impact on Culture, Peace and Development

There were numbers of interested topics that related to goals of Aide et Action found
during the seminar made by educational specialists and experts around the worlds. Thus,
Aide et Action aimed to collaborate with the organizers in disseminating information to
all educators, particularly to where the education systems are under development.
Developing countries will be able to enhance the living conditions of their population
only through the children of today, only when these children are taught to take their
future into their own hands. Only through the adults that they will become tomorrow, can
the dreams of development and peace that we are all pursuing today come true.

The main expectations from the seminar are to cooperate internally with various
educational stakeholders in the world and to link closely with the ministries in charge of
educations, particularly the Ministries of Education in Southeast Asia. Aide et Action is
conducting the projects on education sectors in Cambodia, Lao, Vietnam, Burma, China,
etc, thus the seminar provided us the chances to build close relationship with resource
persons of those countries. Moreover, the seminar also provided us a chance to echo the
internal advocacy on education through participants and speakers, especially among the
countries that are lower education systems and demanding needs for education.

I. Overview
The Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) and UNESCO
joined hands to convene Education Congress and Expo at the Queen Sirikit National
Convention Centre, Bangkok during 27 to 29 May 2004 under the theme adapting to
changing times and needs.

The Congress was tackled 3 sub-themes namely:
    Equity and Access to Quality Education: Road to Poverty Alleviation
    Openness to Change and Respect for Diversity
    Technology Advancement: Impact on Culture, Peace and Development

The Congress theme of “Adapting to Changing Times and Needs” attracted about 1000
participants from around 42 countries plus. And it were about 150 speakers from Asia,
Europe, North America, South America, the Down Under region, and South Africa had
presented to discuss in plenary, parallel sessions as well as satellite sessions.

Educational issues had been taken to be the topics of discussion throughout the 3 days.
The first topic is the equity of access to education, which poses to what extent we can get
more children into school and more adults into literacy programs especially in relevance
to the poverty alleviation. Education system should be more open to change and have a
greater respect for diversity and differences; therefore, education should be tailored to
meet special needs of individual children who are different due to language, gender,
ethnicity, and economic and social class. Education technology and its impacts on
culture, peace and environment, a very important development issues facing the region at
present were discussed in the Congress.

Expo exhibitions under the theme Smart Education had participated at the SEAMEO-
UNESCO congress as seen follows: companies from ICT, software for education,
multimedia devices and learning equipment; publishers; education institutions and
agencies; education specialists and development agencies and model schools. Talks,
demonstrations and activities relevant to the daily theme: Power of Knowledge; Power of
www and Distance Learning; and Power of ICT are opened up opportunities to witness
the latest relevant state-of–the-art education.

The daily seminar programs and activities were organized as part of the Expo program.
Topics discussed were the example Creative Teaching and E Knowledge and
Management; Teaching method which included the use of ICT for Language Learning
and for math and science learning, how to improve teaching techniques by using virtual
library, Intelligence classroom, Flexible learning, E Teacher training and E school.

   II.    Goals
The major goals of the Congress and Expo are to develop regional and international
understanding and co-operation among educators and major education stakeholders, and
explore new avenues for a better future in the areas of education, culture and technology.

    III.  The Congress Sessions
The Congress was featured by Keynote and Plenary Panel sessions as well as Parallel

The sessions were separated into five rooms every day for discussions various topics, so
the respective participant could had the opportunities to join only one room or one topic.
The participants were able to select a prioritized topic for attending the discussion.

The first day was a Keynote Session reflecting the theme of the days and opened each of
the day's activities. Then was followed by a Plenary Panel Session where speakers were
invited to give their personal and professional perspectives on education and training
dealing with each day's particular theme.

Three Parallel Sessions were organized simultaneously with two paper presentations,
each followed by discussions. There was a session chair for each session and a resource
person from the earlier plenary Panel Session. The essences of this format were that the
sessions had been built around thematic tracks, called " streams".

Each Parallel Session was related to the theme running throughout the day and topics
were   going     to   be    grouped     within   the    following   three   streams:

1. School and Classroom Methods, Materials and Management (MMM)
2. Policies, Reforms and Innovations (PRI)
3. Cooperation, Linkages and Partnerships (CLP)

In addition the Congress also featured the EXPO, which showcased the exhibits under the
theme SMART EDUCATION. Two zones under this concept of Smart Education
comprised Knowledge and Worldwide Opportunities and Power of Knowledge and

   IV.     Plenary and Parallel Session
It were hundreds essential topics during the seminar because there were many academic
experts on education originated from around the world presented the experiences in the
fields of educational issues.
In this report we just quoted only the main associated versions of the presentations due to
some information are really specified along the respective countries such as Philippine,
Indonesia, Malaysia, India, etc. and those are also not really fit to the situations of
Cambodia, Lao or Vietnam.

The information wrote in this report are majority covered on primary and secondary
education, which described the school management, quality education, children rights,
Thus, below are the meanings of crucial examples that particularly related to the current
projects of Aide et Action in Southeast Asia. The majority quotations are from the
presentations of the speakers during the seminar in Bangkok, Thailand. I think that these
parts may be useful to help the educators to understand the terms of education
developments in the future.

   a.         Equity and Access to Quality Education: Road to Poverty
    School-based Management (SBM) (experience 1)
The promotion of SBM began with the gradual process of decentralization, much of
which mainly involve the delegation of decision-making authority, and transfer of task
and work from the federal to the state, district, or school level. The initiatives of the
MOE in decentralization as a means to improve school performance are found in these
  Promoting empowerment in administration and management
  Providing greater flexibility and accountability in finance management
  Developing school-based assessment
  Promoting capacity building through local initiatives

For public schools, there seems to be no conceptual model for its implementation.
Similarly, in providing greater empowerment to schools and establishing school-based
management, research has shown that there is no one formula for success, and success
happens in various organizational settings and situations. The support from federal, state
and district offices are also important for success.
While SBM involves many different contexts, the focus of this paper is concerned with
the roles of the Inspectorate of Schools (IOS) in promoting and supporting a sustainable
practice of SBM as a means in improving efficiency and effectiveness in the
management of schools through inspection, evaluation, and promotion of quality work
culture. Related issues, and factors facilitating or inhibiting schools implementing the
system will be discussed.

A Framework for Reference
In a bureaucratic and centralised environment, lines of autonomy are usually very
difficult to define. In general, schools often merely follow circulars, directives, and
guidelines passed down from the federal level and other relevant agencies.

The gradual decentralization in delegating decision-making authority to schools on areas
of administration and management is to enable schools to be more responsive to the
changing needs at their localities. The dynamics of effectively managing a school differs
from one school to another. More often, head teachers need to match their resources as
against the expected outcomes of public education. The work processes and the work
outcomes are very much dependent on, though not limited to; the leadership, teacher and
the student quality, availability of resources, internal and external environment of the
school, and the unique characteristics of the school. However, at times, schools may run
into conflict with the national goals.

 To assist and support schools to take charge of their own improvement while keeping in
line with the national goals, the IOS developed a framework of reference in best-
practices in the management of schools. This quality model now known as Malaysian
Education Quality Standard (MEQS) for schools emphasizes on the holistic development
of the students‟ potentials and the development of the characteristics of schools that are
associated in bringing about this. The MEQS is the revised version of the High Standard
Quality Education (HSQE) that was implemented in 2001.

Reasons that led to the Review of the HSQE
Though by October 2002, 85% of the nation‟s schools have carried out self-evaluation,
there seemed to be no further progress. To find out the problems faced by schools, a
Review Committee comprised of representatives from the Inspectorate of Schools,
primary and secondary school heads, teachers and state education departments (SEDs)
officers was formed with the objective to study the strengths and weaknesses of this
model and make recommendations. It was found that among the factors that inhibit
schools adopting this system were:
 Contents in the Documents: Head teachers and teachers had difficulty in
    understanding the concepts and found them confusing.
 Self-evaluation: The self-evaluation instrument and processes were viewed as too
    detail and time consuming, involving many mathematical calculations.
 Schools perception: Schools did not believe in the system. There were not confident
    that HSQE can improve the quality of schools. Rather, it was viewed as though the
    IOS was transferring its responsibilities to schools.
 Name: Most schools viewed that the name 'Malaysian Education Quality Standard‟
    would be more appropriate.

On the other hand, the Review Committee found that:
 The HSQE catered for an all-rounded education; academic, co-curriculum and the
    character-building of pupils.
 Self-evaluation enabled schools to know their strengths and weaknesses.
 The implementation of HSQE could improve the performance of schools.
  HSQE could be a good mechanism to evaluate and improve the quality of education
   in schools.
Thus, it was agreed that the HSQE be reviewed and revised to address the weaknesses to
make it more relevant and user-friendly.

The Revised Version
The revised version, known as Education Quality Standard for schools is based on the
National Philosophy of Education. It incorporates the needs and aspirations of the
country, educational policies, Education Act 1996, related circulars, the Education
Development Plan 2001-2010, and recent and current changes in the education system.
The emphasis is on the development of the students‟ potentials and to equip students
with knowledge, skills, good values and attitudes. The spirit and concepts of the earlier
model are maintained. Underlying this quality model is an in-built mechanism for
schools to take responsibility for their own improvement. This mechanism requires
schools to carry out self-evaluation for continuous development.

Changes were made to the following areas;
 The number of documents were reduced from seven to only three; the Standard
   Statements, the Quality Assurance Instrument (QAI) and a Guide to School
   Improvement Plan.
 To assist schools to understand the management processes, nine core-principles were
   laid out to support the framework.
 One of the contentions among schools was the use of different instrument; while
   previously schools used a complicated instrument for self-evaluation, the IOS used a
   different but simpler instrument to verify schools‟ performances. To remedy this,
   only the Quality Assurance Instrument would be used for both purposes.
 The IOS needs to re-orientate its approach in promoting quality work culture in

The New Approach
Although the key role of the IOS is in ensuring an adequate standard of teaching is
developed, practised, and maintained in schools (Education Act 1996, S117), the IOS
considers education as an entity that has to be managed systemically and holistically.
Quality teaching and learning is the interplay of all components in the education system;
it is the combination of internal as well as external factors; a clear vision and mission,
effective leadership, committed teaching staff, efficient administration, effective
instructional leadership, adequate infrastructure and teaching resources, and a conducive
school climate.

Thus, while changes were made to the HSQE, the IOS reorganized its structure, its work
processes; it repositioned and re-equipped itself to face a more educated and
knowledgeable school community. The changes began from within the organisation.
Training sessions were held to equip its staff with the knowledge and skills in supporting
schools implementing this model. The approaches employed would be friendly -
assisting, guiding and influencing schools to implement this model. Posters and
pamphlets were printed and distributed to create awareness among schools on their
responsibilities in providing excellent education based on the MEQS for schools.

Pilot Project (Malaysia)
To test out this new approach, a pilot study was carried out involving 235 schools
throughout the nation, comprising of 46 secondary schools, 133 National primary
schools, 42 Chinese national-type primary schools, and 14 Tamil national-type primary
schools. The IOS 'walk the talk‟; promoted, explained and guided head teachers and
teachers on the work processes and procedures of the quality standard (MEQS). The
study found that schools responded positively to using the Quality Assurance Instrument
as an instrument for self-evaluation. They were able to understand the concepts of MEQS
and apply them (88.5%). 84.6% said that it was very user-friendly because it did not
involve complicated calculations. Similarly, 83.9% stated that they had gained
knowledge on improvement in educational quality, leadership, organizational
management, educational programme management, and student outcomes.

Self –Evaluation for Continuous Improvement
Self-evaluation is not something new and it had been practised three years ago. Through
this mechanism, schools (Figure 1) are able to know their take-off-value (base-line).
Using the Quality Assurance Instrument, schools compute and compare their
performance against the desired quality standard as laid down in the Standard
Statements, which outlines the imperatives of a quality school; they are schools that
strive to be effective and excellent through:

   1.   Vision-led leadership – the setting of clear vision and mission with a strong
        focus on developing pupils‟ potentials in a holistic and integrated manner.
   2.   Effective and efficient organizational management.
   3.   Systematic, systemic and an all-rounded educational programme management –
        especially on the management of teaching and learning.
   4.   Balanced and harmonious character-building of pupils

Self-evaluation involves the whole school community to commit itself to identify their
strengths and weaknesses based on informed sources. They work as partners to bring
about quality education for the children. In doing so, they take ownership of their
responsibilities to succeed and excel. Planning for improvement is more meaningful and
effective as it is based on individual uniqueness of the school. Targets are set based on
their potentials to address their weaknesses while leveraging on their strengths.

The IOS work in partnership with schools at improving school quality. It assists,
motivates, guides, and facilitates schools to manage themselves in a most efficient and
effective manner. For example, if pupils are not performing up to expectations, the IOS
together with the school authorities will study and identify the causes and devise
strategies to overcome the problem. Inspection and evaluation act as a form of
intervention and corrective action.
It is a great challenge for the IOS to encourage schools to undertake the process of self-
evaluation and take accountability of its own planning and improvement. It is also the
concern of the IOS that self-evaluation is not an end in itself, but a mechanism that
requires school to gather, analyse, and evaluate aspects of schools‟ quality against the
agreed standards (MEQS) which would be followed by planning and action for
improvement. It should be part of the whole school policy, done systematically and
systemically on a continuous basis.

Typically, each school setting is different from another in terms of local culture, local
resources and capacity, and schools are faced with very difficult challenges in providing
improved quality education for the children. Efforts to improve school's quality require
time, resources, skills, knowledge, the support systems and structure. Nevertheless,
instituting self-evaluation for continuous improvement is a practical means to encourage
schools to be proactive and take accountability of their own improvement and
management in a progressive manner.

Currently, the promotion of MEQS for schools is in progress throughout the nation. The
IOS is working collaboratively with the school community, the various divisions of the
MOE, SEDs/DEDs to assist and encourage schools to implement this quality model,
which emphasizes on the holistic development of the students‟ potentials.


Goal, Objectives and Basic Concepts and Principles
School-based management is defined as the decentralization of decision-making authority
from central, regional and division levels to individual school sites, uniting school heads,
teachers, students as well as parents, the local government units and the community in
promoting effective schools. Its main goal is to improve school performance and student
achievement, where decision-making will be made by those who are closely involved
with resolving the challenges of the individual schools, so that specific needs of students
will be served more effectively. Its objectives are to i) empower the schoolhead to
provide leadership; and ii) mobilize the community as well as local government units to
invest time, money and effort in making the school a better place to learn, thus improving
the educational achievements of the children.

The basic element underlying the various models of SBM is a change in the formal
governance and management of the school by increasing the level of involvement and
participation of multiple stakeholders. SBM is often implemented by setting up a council
at the school site and giving the council at least some responsibilities in the areas of
budget, personnel and curriculum. Under TEEP, school-community partnerships are
established by the PTCA (Parents Teachers Community Association), Local Government
Units, students and other interested groups in order to improve education outcomes.
They are involved in the development of the School Improvement Plans and Annual
Implementation Plans (SIP/AIP) and their implementation.
School-based management is carried out under the principles of subsidiarity and
collegiality. In line with the principle of subsidiarity, problems must be solved and
decisions must be made at the lowest organizational level. Since the schoolhead,
teachers, students, parents, local government units, and community leaders are the ones
most familiar with the life, activities and problems of their school, then they are in the
best position to solve their own problems with guidance from the central, regional and
division offices on education policy directions and quality standards.            Collegiality
demands that stakeholders must work as a team with the schoolhead in the improvement
of the school. In the spirit of collegiality, the education leaders in the higher rungs of the
education ladder willingly share their authority with the school head who, as a
consequence, get truly empowered to work for the best of his/her school without feeling
uncomfortable that leaders up there may feel threatened by his/her increased authority
and accountability. At the school level, the schoolhead exercises collegiality by
encouraging participation of teachers, parents, local leaders and students in making
decisions about what is best for the school in which all of them have a common stake.

Five types of resources are being decentralized in the pilot SBM schools in order to
maximize performance :

   1. Power to make decisions that influence organizational practices, policies and
      directions. An effective leader can show the way in setting the school‟s vision,
      serve as an instructional leader, coordinate reform efforts and rally the support of
      the parents and the community behind the school.

   2. Knowledge that enables all school personnel to understand and contribute to
      organizational performance, including technical and managerial knowledge, and
      expertise to provide the services needed.       Three kinds of knowledge are
      important to decentralized management, and these are: i) training to expand job
      skills, widen perspectives, and promote openness to change; ii) teamwork skills
      for participating in governance and management such as problem solving,
      decision making and communication skills; and organizational knowledge,
      including budgeting and personnel skills, as well as an understanding of the
      environment and strategies for responding to changes in that environment.

   3. Information about the performance of the school or school cluster including
      revenues, expenditures, student performance and strategic information on the
      broader policy and economic environment. Power can only be decentralized if the
      individuals to whom power is entrusted have access to the information necessary
      to make good decisions.

   4. A vision-mission statement and school improvement plan to be used by
      educators and community stakeholders at the school site to help them define
      school goals and standards, strategies, assessment that measures progress toward
      reaching the goals, and to share information with the community-at-large.
   5. Rewards that are based on the performance of the organization and the
      contribution of individuals. A key lesson from research is that decentralized
      management is most effective when there is agreement on targets and standards,
      and teachers, schoolheads and division superintendents accept accountability for
      their own performance.

The School Head as the Leader in SBM

Section 1.2 (ii) of Rule I (Principles) of the Implementing Rules and Regulation of
Republic Act 9155 defines Schoolheads as follows:            “The principals, school
administrators and teachers-in-charge (herein collectively referred to as schoolheads)
must exercise instructional leadership and sound administrative management of the

Section 7E of the same Republic Act states that schoolheads shall have authority,
accountability and responsibility to: i) set the mission, goals and targets of the schools
- develop school improvement plan (SIP); ii) be accountable for higher learning outcomes
- implement the curriculum and develop the school educational program, create an
environment conducive to higher learning, introduce new and innovative modes of
instruction to achieve higher learning outcomes; iii) administer and manage personnel,
physical and fiscal resources of the school - recommend staff complement, encourage
staff development, accept donations; and iv) establish school-community networks in
support of school targets and contribute to community development.

In general, the schoolhead under SBM performs three major functions: i) promote
education quality improvement, ii) exercise administrative management, and iii) exercise
instructional leadership.

The Education Quality Improvement Model: Assessment, Standards, Strategies, and
Accountability and the Milestone in the Implementation of SBM

School-based management operates within the framework of Education Quality
Improvement Model: Assessment, Standards, Strategies, and Accountability. This
model puts emphasis on i) conducting regular and appropriate assessment; ii)utilizing
school data that are directly related to student achievement for planning and decision
making, ii) setting standards in terms of targets and establishing priorities for student
achievement and school performance, iii) implementing strategies that directly address
learning problems, and iv) reporting to stakeholders the outputs and learning outcomes
for accountability purposes.

The pilot implementation of SBM started with the identification of the 388 Elementary
Leader Schools (ELS) in the 23 divisions in SY 2001-2002. These schools are of three
types: large monograde (10 teachers and above), small monograde (less than 10 teachers)
and complete and incomplete multigrade schools. After gaining experience in the
implementation of school-based management, the schoolheads are tasked to partner with
at least five satellite schools (SS) and both of them will partner with the other schools.
Partnering means sharing of the their good experiences and practices in planning,
utilization of resources, implementation of programs and projects, sharing of human and
material resources, and acting as resource speakers or peer coach.

Training on Effective Instructional Leadership and Resource Management (E-
FILERMAT) was provided by the Central Project Implementation Support Unit (CPISU)
in coordination with the National Educators Academy of the Philippines (NEAP), the
training arm of the Department to the school heads of ELS to provide them with the basic
knowledge and skills on SBM. The Division offices likewise conducted training or
orientation conferences on SBM to prepare other schoolheads for the task.

Figure 2 shows the following milestones or indicators that demonstrate how SBM is
being practiced in a school:

   1. Plan. There is a School Improvement Plan (SIP) which is a five-year
      development plan and an Annual Implementation Plan (AIP) developed and
      confirmed by all the stakeholders (the schoolhead, teachers, PTCA, LGU
      (barangay level), community leaders, NGOs, students) and approved by the
      Schools Division Superintendent (SDS). This plan contains the School Vision-
      Mission, Profile of School and the Community, Problems and Needs Assessment,
      Objectives and Targets, Implementation Plan, Monitoring and Evaluation Plan,
      Communication, Documentation and Reporting to Stakeholders, and Signatories.

   2. Fund. There is a lump sum SBM Fund (SBMF) coming from various sources
      (TEEP, regular DepEd allocation, PTCA, LGU, donations, others) which can be
      allotted by the schoolhead, in consultation with the stakeholders, according to the
      priorities set in the SIP and AIP. The budget must be duly approved by the SDS.

   3. Implement the Plan. All stakeholders participate in the processes of
      implementing the Plan and managing the SBMF. The activities focus on resolving
      problems of instruction and improving student achievements along with the
      support services that the parents, local government units and the community could

   4. Manage the SBM Fund. Since the SBMF is public money. it must be managed
      according to the rules set by the Dept. of Budget and Management and the
      Commission on Audit (COA). Guidelines on allocation, utilization and liquidation
      of funds were prepared by CPISU in consultation with DPISU and the schools

   5. Monitoring and Evaluation. Monitoring is a collection of data on the school‟s
      actual performance in programs and projects against the targets set in the AIP,
      identification of problems and issues; and formulation of possible solutions or
      asking technical assistance from the District or Division Supervisors. Schools
      were provided with monitoring forms on Mean Percentage Scores (MPS) in the
      pre-post tests, tracking non-readers and non-numerates and teacher and
      administrator rating system that put higher points on pupil achievement.
      Likewise, teacher observation checklist which is the main basis for teacher rating
      that puts the highest percentage on pupil achievement was also given to the
      school. Evaluation looks at the results. It involves the identification and
      measurement of the overall teaching-learning outcomes of the school‟s program
      and projects against their stated goals and targets on student achievements and
      participation/completion rates. In support to the school‟s evaluation plan, the
      Division and Regional Offices also conduct year-end test to the students in the
      different grades and learning areas.
   6. Show results. The expected outcomes of effective school-based management
      (SBM) are improved learning achievement of the students as well as improved
      participation and completion rates, and decreased drop-out rates.

   7. Report to the school‟s stakeholders. At the end of every school year during a
      public assembly, the schoolhead makes a Report Card on the implementation of
      the AIP, the management of the SBM fund and the learning outcomes of the
      students. This Report becomes the basis of the annual review and revision of the
      SIP and the development of the AIP for the next school year.

An organized support system has been put in place for the implementation of SBM. The
system consists of monitoring the pupil progress and the implementation of strategies as
planned, provide assistance in areas needed, and documenting good and best practices
done in schools. Several initiatives are being tried out and among these are:

   1.      Schoolheads of the Elementary Leader Schools and Satellite Schools provide
           technical assistance to the Other Schools.

   2.      Assignment of all district supervisors to the division office at the same level
           as division supervisors and these district supervisors are assigned to specific
           schools or school clusters piloting SBM. First priority to be provided with
           technical assistance are the DDU (depressed, disadvantaged and underserved)

   3.      Division Resource Teams composed of the Superintendent, the Assistant
           Superintendent, the Division and District Supervisors, Finance Personnel are
           organized in two or more groups depending on the number of schools in the
           division. Each team visit to a school involves some or all of these activities i)
           test administration (visit-test approach), ii) classroom observation cum
           coaching and feedback, iii) on-the-spot mini-training on administrative
           management and instructional leadership, iv) monitoring and feedback on
           resource utilization and fiscal management, and v) evaluation of school
           personnel performance with recommendations for reward or sanction.

   4.      The Regional and Central Monitoring and Assistance Teams composed of the
           Regional Supervisors, Education Program Specialists from the Bureau of
           Elementary Education, and staff from the Central Project Implementing
           Support Unit –TEEP visit divisions and schools whose performance in the
           implementation of SBM needs to be accelerated or improved.

School-based management has been implemented for two years (SY 2001-2002 to 2003-
2004) by at least 2,000 schools composed of Elementary Leader Schools, Satellite
Schools and Other Schools. This is 23% of the total 8,5588 schools in the 23 TEEP
provinces. The remaining 52% of the schools will implement SBM in SY 2004-2005 to
2005 to 2006).

      Promoting Teaching, Learning and Management
Recurrent teacher training through the Whole School Approach (WSA) is a relatively
new concept in Nepal in the field of primary teacher training. It was conceptualized by
the Basic and Primary Education Project (BPEP) as a measure to minimize the loss of
efficiency obtained from training when teachers are trained through the usual approach.
The normal approach to teacher training involves selecting one teacher for training at a
time and then placing them in a situation where most of the teachers are untrained. There
is little interaction between the trained teacher and other teachers, and the school does not

The Whole School Approach (WSA) is an innovative approach to provide effective
recurrent teacher training which is found to be particularly applicable to the early primary
school level (grades 1-3) where most school subjects are integrated. The main concept
behind the training is to train the whole school family including head teachers, teachers,
School Management Committee members, parents and even the students in a coherent
way. School cluster systems operating under the resource centre of various districts of
the country formed the structure to support the WSA training program. The main focus
of the training was to foster teamwork and a sense of individual as well as collective
responsibility to create a joyful learning atmosphere in the classroom through the use of
congenial child-centered interactive methods of instruction. Various kinds of teaching
aids and devices using indigenous materials were used to motivate children and keep
them interested in the teaching-learning activities.

There were several contributing factors to the success of the Whole School Approach.
The resource person, key teacher and head teacher identified the following successful

    All primary teachers got equal opportunity for the training. This has given them
    the idea that no one is less or more knowledgeable and skilful
    Knowledge of the milestone provides them enough motivation for effective
    teaching i.e. carrying out objective-oriented activities in the classroom. The
    milestone is very specific to evaluating the lesson.
    Techniques of constructing instructional material such as pocket boards, cutouts,
    students' attendance board and colouring of charts were taught in the training.
    The materials are impressive not only to the students but also to the teachers.
    In the WSA training, the teachers also were exposed to several methods of
    teaching. Student-centered methods were given emphasis. This type of teaching
    has made the students very enthusiastic about learning and they have learnt the
    topics well.
    Both the students and the teachers performed many activities together in the
    classroom. This has brought the students and the teachers closer.
    In the training, teachers also learned how to involve students in classroom
    activities. This has increased interactions between the students as well as between
    students the teachers.
    Teaching in grades 1-3 has become uniform in most of the schools, and the
    evaluation procedure has become uniform as well in most of the schools.
    The teachers have become aware of their teaching responsibilities and they
    developed confidence in teaching so that the teaching-learning process has much

     Education in Local Languages

1. Introduction

Southeast Asia is a culturally and linguistically diverse region. Exact figures of languages
spoken in Southeast Asia are difficult to determine, but available estimates indicate this
diversity. The following are the estimated numbers of languages spoken in Southeast
Asian nations: Brunei Darussalam 17, Cambodia 19, Indonesia 726, Lao PDR 82,
Malaysia 139, Myanmar 107, Philippines 169, Singapore 21, Thailand 75, Vietnam 93
(Grimes 2000). Many speakers of these languages do not have sufficient knowledge of
languages used as the media of instruction in the national systems of education.
Consequently, linguistic minorities are underprivileged in terms of educational access,
retention and achievement. Yet, on the basis of several international declarations and
agreements as well as academic research, UNESCO (2003a) and UNICEF (2004)
promote education in mother tongue as a linguistic right, but in many cases the speakers
of minority languages are not able to exercise this right (see more in May 2001;
Skutnabb-Kangas 2000, 479-566).

Many argue that providing education in small minority languages is not feasible. Reasons
for such claims include a lack of written forms for such languages, and the shortage of
learning-teaching materials and other literature as well as teachers speaking minority
languages. Furthermore, the production of local language materials and training of
mother tongue teachers is considered too costly. In many nations top-down approaches to
educational planning and management are preferred, and subsequently, the apparent,
particularly human, resources existing in all communities may not be fully utilised for
educational and socio-economic development. There are many examples around the
world indicating that local communities can play an essential role in providing education
in local languages for their own communities. In many of these cases, government
agencies are working in collaboration with ethnic minority communities.

1.1 Purpose of the Paper
The comparison of national situations of eleven countries is not easy. There are no
uniform data on the language of instruction issues from all countries covered, and even
though the best available data are used, the comparisons attempted may sometimes lack
sufficient validity. However, to be able to provide a regional overview, such comparison
is still attempted. Thus, the purpose of this paper is:

       1) to describe, compare and discuss the use of various languages as the media of
       instruction in Southeast Asian and Chinese systems of basic education;
       2) to pay a particular attention to the use of minority languages (i.e. local
       languages, languages of wider communication or other languages not considered
       national or official) in education;
       3) to draw general conclusions about the regional trends on the use of local
       languages in basic education; and
       4) to propose some general prerequisites for the provision of basic education
       using local languages.

The issue of using local languages in education is not a marginal one. Walter (2004)
demonstrates that about 20 percent of the world‟s population - i.e. approximately 1.3
billion people - speak a local language as their first language (see also CAL 2001, 16;
Klaus, Tesar & Shore 2003; Vawda & Patrinos 1999, 287). This and related issues are
elaborated in several recent books and articles (e.g. Crystal 2002; Dalby 2002; Grenoble
& Whaley 1998; Hagège 2001; Hinton & Hale 2001; Nettle & Romaine 2000; Robinson
1999; Skutnabb-Kangas 2000; Watson 1999).

The People‟s Republic of China is usually not regarded being part of Southeast Asia.
However, as China‟s southern provinces have close cultural and linguistic links with
Southeast Asia, it is deemed valid to include China in this discussion.

The reference to mother tongue and local language use in this paper implicitly refers also
to bilingualism, bilingual education and biliteracy in at least two languages, including the
first language of the learner. The author acknowledges that education and literacy in a
small minority language alone is inadequate in the world today. People speaking minority
languages should also be provided opportunities to learn at least the national language of
a given country. The use of international languages, such as English, Chinese or French,
as the media of instruction or in bilingual education along with a national language will
not be discussed any further than just acknowledging the cases when data are available.

2 Policies and Practises in Different Countries
This section looks at the language use in education in each Southeast Asian nation and
China. The discussion is limited to basic education meaning pre-primary, primary and
lower level secondary education, such as middle school or junior high school. As the
compulsory basic education in the region is generally 6-9 years of schooling after pre-
primary education, the discussion is limited to this timeframe. Therefore, languages used
at high school and tertiary-level education, such as universities and colleges, are not
discussed. In many Asian nations a proportion of the adult population has not received
basic education as children. In the case of ethnic minorities, the language of instruction
has been a significant reason for this. Most countries provide nonformal education and
adult literacy for such groups. Where data exist, such situations are described as well.
The reason for this is that such education is also basic education and the learners of such
activities have usually not been reached by the existing formal systems of basic

2.1 Mainland Southeast Asia

2.1.1 Cambodia
About 20 languages are spoken in Cambodia and the largest ethnic group, the Khmer,
make up approximately 90 percent of the population, making Cambodia one of the least
linguistically diverse nations in the region. The populations of most ethnolinguistic
minorities are small, except for the speakers of Cham, Vietnamese and Chinese
languages, whose populations are in hundreds of thousands (Grimes 2000; Jernudd 1999;
Thomas 2002, 2003a).

In Cambodia the medium of instruction at all levels is the national language, Khmer.
Recently, several minority languages have been introduced as the media of instruction in
the Eastern highlands of the country. These pilot projects have been initiated by various
NGOs with a close operation of education authorities, nonformal education department in
particular. The ICC (International Cooperation for Cambodia) and NTFP (Non-timber
Forest Products) have projects on bilingual NFE, and CARE International is running a
pilot project on primary-level bilingual education (Noorlander, Sohout & Samal 2003).
To date, experiences have been good and students are learning to read local languages as
well as Khmer. Before these endeavours, most indigenous minorities in the highlands had
never had access to education services. An important reason for the apparent success of
these pilot projects using local languages is a major role played by indigenous minority
communities. Language committees have been crucial in language development,
curriculum development, and the production of learning materials in local languages, as
well as providing volunteer teachers (APPEAL 2001; Escott 2000; Jernudd 1999; Jordi
2003; Thomas 2002, 2003a, 2003b; UNICEF 2004, 16).

Models tested in the pilot projects could be adapted to education for ethnic minorities
elsewhere in the country. These experiences may facilitate the Ministry of Education,
Youth and Sports (MoEYS) to formulate its future language and education policies for
minority populations. In early 2003, the MoEYS approved Khmer-based writing systems
of five minority languages spoken in Eastern highlands. This is an important step in
making local language use and mother tongue-based bilingual education a part of the
government system of education (Jordi 2003; Noorlander et al ibid.; Thomas 2002,
2003a, 2003b). Cambodia is drafting a new education law. Article 44 of the draft gives
ethnic minorities “the right to instruction at public schools in their native language”.
Time will show whether this law will be implemented in practice.
2.1.2 Lao PDR
Lao People‟s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR or Laos) is a truly multiethnic nation. The
estimated number of languages spoken in Laos is 82 (Grimes 2000). Yet, the number of
different ethnolinguistic groups is actually higher. Chazée (1999), for example, lists 132
ethnic groups, but even higher numbers have been given (see e.g. Kingsada 2003,
National Statistical Centre 1997, Schliesinger 2003). The Lao case differs from its
neighbours, because according to even the official figures (National Statistical Centre
1997; UNFPA 2001), the minority population is at least half of the total population of 5,4
million (2001). In fact, the population of all minority groups may actually comprise up to
65 percent of the total population (Chazée ibid., 14), depending on the definition of
ethnic minority, and interpretation of statistical data, e.g. the inclusion of Lao related
minorities in the category of the Lao ethnic group.

In Laos, the language of instruction at all levels of education is Lao, the official language.
At present, local languages are not officially used in education. Nevertheless, local
languages are used orally in many classrooms if teachers speak students‟ languages. In
some cases invented spelling is used to write local languages (A. Cincotta, pers. comm.
2003) and foreign NGOs have produced, for example, picture cards in some local
languages. One of the largest ethnolinguistic groups, the Hmong, teach their children
informally. There may be more Hmong literate in their mother tongue than Lao (J.
Chamberlain, pers. comm. 2003) and written Hmong is widely used in letters and emails
to relatives living in the West. In addition, recently some minority children have been
provided Lao as a second language, using an approach called “Concentrated Language
Encounter”, CLE (Souvanvixay, Nouannavong, Keovongsa & Ovington 2002).
Previously, the same curriculum and materials were used nationwide irrespective of the
students‟ linguistic and cultural differences. CLE is a small step forward in providing
relevant education to various ethnolinguistic groups. Yet, in many minority areas Lao is
only used in the school context, and thus despite the use of CLE, many minority children
are not learning Lao sufficiently to perform to their potential in Lao medium schools.

The current status of basic education and literacy for the members of various
ethnolinguistic minorities in Laos is disappointing. A recent UNESCO (2003a, 23)
document reports that “a much higher percentage of ethnic minority children have never
enrolled in, or attended school than children who have Lao as their first language”.
Komorowski (2001, 65) complements this view with an appropriate first-hand account:
“Minority students will be expected to acquire literacy in Lao, but … an unproductive
classroom scenario is set up. The existing situation is a vicious cycle: the most effective
and reasonably resourced education is taking place in urban areas, so most teachers that
are being trained are coming through this system. These teachers, if posted to rural
areas, will likely not share a common language with their students. In turn these students
will become demotivated by an inability to relate to their teacher and the language used,
maintaining high levels of non-completion and low enrolment.” Available educational
statistics confirm the situation. The enrolment, retention, survival and achievement rates
of children, and adult literacy rates among all ethnic minorities, for example, are much
lower than the national average (e.g. ADB 2000; MOE 1999; National Statistical Centre
1997; Sisouphanthong and Taillard 2000). Although the dim situation of minority
education is evident, few explanations for the causes are given or remedies suggested.
There are exceptions, however, such as Kanstrup-Jensen (2001), Komorowski (2001),
Souvanvixay et al. (2002), UNESCO (2004a), and a Lao government report (MOE 1999,
78) that reads: “in an ethnically diverse country like the Lao PDR, language can be an
important constraint for students to learn, especially at an early age.” Despite references
such as this, language issue seem to be often ignored. The disparity in education along
ethnic lines is widely acknowledged, but the issue of language as it relates to education of
ethnic minorities is rarely discussed in any depth.

2.1.3 Myanmar
More than 100 languages are spoken in Myanmar, although some estimates indicate that
the actual number may be closer to 200. Populations of several ethnolinguistic minority
groups are in hundreds of thousands or even millions. The language of instruction in the
government system of education is Myanma, the official language. Local languages are
not used, despite the fact that the Myanmar constitution supports the use of local
languages in education (Leclerc 2004). The standard variety of Myanma differs
considerably from some regional varieties. English is used widely at tertiary level as well
as for the study of Math, Science and Economics in senior high schools after 9 years of
schooling (Grimes 2000; Education for All - Myanmar 1999; Jernudd 1999).

The use of local languages is restricted to nonformal education and literacy by civil
society organisations and language communities themselves particularly in northern
states inhabited predominantly by ethnolinguistic minorities. In many areas larger
regional languages rather than Myanma are used as LWCs. Local languages are mainly
used in NFE by Buddhist temples and Christian Churches. In addition to Myanma, for
example, Karen/Kayin, Karenni, Mon, Palaung, Pa'o, Shan and Tai Khuen communities
use their respective languages in monastery education. Sgaw Karen is used more widely,
for example, in nonformal community schools on border areas as well as in churches and
neighbourhoods (P. Hopple, pers. comm. 2003, 2004). Also, Myanmar Council of
Churches, for example, sponsors nonformal and functional literacy programmes in more
than 10 local languages, Wa, Naga, Karen and several Chin languages, for instance,
though most of these activities are adult education (Thang 2002). Such activities are
likely organised by other organisations as well. The description of the Myanmar situation
is hindered by a lack of published research and reliable data.

2.1.4 Thailand
Standard Thai is the official and national language of Thailand with undeniable status
and prestige. Yet, with more than 70 languages spoken within its borders, Thailand is
linguistically more diverse than the wide use of Standard Thai would indicate. Many
Thais living the central region, including government officials see all Tai languages as
dialects of Standard Thai. The population of some language groups are in millions, for
example, Isan, Kammeuang, Pak Tai, Pattani Malay, Northern Khmer, and Minnan
Chinese. In addition, there are at least one hundred thousand speakers of Sgaw Karen,
Kui, Phuthai, and possibly some Chinese languages as well (Grimes 2000; Jernudd 1999;
Schliesinger 2000). Many ethnolinguistic minorities are active participants in the Thai
society, and the situation has been described as unity in diversity (Smalley 1994).

Standard Thai is the medium of instruction at all levels of education. Until recently, the
use of other languages than Thai was prohibited in Thai schools, although teachers have
widely used local languages orally in early grades to help minority children understand
the curriculum (Jernudd 1999; Smalley 1994). However, new Thai constitution of 1997
and generally more open Thai society in the 1990s have provided new opportunities for
ethnolinguistic minorities to use their languages. Most minority languages in Thailand
already have writing systems and at least some literature (e.g. Kosonen 2002a, 2002b,
2004; Malone 2001; Morse & Tehan 2000; Person 1999; Premsrirat 1998, 2000, 2002;
Siltragool, Petcharugsa & Chouenon 2003; Smalley 1976, 1994; TU-SIL 2002).

Majority of Thai population do not speak Standard Thai as their mother tongue, but
millions of children in central Thailand have a working knowledge of the language when
they enter school. This is because Standard Thai is based on Thaiklang (Central Thai).
Yet, for at least half of the population, possibly more, the medium of instruction is not
their first language, and many children have comprehension problems in early grades
(Smalley 1994). However, for many, but not all, people speaking other Tai languages, for
example Isan and Kammeuang, the use of standard Thai is possible, if not optimal.

For ethnolinguistic minorities speaking languages not related to Thai, the use of Standard
Thai as the medium is a major obstacle in educational achievement, as Smalley (1994,
293) observes: “The [Thai educational system] is a sink-or-swim system, however, for
those children who do not speak some dialect of Thaiklang when they start school. It is
inefficient and frustrating because it assumes the life, culture and language of central
Thailand, no matter where the children live or what they speak. It requires many children
to lose two years in school before they follow well what is going on in class.”

Nevertheless, the situation seems to be improving. The new Thai school curriculum
allows teaching of ethnic minority languages in minority areas in allocating about 30
percent of curriculum for minority language study (IMNA 2003; Thai Ministry of
Education 2000). In some areas, local language classes are taught in the slot of “local
curriculum”. Available data shows that at least Mon, Lahu Shi and Chong are being
taught as subjects in Thai government schools (A. Cooper pers. comm., 2003; Kosonen
2002a, 2002b, 2003). Kui and Northern Khmer have been taught as subjects in some
Northeastern secondary schools (Smalley 1994, 281). Other minority groups are planning
to have their languages in schools as well. Pwo Karen is being used in nonformal
education as part of UNESCO sponsored pilot project on bilingual education utilising
minority languages (APPEAL 2003; Siltragool, Petcharugsa & Chouenon 2003). Yet,
none of these activities can be considered true bilingual education.
NGOs and civil society organisations have used minority languages in nonformal
education for a long time. Examples are Malay and Arabic study in Islamic Ponoh
schools of the south, Thai-Chinese learning written Chinese, as well as literacy classes
run by ethnic minority Churches. The extent of these activities is not yet great, but more
minority groups are becoming active in the development of their languages for
educational use. There are small-scale nonformal education programmes, particularly in
Northern Thailand, in dozen or more languages. ALTP programme of Payap University,
for example, has facilitated curriculum development and the production of literacy
materials in many minority languages. Some groups, such as the Iu Mien, Kayah, Sgaw
Karen, and Pwo Karen, have fairly comprehensive curricula of nonformal education and
literacy, mainly for adult learners (Jennings 1998; Karenni Literature Committee 1994;
Khrongkaan nangsue Karien Pwo 1999). The use of local languages as the media of
instruction is limited to these NFE efforts by nongovernmental organizations. Few, if any
of these projects are actual bilingual education.

2.1.5 Vietnam
More than 90 languages are spoken in Vietnam, although the government officially
recognises 54 ethnic groups. Reasons for this apparent discrepancy are similar to those
elaborated later in the case of China. Kinh or the Vietnamese, the largest ethnic group
makes up slightly less than 90 percent of the total population. Ethnolinguistic minorities
comprise a bit more than 10 percent. Many minority languages already have writing
systems and language development is on going in others (APPEAL 2001; Bui 2003;
Grimes 2000; Lo Bianco 2002; Nguyen 1997).

The national language of Vietnam is Vietnamese and used as the LWC in most of the
country. Yet, there is evidence that in minority areas teachers and students have
difficulties in understanding each other. In addition, many minority children do not
sufficiently master academic Vietnamese, and thus educational achievement of these
children lags behind that of the majority population (Aikman & Pridmore 2001; Lo
Bianco 2002; Nguyen 2003).

The Vietnamese constitution supports the use of ethnic minority languages in education
and the national language policy stresses the expansion and quality of multilingualism
(Bui 2003; Tran 2003). In spite of this, Vietnamese remains the main medium of
instruction at all levels of education, also in predominantly non-Vietnamese areas. Local
languages are used in education in some areas, in programmes referred to as bilingual
education (Nguyen 2003; Tran 2003). In practise however, most of these programmes
teach local languages as subjects or are transitional with few students actually becoming
fully bilingual. In addition, most activities are top-down in approach, and local
communities contribute little, if anything at all, to the efforts. At least J’rai, Khmer and
some Tai languages have been used in pilot projects of mother tongue education, in pre-
primary and primary schools as well as nonformal education (APPEAL 2001; Jernudd
1999; Malone 2002; UNICEF Vietnam 1998). Learning materials have been produced
also in other languages including Bahnar, Cham and Hmong.

2.2 Insular Southeast Asia
2.2.1 Brunei Darussalam
Brunei Darussalam is a small nation with predominantly Malay population. There are
also several indigenous minorities, Chinese, as well as more recent migrant workers. It is
estimated that 17 languages are spoken in Brunei, not including all languages of
temporary migrant labourers. Malay (Bahasa Melayu), as used in neighbouring Malaysia,
is the official language, although its use is restricted to formal situations, such as
government business and education. However, it is not used in daily communication. The
most widely used language in the country in Brunei Malay, which is used as the LWC,
and spoken as mother tongue by a vast majority of the population (Grimes 2000; Jernudd
1999; Martin 1999).

Languages used as the media of instruction are Standard Malay and English, according to
the language policy emphasising bilingualism in those languages. Although well
resourced, this system of using basically two foreign languages in education is not
without problems (Martin 1999). In addition, the policy and subsequent practice ignore
the use of all local languages, including the de-facto national language Brunei Malay.
Therefore, only about two percent of the population are estimated to receive mother
tongue education, the lowest rate in all Asia. Malay is used more at lower grades and
from primary grade four English dominates as the language of education. Religious
schools provide nonformal education in Islam teaching Arabic based Jawi script of Malay
and some Arabic as well (Grimes 2000; Jernudd 1999; Martin 1999).

2.2.2 Indonesia
Indonesia, with more than 700 languages, is the most linguistically diverse country in all
of Asia. The official language, Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia) is also the language of
instruction at all levels of education. However, only about ten percent of the population
speaks Indonesian as their mother tongue, and regional LWCs and local vernaculars are
widely used around the country. A large proportion of Indonesians speak Indonesian as a
second language with varying levels of proficiency. Languages such as Javanese,
Madurese and Sundanese, for example, are spoken by tens of millions of people, and
several other languages have millions of native speakers (Grimes 2000; Dardjowidjojo
1998; Jernudd 1999; Walter & Ringenberg 1994).

Indonesian constitution guarantees the use and development of local languages. An
education act supports the use of students‟ mother tongue as the media of instruction in
the first three years of elementary school while Indonesian is being taught as a subject.
However, in practise local languages are rarely used in government schools, and in most
cases instruction begins and continues in Indonesian. Major regional languages were used
prior to 1965 as the media of instruction, but currently these and other local languages are
mainly taught as second languages, sometimes still using the old learning materials
(Dardjowidjojo 1998; Jernudd 1999; K. Ringenberg, pers. comm. 2003).

The use of local languages in the formal school system is thus restricted to an elective
course in elementary grades below grade 9. Local communities can contribute to this
specific "locally generated curriculum", and local languages can be used in this
curriculum if communities so choose. In some areas, local language materials with
Indonesian translations are produced for this curriculum. Local language committees and
NGOs are playing important roles in the development of local languages and the
production of literacy materials in such languages (Dardjowidjojo 1998; Ringenberg
2001; Riupassa & Ringenberg 2000, 2003).

2.2.3 Malaysia
About 140 languages are spoken in Malaysia making it a truly multilingual and
multicultural society. The population of some minority communities are in millions
(Grimes 2000). The National Language Policy states that Malay (Bahasa Malaysia) is the
official national language. In the government system of education there are two kinds of
schools: 1) national primary schools that use Malay as the medium of instruction, and 2)
national-type primary schools that use other languages, such as Mandarin, Tamil or
various Indian languages, as the media of instruction. In national primary schools, i.e.
Malay medium schools, Tamil and Mandarin as well as some indigenous languages can
be studied as subjects called „Pupil‟s Own Language‟ (POL). This is offered on two
conditions 1) learners‟ parents request it, and 2) there are at least fifteen students for a
mother tongue class (Jernudd 1999; Kua 1998; Smith 2003). Since 2003, Math and
Science are taught in English from primary grade one onwards (K. Smith pers. comm.
2003; Yaakub 2003).

Earlier only larger, non-indigenous minority languages, such as Mandarin and Tamil
were used in education, but recently, several indigenous peoples have begun education
programmes using local languages as well (Kua 1998; Smith 2003). The use of local
languages is mainly limited to teaching them as school subjects in primary grades 3 to 6.
Thus, local language use cannot yet be considered true bilingual education. Yet, the use
of indigenous minority languages is increasing.

In the East Malaysian state of Sarawak, Iban has been in the school system for several
years and another larger language Bidayuh hopes to soon be introduced in local schools.
In the state of Sabah, also in East Malaysia, Kadazandusun has been taught in
government school for some time and the use of Murut has just started. In Peninsular
Malaysia, an Orang Asli (the indigenous people of West Malaysia) language called Semai
is being used in some government schools. Local communities working through language
foundations and nongovernmental organizations have played important roles in language
development and inclusion of minority languages in the school system (Kua 1998;
Lasimbang & Kinajil 2000; Smith 2001, 2003, pers. comm. 2003).

2.2.4 Philippines
In terms of language diversity, the Philippines is second in Southeast Asia. Some 170
languages are spoken in the country. Languages such as Bicol, Cebuano, Illongo, Ilocano
and Tagalog, for example, are spoken by millions of people and widely used as the
LWCs in their respective areas. Most ethnolinguistic minorities are much smaller.
Writing systems have been developed for most of the languages, and more than 100
languages have some written materials in them (APPEAL 2001; Grimes 2000; Gonzales
1999; C. Young pers. comm. 2003).
The Bilingual Education Policy (1974, revised in 1987) states that English and Filipino
(based on Tagalog) are the languages of education and the official languages of literacy
for the nation. The goal of this policy is to have bilingual population in these languages.
Yet, the majority of Filipinos are not mother tongue speakers of either. In fact, only about
a quarter of the population is estimated to receive education in their first language
(Grimes 2000; Gonzales 1999; Jernudd 1999; Young 2002).

Local languages have been used in government schools as “transitional languages” for
initial instruction and early literacy up to primary grade three, although these activities
have not been carried out on a large scale. In the revised policy, local languages, in most
cases LWCs, were elevated to the role of “auxiliary languages”. In practise this often
means that local languages are used to explain the curriculum to students rather than
using them seriously as the media of instruction. In some cases, local language or
multilingual learning materials are also used with good results. Situations vary depending
on teachers and the availability of learning materials in local languages. Nevertheless, as
writing systems for most languages are fairly similar, many people literate in Filipino can
often quite easily transfer their literacy skills into their mother tongue (Dekker &
Dumatog 2003; Gonzales 1999; Jernudd 1999; Young 2002).

Local languages are used more widely in the nonformal sector. Much of language
development has been done by NGOs for nonformal education. NFE programmes using
local languages are usually run by community organizations, NGOs, and Churches, and
are rather small-scale. Some NFE endeavours have close links with the formal system,
although most nonformal education focuses on adult literacy. Arabic is also used in
Koranic schools, particularly in the South of the country (Gonzales 1999; Hohulin 1995;
Jernudd 1999; Young 2002).

2.2.5 Singapore
More than 20 languages are spoken in Singapore, a nation aiming at societal
multilingualism and bilingualism among its population. Three quarters of the population
are ethnic Chinese speaking many different varieties of Chinese. English is the most
important medium of instruction at all levels of education, and three other official
languages, i.e. Malay, Mandarin Chinese and Tamil, are taught as second languages
called mother tongues (Grimes 2000; Jernudd 1999).

Mandarin is used as the main medium of instruction in some schools. Students speaking
other Indian languages than Tamil can also study those languages as subjects. Speakers of
other languages can freely choose from those offered in the school curriculum, but there
is no provision of education in local languages as such, unlike in most nations in
Southeast Asia. Most Singaporean Chinese have not traditionally spoken Mandarin as
their first language, and this is a reason for the fact that only about a third of the
population is estimated to receive education in their mother tongue. The situation is
rapidly changing, however, as younger generations are becoming bilingual, for example,
in English and Mandarin. Thus, these languages are the mother tongues of such students
as they are being used increasingly also at home (ibid).
2.3 China
Officially, China is a country of 56 nationalities, but in fact, more than 200 languages are
spoken in the country. Thus, many nationalities consist of several quite diverse language
groups, sometimes as different as, for example, English and German (Bradley, Bradley &
Li 1999; Stites 1999). The Han majority comprises more than 90 percent of the total
population, and speaks many mutually unintelligible varieties of Chinese. Mandarin
Chinese (Putonghua) is the official language. Ethnic minorities, though only eight
percent of the Chinese population, still number close to a 100 million people (Grimes
2000, Lin 1997; Liu 2000; Zhou 2000).

The Chinese constitution provides all nationalities of China the freedom to use and
develop their languages. A law relating to ethnic minorities adds that conditions
permitting ethnic minority languages should be the media of instruction in schools where
the majority of students belong to minority groups. However, in many places these laws
are not implemented, and there are no regulations to guarantee that implementation
actually takes place (Jernudd, 1999, 119; Blachford 1997, 163).

Nonetheless, the government support to mother tongue education applies only to the 55
designated national minorities, leaving some 150 language communities without
validation for their need of language development and mother tongue education. In
addition, in Han areas, especially less developed rural areas, where other varieties of
Chinese than Mandarin are spoken, many students have difficulties understanding
teaching unless teachers also use a local Chinese language (Postiglione 1999). Many
official minority languages already have writing systems, yet more than 20 still lack them
(Blachford 1997, 157; Stites 1999, 99-101). However, a major problem in language
development is that many more than 55 writing systems are needed in China to provide
mother tongue education to all speakers of minority languages.

Many Chinese academics are interested in the use of minority languages in bilingual
education. They provide support and justification for the use of mother tongues in
education with the aim of bilingualism in a minority language and Mandarin. Chinese
scholars have conducted a wealth of research suggesting that a major reason for minority
children‟s poor educational achievement is that learners‟ mother tongues have not been
used in schools. Further, mother tongue is considered to be the best medium for early
learning and essential for the development of minority students‟ intellectual ability
(Blachford 1997; Lin 1997). Thus, “bilingual education is seen as the most feasible
policy and effective practise to solve minority language and education problems, and to
maintain a balance between the national unity and minority aspirations” (Blachford
1997, 159).

There is a lot of variation in the use of local languages in education, depending on the
geographical area and ethnolinguistic group. There are strong and weak forms of
bilingual education, and various shades in between. In the strong forms, an ethnic
language, usually a regional LWC with a long literate history, is used as the medium of
instruction from primary school through high school. In such programmes Mandarin is
taught as a second language starting from the 2nd or 3rd grade. The balance between the
use of the local and national language differs. Minorities benefiting from the strong forms
of bilingual education include Kazaks, Koreans, Mongolians, Uygurs and Tibetans
(Blachford 1997; Stites 1999; Zhou 1992).

The weak forms of bilingual education offer local language instruction in pre-primary
education for a fairly short period of time (6 –12 months). After this the minority children
are mainstreamed with Chinese speaking students. Blachford (1997, 161) calls this type
“in name only” bilingual education. Other examples of the weak forms are cases in which
ethnic languages are taught as a subject at different levels of the educational system
(Blachford 1997; Stites 1999; Xiao 1998; Zhou 1992).

The most common forms of local language use in bilingual education in China are
various transitional programmes. Such programmes start with the students‟ mother
tongue, but as soon as the students understand Mandarin to some extent, it becomes the
main medium of instruction. The transitional programmes aim to help children learn the
national language, but maintenance of the mother tongue is not seen as important
(Blachford 1997; Stites 1999; Xiao 1998; Zhou 1992). Chinese experience shows,
however, that learning achievements of students in bilingual programmes - even some
transitional ones - are better than in Chinese-only education for ethnic minorities
(Blachford 1997, 161; Xiao 1998, 230)

There are examples of local language use in Southwest China. Many of these languages
or related varieties are spoken in Southeast Asia as well. Literature refers to well-
established programmes of bilingual education and mother tongue literacy; some of them
allegedly strong forms of bilingual education, for example, in Bai, Naxi, Zhuang and Yi
languages (APPEAL 2001; Jernudd 1999, 120; Liu 2000). In practice, however, few such
efforts continue today, and in many “bilingual programmes” the local language
component is weak (Blachford 1997, 162-163). For example, the bilingual education for
the Bai cited in the literature has not been continued, except in a very limited way to help
older elementary school students improve their essay writing (L. Billard, pers. comm.
2004). However, plans to implement a new bilingual project amongst the Bai are

Very promising are recent experiences of Dong (or Kam) of Guizhou province. A nine-
year pilot programme of bilingual education launched in 2000 uses Dong and Mandarin,
starting with two years of preschool in which only Dong is used. Mandarin is introduced
in primary school, and Dong instruction continues throughout the primary school, with a
hope that this would help children stay in school through the primary cycle. The
preschool programme expanded in 2002 to several schools. Each year new Dong
curricula are added for the next higher primary school grade in the pilot project (Cobbey
2003; Geary & Pan forthcoming; Malone 2003).

Common difficulties faced in the use of local languages in China include: a lack of
writing systems; a lack of qualified minority language teachers; a lack of texts and
materials in minority languages; translation of textbooks from Chinese into minority
languages without any adaptation; transition from local language to Mandarin; and
negative attitudes towards the importance and usefulness of minority language education
(Blachford 1997, 161; Cobbey 2003; Lin 1997; Stites 1999, 95; Zhou 1992, 43). Reasons
for good progress in bilingual education endeavours in China include: positive and
progressive approach to bilingual education by local authorities, strong support of
academics, and major role of minority communities in curriculum development and
materials production.

2.4 UNESCO‟s Increasing Role in the Region
Being the main organisation in the UN system responsible for education, UNESCO‟s
stance and activities in the field of mother tongue education are important in a regional
overview such as this. Worldwide, UNESCO has been a strong supporter of the use of
mother tongues as the medium of instruction (e.g. UIE 2003, UNESCO 1953, 2003b).
However, with many other areas of responsibility and interest also, UNESCO may have
not been as active as it could in supporting its member states provide mother tongue

In Asia-Pacific, UNESCO‟s role in this area has recently increased drastically. For
example, a manual produced to help education officials implement functional literacy
programmes for ethnic minorities (APPEAL 1999) hardly mentions language. In
addition, it certainly does not emphasise the importance of mother tongue as a key to
functional literacy for people who may not speak the language in which literacy is
provided. Regional workshops (APPEAL 2001, 2002) were organised after the
publication of the manual. Through these workshops, the acknowledgement of language
as a significant factor in functional literacy seems to have increased, as is evident in the
workshop reports. In the first report, language issue is raised mainly by a couple of
national case studies, but the second report is already recommending the use of mother
tongues (as part of bilingual education) as a viable means to functional literacy. Further,
invited international experts have rewritten the 1999 manual. The new manual (UNESCO
2004b) is forthcoming, and the purpose of the manual is “to provide useful information
on best practices and practical strategies for developing relevant learning materials and
effectively organising literacy classes for minority communities -- using the mother
tongue/bilingual approach at the initial stage of teaching literacy classes and gradually
introducing the national language as learning progresses” (APPEAL 2003, 6).

In addition, UNESCO‟s APPEAL programme is supporting five Asian countries in their
action research projects on the use of local languages in literacy programmes for ethnic
minorities. The countries involved are Bangladesh, China, India, the Philippines and
Thailand. The approach taken by these pilot projects is fairly similar to other regional
initiatives deemed successful. For example, linguists are employed in the development of
appropriate materials in local languages and local communities play active role in
curriculum development and materials production. Pilots on NFE are planned in another
four countries, and UNESCO Bangkok is planning to expand its action-research on
mother tongue-based bilingual education also to formal primary level education
(APPEAL 2003, 7; 2004, 6-7; D. Riewpituk 2004, pers. comm.). Furthermore, UNESCO
has established an advisory group that will facilitate UNESCO Bangkok to develop the
UNESCO (2003b) Position Paper on Multilingual Education into a more practical manual
relevant to Asia. The manual anticipates responding to Asian policymakers‟ and
education planners‟ concerns about mother tongue and multi-lingual education, and
helping them turn vision into concrete action at the policy level (APPEAL 2004, 7; V.
Jensen, pers. comm. 2004; UNESCO Bangkok 2004).

3 Comparison of Current Regional Situation

This section attempts to provide a regional synthesis of the national situation in terms of
language use in basic education. Various Southeast Asian situations are compared
regarding different areas of language and education issues.

3.1 Language of Instruction Practice
Table one provides the regional overview on the use of local languages in basic
education. The first column of the table shows that in most countries local languages are
used, at least to some extent. According to available data and the definition given in note
1, only in three nations, i.e. Brunei, Laos, and Singapore no local languages are used in
any system of basic education.

The second column shows whether several languages are used in the government systems
of formal and nonformal basic education. The third column indicates whether local
languages are used as the media of instruction at some level of basic education. The
fourth column lists the languages used in the government system. According to available
data, in two countries, Laos and Myanmar only the national language is used. However,
in Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam, the use of local languages is fairly recent
phenomenon, and mainly confined to experimental pilot projects with strong support of
agencies and organisations outside the government system. Further, in Brunei and
Singapore only major languages are used in the government system. Data in columns 5
and 6 are elaborated later, in sections 3.2 and 3.3, respectively.

The regional situation is more diverse and complex than a look at the first three columns
of table one would indicate. Therefore, tables two and three sum up the use of local
languages in education in a slightly different way providing more details.

Table two highlights the use of local languages in various systems of education, thus
supplementing the data given in the first two columns of table one. Columns one, two and
three of table two indicate the use of local languages in different systems, primary,
nonformal and adult education, respectively. Column four indicates whether local
languages are used orally in classes. However, data are not available on all countries, but
this does not necessarily mean that local languages would not be used orally. Finally, the
last two columns indicate whether mother tongue-based bilingual education is provided
(column 5), and which, if any, languages are used as mother tongues in bilingual
education (column 6).
Table three uses the same data as the first column of table one, this time indicating also
the provider of education. Various basic education activities are divided on the basis of
whether they are organised by government agencies or any non-governmental
stakeholders. Thus, the regional situation is assumed to be what table three displays.

According to table three, four distinct situations can be determined. Firstly, China
represents a situation in which local languages are used in education to a great extent, and
all is provided by government agencies. Vietnam, on the other hand is an example of a
situation in which the government is the only provider of education in local languages,
but local languages are not used much. Thirdly, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines
can be grouped together to represent a situation in which both government agencies and
the non-governmental sector provide education using local languages, but the extent of
activities and the role of stakeholders vary in different countries. Finally, Thailand,
Cambodia, and Myanmar could be grouped together to represent a situation in which
education in local languages is mostly provided by the non-governmental sector (or in the
case of Myanmar, NGOs only), and the extent of activities varies.

              Local        Multiple       Local          Languages     Access to    Total
              languages    languages      languages      used in the   education    number
              used    in   in             used      as   government    in     L1    of
              education1   government     media of       system of     (percent)5   languages
                           system of      instruction3   education4                 spoken6
China         Yes          Yes            Yes                          69           201
Brunei        No           Yes            No                           2            17
Cambodia      Yes          Yes            Yes            local         90           19
Indonesia     Yes          Yes            No                           10           726
Lao PDR       No           No             No             Lao           < 507        82
Malaysia      Yes          Yes            No                           45           139
Myanmar       Yes          No            Yes        Myanma         61             107
Philippines Yes          Yes           Yes          English,       26             169
Singapore No             Yes           No                          33             21
Thailand     Yes         Yes           Yes          local          < 50           75
Vietnam      Yes         Yes           No           local          91             93
Table 1. Local language use in China and Southeast Asia in Basic Education.

Notes to table 1:
   „Local languages used in education „ states whether local languages or languages of
wider communication (LWC) (i.e. other than national or official language) are used in
education practice at any level or in any system of basic education (such as pre-primary,
primary or lower secondary education, formal or nonformal system, run by the
government or other stakeholders, such as local communities, NGOs etc.). Yes means
that both instruction and some learning materials are in local languages. Therefore,
situations in which teachers use a local language or a LWC orally in addition to the
official language of instruction are not included here.
  „Multiple languages in government system of education’ refers to a situation in which
more than one language is used in the government system of education (either formal or
nonformal at any level of basic education as stated above). Thus, private formal schools
or education projects by nongovernmental organizations are not included in this column.
Yes in bold means that despite more than one language is used, local languages as such
are not.
3 „
    Local languages used as media of instruction’ refers to a situation in which local
languages are used as the actual media of instruction at any level or system of basic
education. Yes in bold means that local languages are used only in nonformal education
by NGOs.
 4 „
    Languages used in the government system of education’ lists the names of the
languages used in the government system. Details of other languages are given in each
country case. LWC = language of wider communication, local language = see definition
in the introduction of this paper.
5 „
   Access to education in L1 (percent)’ refers to the estimated percentage of a nation‟s
total population having access to education in learners‟ first language (L1). The criterion
is linguistic, i.e. the proportion of population speaking as mother tongue one of the
languages used in education. Source: Walter (2004). Cambodian, Lao and Thai situations
estimated by the author on the basis of data from Chazée (1999), Grimes (2000),
Kingsada (2003), National Statistical Centre (1997), Schliesinger (2000, 2003), and
Smalley (1994).
  Total number of languages’ spoken in a given country. Source: Grimes (2000).
  Chazée (1999, 7, 14) claims that only about 35 % of the population of Lao PDR are Tai
Lao (also called Lao Loum or Lowland Lao). He maintains that other ethnic groups
related to the Lao are included in higher figures of Lao population. However, there are no
data on whether other Tai groups speak Lao as their mother tongue or not.

               Local         Local         Local        Local       Mother-     Languages
               languages     languages     languages    languages   tongue      used     as
               used    in    used    in    used    in   used        based       mother
               primary       nonformal     adult        orally in   bilingual   tongues in
               education     education     education    classes     education   bilingual
China          Yes           Yes           Yes          Yes         Yes
Brunei         No            No            No           -           No
Cambodia       Yes           Yes           Yes          Yes         Yes         LLs
Indonesia      Yes           Yes           -            Yes         No
Lao PDR        No            No            No           Yes         No
Malaysia       Yes           Yes           -            -           Yes
Myanmar Yes             Yes         Yes                 Yes         No
Philippines Yes         Yes         Yes                 Yes         No
Singapore No            No          No                  -           No
Thailand     Yes        Yes         Yes                 Yes         No
Vietnam      Yes        Yes         Yes                 Yes         No
Table 2. The use of local languages in various          systems of education in China and
Southeast Asia. (Note „LLs‟ = local languages,          „Man‟= Mandarin Chinese, „Tam‟=

                     Local language use in education
                     Little                       Much
                                 Viet             China

                                   Thai    Cam
Table 3. Local language use and the provider of services in basic education. (Note that
Brunei, Laos and Singapore do not have educational activities in local languages, thus
these cases are not included.)
3.2 Access to Basic Education in First Language
The fifth column of table one provides an estimated percentage of national populations
speaking languages of instruction as their first language (L1) or mother tongue. This
means that if several languages of instruction are used in a given country, the total
population speaking those languages as their mother tongue is counted. The data are from
Walter (2004). He has modified and supplemented Grimes‟ (2000) data, and has thus
been able to identify the situation in all countries of the world. Figure one displays the
data on China and Southeast Asia as a chart. The data show that only in four nations more
than half of the population have access to education in L1. In Indonesia and Brunei less
than 10 percent of the citizens are able to receive education in their first language. On the
other hand, in countries with a relatively small proportion of population being ethno
linguistic minorities, such as Cambodia and Vietnam, only some 10 percent of the
citizens do not have access to mother tongue education.

                                          Population with access to education in first language






Figure 1. Estimated proportion of national populations with access to education in their
first language in China and Southeast Asia. Source: Walter (2004). (Cambodian, Lao and
Thai situations estimated by the author on the basis of data from Chazée (1999), Grimes
(2000), Kingsada (2003), National Statistical Centre (1997), Schliesinger (2000, 2003),
and Smalley (1994).)

3.3 Linguistic Diversity in Southeast Asia
The sixth column of table one provides figures for the total number of languages spoken
in each Southeast Asian country. Figure two displays the same data in a graphic format.
The data shows that there are no monolingual nations in the region. In every country at
least 17 languages are spoken, as in Brunei. On the other hand, more than 700 languages
are spoken in Indonesia, about 200 in China, and 100-200 languages in Myanmar,
Malaysia, and the Philippines.

                                   Number of languages


                0   100      200       300      400      500      600      700       800

Figure 2. Estimated number of languages spoken in China and Southeast Asia. Source:
Grimes (2000).

4 Regional Trends in the Use of Local Languages in Education
4.1 General Situation in the Region
This section sums up the trends regarding the use of local languages in basic education in
Southeast Asia and China. Earlier discussion explored the language issue in eleven
countries. In most of these countries local languages are used in education, but the extent
varies significantly. China provides the most elaborate forms of education in local
languages. Larger LWCs as well as smaller local languages are used at various levels of
education, in some cases up to the university level. However, not all minorities in China
receive equal support, and many ethnolinguistic minorities in China are not any better off
than most minority groups in Southeast Asia.

No country in Southeast Asia has such elaborate systems as China for including local
languages in education. Of all eleven nations discussed in this paper, mother tongue-
based bilingual education can actually be found only in China, although there are
promising pilot projects in other countries, such as those in Cambodia. In Malaysia
mother tongue-based bilingual education is provided only in major languages such as
Mandarin Chinese and Tamil. Generally, bilingual education in Southeast Asia means
education in the national language and English. Cases of this can be found in Brunei, the
Philippines, Singapore, and to some extent Malaysia. Oral use of local languages is fairly
common in all countries. There is no evidence from all countries, but it can be assumed
that if minority students do not understand the medium of instruction, and the teacher and
her students have another common language, it is used for classroom interaction and
explaining subject matter. A recent study from Tanzania and South Africa shows that
despite the official language policy, teachers and students use languages with which they
are most comfortable (Brock-Utne & Holmarsdottir 2004).

(Benson 2003) uses the concept of “foot-in-the-door” strategies meaning “measures that
can be taken to facilitate a gradual process of change in classroom languages and
interaction”. Such strategies include the authorized use of oral mother tongue in
classrooms, the use of the mother tongue in preschools, short-cut transitional bilingual
education, the mother tongue as a school subject, and NFE and literacy programmes in
the mother tongue. Further language development in minority languages and continuing
participatory development of reading materials in local languages could be added to this
list as well. In most Southeast Asian countries some foot-in-the-door strategies are
apparent. For instance in Cambodia, Malaysia and Thailand, a gradual process towards
potential mother tongue-based bilingual education is taking place. In these countries as
well as other parts of the world such process has usually started with community and
NGO efforts in adult and pre-primary education and has been nonformal in structure. As
a result of this, the government‟s formal system may have included local language
components in the curricula, mainly using these languages orally in classrooms or
teaching them as subjects. Yet, this has paved the way towards true bilingual education,
or even to a change in the national language policy, as for example in Papua New Guinea
(Klaus 2003; Litteral 1999; Nagai 2001; Siegel 1997).

In most Southeast Asian countries, the government supports the use of local languages in
education in principle by means of legislation, such as constitution or education laws and
policies. However, these principles are not always implemented. In many countries, an
evident mismatch in policy and practice exists, most notably in Indonesia, Myanmar and
Vietnam. In Vietnam, for example, government officials often talk about bilingual
education that include minority languages. Yet, in fact the practice is more like teaching
local languages as subjects with a fairly obvious goal of assimilating minority students
into majority population.

Regionally, there is an increased interest in the use of local languages in education.
Minority communities themselves are active in contributing to the inclusion of their
mother tongues in some form of education. This can be seen in an increasing number of
countries where an increasing number of educational pilot projects in local languages.
International organisations, such as UNESCO and UNICEF, are also focusing more than
before on the use of mother tongues in education.

Non-formal sector uses local languages more widely than formal. Civil society and
nongovernmental organisations implement most educational activities using local
languages, usually a form of non-formal education. In some cases such endeavours have
become a part of the national system of education, either formal or non-formal. At least
Cambodia seems to be heading this way.

4.2 Preconditions for Successful Use of Local Languages
A wealth of research is available on the use of minority languages in education. These are
mainly case studies from around the world, but an analysis of these cases indicates some
general prerequisites for basic education in local languages. The arguments below are
based on the following studies. Benson (2002, 2003), CAL (2001), Cenoz & Genesee
(1998), Dutcher & Tucker (1996), Klaus et al (2003), Malone (2003), Malone & Arnove
(1998), Robinson (1999), Stroud (2002), Tucker (1998), UNESCO (2003b, 2004b) and
Watson (1999), for example, discuss these factors generally and on the basis of a variety
of situations, Asian countries included. Studies conducted in Asia and Pacific point out
similar factors, for example, Escott (2000) and Thomas (2002) in Cambodia; Geary &
Pan (Forthcoming) and Postiglione (1999) in China; Gustafsson (1991) in India; Hohulin
(1995) and Young (2002) in the Philippines; Kosonen (2002a, 2002b, 2003) in Thailand;
Kua (1998) and Smith (2001, 2003) in Malaysia; and Klaus (2003), Nagai (1998, 1999,
2001) and Siegel (1997) in Papua New Guinea. Aikman (1995), Hornberger (1997),
Hornberger & King (2001), Hornberger & López (1998) and Trudell (1993), for example,
provide evidence from Latin America, and Benson (2001), Gfeller (2000), Herbert
(1996), Hill (2002), Mbuagbaw (1999), Obanya (1999), Omolewa (2000), Robinson &
Gfeller (1997) and Webb (1999) from various African situations. The prerequisites
discussed here are also fairly similar to factors determined in successful programmes of
nonformal education (Kosonen 1998) or learner-centred adult literacy (Malone & Arnove

Particularly important are supportive external conditions. Political conditions prevailing
in the area must support, or at least permit, independent activities of minority peoples,
particularly in education. Sufficient funding for activities is critical. Yet stakeholders
should agree upon the sufficient level of outside funding to avoid “over-funding”.
Funding received too easily or in too large amounts may discourage community
contributions and ownership. The goals of education in local languages have rarely been
achieved without supportive economic and political conditions. However, the case of the
Democratic Republic of Congo (Hill 2002; Robinson & Gfeller 1997) shows that if
supportive environment exists for education in local languages, it can be successfully
provided, even under difficult economic circumstances.

Local initiatives seem to sustain better than activities based on outsiders‟ ideas. Local
communities can be responsible for many activities in local language development and
the provision of education in local languages. Outside contribution is needed if
community members do not have the required linguistic and educational expertise. In
most cases the role of outsiders as consultants and trainers is sufficient. Relevant outside
stakeholders include local or foreign linguists, educators and other academics as well as
national or international NGOs, or various funding and donor agencies.

The community-based approach seems to be an inexpensive, efficient and sustainable
way of providing literacy and basic education in local languages. However, this approach
requires continuous and regular internal assessment and the modification of existing
practices. In most cases, this approach depends on multiple partnerships. Multipartite
cooperation and coordination of various stakeholders‟ responsibilities must be
unambiguous and straightforward or otherwise cooperation may decelerate or even
paralyse the endeavour. Clear delegation of roles, responsibilities and power is critical
and calls for transparency in all action. The key issue throughout the process is that the
community itself is equipped to be responsible for most activities. This requires
continuous awareness raising and community mobilisation.

The factors discussed above include some general preconditions for successful provision
of education in local languages. Yet, the current knowledge about what supports and
what hinders the provision of education in local languages is quite limited. More research
is needed, especially in determining (a) which factors can be anticipated as critical before
a programme commences, (b) which factors are not critical, but rather facilitate the
efforts, and (c) which factors can be identified only ex post facto. Furthermore,
practitioners and researchers would benefit from knowing which factors are culture-
specific and which more universal. Thus, there is an apparent need for research that
would thoroughly analyse different well-documented cases in different contexts and
would build also on the experience of personnel of such endeavours. Further studies
might shed light on factors thus far not determined.

5 Conclusions
In all Southeast Asian countries except Brunei Darussalam, Lao PDR and Singapore local
languages are used in education at least to some extent. Brunei and Singapore use several
languages as the media of instruction in the government system of education, whereas
Lao PDR uses only the national language. However, it can be assumed that local
languages are used orally also in these countries. In Myanmar, only nongovernmental
organisations provide local language education and only in the nonformal sector. The use
of local languages in Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam, is still at the beginning stages in
some pilot projects.

Research and practical experiences from around the world prove that the use of local
languages in education is feasible. Curriculum development and materials production in
local languages can be cost-effective. Innovative teaching and learning practices and the
use of “volunteer” teachers (native speakers of local languages) can help alleviate
challenges that may seem to hinder the provision of education in the mother tongue.
Local language education can be provided in ways not necessarily more expensive than
other basic education, in particular if education provided also reduces repetition and
dropout of minority students (CAL 2001; Dutcher & Tucker 1996; Klaus 2003; Klaus et
al 2003; Litteral 1999; Obanya 1999; Patrinos & Velez 1996; Tucker 1998). This is an
extremely important point, as a common argument against bilingual and multilingual
education is its assumed costliness.

Furthermore, there is sufficient evidence to prove that all languages can be written, and
consequently used in education. Numerous cases from Southeast Asia and around the
world show that collaboration of local communities and linguists can result in viable
writing systems for previously unwritten languages, or further develop languages that
already have tentative writing systems. The use of newly written languages in education,
however, usually requires also the contribution of education specialists. The costs of
initial language development of a previously unwritten language are considerable. Yet,
cooperation between local communities, academics, NGOs, civil society organisations,
various donor agencies as well as national governments enable this to happen even in
small language communities. Language development can be economically viable through
cooperation (e.g. Klaus 2001, 2003; Litteral 1999; Robinson 1999; UNESCO 2003b).
The principle of collaboration applies to all parts of local language education. In very few
cases successful mother tongue programmes have no contribution of the local community
at all.

Most members of ethno linguistic minority communities in Southeast Asia have to start
their education in a language they neither understand nor speak. Lessons learned
elsewhere in the use local languages could certainly be adapted to these contexts.
Biliteracy and mother tongue-based bilingual education benefit particularly those who
speak only a local language or who have an insufficient knowledge of the currently used
medium of instruction. Consequently, it is imperative to search for different options that
could be considered viable for alleviating the constraints of ethno linguistic minorities‟
education in Southeast Asia. This would benefit hundreds of minority communities and
ten of millions of people.

    Enhancing School-Based Management (SBM) (experience 3)


School-based Management (SBM) makes the school dynamics and relevant to the
community. It provides opportunities for the school and the community to take greater
control of the direction of the school; gives authority and flexibility to manage school
resources and encourages leadership and participation. Principals become true
educational leaders and with the involvement and participation of teachers and the
community ensures the delivery of relevant quality educational service to the students.

Conceptual Framework and Legal Mandate

The basic element of School-based Management is a change in the formal governance of
the school marked by an increased involvement of the different stakeholders in
management of the school. It implies ownership and accountability likewise empowers
them to make collaborative decisions on what is best for the learners they serve.
The main objectives of school-based management then are:

1. To empower the principal of the school to provide leadership, and

2. To mobilize the community to invest in making the school a better place to learn.

It is in school-based management that decision-making authority is decentralized from a
higher level of school administration to decision makers at the school level in order to
stimulate school improvement.

The principles Underlying School-based Management are:
1. SBM empowers the school and the principal to provide education that is responsive to
    community needs.

2. SBM engages parents and community in formulating policies and making decisions
that will redound to the benefit and welfare of children and the community

3. SBM enables the school principal have fiscal autonomy and to manage funds and other
financial support from the regular budget and from other sources

4. SBM gives school principal opportunities to enrich their function and role to become
dynamic managers

5. SBM provides school principals greater opportunity to make decisions on curriculum
and instructional matters

6. SBM gives life to the principle of shared responsibility and accountability for making
education work for the children and the community.

In the Philippines, the legal mandate in support for school principals in implementing
School-based Management is provided for by Republic Act 9155 (Governance of Basic
Education Act of 2001) and which states:
“The school head shall have authority, accountability and responsibility for the following:
    1) Setting the mission, vision, goals and objectives of the school
    2) Creating an environment within the school that is conducive to teaching and
    3) Implementing the school curriculum and being accountable for higher learning
    4) Developing the school education program and school improvement plan
    5) Offering educational program, projects and services which provide equitable
        opportunities for all learners in the community
    6) Introducing new and innovative modes of instruction to achieve higher learning
    7) Administering and Managing all personnel, physical and fiscal resources of the
    8) Recommending the staffing complement of the school-based on its needs
    9) Encouraging staff development
    10) Establishing school and community networks and encouraging the active
        participation of teachers organizations, non-academic personnel of public school
        and parents-teachers-community associations
    11) Accepting donations, gifts, bequests and grants for the purpose of upgrading
        teachers/learning facilitators competencies, improving and expanding school
        facilities and providing instructional materials and equipment.

Initiatives to Enhance School-Based Management
Building the capability of school principals on:
    School-based in-service training programs for teachers
    Resource and Fund Management
      Problem solving/ decision making
      Formulation of school improvement plan
      Networking and linkage
      Administrative and Supervisory Skills

Organization and Maximization of school support system
      Advocacy with local government units, parents and community association; non-
       governmental or governmental organizations and other stakeholders;

      Organization of school advisory councils;

      Strong Involvement of Parent-Teachers-Association in relation to school

      Provision of Maintenance and Other Operating Expenditures (MOOE) to be
       released directly to schools

Issues on the Implementation of SBM

Policies on the release of School Maintenance and Other Operating Expenditures

      Structures and policies on the operation of School Advisory Councils

      Parameters of involvement of Parent-Teacher-Association to the operation of the

      Absence of duly appointed school principal in small monograde and multigrade

      Absence of support personnel in the school (staffing pattern)

Structure and Mechanism of communication flow: Intra – district; intra - division

      Equitable formula for allocation of resources (regular and from other sources, i.e.
       Special Education Fund) considering:

      Terrain

      Enrolment

      Extent of being a “ddu” school (disadvantaged, deprived, underserved)

      Existing government policies, rules and regulations in government audit (fund
       accountability; bond; support staff)

The issue of equity is a critical one for nations in today‟s divided world. The
international community expresses commitment to this fundamental value. The work of
the United Nations is predicated upon the pursuit of this goal, with its determination to
eradicate poverty and eliminate injustice. The conventions and declarations which result
from its deliberations mandate that member states uphold and protect the universal and
specific rights of their citizens in many areas of human endeavour. The extent to which
this is achieved is dependent upon the actions of individual member states – and upon the
perceived importance of the issue addressed.

Education is the foundation for development and the key that opens the door to
opportunity. It is one of the most powerful weapons to combat poverty. Although
education alone cannot solve the problems of poverty, poverty cannot be solved without

Access to education
Lack of access to education remains the key risk factor for poverty and exclusion. For
children and youth with disabilities, however, the risk of poverty owing to lack of
education is even higher than it is for non-disabled children, youth and adults. Exclusion
from education for children and youth with disabilities results in exclusion from
opportunities for further personal development, particularly diminishing their access to
vocational training, employment, income generation and business development. It limits
participation in and contribution to family, social and community activities and
obligations. Failure to access education prevents the achievement of economic and social
independence and increases vulnerability to long-term, life-long poverty in what can
become a self-perpetuating, inter-generational cycle. In the Asian and Pacific region, as
is the case throughout the developing world, the World Bank estimates that persons with
disability are over-represented amongst those living in poverty.

The right to education
The right to education for all children has been accepted as part of international policy
since 1990, with the introduction of the Education for All (EFA) programme at the
Jomtien Conference, held in Thailand. Ten years later the international community
reaffirmed its commitment to the EFA concept with the Dakar Framework for Action in
EFA, declared in Dakar, Senegal, in April 2000. At the end of 2000 the United Nations
declared the Millennium Development Goals, again committing to ensuring that by 2015
all children would be able to complete a primary school education.
Convention and Declarations on the right to education include:

   Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948)
   Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989)
   World Declaration on Education for All (1990)
   Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities
   Salamanca Statement and Framework for Action (1994)
   Dakar Framework for Action on Education For All (2000)
   Millennium Development Goals (2000)

The reality – access and quality of education for children with disabilities

What has been the outcome of these commitments for children with disabilities? Is
equitable access to education for children with disabilities a reality? Does the education
which is available to them respond to their diverse needs in a sensitive and technically
appropriate manner? Can the education that children with disabilities have access to be
described as quality education? If the answer to any of these questions is „no‟ then a
further question needs to be asked. Does the Education for All programme mean what it
says when it says „all’ children? Are children with disabilities included in the term „all

Available evidence from many sources suggests that this has not been the case.
Estimates of the number of children with disabilities who are accessing any education at
all in developing countries have ranged from 2-10 per cent. (ESCAP, 2002; UNICEF,
1999; Jonsson & Wiman, 2001; Jones, 2001), whereas the average rate of enrolment for
non-disabled children in developing countries of the Asian and Pacific region is 70 per
cent. The shocking reality that is emerging is that in many developing countries in our
region in excess of 90 per cent of children with disabilities have no access to education at
all. Information on the quality of education being received by the minority who are
fortunate enough to attend school ranges from limited to non-existent..

As recently as November 2003 the Director-General of UNESCO presented a status
report on achieving the Millennium Development Goal of achieving Universal Primary
Education by 2015 to the Untied Nations Development Group (UNDG) in New York, in
which he stated that 98 per cent of children with disabilities in developing countries do
not attend school. This finding was reported in the context of significant gains in other
areas, such as the United Nations Girls‟ Education Initiative (UNGEI) and the UNAIDS
Inter-Agency Task Team on Education and HIV/AIDS (IATT). Both the latter groups
were specifically highlighted for special attention in the Dakar Framework for Action, in
contrast to the limited attention placed on children with disabilities, most commonly
subsumed under the generalized term “disadvantaged groups”. Failure to specify
children and youth with disabilities by name, as a target group for special attention, has
resulted in a failure to address their educational needs, which has manifested as a failure
to provide this specific group of young people access to education.
The United Nations Millennium Development Goal on Universal Primary Education is:

“To ensure that by the year 2015 children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able
to complete a full course of primary schooling, and that girls and boys alike will have
equal access to all levels of education”.

Are children with disabilities included in this goal? Throughout the declaration of the
there is no reference, explicit or otherwise, to children and adults with disabilities.

Awareness of this situation is growing and concern is leading to action within the
international community. For the situation to change this concern and the strategies that
emerge from it must have impact at national level. A commitment from governments to
educate all their children , including those children with disabilities, is an essential first
step to address this glaring inequity. A second step is to ensure that the education
provided is appropriate and responsive to the needs of all children, no matter how diverse
their abilities.

The reality – access to education for children with disabilities in the Asian and Pacific

Results of the evaluation of achievements of the goals of the first Asian and Pacific
of Disabled Persons, 1993-2002, indicated that there had been significant progress
toward the goal of full participation and equality for persons with disabilities but from a
very low baseline level. Progress, across the 12 policy areas of the Agenda for Action of
the Decade programme was uneven, as reported by 43 of the (then) 61 countries and
territories of the UNESCAP region. The improved situation experienced by some
disabled persons was not yet reaching the majority of people with disabilities, particularly
the urban poor and those living in rural areas. Education was the sixth policy area of the
Agenda for Action. It was viewed as the defining social service which has the capacity to
empower and provide opportunities for the development of children and youth – and
adults – with disabilities into independent, self-sufficient and contributing adults. Data
from the UNESCAP review, based upon information provided by governments of the
Asian and Pacific region, indicated that less than 10 per cent of children and youth with
disabilities in developing countries of the region have access to any form of education.

Additional findings of the review of the first Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabled
Persons (1993-2002):
 One third of governments in the region had passed or planned to pass legislation
   mandating education for all children.
 Only 7 governments had specifically included children and youth with disabilities in
   their national EFA plans.
 National data collection on children and youth with disabilities (and adults) was
   limited or non-existent.
   Data on children and youth with disabilities was not included in the EFA monitoring
   One half of governments in the region provided some funding for the education of
    children with disabilities.
   Most education for CWD was provided in special schools.
   This situation was changing with an equal number of governments beginning to
    include CWD in regular schools
   There was some awareness and move to develop early intervention and pre-school
   There was limited access to post-school (tertiary) education and training for youth
    with disabilities.
   Some governments were beginning to provide training for regular teachers which
    included strategies for teaching children with a diverse range of abilities and
    disabilities within regular schools and classes.
   Significant progress had been made by a number of countries in the Asian and Pacific
    region. This was true for both large and small countries, and included least developed
    countries. Examples of good progress and good practice included China, India,
    Thailand, Laos PDR, Samoa, Viet Nam.

The reality – current initiatives:

 The second Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons (2003-2012).
The second Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons was considered necessary in
order to consolidate progress made during the first Decade, to further address areas of
critical need, which included the need for a very strong focus on education, and to
address areas of emerging relevance, such as ICT and the relationship between poverty
and disability. The Biwako Millennium Framework (BMF) was adopted by governments
of the region at the meeting to conclude the first Asian and Pacific Decade of disabled
Persons, held in Otsu, Japan in October 2002. The BMF provides a blueprint for policy
development to guide the actions of governments towards an inclusive, barrier-free and
rights-based society for persons with disabilities in Asia and the Pacific by 2012.
Education is the third of seven priority areas identified for focused attention during the
second decade.

The seven areas of the BMF are:
 Self-help organizations of persons with disabilities
 Women with Disabilities
 Early detection, early intervention and education
 Training and employment, including self-employment
 Access to built environments and public transport
 Access to information and communications, including information, communications
     and assistive technologies
 Poverty alleviation
The targets of the BMF for the area of Early detection, Early intervention and Education
To include children with disabilities in the MDGs
 Children and youth with disabilities will be an integral part of the population targeted
   by the millennium development goal of ensuring that by 2015 all boys and girls will
   complete a full course of primary schooling.
 At least 75 per cent of children with disabilities of school age will, by 2010, be able
   to complete a full course of primary schooling.
 By 2012, all infants and young children (0-4 years) will have access to and receive
   community-based early intervention services, which ensure survival, with support and
   training for their families.
 Governments should ensure detection of disabilities at as early an age as possible.

Actions required in order to achieve the targets:
 Specifically include children with disabilities (CWD) in legislation mandating EFA
   for all children.
 Explicitly include CWD in national education plans
 Formulate educational policy and planning in consultation with organizations of
   PWD and with parents
 Develop systems of education which actively encourage CWD to attend their local
   primary schools, and encourages local and community schools to actively seek to
   enrol CWD.
 Prepare the school system for change towards inclusive education, with the realisation
   that ALL children have the RIGHT to attend school and that is it‟s the responsibility
   of the school to accommodate diversity in abilities of learners.
 Provide a range of educational options, recognising the move towards inclusive
   education, except in specific circumstances where an alternative is indicated.
 Ensure an adequate budgetary allocation is made specifically for the education of
 Comprehensive data collection is needed for policy, planning and monitoring of
   progress in including CWD in regular and special schools. This will require data on
   children with disabilities not in the school system. A new WHO International
   classification system for identifying children with functional limitations is currently
   being finalised. Multi-sectoral use of data should be encouraged, and should result in
   the planning of appropriate early intervention and educational provision, resources
   and necessary support services, from birth through school age.
 Set 5 year targets for the enrolment of CWD in early intervention, pre-school,
   primary, secondary and tertiary (post-school) education, and monitor progress at all
 Ministries of health and other concerned ministries should establish early detection
   and identification services, linked to early intervention services, in urban and rural
   areas, with emphasis on developing community-based services.
 Early intervention services should be established in collaboration with organizations
   of PWD, parents, families and caregivers, NGOs and community-based agencies to
   support and training to all disabled infants and children with disabilities and their
   Government should work in partnership with NGOs at national and local level to
    conduct public awareness campaigns to inform families of PWD, and their
    communities, of their right to participate in education at all levels and of the benefit
    to them in doing so, in both urban and rural areas.

Actions specifically targeting QUALITY of education for children and youth with
disabilities include:
 Conduct education for raising the awareness of government officials, including
    educational and school administrators, and teachers, to promote positive attitudes to
    the inclusion of CWD in education, to increase sensitivity to the rights of CWD to be
    educated in local schools, and on practical strategies for promoting their entry into
 Provide comprehensive teacher training to all teachers, with methodology and
    techniques for teaching children with diverse abilities in regular classes
 Introduce flexible, relevant curriculum, teaching and assessment methods
 Encourage suitable candidates with disabilities to enter the teaching profession.
 Establish procedures for child screening, identification and placement.
 Promote child-centred, small group and individualized teaching strategies
 Establish systems of learner and teacher support, including resource centres and
    specialist teachers, in rural and urban areas.
 Ensure the availability of appropriate and accessible teaching materials, equipment

Additional actions:
 Progressively work toward achieving barrier-free and accessible schools and
 Encourage programmes of research at tertiary institutions to develop further effective
   methodologies for teaching children with diverse abilities.
 Advocacy for the education of CWD should be a high priority in the agenda of
   Governments and organizations of PWD, and other education and disability-related
 Regional cooperation needs to be strengthened to facilitate the sharing of experiences
   and good practices and to support the development of inclusive education initiatives.

Future Hopes:
The UNESCO Flagship on the Right to Education for Persons with Disabilities:
Towards Inclusion.

The Flagship is the last of eight special focus area Flagship Programmes to be formed in
support of the goals of the Dakar Framework for Action on Education for All. The
Flagships were foreshadowed at the Dakar Meeting in April 2000 to facilitate the
achievement of the Dakar goal of Education For All by 2015.

The purpose and goal of the Flagship on the Right to Education for Persons with
Disabilities: Towards Inclusion is to facilitate access to quality learning for all children
but with specific focus on ensuring that children and youth with disabilities are included
in initiatives to achieve this goal.

The first meeting of the Flagship Steering Committee was held in Uganda in November
2003. Membership includes UNESCO and the University of Oslo, who form the joint
Secretariat, representatives from each of the seven disability organizations which form
the International Disability Alliance (IDA), two Ministries of Education, multi-lateral
donors and UN agencies, including the World Bank, OECD, WHO, UNICEF, and Finida.

At this meeting an ad hoc Working Group for Asia and the Pacific was formed, and it
was foreshadowed that a similar group would be formed in each region of the world.
Extensive partnerships and a number of other working groups would be formed to direct
global attention and expertise into the processes necessary to ensure that all persons with
disabilities have access to education. Focused attention would be placed on the following
issues, ensuring:
 That the situation of children and youth with disabilities is reflected in the annual
    EFA Global Monitoring Report, and that appropriate indicators are developed for this
 That children and youth with disabilities are included in national EFA plans and
    implementation processes
 That an awareness of the importance of disability statistics and indicators is
    developed, as well as expertise in collecting disability data in education, to ensure an
    adequate base of information for planning, implementing and monitoring strategies
    for the full inclusion of children and youth with disabilities in education systems at
    national level, and for evaluating their educational status at national, regional and
    global levels.
 That capacity building would be a priority area for action, with initiatives at many
    levels, to improve the quality and appropriateness of teacher education.
 That a rights based approach would be adopted in formulating national education
 That the right to education for persons with disabilities would be integrated into
    poverty reduction strategies of the World Bank.
 That relevant research would be undertaken to support resource mobilization to
    address critical issues such as identifying out of school children and the development
    of strategies to reverse this situation; to determine the critical components of quality
    education; to determine the links between disability, education and poverty; analysis
    of sample EFA national plans, with a view to impact on the process to encourage the
    inclusion of children and youth with disabilities.

 The current situation in the Asian and Pacific region cannot continue.
 The regional and international community must support Governments and NGOs
  concerned with disability and education to take the actions necessary to ensure that
  CWD are included in all EFA initiatives.
   Families of CWD and organizations of PWD need to be strengthened to increase their
    capacity to advocate for the full inclusion of their children in national education
   Pilot projects must be undertaken to analyse the challenges and identify effective
    strategies to address each level of the system, both Government and community.
   Systematic mechanisms for sharing experiences and providing opportunities to learn
    together and from each other must be generated and funded.
   Children with disabilities must be counted in the Global Monitoring Reports of the
    EFA process, and in monitoring of progress towards the education goal of the
    Millennium Development Goals.
   Progress towards inclusion of all children with disabilities in schools in countries of
    the Asian and Pacific region must be made before the end of the second Asian and
    Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons.
   The responsibility belongs to all of us and necessitates action at all levels, by
    individuals, communities, families of children with disabilities, organizations of
    persons with disabilities, Governments and NGO agencies, regional and international

For the millions of children and youth with disabilities with no access to school, the only
possibility of providing them with education is to include them in the local community

           b.   Partnership Alliance
     Establishing Alliances and Partnerships for Improving Quality and Equity
      in Education

In the 21st Century, the world is globalized, competitive, and experiencing faster rates of
technical change. In this new world, equitable education is the precondition of economic
success and indeed survival. The first requirement in the quest for development and
equity must be to make schooling of quality available to all. But for many countries this
is still far off. Even if formal education systems were fully developed and more
accessible, it could not be expected to serve the learning needs of more than a fraction of
millions of people.

Education must not be equated with schooling or formal education alone. Non-formal
education which emerged as an innovation to solving pressing problems in a given
society, and informal mode of instruction and learning too, are playing important roles
today. The governments must recognize that formal education systems alone cannot
respond to rapid and constant technological, social and economic changes in society and
that they should be supplemented with non-formal education practices.

A broad definition of education has also widened the community of educators to include
teachers, industrial trainers, education administrators, community, students, youth
leaders, parents and parent association members, media persons, firms, trade unions,
employer groups, inter-governmental agencies and many more.
Relevance, quality and ownership of basic education rests upon a foundation of linkages,
partnerships and alliances between the stakeholders and the other agencies.

Priority actions to achieve greater impact to support equity and quality in education
should focus, among others, on :

          Widening access of basic education to the masses of children, youth
           adolescents, and adults of both rural and urban areas through innovative, non-
           formal and community based education.
          Strategies to integrate gender equality.
          Distance education to meet needs of adult learners.
          Encourage the application of new ICT which are practical, sustainable,
           equitable and affordable both by learners and education professionals.
          Recognition of the contribution that can be made by NGOs involved in non-
           formal education activities and monitoring of the work through a working
          Enhancement of professionalism of all educators and education managers and
           strengthening the engagement of the community of educators in education
          Forming new alliances between community, employers, teachers, learners in
           an effort to provide learners with new skills.

 Alliances and Partnerships: Who? Why? How? (experience1)

This paper addresses school alliances and partnerships – particularly the questions of Who do
schools establish alliances with; Why establish alliances; and How can alliances be established to
maximize the possibility of success?

This paper focuses on both principles and examples. The examples are drawn primarily from
Europe and South East Asia (with some examples from other regions where InTREC works)
including a comparison and contrast of experiences in those regions. This paper is organized in
four main sections:

   1) Partnerships with Who?

This section focuses particularly on partnerships with: parents (individually and collectively);
businesses; students/learners (students as “customers” of schools); other schools (other local
schools as both collaborators and “competitors”); universities and other education organisations;
and other stakeholders.

A number of these groups of stakeholders will be addressed in some detail. For example, in
relation to business, the potential benefits can be some or all of: curriculum (materials, content);
access to employment (work experience, post-education employment); resources (equipment,
materials, etc.); people (speakers, experienced managers, etc.). The emphasis will be on local
alliances and partnerships but reference will be made also to international partnerships (for
example, school twinning).
   2) Benefits of Partnerships

Are the main benefits for the school in improving quality? Increasing equity? Other benefits?
What are the benefits for the partner organisation? It is argued that schools need to be clear why
they are seeking alliances and partnerships (and what particular benefits they are seeking) and to
check in the “psychological contract” if the partner shares that view.

How can we ensure there are incentives so that each of the partners is motivated to continue the
partnership and to develop it?

   3) Factors in Successful/Unsuccessful Partnerships and Alliances

It will be argued, in this section, that if schools attempt to establish partnerships focuses solely
on the anticipated benefits to the school and if they ignore, or underemphasise benefits to the
partner organisations the partnership is unlikely to grow. Many “partnerships” fail because the
benefits are one-way. It is argued that schools need also to focus on the benefits of the
partnerships to the partner organisation. Examples of such benefits are included in the analysis.

Do these factors apply equally to all kinds of schools – primary, secondary, vocational – or do
they need to be different in different kinds of schools?

   4) Conclusion

On the basis of experience, how can partnerships best be established and strengthened.

 “Alliances and Partnerships: Who?, Why?, How?” (experience 2)


The Paper addresses school alliances and partnerships – particularly the questions of (i)
Who do schools establish alliances with? (ii) Why establish alliances?; and (iii) How can
alliances be established to maximize the chances of their success?

(Note on vocabulary: In this paper, the word “schools” refers to a range of schools –
primary, secondary and vocational. Some partnerships are more appropriate to one type
of school than others)

Partnerships with Who?

Schools can develop partnerships with a range of partners. Amongst the most important
           This section focuses particularly on partnerships with
     (i)        Parents (parents individually, and parents collectively);
     (ii)       Businesses;
     (iii)      Students/learners (students as “customers” of schools);
     (iv)       Other schools (other local schools as both collaborators and “competitors”);
     (v)        Universities and other educational organizations; and
   (vi)     Other stakeholders

Addressing each of those in turn:

How do schools relate to parents? Three main types of relationship can be identified. In
one, schools “own” the pupils for a number of hours per day and then return them to the
parents at the end of the day – typically without much interaction with parents. That
model was more common several years ago than it is currently, but many examples can
still be found now. In a second, parents are “customers” of the school‟s provision. That
has long been the case for private schools, but has become a more frequent means of
government (public) schools seeing their relationship with parents – perhaps influenced
by a business model of “customer first”. A third model is that of partnership – where
parents and the school are both seen as “stakeholders” (another item of vocabulary
imported from the business sector) in the pupil‟s learning and development. This third –
partnership – model is rather more sophisticated than the first two, and is likely to better
reflect what each partner can bring and add to the pupil‟s development.

In some cases, schools have sometimes found difficulties in encouraging parents to
become involved. There are, though, innovative examples of schools making
arrangements to improve the links with parents – for example meetings before the start of
the working day or in the evening (or sometimes at the place of parents‟ employment if
many parents work at the same organisation); and also liking parents into the curriculum
through learning activities (not just homework) which can best be done at home and
which involve parents in their children‟s learning.

Partnerships with parents can be either – or preferably both – of (i) partnerships with
parents individually and partnerships with parents collectively. Many schools have for a
long time had “parents‟ associations” or associations of that kind. Sometimes –
particularly in their early days – those have often been restricted to parents carrying out
various activities and social programmes to raise money for the school. More recently,
such associations have often evolved into bodies which have an influence in policy
making of the school. It is important that schools do indeed take into account the views
of parents in developing policy on various matters. But a problem can arise if a small
number of parents are assumed to be representative of all parents – particularly if the few
parents are the more articulate and assertive and put themselves forward as representing
parents as a whole.

The local community
In many cases, partnerships which may have started by focussing on parents have been
extended to include other local community groups also, often including agencies which
provide social services for pupils and/or their families. The local community is certainly
a “stakeholder” (to use a piece of jargon which some schools adopt) of the school (and
the community a stakeholder of the school). In some cases there are organisations along
the lines of “Friends of XYZ School”. There may also be formal or informal inter-
agency links.
There are many examples, of course, of the evolution of schools into Community
Schools, usually involving schools extending their opening hours and providing services
(including educational services, but not only educational services) to the local

Pupils./students learners
The concept of parents as “customers” of schools has sometimes been extended to pupils
also being seen as “customers” of schools. Many teachers are uncomfortable with that

An alternative approach is of pupils as participants is decision making and as being
consulted about decisions. Examples of School Councils involving pupils in decision
making within a concept of democratic schooling (and preparing pupils thereby for
participation in “adult” society) probably has more merit in many situations than the less
sophisticated concept of pupils as customer.

Other schools
Other local schools may be “competitors” – maybe competing for recruitment of the
“best” students, competing for funds, etc. They are also potential collaborators. There
are many good examples of such collaboration. One example is in “minority” subjects –
whatever they may be in a particular country – for example second languages or subjects
at advanced level where there may be small numbers of pupils (such as economics or
psychology in some countries). In those cases there are good examples of two schools –
neither of which has enough pupils to justify forming a group to teach the subject – of
collaborating so that one school teaches one of the subjects and the second school teaches
the second subject – in both cases for combined classes from both of the schools, and
thereby has viable class sizes for both subjects. Such linkages may be further developed
into the concept of “school clusters” or “federations”. Some examples of school
clustering are of long-standing; Harber and Davies (1997) report on examples from

Although local schools can be both collaborators and competitors, schools at a distance
are more likely to be simply potential collaborators. That may be within a country – for
example an urban school collaborating with a rural school in studying aspects of urban
and rural life, or in pen-pal links. Or it may be internationally, with a school in Asia
being in contact with a school in, for example, Europe or Africa or North America. The
potential benefits of such a link are substantial. There are many examples of such
schools links or school twinnings. And there is the potential for many more. A survey
carried out by the University of Birmingham, commissioned to review the UNESCO
Associated School project, ASPnet, after 50 years of its operation found that, from the
171 countries surveyed, more than 50% of the schools in the network take part in
twinning activities – with increasing cultural awareness and language improvements
being the main benefits. In some cases financial assistance may be available; for
example the UK Department (that is the Ministry) for International Development (DfID)
operates a Global School Partnerships which promote partnerships between school sin
UK and schools in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. This programme
includes, for example: (i) “finding a partner school”; (ii) financial assistance of £1,500
(about 100,000 Baht) to enable at least one teacher from each school to make a visit to
their partner school; and (iii) Global curriculum project grants of up to £6,000 (about
400,000 Baht) to enable 2 teachers from each school to visit each others‟ school as part of
a process of developing curriculum materials which aim at integrating a global dimension
into the curriculum.

Universities and other higher education organisations
Some schools form links or partnerships with universities and other higher education
organizations. Where those links are to enable pupils to get a better understanding of
what being a university student is like and enabling them to make decisions based on
more information and a better understanding those links are admirable. Where the links
are intended simply to give the pupils of the particular school an advantage compared
with students from another school in admission to the particular university they are less

(Although this paper focuses on schools‟ partnerships, including schools‟ partnerships
with universities, there are many equivalent examples of partnerships between
universities and other higher education institutions, and many of the same principles
apply. McCarthy et al (2003) and Teather (2004) discuss examples. Further, Dillon et al
(2002) address examples of partnerships of universities with local education authorities.)

Schools may benefit from links with businesses in a number of ways, including: for
curriculum materials, visits, visiting speakers, access to employment, etc; these are
addressed in some detail in the section below on “Focus of partnerships”.

The issue for schools is “who owns the partnership”. If the benefits are seen as one-way
(with businesses providing resources to help the school) and with schools as
“supplicants” for assistance, that can result in businesses having an undue influence on
the school. The relationship is often better if the school can provide some benefit of the
partnership to the business. That must not, however, compromise the integrity of the
school; there are a number of situations in which links with businesses have provided for
the business an undue amount of access, even with the business using the school as yet
another sales channel (with vending machines in the school selling particular fizzy drinks
for example). Even if it is not a “partnership of equals” if the benefits are not all in one
direction that is usually preferable. One example of schools providing benefits to
business could be in situations where an employer has a shortage of employees with
particular skills and the employer wishes to provide information to students of the school
about employment prospects with a view to encouraging students with the right skills to
consider employment with the company. A second example can be where the business
may be concerned about, for example, basic literacy or numeracy of some of its
operational workers and where the school may be able to assist in addressing literacy or
numeracy issues.
Focus of partnerships

In addressing “who” to form partnerships with, schools should also consider what the
focus of the partnership might be. There are usually several different possible areas of
focus. To take just one example from the above list – partnerships with businesses –
there could be many different areas of focus. For example:

(i)    Curriculum and curriculum materials. There are many example particularly from
       the science curricula where businesses are willing to provide curriculum materials –
       for example electricity, gas or oil companies on topics relating to energy (e.g. Shell
       Education Service), water companies on water topics, food companies on parts of
       the biology curriculum, etc. Many of the curriculum resources of that type are of
       very high quality – often higher quality than the curriculum resources which the
       school can obtain normally. It is expected that such materials would carry an
       acknowledgement of the source of the materials, and maybe a limited amount of
       advertising. But the school needs to take a view in particular cases if the materials
       may be too much of a promotion of the supplying company to justify their use.

(ii)   Some companies may be willing to host visits, or “industry days” for groups of
       students to see relevant processes in action. The author of this paper still
       remembers clearly from many years ago when he was teaching science in a school
       in Jamaica the impact of a visit of a science group to a sugar processing factory
       (sugar was one of the main platforms of the Jamaican economy). That kind of visit
       can bring to life the study of particular topics.

(iii) Where visits are not possible – including, for example, because of safety concerns -
      it may be possible in such cases to invite a speaker from the company to provide an
      input at the school on the relevant part of the curriculum.

       Although the most frequent forms of such links are probably in the science areas of
       the curriculum, they are not the only curriculum areas. To take another example,
       the Post Office in many countries (and internationally through the World Post
       Union) are keen to encourage writing and specifically letter writing, and in many
       countries the Post Office has materials which are relevant to writing skills – for
       example in primary schools, but also in secondary schools.

(iv) Links with business can also be focussed on access to employment. In many
     countries a “work experience” or “placement” programme enables pupils to spend
     maybe 1 or 2 weeks working in a business. That is usually unpaid, and should not
     be to provide the business with “free labour” for a week or two. The work
     experience should enable to pupil to see something of working life and in the best
     examples can provide both a specific “subject” experience (for example the use of
     IT) together with a more general experience of expectations in work, for example
     about punctuality, etc
(v)   Finally in this list – and deliberately finally – is the links with business in terms of
      gaining access to resources, equipment and materials. This is sometimes thought of
      as a main purpose of links with business. There are many examples of, for
      example, business passing on their out-of-date computers to schools; in most cases
      that kind of example is of very limited benefit, and indeed the disadvantages of the
      relationship (certainly not a partnership) it implies may outweigh any benefits.

The above partnerships are not exclusive. A school can engage in a number of
partnerships simultaneously. Over a number of years schools‟ links with business have
progressively been getting more multi-dimensional. If a school has perhaps 4
partnerships, it is probably better to have partnerships with 4 different types of
organisation rather than partnerships with 4 organisations of the same type (for example,
4 businesses)

Why Partnerships?: Benefits of partnerships
What are the benefits for the partner organisation?

Most of the examples above illustrate the prime benefit to schools of partnerships as
being in broadening the experience for students.

It is argued that schools need to be clear why they are seeking alliances and partnerships
– and what particular benefits they are seeking – and to check in the “psychological
contract” if the partner shares that view.

Schools also need to ensure that there are benefits to both parties - that partners are
gaining some lasting benefits from the partnership and that there are incentives so that
each of the partners is motivated to continue the partnership. If partnerships are based
only on goodwill they are less likely to survive.

Partnerships: How? What makes for successful/unsuccessful partnerships and

A partnership suggests a formal or informal alliance with shared goals. The very word
“partnership” implies mutual benefits.

It was suggested above that schools‟ partnerships – of whatever kind: with parents, with
business, with universities, whoever – will be successful and will continue beyond their
initial stages only if both partners in the partnership gain some benefits.

It is argued that if schools attempt to establish partnerships focused solely on the
anticipated benefits to the school, and if they ignore, or under-emphasise, benefits to the
partner organisations the partnership is unlikely to grow, and perhaps unlikely even to
continue. Many “partnerships” fail because the benefits are one-way. It is argued that
schools need also to focus on the benefits of the partnership to the partner organisation.
Epstein (1995) emphasises the need for shared goals and of mutual trust and respect:

      “Although the interactions of educators parents, students and community members
      will not always be smooth or successful, partnership programs establish a base of
      respect and trust on which to build. Good partnerships withstand questions,
      conflicts, debates, and disagreements; provide structures and processes to solve
      problems; and are maintained – even strengthened – after differences have been
      resolved” (p703)

From the examples included above it can be seen that some partnerships are bilateral (e.g.
the school in partnership with another school; the school in partnership with a business,
etc) whilst others are multilateral (e.g. clusters of schools; inter-agency links, etc).
Bilateral partnerships are certainly more simple to (i) establish and (ii) manage than
multilateral partnerships. But sophisticated multilateral partnerships may bring greater
benefits. In most cases, for a school contemplating partnerships it probably makes sense
to begin with bilateral partnerships (though that could be through a number of bilateral
partnerships simultaneously) with a view to some of those perhaps subsequently evolving
into multilateral partnerships.

Although different types of schools – primary, secondary, vocational – will usually have
a rather different emphasis of their partnerships – for example, in primary schools
partnerships with parents are usually particularly important, whilst partnerships with
businesses are often absent or less important – it is suggested here that the principles of
partnerships, and what makes for successful partnerships – particularly (i) shared goals
and (ii) mutual benefits are applicable to schools of all kinds.


Education is considered the most important key to the national economic development
and a potentially powerful tool for poverty alleviation, gender equality and countering a
range of ills that beset humankind. In a knowledge economy prosperity of any country is
based on the productivity of the people which in turn depends on their ability to gain
knowledge, create new knowledge and transform knowledge into wealth. pre-requisite of
which is universal basic education.

Basic learning needs are defined by the World Conference on Education for All,1 as
comprising essential learning tools (such as literacy, oral expression, numeracy, problem
solving) and the basic learning content (such as knowledge, skills, values and attitudes)
required by human beings to be able to survive, to develop their full capacities; to live
and work in dignity, to participate fully in development, to improve the quality of their
lives, to make informed decisions and to continue learning. Equipping people to deal
with these demands requires a new model of education and training, a model of life long
learning. It can apply equally to young children, in or out of schools and to adults in or
out of formal education structures or the labour market.

In real terms this means getting every child to school and delivering high quality
education (universal education); making every one literate, and requiring teachers to be
well educated and trained. This demands alternative system of education structures, a
strong university sector, and vocational and training system that is responsive to and
shapes the demands of the people and the economy.

Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 considered Education
as the fundamental human right of every child. Participants at the World Conference on
“Education for All” in Jomtien1, Thailand in 1990 pledged to provide primary education
for all children and massively reduce adult illiteracy by the end of the decade. The
“Education for All” movement was born. The implications of the articles 1 and 2 were
that every child, youth, and adult should benefit from educational opportunities and that
education would be diversified, made content relevant and designed to meet what was
defined at Jomiten as their “basic learning needs”. The goal was to have basic education
for all and universal literacy by 2000.

But the program has been much slower than hoped for.

The World Education Forum at Dakar in 2000 2 shifted back the time frame another
fifteen years to 2015. The specific goals of basic “Education for All” set in Dakar are,

(i)         expanding and improving comprehensive early childhood care and education,
especially for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children,
(ii)        ensuring that by 2015 all children, particularly girls, children in difficult
circumstances and those belonging to ethnic minorities, have access to and complete free
and compulsory primary education at good quality,
(iii)       ensuring that the learning needs of all young people and adults are met
through equitable access to appropriate learning and life skills programmes,
(iv)        achieving a 50 percent improvement in levels of adult literacy by 2015,
especially for women, and equitable access to basic and continuing education for all
(v)         eliminating gender disparities in primary and secondary education by 2005,
and achieving gender equality in education by 2015, with a focus on ensuring girls full
and equal access to and achievement in basic education of good quality,
(vi)        improving an aspects of the quality of education and ensuring excellence of all
so that recognized and measurable learning outcomes are achieved by all, especially in
literacy, numeracy and essential life skills.

Yet despite the best efforts of individual countries and the international community and
despite some marked progress in some areas, huge challenges remain.
        Education for All 2000 Assessment figures show that although global adult
literacy rate has risen to 85% for men and 74% for women, the rates of adult literacy for
population 15 years of age and older are 46.3% for South Asia and 39.39% for Sub-
Saharan Africa 3.
        There are about 900 million illiterates in the world today. Vast majority on the
poorest half of world and of whom more than 500 million are women.
        Each year more than 130 million primary and school aged children are denied
access to education – two third of them are girls 4. In South Asia more than 50 million
are still not in school 5.
        More than 150 million children start primary school but drop out before they have
completed five years of education 4. In South Asia over 40% of primary school students
drop out before reaching the 5th grade 5.
        It is estimated that 250 million children between the ages of 5 and 14 in the
developing world are working. Three quarters of them work six days per week or more 6

World Summary should also take account of the real advances that have been made.
Illiteracy has fallen dramatically in Europe, East Asia, Oceania since 1990. Number of
students at all levels of education in most parts of the world have increased. In 1996
there was 171 children for every 100 who were there in 1980 and 134 in 19907. In many
parts of the world including Least Developed Countries female enrolment has been
growing more rapidly than male at all levels but especially at tertiary and secondary

Developing countries and transition economies face the dual challenge of addressing the
longstanding issues of access, quality and equity while moving forward a life long
learning system.


Access – Access to education is access to a better future. Yet around the globe more than
135 million developing world children still have no access to basic education. Reasons
are multifaceted. Vast number of children do not attend because of poverty, social
marginalisation, cultural practices and in some cases because of inefficient or inequitable
provision of services within educational systems which includes poorly trained teachers,
ill equipped schools with no learning materials laboratories or libraries. Girls and
women may not receive an education because the perceived value of educating female
may be low in some countries. Domestic chores, caring for sibling or ill family members,
puberty rites, marriage preparation and little promise of future income recovery are all
factors that work against parents natural inclination to educate their daughters. Poor
health and risk of walking long distance cause high rate of absenteeism and missed
learning and eventually cause many girls drop out of school. Special efforts must be
made to ensure that working children, indigenous people, persons with disabilities and
those with special needs receive an education.
Access to education of those who do most will not complete primary school while only a
small proportion go on to post-secondary education providing equal access to high
quality, inclusive, unbiased, relevant and learner-centred education that motivate students
to stay in school is emerging as a major challenge in virtually every country.

Quality - Quality of education has to be measured against the institutions‟ ability to
meet student cognitive need and foster their physical, social and emotional developments.
It has therefore to be considered in terms of basic school inputs (teachers, educational
material and learning time), their effect on academic achievement and pedagogic inputs
such as teaching skills, patterns of school organization and management, and curricular
content. Education of high quality should be learner-centred and address each student‟s
unique capabilities and need.


It is now realized that the failure to achieve “Education for All” targets is partly because
of the inability of the present structures and systems of conventional means to cope with
the scale and complexity of the challenge and demands of the fast challenging world. If
EFA is to become a reality by 2015, systems of education provision which integrates and
use the strengths of the different modalities available is what is needed. We need to think
holistically and systemically about how education systems might be reengineered and
reconfigured. Learning should encompass formal learning and non-formal learning.

Formal education tends to be mainly concerned with the development of knowledge and
teacher-centred. These systems in which the teachers are the sole source of knowledge
are inadequate to equip people of all ages, types and with different trends and
commitments to work in a knowledge economy or function in a knowledge society.

Non-formal education is organized educational activity outside the established formal
system that is intended to serve an identifiable learning clientele with identifiable
learning objectives. It is concerned with a wider base of development including an
individuals values attitudes and life skills. Emphasis is often on personal responsibility
and commitment to ones own development and growth. It is based on community
mobilization and participation. Non-formal system is expanding in scope and increasing
in strengthening.

The governments must recognize that non-formal education is an essential part of the
education process and an integral part of a life-long learning concept that allows young
people and adults to acquire and maintain the skills, abilities and outlook needed to adopt
to a continuously changing environment. Non-formal education does not only fill a gap.
It also ensures that countries address education and training in a more holistic manner as
they progress towards the goals of basic education for all. Furthermore, Non Formal
Education is better adapted to disadvantaged groups and offers the advantage of being
grounded in the grass roots and the work places. Non-formal and formal approaches in
education reinforce each other on establishing a knowledge-based society.
In many countries, lessons learned from non-formal and out-of-school education
programmes are applied to formal education activities in an effort to improve the quality
and relevance of education. In some programmes non-formal activities serve as a bridge
to the formal system, allowing learners to enroll in the formal system at age-appropriate
levels upon completion of the non-formal or out-of-school programmes.

Many countries are now increasingly accepting the notion that open and distance learning
(ODL) methodologies and technologies offer a unique opportunity to bridge the
educational divide separating the haves and have nots. Underlying principle in open and
distance learning is, its learner-centredness, flexibility in learning, the removal of
unnecessary barriers to access, choice of content and organization of learning programme
and recognition of prior learning experience. The barriers which may be overcome by
distance learning include not only geographical distance, but also other confining
circumstances such as personal constraints, cultural and social barriers and lack of
educational infrastructure. Basic education at a distance can be in school programmes
aimed mainly at children and out-of-school programmes aimed at adults and school


The audiences for basic education can be categorized as
      Children and adolescents in schools
      Out of school children and adolescents
      Marginalised children and adolescent
      General adult population
      Intermediaries (teachers, extension agents, health workers)

Table 1
Basic Education Audiences and Examples of Ways in which different systems
have been used to provide education

Some of the distinctive ways in which technologies have been used to serve the needs of
these categories are8

      Categories        Systems for educating
      Children      and       Schools radio broadcasts and computers to raise quality of
      adolescents    in classroom teaching.
                              School internet links.
                              Interactive radio broadcasting
                              Variety of network based and distance education tools.
                              Audio Video Cassettes
      Out of school           Computer based teaching in virtual classrooms
      children      and       TV based direct teaching as in Mexicos Telesecundria
                              Radio based distance education as in Mongolia nomads.
                              Open school movement as in India, Indonesia.
                              Community based approach in tele-centres.
      Marginalized            Computers and digital communication networks
      children      and       Radio Broadcasting as in the school of the Air in Australia
      adolescents       and South Africa.
      (refugees               Community resource centres – permanent or mobile
      street children)        National Open Schools of India, Indonesia etc.
      Adult       basic       Use of radio for radio listening groups and video forums
      education               Empowering community techniques like community radio
                              Multi-purpose community telecentres.
                              Distance education methods.
      Intermediaries          Formal courses for qualification through Broadcasting, use
                        of computers and distance education.
                              Resource based teacher education through ICT and low
                        technology approaches.

If basic education is to become an universal goal and is to make significant impact on
levels of literacy this diversity of forms and practices need greater attention, research,
nurturing and sustained support from governments scholars, educational practitioners and
funding agencies. Perhaps the greatest need is for ways to encourage non-traditional
thinking about expanding and improving the quality of basic education.
As a Director of UNESCO basic education division puts it “In countries where the un-
reached are a majority principally in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia conventional
education systems are often not only unaffordable and irrelevant but also alienating to
many of those they are intending to serve” Ordenez 1995 9.


Achieving Education for All is an enormous challenge. EFA intergovernmental
partnerships are co-ordinated by UNESCO. UNESCO is also working towards bringing
the governments and civil society into closer partnership. However, as the learning
framework has to encompass diverse strategies and players as in Table 1, it would be
unrealistic to think that the goals will be met without the networking of a complex and
multi-layered range of institutional and individual partners and stakeholders at
international, national, regional and local levels and in the public, private and volunteer
The active participation of a broad coalition of educational stakeholders in common
efforts is essential at all levels of society and in all sectors of government in educational
policy development planning, management and financing at all levels of education
system from the local school level to the national level. Stakeholders including children,
parents, principals, employer groups, communities, education officials and civil society
organizations should all contribute to the decision that will build and strengthen
education. Participation has a catalytic effort creating a sense of ownership and

The state also needs to persue a range of wider economic and social policies to remove
inequities with regard to access, poverty, child labour, by legislative change, reforming
curricula, reducing educational costs, managing incentive schemes, increasing
educational facilities to underserved areas, improving teacher training etc. The state
needs to formally recognize and view alternate models as equal partners of formal
education. Non-formal education should be recognized as a de facto partner in the life-

long learning process. A quality label could be given to the educational activities of
recognized organizations providing non-formal education. The state should provide or
improve training and retraining for trainers and teachers in non-formal education in
cooperation with NGOs and especially youth NGOs. Decentralising of education is
critical. Increasing involvement of local communities in the education of their children is
one of the most promising strategies for mobilizing new resources and improving the
quality and relevance of education. Community participation can result in decision that
meet local needs and respect the culture of the local community and family. Content of
learning cannot be relevant to needs unless it emerges from the real life experience of
learners, values, indigenous, and vernacular knowledge intermixed with exogenous
Developing Strategies for Improving Equity in Access to Quality Education
People in any country endure more or less inequality in various aspects of their lives, for
example, inequality in economic and social status. Although it may be difficult to get rid
of such inequalities, these are issues that every government is still trying to solve.
Examples of such efforts are: income distribution, while most income still remains in the
hands of a minority of people, and attempts at ridding society of racial, religious and
sexual discrimination. Attempts have even been made to rid society of social classes, or
at least the wide gaps between them. It has always been recognised that one of the basic
ways to eliminate inequality and social ills is to provide people with equity in gaining
access to quality education. This requires that the government be willing to invest in in-
depth programmes for its people‟s education, even though such programmes result in
high costs and are time consuming. Quality education is always worthy of high-cost
investment, since it will lay strong and permanent foundations for the country‟s
development in all areas. It is also evident that a country in which people on average
have a high standard of education often becomes an affluent society with less disparity of
income as well as less differentiation between people‟s social class and status. By
contrast, in a country in which people on average have little or poor education or are
illiterate, reverse results often occur.

       Since education has always proved to be a vital factor for a country‟s
development, what every country should do, therefore, is improve and encourage the way
in which people achieve equality in and the right to quality education. To attain this goal,
we need to devise strategies for our operation and develop them in such a way that we
can really practise and implement them. While undertaking this process, we need to
produce and follow up our output and outcomes
to ensure that they respond to our objectives. We should also be able to make
assessments by means of indicators designed for the project.

        I would therefore like to present the idea of developing strategies for improving
equity in access to quality education in four topics:

1.      A factual account and analysis concerning problems related to equality and rights
to obtain quality education.
2.      Devising strategies for improving equity in access to quality education.
3.      Approaching Effective Srategies to Help Implement Equity in Access to Quality
4.      Inputs, outputs, outcomes and assessments of the project.

I. Problems Related to People‟s Equality and Rights to Obtain Quality

       It is evident that, at present, people with higher economic status are equipped with
higher potential and better opportunities in gaining access to quality education. This is
because education administrations everywhere in the world, nowadays, are following a
trend of business that is operated under free-trade regulations set by the World Trade
Organization. As a result, high quality education can be attained only within small
groups of people or a minority of people.

                                 4. High Quality Education

                      3. More Access                                 1. High
                       to Choice                                     Empowerment
                                                                    and Potential

                                     2. High Income

      We can start from point no. 1. Those who have high empowerment and potential
can gain high economic status, which means that they can become affluent or have high
income (point no. 2). Those who achieve both no.1 and no.2 can get more access to
choices than others (point no. 3), and thus they have better chances to gain access to high
quality education.     Then again these people become those who possess high
empowerment and potential. This becomes an endless cycle, which results in social and
economic gaps as well as inequality in access to quality education.

       These gaps are growing and accelerating in pace. This is the present phenomenon
despite the call for rights to education of people around the world as decreed in most
countries‟ constitution and in their national human rights declaration, which have also
become multi-lateral agreements between countries. The United Nations regards these
agreements as essential and has emphasized the rights to education of various groups of
people including children‟s and women‟s as equal to men‟s. There is also the recognition
of racial equality that acknowledges the significance of education among all. Yet there is
still disparity in gaining access to quality education because of the above-mentioned
cycle phenomenon.

     Let us consider and analyse the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
concerning the issue of quality education access, or, in other words, let us use SWOT
analysis in looking at this matter. We would find that:

      STRENGTH: There have been various treaties and sub-treaties that decree equity
and the rights to education. Most countries‟ constitution decrees freedom in education
for all their citizens as well as state duties in organising education for their people,
usually in the form of national education plans. There are also a good number of private
education institutes, some of which are run by business enterprises, for people to choose
to enrol in. Moreover, in this globalised era as this, education administered through the
internet and the satellite has become part of the strength of quality education.
      WEAKNESS: Access to quality education is limited and possible only among
people who have high empowerment and potential, which turn them to be people on a
high income. By contrast, people with low income have little opportunity to gain access
to quality education and often end up with sub-standard education, while education-via-
the-internet and education-via-satellite is still not accessible for deprived people.

     OPPORTUNITY: In some countries, governments provide the people with free
basic education within some limit of time. There are also educational opportunities
provided for people through scholarships.

       THREAT: Problems or obstacles that can be regarded as threats are: poverty,
necessity to earn a living from an early age, sub-standard but free education provided by
the state, poor-quality teachers, inappropriate and irrelevant curricula, insufficient staff,
equipment and facilities, training, no bench-marking for vocational learning, no language
skills, etc.

     This SWOT analysis will help us establish some beneficial strategies.

II. Devising Strategies for Improving Equity in Access to Quality Education.

     Given the benefit of strength and opportunities, the state should run the strategy
“moving forward”, that is, develop factors that represent its strength and opportunities
and even make them stronger. The state should provide adequate internet access to be
used in remote rural areas, determine the furthest compulsory level of education that it
can provide for free, and encourage its people in every way possible to attain the basic
compulsory education and increase grants for every level of education.

     To counter what are „weaknesses‟ and „threats‟, the state must employ the strategy
“develop from within and prepare to encounter”, for instance:

1) Administering fair distribution of income, so that people will have sufficient
resources to pay for and be able to gain access to quality education.

2) Implementing accessibility assurance by means of developing a system of
knowledge management so as to establish knowledge as something public for every
individual to attain. This should be operated at the same time as establishing basic rights
insurance, that is, the state should firmly recognize the people‟s rights and equality in
gaining access to equal quality basic education. This includes the rights to improve
oneself by means of education, for instance, there should be legislative measures to
support both state and private agencies to allow their employees to attend training
programmes or enroll on beneficial courses without regarding them as absent from work.
3) Reforming education be means of emphasizing empowered learning skills,
including computer literacy, as part of the fundamental level of education.
4) Emphasizing action learning. This is because action learning is the process
whereby individuals can gain both experience and skills. The state should supplement its
curricula with action learning processes so that the learning will not be passive, i.e.
listening and taking notes. Action learning should also integrate „reflection-in-action‟,
idea systematization involving rapid, profound and broadening dimensions.

5) Focusing on quality teacher production. We have to admit that, in Thailand, for
instance, quite a number of teachers lack skills and abilities to organise their thoughts
and ideas in a systematic way. Not a small number of teachers also lack the spirit of
enquiring and learning as well as faith in their own teaching profession. Some lack both
teaching quality and morality. The factors for these are: an inappropriate and inefficient
selection system, which results in the fact that people with high intelligence and integrity
are not interested in entering this profession; inappropriate curricula and inefficient
processes of learning and teaching; lack of intellectual development in teachers, lack of
an innovative body of knowledge and of good role models.
   To solve these problems, we need to unravel all related and relevant factors. I shall
attempt to unravel them later on in the paper, under topic number 3.

6) Establishing suitable and applicable curricula, providing selected and adequate
personnel, equipment and facilities. At present, it is widely accepted that the most
important sources of knowledge are represented in English; therefore, it is possible that
in countries where teachers and students are not proficient in English, people are unlikely
to gain access to high quality education. If we accept this as plain fact, we have to
recognize that, although the state provides equity and rights for its citizens to attain a
certain degree of education, they still cannot get access to quality education. The state
should thus attempt to promote English proficiency for both teachers and students.

7)    Encouraging “an intellectual leap”, i.e. creating and encouraging learning and
    inquiring habits as well positive learning process. There are 3 points of details to be
raised as follows:

7.1. Information and Learning Sources. At present, we in Thailand, for example, lack
accurate information in learning. Sometimes the information we have received is unclear
or incorrect. It is therefore necessary that a system of information be designed to
correspond with education to ensure it becomes quality education. Within this system,
information and knowledge attained concerning particular issues are accurate, clear,
correct and easy to understand. As regards information and knowledge that come in the
form of books, the state should promote good books to be written or translated and
published. Governments all over the world should actually co-operate to have books
published and sold at low prices. Newspapers, especially in developing countries like
Thailand should be developed to become sources of knowledge, not only a stage for
opinions. Sources of knowledge are also libraries and museums as well as the Internet,
so the state should ensure that all these are widely available.

7.2. Communication.     There should be effective communication systems whereby
knowledge and learning can be exchanged in all forms of media, e.g. newspapers, radio,
television and the Internet. Information and communication technology should not
become only the state and private enterprises‟ means but should also be accessible for use
by the general public so that they can exchange knowledge freely and extensively.
Community radio is one of the communication means that is efficient, can be operated at
low cost, and the people themselves get involved in the operation. This is in contrast
with national media that sometimes becomes a means of political propaganda, and quite
often fall easily into the lure of consumerism, extravagance and even violence. The state
should then promote community radio as well as community exchanges of information
and knowledge in other forms within the community itself and with the national media.
The latter, meanwhile, should pay attention to more creative, educational and serviceable
pieces of information as well as encouraging more positive learning and knowledge
exchanges. It should also provide more opportunities for villagers and learned men as
well as artists from villages to use national media.
7.3.Positive and Advanced Learning. What most education institutions, from primary to
higher learning levels, perform at the moment is what might be called „transferring old
and already-learnt knowledge to learners‟. Innovations and constructions of new bodies
of knowledge, together with relations of knowledge to actual life and social situations are
still rare in Thailand. In the past, in the old society in which ways of life and learning
were not complicated, and changes grew at a slow pace, old and transferred knowledge
might be carried on and used for a long period of time. But, in a globalised world of a
globalisation age, changes occur at a very rapid pace. The transferring of old knowledge
by which the subject content is the core of study may become easily outdated. This could
result in society‟s intellectual weakness. It is then necessary for both teachers and
learners to be able to adapt knowledge from textbooks to practical learning and to
undertake researches so as to build new knowledge in such a way that learning becomes
useful and applicable.

III. Approaching Effective Strategies to Help Implement Equity in Access to
Quality Education.

      There are times that some strategies designed do not work or do not bring about the
outcome that we expect. That is because before we design the strategies, we do not start
with the problem and the effect that we will encounter. This „problem‟ or „effect‟ means
negative phenomena that represent the gap between the condition desired or ideal and the
actual condition, which then becomes the problem that we want to solve, prevent or
develop. Next, we have to search for the cause of the problem. Each problem may have
many causes, or one cause may result in many problems. Then we have to change the
problem so that it becomes our objective to deal with the problem, i.e. we need to set our
objectives that correspond to the problem and help us get rid of that problem. They can
then be our aim or the kind of positive end that we require. Finally, we have to find the
means, or alternatives, that we can work through to achieve our ends or objectives.

The best means is the one that we can use to solve the problem. We can now present the
way of considering this in the form of four relationships:
                   Problems correlate with causes and objectives;
                   Causes correlate with problems and means;
                        Means correlate with causes and objectives;
                        Objectives correlate with problems and means.

We can then operate by finding out:
                  What the problems are;
                  From what causes those problems arise;
                  What the objectives are;
                  What means can be used effectively in order to achieve the

An instance of strategy may be used here as an example. We used to employ a strategy
for quality teacher production. Our objective was to distribute teachers to remote rural
areas so that rural people could have the opportunity to gain access to quality education.
We then set out all the activities that we thought were appropriate. Disappointingly, this
turned out to be a failure. Such an incident happened because we did not consider
thoroughly the problems and causes, and so we set up an objective and designed activities
that did not correspond with the problem.

Let us now try to design some strategies leading to activities that result in successful

Strategies for quality teacher production:
Problem:         Lack of quality teachers to teach in rural areas.
Causes:          1. Inappropriate selection system;
                 2. Intelligent students do not want to study pedagogy;
                 3. Inappropriate curricula and inappropriate processes of teaching and
                 4. Teachers do not want to work in rural areas.
Objectives:      To have quality teachers work in rural areas.
Means:           1. Project of establishing appropriate selection system;
2. Project of creating motivations for capable students to study pedagogy;
3. Project of designing appropriate curricula and teaching and learning process;
4. Project of determining extra bonuses for rural teachers.

IV. Inputs, Process, Outputs, Outcomes and Assessment of the Project

        Any Projects set up to implement the strategies should have factors which we call
inputs. We use inputs in the process. The results should correspond with the objectives
and is called outputs. The final objectives that are achieved from these projects are

            Inputs              Process        Outputs        Outcomes

When all the operations are finished, we can then begin the evaluation. There are three
types of evaluation:
1.          Effort Evaluation. This is what was most used in the past by the previous
generation. It looks at what has been given to the recipient, and the government does the
evaluation itself. With this type of evaluation, sometimes we discover that we have all
the facilities delivered but they do not effectively serve the community we aim for.
Instances of this are: computers are provided but electricity is not fully available; the
internet is also provide but the community finds it difficult to get access to the telephone
line, etc.

2.         Effect Evaluation.

2.1 Effectiveness Evaluation. This is to examine the results to see if they correspond
with the objectives, without considering the cost. The outcomes may be satisfying but
the cost may be high.

2.2 Efficiency Evaluation. This means the results corresponding with the objectives
require few inputs, low cost, little work force and little time.

2.3    Adequacy Evaluation. This is to examine, for instance, whether the educational
budget for the community is sufficient in responding to the community‟s needs.

2.4     Whole-Picture Evaluation. For instance, state schools are free for students to
attend. It may follow that state schools should also provide free books, free lunches and
free milk. This may mean they are provided equally. On the other hand, if we take the
whole society into consideration, we may find that if we would like to achieve social
justice, free supplements should be provided only for deprived students while those who
are well-off should pay.

In the evaluation process, we may make use of CIPPI Model as follows:

               Context       inputs      process      product        impact

We can evaluate all the steps of our operation, from the context, inputs used, process and
product, to the impact. For instance, we can examine whether the projects correspond
with social needs, whether they conflict with the community‟s ways of life, or whether
they go along well with people‟s social values. As regards inputs, we can examine if the
inputs we use, for instance, staff, budget, time, etc. are appropriate, or how they stand in
proportion with the product received. We can examine the process to see if there are any
problems in the management, if plans are laid in advance and are followed unhindered, if
objectives are clear and if the process is participatory. With regard to product, we can
examine whether effectiveness, efficiency, adequacy, satisfaction, and equity as well as
justice is achieved. In examining the impact, we evaluate whether it comes out favorably
or unfavorably, or whether it is in accordance with expectations or in contrast.

        All in all, in any strategies designed for improvement of people‟s rights and
equality in gaining access to quality education, we not only have to follow the above-
mentioned process, but must also be aware of one essential factor: social justice. It is vial
that we have in mind the cycle presented earlier, i.e. high empowerment and potential
leads to high income and thus more accessible choices and better access to high or higher
quality education. Therefore, we need to concentrate on providing opportunities for
impoverished people so that they will be able to gain access to quality education in the
same way as affluent people. The state could make this happen by special allocation of
money from an efficient tax system to establish and ensure quality state education for the

   c.          Openness to Change and Respect for Diversity


Recent advancement in the field of Information and Communication Technology have
perceived. Education not only as an agent of social change but also as one which
provides the very basis of creating a dynamic, cultural, liberal and growth oriented
society for the harmonious development to every child and helps him to develop his
personality through cultivation of moral, social and spiritual values. Class-room
environment and the curriculum play a key role in the teaching learning process. For
bringing improved quality of educational outcomes, it is necessary to maintain an
environment which should facilitate learning and provide motivation and enthusiasm both
to the teachers as well as learners. In order to improve the skills of learners, a series of
steps are needed to be looked into which mainly include environment and physical
situation etc.

Teacher‟s Attitude:
Teaching involves multiplicity of tasks. A good teacher not only communicates
knowledge and information but also plays a vital role by promoting new ways of teaching
– learning and makes the classroom climate conducive for learning. He follows up the
learner‟s needs and creates interest and motivation for the subject. A wise teacher would
always define the objectives of the lesson in terms of the behavioral patterns which
implies a student-oriented and learner oriented approach. Lack of motivation of teachers
to improve their academic and professional competencies is of serious concern. There is
a dire need for in-service education of teachers to update their knowledge and skills
which are necessary to improve their academic and professional competencies. In the
teacher training institutions, the teachers acquire knowledge to obtain the
certificate/degree in teaching by taking foundation courses which provide for inadequate
information when they are expected to teach later. The teachers are not able to teach
effectively which they have learnt as teacher trainees in their institutions because of the
inadequate learning during pre-service and partly because of the poor school
environment. Motivation to learn is the essential ingredient during the process of
teaching. Without motivation to learn and to practice that learning, the teachers cannot
deliver effectively. A dynamic teacher would make conscious efforts to identify ways
and means and at the same time use various sources and avenues of learning. Teachers‟
attitude would be positive if there is a provision for rewards for outstanding results and
he is involved in the process of decision making. It is also necessary to orient the
teachers to facilitate quality learning through commitment as they shall be able to
develop new competencies which would provide motivation and enthusiasm. In-service
training would generate interesting and noble experiences to the teachers who can apply
and practice in their profession appropriately. Without any formal training, an innovative
teacher can play constructive and positive role in the inculcation of moral values in the

A good teachers is always keen to know the nature, behaviour and need of each student
through constant inter-action which broadly forms a part of the planning, organisation
and evaluation of the teaching strategies, instructional materials and controlling the class.
He is a friend, philosopher and guide to his students. His major role is that of facilitator.
He should, therefore, be supportive and affectionate and understand the difficulties of
students. It is the teacher who mainly influences the learning atmosphere in the
classroom through his rich perceptual experiences. The basic concern of the teacher
should be to see how much learning has taken place in the child. Children learning
includes multitude of things to look into the realm of “learning” as it is much more than
the subject matter. Therefore, highest priority needs to be given to the teacher education
programme for their orientation in new innovations.

Learner‟s attitude:
All teaching is subordinate to the learning activities. Therefore, the emphasis should be
on learning rather than teaching. The children should be encouraged to prepare the
learning materials by communicating with each other. The content of the text should
conform to the needs of the society. It is ideal if the educational institutions organise
learning experiences for the children as part of the educational programmes, covering all
the essential elements of personality development and provide opportunities to develop
creativity, to explore and interact with the physical and social surroundings. These may
include imbibing values such as respect, cooperation, dignity of labour and so on.
Curricular activities should find a prominent place for the overall development of the
child‟s personality. Games and sports should be developed on a large scale with the
objectives of improving the physical fitness of the children. Learning should not be
confined to the four walls of the schools . Socio-economic factors, literacy level of the
parents, influence of the peers, the immediate environment and the physical facilities are
the major factors which determine the level of learning. The teacher must be well aware
of all these characteristics to faster learning by taking up such activities which may widen
the interest of learners with vigour and zeal. Learning has to be in a play way material
and joyful with an element of creativity so that it may pave the way for their imagination
and bring in confidence in facing the challenges of life. Children learn by reinforcement
and especially through positive reinforcement. It is in their nature to raise questions, to
explore new things and seek clarifications. They do not jump at conclusion straightaway.
It is therefore, the duty of the teachers to listen to them patiently and try to solve their
difficulties, using alternative strategies for teaching. The teaching approach has to be
Attitude of the learners would be determined by the nature of subject content. If the
children feel that the subject has no relevance to their future needs and cannot be
gainfully utilised later, they are not likely to learn with interest and motivation. It is most
appropriate for us to learn as to how to observe scientifically with a scientific bent of
mind and apply such useful observations to the child‟s learning capabilities. It is
necessary for us to make the child understand the basic concepts and infuse in him the
scientific temperament. Discovery and inquiry approach has to be encouraged among the
learners. If the children freely raise questions in the process of learning, they should be
encouraged in this process. It is the inquisitive desire of every child to create something
and to prepare some instructional materials which may or may not be linked with the text.
But he is involving himself in the process of learning. Children literature can make
interesting and useful contribution in the learning process. The children have an in-built
urge to know and to understand the world around them. Sometimes, the teachers snub
the children who raise questions which have no relevance to the curriculum. This attitude
kills the development of child‟s intelligence and creativity. It is very important to
understand the meaning of the questions raised by the young children and then to answer
those questions. It is matter of common experience that the questions raised by the
children are difficult to answer. In such a situation, there is no harm if the teacher admits
in the class that “I do not know the correct answer. Let us try to answer collectively”.
This attitude would not hit the prestige of the teacher but would on the other hand, raise
his status and respect. It is not only the amount of information that we pass on to the
children but also prepare them to face the realities of life in future. The education
imparted to the students should be such that they can gainfully utilise in their situations
other wise the theoretical knowledge would be rendered useless. The instructions could
be mainly in the form of activities around the school or their living environment. As far
as possible, the schools should be equipped with concrete material and interested
activities for use by the learners.

Teaching (Technological) Aids:
Teaching aids also known as technological aids contribute to the teaching-learning
process. But the aids do not perform the whole job. Parts of the job are done by the
human beings say the teacher who administers and controls the aids. The selection and
use of teaching aids would depend upon the need, nature of subject matter, types of
learning tasks, characteristics of the learners and the practical constraints. Teaching aids
may be classified as essential teaching aids and optional teaching aids. Essential teaching
aids control the clarity of message/content whereas optional teaching aids help in the
improvement of the quality of presentation.

Teaching aids do not necessarily mean that to teach every concept, there is a need of
teaching aid. Teaching aid may be used when a subject-concept or a topic is not clear
from the book and cannot be explained or taught otherwise. There are difficult areas
which the teacher feels difficult to teach and the students face the problem to
comprehend. Whether a modal (replica of the real things) or a chart of an experiment is
necessary to introduce in the class would depend upon the teacher who is the best judge
and who will read the minds of the students. If the concept could be clarified by taking
the class out in the environment, the model or any other aid may not be very effective.
Teaching aids are perhaps, one of the major panacea to maintain the quality of education.
Setting of resource centres to serve the schools in their vicinity can do a yeoman‟s
service. We have a rich cultural heritage. The preparation of teaching aids by the
teachers with the help of locally available material would bring improvements in our
educational set up. One agency at the national level cannot produce the teaching aids to
be used by the educational institutions. If the teachers prepare the aids themselves with
the involvement of children and the local artisans, they would use such aids with
confidence because they formed a part of the preparation process. Moreover, such an aid
being used in the class is based upon the needs of the subject matter. The teachers and
the children feel fascinated.

In India the importance of preparation of teaching aids is growing over the last few years
but the approaches so far have been rudimentary and of an ad hoc nature. What is
perhaps required is a commitment, dedication, devotion and involvement of educational
workers, teachers, decision making agencies, to take up the cause of improving the
quality of education. There seems to be no concerted efforts made so far to coordinate
the production and use of teaching aids which could diffuse at the macro level with
enormous possibilities through dissemination. Centre of teaching aids may be developed
to create awareness among the school teachers about the nature and development of the
inexpensive materials for simplifying the difficult concepts. It may be the responsibility
of the proposed centres to identify proper technology among the teachers, children,
artisans and the research workers to enrich the cause of education. These centres may list
out the teaching aids and disseminate such aids and good ideas among the fellow teachers
in their respective areas of jurisdiction. Good ideas could be transformed into model
teaching aids. The interaction of the teachers and artisans would also indirectly bring out
value-oriented education in the form of breaking the cost and other social barriers which
are very prominent in our rural areas with the help of preparation and use of such graphic

Projected aids such as films, television, videotapes, filmstrips/sliders, C.Ds and
audio/radio aids today occupy a prominent position in the entire process. Audio/Radio is
the most economical, portable and accessible medium which can reach the masses
without any loss of time. Audio aids are very effective in the language teaching and for
correct pronunciation. Its various formats such as documentary, drama, interview,
feature, story, music help immensely in comprehension of various concepts.

Similarly television with its powerful medium for capturing live events and experiences
in the visual form with the support of relevant audio inputs can be very effective in the
teaching learning. Although television/video is predominantly a visual medium, sound
plays an important component. Television programme production is a very complex
system but a well designed production, control and coordination makes the task much
easier. Nature and characteristics of television medium has distinct language and
grammar. It is, however, a one way medium.

Tele conferencing/video conferencing and interactive videos are the terms used
synonymously in education as a part of the electronic medium. Multimedia use in the
education context is a combination of audio, video cassettes, teaching aid, printed study
materials and other supplementary material. Tele-conferencing - one way video and two-
way audio for education and training has made it possible to reach out to the large
number of receivers who can communicate and interact with the source simultaneously.
Its main components are television studios, receiving centres, uplink station and feed-
back/evaluation to know the impact of the programme. The latest trends in multimedia
and interactive learning are conversion of image, sound, and text into a digital code for
storage of video disc, C.D. ROMS, Fiber Line can transmit digital information, which
improves reception besides superior sound and picture quality.

Physical Situation:
Physical situation and the environment play a significant role in building the proper class
room atmosphere.        Under the Operation Blackboard Scheme launched by the
Government of India, it is mandatory for each school to ensure the basic amenities of
toilets each separately for boys and girls, library of books, music instruments, sports
material and a minimum of two teachers in each school. Children from the various socio-
economic and cultural background are encouraged to receive education together in the
same school. Contents and proximity with the teachers by virtue of family status
indirectly helps the child to receive better education. Rich children enjoy a social
symbol. They are in a position to acquire more knowledge and information than the
economically deprived children. The privileged child has an easy access to gain first
hand experiences for their educated parents.

Education should provide encouragement to vocationalisation and work experience with
the emphasis on life skills and integration of physical and mental development. The
teachers and students in difficult situations should endeavor to face them with courage
and conviction. Prayer, yoga and mediation enable them to concentrate on the work most
successfully. Healthy mind and body is a fruitful asset of the nation. Perfect cleanliness
is imperative. Teachers and the students should be always watchful to see that the school
and its surroundings are maintained adequately.

Inclusive Schooling:
The facilities for the education of the children with special needs should be expanded as
they constitute a large segment of the society. For such children, attempts should be
made to develop integrated programmes enabling them to study in regular schools, with
normal children and at the same time, coordinate the activities of Non-governmental
organisation working in the field for better results. Children who form a part of the
inclusive education need special methods, materials and facilities as distinct form the
normal school children. At home or in schools no professional assistance is available to
them. Innovations to deal with such children are required to be explored to overcome the
learning barriers, depending upon the nature and level of difficulty. Techniques like
playback of audio cassettes, with specific content, role play, dramatisation, memory aids
and other audio visual aids to comprehend difficult concepts need to be employed.
Every child has creative ability and the children which special needs are no exception.
The need of creative arts for the visually impaired children is the same as for the normal
children. Media adaptation, material and its presentation with modified experiences
would be necessary for the visually impaired children and the task can be accomplished
by an imaginative and creative teacher. Music rhythm and movement are the basic
creative forms of expression. It is, therefore, necessary for the teachers to encourage
creative endeavour and stimulate cognitive abilities, taking the experiences as the
supportive base with lot of initiative and exploration.

In order to make schools child-friendly, it is necessary to make a conceptual framework.
We cannot revitalise education and make it joyful for the child unless we make a
provision of play material, children's literature and amenities such as furniture, water,
toilet and play ground. These are the minimum requirements for the school in which the
children can freely interact with their class mate, and teachers. There is a constant need
to upgrade and improve school curricula periodically. Attention should be concentrated
on the introduction of examination reforms by employing latest methods and techniques.
Redundant concepts should be scrapped and school bags load needs to be reduced

The aim of the school is not to mould the child into rigid culture with fixed curriculum.
In a formal school sitting, it is being widely recognised that the child has not only to learn
reading the writing, but to acquire values of life, reflecting life like situations and rich
provision for purposeful experiences for self-education, self realisation and social
adjustment. Purposeful activities in the school create ideal conditions for learning which
shape and energize the total personality of the child. 'Learning by doing' is a universal
principle. There is a growing consciousness of the activity principle of learning. In order
to bring viable changes, it is necessary that the school be organised as a learning
environment. The experiences of learning may be real out of concrete and abstract
activities. In order to make educational experiences real, it is emphasised that an
environment may be promoted for giving an opportunity for full development of child
personality so that learning becomes joyful.

           d. Deaf and Blind Development
    Effectiveness of early intervention for developing ability of eye, hand
     and intellectual coordination of Children with intellectual impairment:
     Parent as a teacher. (experience 1)

The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of the instruction package
designed to develop the ability of eye, hand and intellectual coordination for children
with intellectual impairment in the severe grade determined by the Stanford Binet
Intelligent Quotient Test.
The population consisted of 48 children with intellectual impairment who enrolled in the
Special Education Centre of the Rajabhat Institute Maha Sarakham in the academic year
1997. They were assessed intelligent quotient by the Stanford Binet Intelligent Quotient
Test. All of them were in severe grade (I.Q. 20-34). The samples were 24 children with
the age range between 6-9 years with the ability of eye, hand of intellectual ability at the
50th percentile of the population. They attended the conducted package designed to
develop the ability of eye, hand and intellectual coordination according to early
intervention policy of the centre conducted by 2 researchers, 8 integrated teachers and 8
parent.The research design was randomized control group pretest-posttest design. The
ability of eye, hand and intellectual coordination of each child was assessed before and
after administering the package.The Wilcoxon Matched Pairs Signed-Ranks Test , the
Wilcoxon Mann-Whitney Test and the kruskal-Wallis one way analysis of variance by
ranks were applied for data analysis.The results were as follows;
           1. In Sample attended the package run by 2 researchers as experts, the ability
of eye, hand and intellectual coordination of children with intellectual impairment in the
severe grade in the posttest was statistically significant higher than in the pretest
           2. In Sample attended the package run by 8 integrated teachers, the ability of
eye, hand and intellectual coordination of children with intellectual impairment in the
severe grade in the posttest was statistically significant higher than in the pretest
           3. In Sample attended the package run by 8 parent, the ability of eye, hand
and intellectual coordination of children with intellectual impairment in the severe grade
in the posttest was statistically significant higher than in the pretest (P=.0039).
           4. The increasing of the ability of eye, hand and intellectual coordination of
children with intellectual impairment conducted the package run by 2 researchers as
experts was statistically significant higher than those who were attended the package run
by 8 integrated teachers (P=.0103).
           5. The increasing of the ability of eye, hand and intellectual coordination of
children with intellectual impairment who attended the package run by 2 researchers as
experts was statistically significant higher than those who were attended the package run
by 8 parents (P=.037).
           6. The increasing of the ability of eye, hand and intellectual coordination of
children with intellectual impairment who attended the package run by 8 integrated
teachers has no statistically significant difference with those who attended the package
run by and 8 parents.
           7. After the researcher conduct the manual by tape recording as a manual for
running the constructed package in local language ,the increasing of the ability of eye,
hand and intellectual coordination of children with intellectual impairment among the
three groups has no statistically significant difference each other.

           Besides the package is effective, the findings postulate in parent as a teacher in
running constructed package for developing eye, hand and intellectual ability of children
with intellectual impairment. However, they need good manual , supporting training and
supervision from experts until they gain insight.

Identification of the problem
        Children with intellectual any in severe grade were limited in understand or
following the sentence including for self control .The needs to develop fine motor
it is early other development such as self help social communication skill
fine motor related with ,eye, hand intellectual coordination the child the children to
drawing and writing (Kaufman. Zalma and Kautman.1978) relevantly to Dawson (1957)
who postulate the good drawing and writing how to come from good coordination of
eye hand and master control form the problem, the researchers want to study the
effectiveness of constructed package for developing ability of eye, hand and intellectual
ability of children with intellectual impairment run by teachers ,parent and expert.

      Aims of the study
        1.To study the ability of eye, hand and intellectual coordination of children with
intellectual impairment in the severe grade attended the package run by researchers as
        2. To study the ability of eye, hand and intellectual coordination of children with
intellectual impairment in the severe grade attended the package run by integrated
        3.To study the ability of eye, hand and intellectual coordination of children with
intellectual impairment in the severe grade attended the package run by parent.
        4. To study the increasing of the ability of eye, hand and intellectual
of children with intellectual impairment attended the package run by
experts compare with those who were attended the package run by integrated teachers .
        5. To study the increasing of the ability of eye, hand and intellectual
of children with intellectual impairment attended the package run by experts compare
with those who were attended the package run by parent.
6. To study the increasing of the ability of eye, hand and intellectual coordination of
children with intellectual impairment attended the package run by integrated teachers
compare with those who were attended the package run by parent.

                                      Definition of Terms
       1.   Children with intellectual impairment:
       2.   Ability of eye, hand and intellectual coordination
       3.   Mainstreaming school
       4.   Mainstreaming teacher
       5.   Parent of children with intellectual impairment
       6.   Expert

      Population and Sample
      Population: The population consisted of 48 children with intellectual impairment
who enrolled in the Special Education Centre of the Rajabhat Institute Maha Sarakham in
the academic year 1997. They were assessed intelligent quotient by the Stanford Binet
Intelligent Quotient Test. All of them were in severe grade (I.Q. 20-34).
           Sample: The samples were 24 children with the age range between 6-9 years
with the ability of eye, hand of intellectual ability at the 50th percentile of the population.

         Instrument: They comprised of checklist to assess ability of eye, hand and
intellectual coordination and package for developing ability of eye, hand and intellectual
coordination of Children with intellectual impairment

     Steps of construction
        1. Checklist to assess ability of eye, hand and intellectual coordination was
constructed by the steps as follows;
            1.1 Review special curriculum for children intellectual impairment in
developmental 0-5 years old (Ministry Of Education, 1992). Skill checklist of curriculum
guide for Early Childhood Education of South Eastern Special Education St Marrie
lllinnois (1983) and the checklist of Thai Ministry of Public Health (Sutabut ,1992).
            1.2 Constructed the 46 listing of eye,hand and intellectual steps by task
analytic base.
            1.3 Improve the validity by following the comments of 3 experts in
curriculum, measurement and special education , each,
            1.4 Trying out with 20 Children with intellectual impairment at Kalasin
Special Education School.
            1.5 Improve the simplicity until the reliability was 0.976 and 0 .95 by Kuder
Richardson method and William A.Scot from two raters,respectively,.
        Then applied the manual of the checklist in the next step of the research.
        2. Package for developing ability of eye, hand and intellectual coordination of
children with intellectual impairment was constructed by the steps as follows;
            2.1 Review manual for parent and teacher to develop fine muscle and
intellectual of children (Ministry of Education,1992),manual to develop daily activities
(Sutabut ,1992 ),Manual to test and develop eye ,hand and intellectual
coordination(Sutabut ,1992 cited in Mcquiry University ,Australia ).
            2.2 Constructed the training plan to develop eye, hand and intellectual
coordination for children with intellectual impairment within 46 sessions followed the
norm criteria for o-7 years old children.
            2.3 Improve the validity by following the comments of 3 experts in
curriculum, measurement and special education , each.
            2.4 Trying out with 20 Children with intellectual impairment at Kalasin
Special Education School.
            2.5 Improve the simplicity and then applied the manual of the checklist in the
next step of the research.
                                  Research Design
       This research was randomized control group pretest- posttest Design

              group run by          pretest       experimen      posttest
                 Expert               T1              X             T2
                 Teacher              T3              X             T4
                 Parents              T5              X             T6

                                          Data collection
        - Assess and score ability of eye, hand and intellectual coordination before and
after the subjects attended the constructed package for developing ability of eye, hand
and intellectual coordination of children with intellectual impairment.
        - Statistics for data analysis: The Wilcoxon Signed Ranks Test And Wilcoxon-
Mann-Whitny Test were applied and Krusal Wallis One Way Analysis of Variance by
Ranks ( Siegel and Castellan,1988).

       Table 1 : To compare ability of eye, hand and intellectual coordination of
children with intellectual impairment between the pretest of expert and teacher

   Group               N               Mdn               W                     p
   Expert              8               11.5              37                 0.0002
   Teacher             8                24               99

        From table1,it was shown that at pretest, subjects in teacher group showed base
line score statistically higher than one in expert group(p=.0002).

       Table 2 : To compare ability of eye, hand and intellectual coordination of
children with intellectual impairment between the pretest of expert and parent

    Group              N               Mdn               W                  p
    Expert             8               11.5             43.5             0.00435
    Parent             8                20              92.5

        From table2,it was shown that at pretest, subjects in parent group showed base
line score statistically higher than one in expert group(p=.00435).

       Table 3 : To compare ability of eye, hand and intellectual coordination of
children with intellectual impairment between the pretest of teacher and parent

   Group               N               Mdn               W                p
   Teacher             8                24               90         0.0103
    Parent              8                20                46

From table3, it was shown that at pretest, subjects in teacher group showed base line
score statistically higher than one in parent group (p=.0103).
        Table 4 : To compare ability of eye, hand and intellectual coordination of
children with intellectual impairment between posttest and pretest run the package by 2

   Group                N                T+                T-               P
Expert           8                 36               0                 0.0039

From table4,it was shown that the scores at the posttest was statistically higher than the
(P =0.0039).

        Table 5: To compare ability of eye, hand and intellectual coordination of children
with intellectual impairment between posttest and pretest run the package by 8 teachers

Group            N                 T+               T-                P
Teacher          8                 36               0                 0.0039

        From table5,it was shown that the scores at the posttest was statistically higher
than the pretest (P =0.0039).

        Table 6: To compare ability of eye, hand and intellectual coordination of children
with intellectual impairment between posttest and pretest run the package by 8 parents

   Group                N                T+                T-                P
Parent                  8                36                0              0.0039

        From table6,it was shown that the scores at the posttest was statistically higher
than the pretest (P =0.0039).

       Table 7: To compare the increasing of the ability of eye, hand and intellectual
coordination of children with intellectual impairment who attended the package run by 2
experts and 8 teachers

    Group               N               Mdn                W                 P
    Expert              8               12.5               90             0.0103
    Teacher             8               19.5               46

       From table7,it was shown that to study the increasing of the ability of eye, hand
and intellectual coordination of children with intellectual impairment attended the
package run by experts compare with those who were attended the package run by
integrated teachers (P=0.0103) .
       Table 8: To compare the increasing of the ability of eye, hand and intellectual
coordination of children with intellectual impairment who attended the package run by 2
experts and 8 parents

    Group              N                 Mdn                 W                     P
    Expert              8                12.5                85.5                0.037
    Parent              8                 7.5                50.5

       From table8,it was shown that to study the increasing of the ability of eye, hand
and intellectual coordination of children with intellectual impairment attended the
package run by experts compare with those who were attended the package run by

       Table 9: To compare the increasing of the ability of eye, hand and intellectual
coordination of children with intellectual impairment who attended the package run by 8
teachers and 8 parents

    Group              N                 Mdn                 W                   P
 Teacher         8                19.5                61.5                  0.2698
 Parent          8                22                  74.5

        From table9,it was shown that to study the increasing of the ability of eye, hand
and intellectual coordination of children with intellectual impairment attended the
package run by integrated teachers compare with those who were attended the package
run by parents .

       Table 10: To compare the increasing of the ability of eye, hand and intellectual
coordination of children with intellectual impairment who attended the package run by 8
teachers , 8 parents and expert.

     Group            N           Mdn           Rj     Rj           KW       P
    Teachers          8            22            96    12           75.16        P > .10
    Parents           8           23.5          100   12.5
    Experts           8           12.5          104    13

        From table10, after the researcher conduct the manual by tape recording as a
manual for running the constructed package in local language, the increasing of the
ability of eye, hand and intellectual coordination of children with intellectual impairment
among the three groups has no statistically significant difference each other.

The results was relevantly to Arayawinyu (1993 cited in Coggia,1985), Saratasananant
(1978), Chamsaard(1993), law of Readiness, Continuity, Exercise(Raveepong,1999 cited
to Edward l.Thorndike) Chuta (1999 cited inDe Ceceo,1968) and Garrison (1972).

General Suggestions
Although the package is effective as the findings postulate in parent as a teacher in
running constructed package for developing eye, hand and intellectual ability of children
with intellectual impairment, however, they need good manual, supporting training and
supervision from experts until they gain insight.

 Suggestions for Further Studies
Larger Sampling size should be applied for the more power-efficiency by using ANOVA


Most of hearing-impaired children are not totally deaf as some of them still have their
residual hearing. Using good and functioning hearing aids can help these hearing-
impaired children to hear the sound of speech and also help them to learn to speak (Clark
1989 & Romanik 1990). This research surveyed the level of students' hearing loss, the
number of hearing aids used by the primary school children, the performance of the
hearing aids and also identified the problems in using the hearing aids. In this research,
141 hearing-impaired children were involved as samples. It was found that most of the
hearing-impaired children did not use hearing aids and some of the hearing aids used
were not functioning. Most of the teachers involved had very limited knowledge of
hearing aids as they were not specially trained. The findings also show that some of the
hearing aids had minor problems that could be repaired by teachers if they were given
some exposure on the hearing aids function and operation.

The education school for hearing-impaired children was first started in Malaysia in 1954 with
the establishment of the pioneer deaf school in Penang island. This pioneer school was a
charitable institution, depending wholly on public donation. At that time Malaysia was known
as the Federated Malay States and was a colony of Great Britain (Yahya, 1989). English was
used in schools. However, in 1963 the government took over the services in providing education
to the hearing-impaired and other special needs children (Tee,1988). Since then, more schools
were opened for the hearing-impaired and the special children throughout the nations. However,
there were still some institutions and centers for the handicapped operated by the individuals
and privates organizations.

In order to improve the services for the handicapped, the Special Education Department was
formed as one of the six main divisions in the Ministry of Education. Since then, the
development of special schools and teachers training improved tremendously. Under the special
education act 1979-1991 all special children were given equal rights for education like their
normal counterparts.
Education of the deaf children
In Malaysia, the hearing-impaired children are categorized as special children. Hence, the
education and services for them were taken care by Special Education Unit. The hearing-
impaired children were given an equal opportunity for education like other children but
they were placed under special schooling programs (Department of Special Education,
1997). There were three types of schooling programs for the hearing-impaired children
i.e. inclusive, integrated and special school program. In the integration program the
children were placed in the normal school in a separate classes. They were taught by
specially trained teachers. However, they will be placed with the normal children only in
subjects such as physical education and arts. In the inclusive program, the children were
placed in normal school with the normal children. The special school programs were
totally in a segregated settings.

The hearing-impaired were provided an education equally as the normal children. Those
children diagnosed with hearing-impaired will be placed in any one of the special school
programs. Currently there were about 65 primary schools (41 integrated and 24 special
schools) and 41 secondary schools (39 integrated and 2 special schools) for hearing
impaired children. They were about 2161 in primary schools and 1488 in the secondary
schools (Department of Special Education, 2002). The hearing-impaired children were
following normal curriculum as well as the normal. However, the teachers were allowed
to make some modification of curriculum in line with the children's achievements. In
order to improve their academic achievement, the hearing-impaired children were given
an extra for 2 years in school compared to the normal children. The hearing-impaired
children were taking the same examinations at the primary and the secondary level as
their normal counterparts.

In Malaysia, the hearing-impaired children were categorized according to their level of
hearing loss. The children with above 70 dB loss were considered as suffering hearing
impairment and they will be placed In special schools. Table 1.1 show category of loss
used in Malaysia (Clinic of Audiology, 2000).

Table 1.1 Category of hearing loss

           Decibel (dB)               Category of loss

           0 - 20 dB                  Normal
           21- 45 dB                  Mild
           46 - 70 dB                 Moderate
           71 - 90 dB                 Severe
           91 dB above                Profound

Issues in Education of Hearing-impaired
At the beginning the method of communication used by the hearing-impaired children in
Malaysia was an oral method. The oral method was officially used in schools until late
1960s, however, there were no indication of academic and communication achievement.
Yahya-Isa (1982) in her study found out that 80% of the deaf children selected randomly
left schools with hardly any understandable speech. Another survey by Yahya-Isa also
found that 72% of the hearing-impaired children in Penang who spent 12 to 14 years also
failed to achieve a reasonable standard of language efficiency and 90% failed to speak
intelligibly. According to Yahya-Isa (1982) and Tee (1982) the major problems faced by
most of the developing country like Malaysia were the absence and in adequate of
equipments such as hearing devices. Besides that poor maintenance and repair of hearing
aids used by the children caused major failure in acquiring spoken language and
academic achievement. Hence, another method of communication was introduced in
1963 i.e. the total communication (Yahya-Isa, 1989).

Currently the total communication was used by hearing impaired children in Malaysia.
In this method both speech and sign were used, hoping that the hearing-impaired are able
to increase their academic achievement and communication skills. Even though the
total communication is used in school by the hearing-impaired, some other methods
were also used by hearing-impaired children such as cued speech, lip-read and sign
language. These methods were used by private and deaf organizations in Malaysia.
Besides sign language, the total communication is emphasizing in the use of oral
communication. In order to acquire speech, hearing aids play an important role.
According to Clark,(1989) one of the available ways to help hearing-impaired children to
learn speech is through the use of hearing aids. A hearing aid is an important device that
makes sound louder and most important tool available to hearing-impaired children.
Ling & Ling (1978) mentioned that many hearing-impaired children are not totally deaf,
most of them still have some residual hearing and hearing aids can help them to hear
sounds. Romanik (1990) also noted that if residual hearing is used appropriately, hearing-
impaired children could learn and develop language in the same way as normally hearing
children. Hearing aids are the most important tools which exist for promoting spoken
language development in hearing-impaired children ( Seewald & Ross, 1988). Those
whom hearing aids benefit most are generally in the best position to acquire speech. The
hearing aid obviously will not provide an optimum listening assistance to a user if it is
not functioning efficiently.

        Northern (1996) revealed that an amplification and proper functioning hearing
aids will enable to amplified sounds such as speech. Romanik (1990) mentioned that the
hearing-impaired children would be able to learn speech, if their residual hearing is
amplified by the hearing aids effectively. The maximum benefit is gained by each student
from the aids at all times and this can occur only if the aids are working to maximum
potential for all his/her waking hours. This will help the user to learn speech like a
normal children. Therefore, it is possible for the hearing-impaired children to listen and
learn language and communication like normal children. However, Viehweg (1986)
stated that it is common for hearing aid's ear mould to be clogged with cerumen, foreign
materials or condensed with droplets of water. In this case, the hearing aid will sound
dead because sound cannot penetrate the blockage. Sometimes ear mould tubing tend to
lose flexibility, shrink, and eventually crack. When it hardens it can become loose, crack
or break and could cause feedback. Excessive moisture from respiration or high humidity
can result in hearing aid malfunction. Besides that a hearing aid will not fully function
with weak battery and obviously not functioning with dead battery.

        Feedback can cause pain and uncomfortable to the children who used hearing aid
(Ling, 1989, Smith 1998 & Wood, 2002). Most of the children refused to used it because
it caused pain to their ears. Therefore, parents should teach them in terms of checking and
maintaining their hearing aids daily. Without proper maintenance hearing aid will not
functioning effectively (Stone and Adam, 1986). Most (2002) in his study found that
25.0% to 69.0% of the hearing aids used by the hearing-impaired school children were
not functioning efficiently. He found out that most of the hearing aids were not properly
maintained by parents and teachers.

        The importance of hearing aids used by hearing-impaired children was always
neglected. Ling (1990) reported that most of the hearing aids used in schools were not
properly maintained. The daily hearing aids checking was not carried out and some of the
hearing aids used by the children were not functioning properly. According to Romanik
(1990) some of the teachers involved with the children were not provided with an
adequate knowledge of hearing aids checking and maintenance. The problems such as
weak battery, moisture or wax in the tubing, inappropriate amplification and not being
serviced hearing aids for a long period will caused the hearing aids not functioning
efficiently. As mentioned by Romanik (1990) a child who used not functioning hearing
aids will suffer an extra of 30 dB loss. A study conducted by Dawson (1987) showed that
45.0% of the hearing aids used by the children were not fully functioning. This study
shows that some of the hearing aids used by the school children were not functioning

The objectives of the study

The objectives of this study are:

   i.      to identify category of children's hearing loss,
   ii.     to identify the number of hearing aids used by students, and
   iii.    to evaluate the hearing aids performance used by students.

They were about 141 hearing-impaired primary school children involved in this study.
The students were from four primary schools situated in a state of Selangor, Malaysia.
The state of Selangor in the middle of West Malaysian Peninsula and one of the most
developed state in Malaysia. The hearing lost of the students were based from their
medical records from the schools. The hearing aids were checked through visual and
listening test. The instruments used were hearing aids check lists, battery tester and
statoclip.. The data were analyzed in form of frequencies and percentage.

There were 4 primary schools involved in this study. All schools were in the state of
Selangor, Malaysia. School C consisted the most number of students (55.3%) because it
was one of the segregated school for the hearing-impaired children in the state, where
else the rest of the schools were an integrated schools.

         Table 1.2 Numbers of students
          Item                    Frequency             Percentage
          School A                19                    13.5%
          School B                24                    17.0%
          School C                78                    55.3%
          School D                20                    14.2%
          Total                   141                   100%

The majority of the hearing-impaired students involved in this study were consists of
57.4% males and 42.6% females (Table 1.3).
       Table 1.3 Gender
     Items                                       Frequency          Percentage
     Male                                        81                 57.4%
     Female                                      60                 42.6%
     Total                                       141                100.0%

Table 1.4 shows an average hearing loss of all the students involved in this study, 66.0%
of the students were with profound hearing loss (19 dB and above). However, they were
5.0% (7) of the students were with mild and moderate loss.

            Table 1.4 Average hearing loss

              Items                                 Frequency          Percentage
              Normal (normal 25 dB)                 -                  -
              Mild (26-45 dB)                       1                  0.7%
              Moderate (46-70 dB)                   6                  4.3%
              Severe (71-90 dB)                     15                 10.6%
              Profound (91 dB above)                93                 66.0%
              Not available                         26                 18.4%
              Total                                 141                100.0%

Table 1.5 shows the number of students using hearing aids in schools. The study shows
that 83.0% of the students were without hearing aids. None of the students from Year 4
and Year 8 students were with hearing aids. Only 17.0% of all the students from four
schools used hearing aids.

      Table 1.5 Number of students using hearing aids
      Class       Using hearing aids No hearing aids               No. of students
      Year 1      2 (1.4%)             9 (6.3%)                    11 (7.8%)
      Year 2      2 (1.4%)             18 (12.8%)                  20 (14.2%)
      Year 3      5 (3.5%)             14 (9.9%)                   19 (13.5%)
      Year 4        -                      11 (7.8%)               11 (7.8%)
      Year 5        5 (3.5%)               18 (12.8%)              23 (16.3%)
      Year 6        6 (4.3%)               8 (5.7%)                14 (9.9%)
      Year 7        4 (2.9%)               21 (14.9%)              25 (17.7%)
      Year 8        -                      18 (12.8%)              18 (12.8%)
      Total         24 (17.0%)             117 (83.0%)             141 (100%)

Table 1.6 shows numbers of hearing aids used by the hearing-impaired children from all
the four schools. The study shows that year 6 students used 25.6% of the hearing aids.
Where else none of the students from year 4 and year 8 were using hearing aids. Only 39
hearing aids were used from the total numbers of 141 students.

        Table 1.6 Number of hearing aids used by the students.
         Class       Right          Left        Both ears      No. of Aids
         Year 1      -              -           10.3% (4)      10.3% (4)
         Year 2      -              -           10.3% (4)      10.3% (4)
         Year 3      5.1% (2)       2.6.0% (1) 10.3% (4)       17.9% (7)
         Year 4      -              -           -              -
         Year 5      5.1% (2)       -           15.2% (6)      20.5% (10)
         Year 6      -              5.1% (2)    20.5% (8)      25.6% (10)
         Year 7      2.6% (1)       2.6% (1)    10.3% (4)      15.5% (6)
         Year 8      -              -           -              -
         Total       12.8% (5)      10.3% (4) 76.9% (30) 100% (39)
The hearing aids performance were shown in table 1.7. The findings showed that 38.5%
of the hearing aids used by the students were with dirty / clogged ear mould and produced
static / unclear sound. However, only 2.6.0% of the hearing aids used were loosely fitted
and with broken switch / case.

       Table 1.7 Hearing performance
       No       Items                                Frequency       Percentage
       1       Feedback                              12              30.7%
       2       Loose ear mould                       1               2.6%
       3       Dead / week battery                   15              38.5%
       4       Dirty ear mould                       14              35.9%
       5       Moisture in the tubing                8               20.5%
       6       Broken switch and case                1               2.6%
       7       Static and unclear sound              15              38.5%

The study involved 141 hearing-impaired students from four primary schools in a state of
Selangor, Malaysia. About 66.0% of 141 students were with profound hearing loss.
However, 18.4% of the students' medical records were not available from the schools.
According to the teachers, some of the students were transferred to the school without
their medical records or some of their records were still being process by the medical
authority. However, when the child was already placed in the school, there was no follow
up steps being taken by the parent or school regarding the medical record. About 5.0% of
the students were having multiple handicapped and schools chosen were the nearest
school from their homes.

The number of students using hearing aids were too few compared to the total numbers of
students. As mentioned by Yahya-Isa and Tee (1988) the major problems faced by most
of the developing country like Malaysia were the absence and inadequate of equipments
such as hearing devices and poor maintenance. This is due to price and cost of
maintenance of the hearing aids. The price of each hearing aids is too expensive for the
parents. Most of the parents were unable to spend or hearing aids because they other
commitments to their families. In the early years of schooling normally a quite numbers
of students were using hearing aids, however, the numbers were decreasing due to no
replacement for missing or broken hearing aids. Besides, that a lack of an awareness by
parents and teachers regarding the importance and proper maintenance of hearing aids
were the major factors contributing to the problems. Hence, only 24 students or a total of
39 hearing aids were used by the students.

Another major factor contributing to the used problems of hearing aids among the
hearing-impaired children in schools is the hearing aid performance. A hearing aid is an
electronic device which needs maintenance in order to function efficiently (Martin,
1994). A child who used a non-functioning hearing aid will increase his/her hearing loss
(Romanik, 1990 & Volanthern, 1995).In this study, 38,5% of the hearing aids were not
functioning efficiently due to static/unclear sounds and weak/dead batteries. Dirty ear
moulds, feedbacks and moistures were problems encountered by hearing aids users or
students in schools (Viehweg, 1986). Besides that, a hearing aid will not functioning
efficiently with weak battery and obviously not functioning at all with dead battery.

The knowledge about roles and limitations of hearing aids are important in order to
received its benefits to the users/hearing-impaired. Most (2002)in his study mentioned
that 25% to 69% of hearing aids used by the hearing -impaired school children were not
functioning efficiently. He found out that most of the hearing aids were not properly
maintained by parents and teachers. Only a well maintain hearing aid will benefits its
users. Therefore, there must be a proper daily maintenance to the hearing aids used by the
students. A teacher involved should be trained and acquired knowledge regarding the
roles and limitations of hearing aid. She/he should be able to carry out simple checking
and repairing minor problems. Problems such as dead battery, feedback, dirty ear mould
can be easily detected and overcome by teachers and parents. The children themselves
should be taught about the hearing aids, they should be able to maintain and monitor their
hearing aids. Thus, it will help them to produce feedback to their parents and teachers if
their hearing aids were faulty and not functioning.

The importance of hearing aids used by hearing-impaired children were always neglected
(Ling, 1990). A hearing aid is an electronic device, a school should introduce a lesson
about hearing aid to the students because the device is an important tool to them. A child
should understand how a hearing aids operates and benefits them. Without a proper
exposure about it looks like objects or accessories such as ear rings or spectacles. In
order to improve the services to the hearing-impaired students, there must also an
involvement of multi disciplinary experts such as speech therapists who is expert in
speech, audiologist in hearing aids maintenance, welfare officers in finance and social
development and other expertise in schools.

    Equity of Access to Quality Education and Training: The Improvement of
     Vocational Special Needs Education (experience 3)
Access to quality education is a growing area that has gained much attention in recent
years. Previously, access to education especially in technical and vocational education
for special needs learners is limited. The move by the Malaysian Ministry of Education
to provide tertiary technical-vocational education for special needs learners is timely.
This move is in line with the call for education for all. “Successful transition to post-
secondary setting” is linked with outcomes like being able to continue education, having
independent employment and living (Evers, 1996). In the case of people with special
needs, this kind of transition may not be similar to those without such needs. This is
because there are limited opportunities and there are few places available for them in
tertiary institutions. In this paper, opportunities for special needs learners to pursue
tertiary education are examined with the focus on learners learning engineering in a

Special Needs Learners Learning Technology Education in Polytechnics
Polytechnics in Malaysia were established as the post-secondary learning institutions for
technical and commercial training. The focus of polytechnic is to provide training for
school leavers to become qualified paraprofessionals and technical assistants. The
programs offered are full-time diploma or certificate courses and are internally accredited
by the Ministry of Education. The duration for certificate and diploma courses is two
years and three years respectively. However, there are exceptions; students doing
Diploma in Marine Engineering will have to undergo a four-year course while those
taking Diploma in Secretarial Science will undergo a two-year course. All courses
require students to undergo industrial training in the actual industry setting for one
semester (Ministry of Education, 1994). The industrial training is to enable students to
experience actual working conditions and be exposed to the demands and realities of their
chosen field of learning.

In the case of special needs learners, access to technology education in polytechnics is
realized through the move by the Malaysian Ministry of Education to provide
opportunities at the tertiary level for these special needs learners. Intakes to three
polytechnics began in June 2000. Qualification to join the polytechnics is based on either
they have sat for Malaysian Certificate of Education (taken in the secondary school) or
they have completed secondary school in the integration program (for special students).
Certificate courses offered are in the areas of civil engineering, mechanical engineering,
hotel and catering, and fashion design and fabric. The emphasis of the course is to
provide the special needs learners with the necessary skills in the specific course area.
The certification, special skills certificate, is conferred to those who complete the two-
year course with passes in the course subjects.

The Setting
A polytechnic that offers a certificate course on engineering maintenance for hearing
impaired learners is chosen as the setting for the study. Among the objectives of this
course are to provide skilled workers with the ability to use and maintain machineries and
the ability to support engineers in any process related to mechanical maintenance. This
course is a two-year course, which is divided into four semesters. For the first three
semesters, learners are taught at the polytechnic and in the final semester, they undergo
their industrial placement or training for 6 months.

The subjects offered in this course are divided into three main strands; general subjects,
core subjects and major subjects.        All learners are required to do all the subjects
offered within their course duration. The learners‟ academic background are mixed, with
those who have completed their secondary education in the integration programme for the
hearing impaired, those who completed their studies in the vocational special school and
also those who have completed the mainstream secondary education. The course is
conducted by technical lecturers and is supported by special education lecturers.

The Study
The aim of this preliminary study was to find out insight and views on hearing impaired
learners accessing tertiary education specifically to technology education in the
polytechnic. It involves three main groups of participants: the technical lecturers (N=4),
the special education lecturers (N=2) and hearing impaired learners (N=10). The study
was carried out in two parts. In the first part, the participants were interviewed
individually for the lecturers and in groups for the learners with the help of the special
education lecturers as interpreters. In the second part, observations on how the course is
carried out were made in classrooms and workshops. The observations focused among
others on the teaching and learning process and facilities provided for the special

Results and Discussion
The data from the interviews and observations were analyzed and categorized according
to the following themes:

     a.   The teaching and learning process
     b.   The curriculum
     c.   Resources and facilities
     d.   Equity and accessibility

a.  The teaching and learning process:
The teaching and learning process is carried out in classrooms and workshops according
to the needs of each subject. Technical lecturers teach in classrooms using teaching aids
like subject content transparencies and charts. Hearing impaired learners follow the
lectures either with the help of special education lecturers as interpreters using sign
language or the lecturer lectures and use sign language simultaneously. As the hearing
impaired learners have different degrees of hearing loss, it is observed that there were
cases where those with some degree of hearing would provide help in understanding the
lecture to those who are totally deaf. In addition, demonstrations in the workshop were
carried out in carefully selected steps and it is found that the technical lecturers often
work closely with the learners in small groups to ensure that they could master the skills
without difficulties.

The technical lecturers:
None of the technical lecturers have any special education qualification. They are
lecturers with technical education background and are also involved in teaching other
courses offered at the polytechnic. Two of them have gone through two weeks course of
basic sign language prior to the intake of the first batch of the hearing impaired learners.
All of them raised the issue of communication difficulties with the hearing impaired
learners. Lectures and workshops demonstrations need to be carried out at a slower pace
with simple and clear terms to accommodate to the learning needs of the learners. To
help them in the teaching process, these lecturers use teaching aids and provide simplified
notes in the form of handouts.

All of the technical lecturers show positive attitudes and acceptance of their hearing
impaired learners. They found working with these learners challenging and satisfactory.
Their hearing impaired learners are keen and highly motivated learners. One lecturer
commented “teaching (welding) to the hearing impaired learners is pretty much the same
(to the mainstream learners) except for the amount of time spent on providing clear
instruction and demonstration”. Cutshall (2001) points out similarly that such attitude is
important in teaching the hearing impaired learners to ensure that the learning process
takes place appropriately.

The special education lecturers:
The special education lecturers see their roles in the teaching and learning process as the
resource person to the hearing impaired learners and to the technical lecturers. During
lectures or workshops, they work together with the technical lecturers as (sign language)
interpreters. Due to shortage of lecturers who could sign, the special education lecturers
also lecture subjects like Moral Education, Bahasa Melayu (Malay language) and
Computer Application.

The researchers feel that these lecturers assume an active role in ensuring the success of
the program for the hearing impaired learners. Apart from being the resource persons,
they also undertake the role as consultants to the technical lecturers and the hearing
impaired learners. One of the difficulties that these lecturers raised is in terms of having
inadequate knowledge and experience in the technical subjects taught to the hearing
impaired learners. As the resource persons in the technical classes, they feel they have to
have the necessary knowledge to ensure they are able to deliver (in sign language) the
appropriate technical teaching content. There are no professional courses available to
provide for the technical training needed. On their own initiatives, these lecturers learn
the technical subjects by having discussion with the technical lecturers or by reading
through the teaching notes for the particular subject.

The hearing impaired learners:
The hearing-impaired learners show positive attitude towards learning. They found that
they have no major difficulties in following lectures except in communicating with the
technical lecturers. Apart from the need for interpreters, the teaching aids and handouts
used by the technical lecturers are found to be helping the learners in understanding the
subject content.

b.  The Curriculum:
As the course is intended for hearing impaired learners, the curriculum designed for the
course takes into account the general performance and academic level of the learners. As
pointed out earlier, the course has three main subject strands, namely, general subjects,
core subjects and major subjects. The medium of instruction is in Bahasa Melayu with
the exception for Technical English Language. The nature of the curriculum is skill-
oriented which allows for hands-on experience learning and applied learning
environment. It is observed too that the curriculum provides the necessary occupational
skills in line with the focus of the course.

The technical lecturers:
In general, the lecturers agree that the curriculum of the course is suitable for the hearing
impaired learners. The curriculum is designed in such a way that it is realistic to the
context of the learners and that it is attainable by the learners. The teaching of the
technical subjects involves incorporating the theoretical and practical aspects. The
lecturers pointed out that they usually found difficulties in teaching these theoretical
aspects. This is due to the difficulties on the learners part to comprehend these aspects.

There is no final examination for the all of the subjects offered in the course. The
performance of the hearing impaired learners is evaluated by means of tests and practical
output. The lecturers agree that having to sit for final examination like the mainstream
learners would be too difficult to the hearing impaired learners.

The special education lecturers:
Both the special education lecturers agree that they should be some modifications to the
existing curriculum. They pointed that it should be simpler and more realistic to support
the learning needs of the hearing impaired learners. They added that safety is an
important issue, which needs to be addressed in the curriculum where heavy machinery is
concerned. Such concern is related to the nature of hearing loss that the hearing
impaired learners are experiencing.     One of the special education lecturers suggested
that due to this nature, the learners are more suitable in doing courses related to
computers or architectural design.

The hearing impaired learners:
The learners did not provide much feedback in relation to the aspect of curriculum. Most
of them agree that the course is suitable for them.
c. Resources and facilities:
Availability of resources and facilities is dependent on the needs of the course. It is
observed that adequate classroom and workshop facilities are available. The course is
conducted within the Mechanical Department.

The technical lecturers:
All of the lecturers agreed that the resources and facilities available are adequate for their
teaching needs. They are involved in preparing the learning resources like teaching aids
and learning modules.

The special education lecturers:
The special education lecturers highlight that there need to be improvement in terms of
resources and facilities. One particular aspect that the lecturers pointed out is the alarm
facility in the form of light alarms. Increase in the number of these alarms are needed in
classrooms, residential rooms and other public places like the library and canteen. The
lecturers too feel that there is a need for more resource (special education) lecturers to be
placed at the polytechnic as the number of such students is increasing.

The hearing impaired learners
Most of the learners are satisfied with the resources and facilities available to them. They
depend on their lecturers for their learning resources. They found that the facilities
available to them beyond their classroom are adequate to enable them to be independent.
The advancement of technology in communication proves to be an advantage to these
learners. Communication between these learners and their lecturers is enhanced by the
use of SMS (short messages services) via mobile phones.

d. Equity and accessibility:
The researchers observed that the mechanical maintenance course provides the necessary
actual labour market advantage to the hearing impaired learners in relation to job
opportunities. The six weeks industrial placement or training supports this advantage. In
addition, it also provides the occupational skills necessary to obtain the jobs in the field
of mechanical maintenance. As such, this enables clear pathways to the hearing impaired
learners in terms of their career advancement.

The special education lecturers:
Although the qualification to apply for the course is not as rigid as for the mainstream
courses, there are special requirements that the hearing impaired learners should meet.
The special education lecturers highlight that the learners need to be have the appropriate
literacy level to meet the demands of the course.

The hearing impaired learners:
A few of the learners pointed out that the certificate course in machinery maintenance is
not their preferred choice of course. They indicated initially they preferred to pursue
studies in other areas. However, limited placement and courses offered at polytechnics
did not allow for choices to be made.
Conclusion and Recommendations
The program set up for the special population in the polytechnics has provided
opportunities for transition to postsecondary education and allows for increasing number
of special needs population in tertiary education. This is consistent with the philosophy
of “technical-vocational education for all”. Such a move enhances the chances of the
special population being skilled worker, thus reducing the chance of being unemployed.
In relation to this, the discussion in this paper has looked into the issues teaching and
learning, equity and accessibility, the curriculum and issues of resources and facilities.
Understanding of these issues is needed particularly in relation to the technical lecturers
and the special education lecturers to ensure that they provide a high quality program.
Such understanding is important where Evers (1996) stresses that the success of delivery
of technology education is determined by “the issues of accessibility, instructional or
setting demands, teacher preparation and attitudes”. It is imperative too that these
lecturers are aware that apart from having the necessary skills, their special needs are
ready to face the challenges and demands of the labor market.

V. Conclusion
The congress inspired the academics and expert backgrounds on education sectors to well
acquainted and exchanged the matters of concerning educational issues in each country.
The congress fostered the participants to put common senses sort out the current
problematic in the world educations, which contributed the experiences in the fields to
demonstrate the particular positive solutions in managing the projects and stakeholders.
The information technology was recognized as the modern tools to accelerate the speed
of education for all faster. There were many resource books and valued expo illustrated
the samples of education progressives for the numbers of countries.

Furthermore, the presentation topics were charmed the interests of the participants to pay
attention such as school managements, cultures, languages, quality education, equity in
school access, children rights, disabled children etc. The reading papers are the valuable
documents for them to absorb and disseminate to the colleagues and other involving

However, the congress seemed focused on the specific countries and some of those are
unable to apply in the recipient countries because the contrary of the situations of the
policy, locations, beneficiaries, etc. The time for each presentation was limited, so the
listeners couldn't raise the questions and some speakers has limited background about
field implementations and they reached of theories from the schools, so some questions
were non-responded.

The organizers did not confirm the follow up cycle of this seminar, so we thought this
seminar just attempted to review the ongoing situations of education in the world as well
as to spark the educators and associated institutions to take into account.

The main expectations from the seminar are to cooperate internally with various
educational stakeholders in the world and to link closely with the ministries in charge of
educations, particularly the Ministries of Education in Southeast Asia. Aide et Action is
conducting the projects on education sectors in Cambodia, Lao, Vietnam, Burma, China,
etc, thus the seminar provided us the chances to build close relationship with resource
persons of those countries. Moreover, the seminar also provided us a chance to echo the
internal advocacy on education through participants and speakers, especially among the
countries that are lower education systems and demanding needs for education.

The seminar is also broad out knowledge and connections through out the world and to
know the right people we need, because of the participants list and contact addresses. We
will work closely with those people and it is an easy way to develop the projects faster
and successfully in the future.

Aide et Action in Southeast Asia wished to increase the voice of advocacy among the
local educators and international educators, which those NGOs, institutions, companies,
students, teachers, experts, etc, that are concerning on educational issues in their
countries. The goals of advocacy are to raise awareness on the problems of educational
needs and to reform in the education strategic plans, as well as to enhance the educational
institutional providers to reform and re-think the ways to overcome education in their

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