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Besides Advertising and Product Sampling, What Are Other Market Strategies That Company Might Persue document sample
Besides Advertising and Product Sampling, What Are Other Market Strategies That Company Might Persue document sample
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 organisations…) 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 below: 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 sessions. 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 Technology. 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, etc. 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 Alleviation 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 contexts: 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 schools. 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. ENHANCING SCHOOL-BASED MANAGEMENT (experience 2) TEEP EXPERIENCE 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 school”. 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 offer. 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 themselves. 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) schools. 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 benefit. 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 aspects: 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 improved. 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 education. 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 underway. 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 education. 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 Country education1 government media of system of (percent)5 languages system of instruction3 education4 spoken6 education2 Mandarin, LWCs, China Yes Yes Yes 69 201 local languages Malay, Brunei No Yes No 2 17 English Khmer, Cambodia Yes Yes Yes local 90 19 languages Indonesian, Indonesia Yes Yes No 10 726 LWCs Lao PDR No No No Lao < 507 82 Malay, English Mandarin, Tamil, Malaysia Yes Yes No 45 139 Telugu, Punjabi, local languages Myanmar Yes No Yes Myanma 61 107 Filipino, Philippines Yes Yes Yes English, 26 169 LWCs English, Mandarin, Singapore No Yes No 33 21 Malay, Tamil Thai, Thailand Yes Yes Yes local < 50 75 languages Vietnamese, Vietnam Yes Yes No local 91 93 languages Table 1. Local language use in China and Southeast Asia in Basic Education. Notes to table 1: 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. 2 „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). 6„ Total number of languages’ spoken in a given country. Source: Grimes (2000). 7 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 Country primary nonformal adult orally in bilingual tongues in education education education classes education bilingual education LLs, China Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes LWCs Brunei No No No - No Cambodia Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes LLs Indonesia Yes Yes - Yes No Lao PDR No No No Yes No Man., Malaysia Yes Yes - - Yes Tam., 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‟= Tamil.) Local language use in education Provider Little Much Viet China Government agencies Mal Phi Non- Indo governmental sector Thai Cam Myan 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 100 90 80 70 60 Percent 50 40 30 20 10 0 Philippines Singapore Cambodia Indonesia Thailand Malaysia China Myanmar Brunei Laos Vietnam 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 Brunei Cambodia Singapore Thailand Laos Vietnam Myanmar Malaysia Philippines China Indonesia 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 1998). 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) Introduction 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 learning 3) Implementing the school curriculum and being accountable for higher learning outcomes 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 outcomes 7) Administering and Managing all personnel, physical and fiscal resources of the school 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 operation; 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 (MOOE) Structures and policies on the operation of School Advisory Councils Parameters of involvement of Parent-Teacher-Association to the operation of the school Absence of duly appointed school principal in small monograde and multigrade schools 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) EQUITY IN ACCESS TO QUALITY EDUCATION: THE RIGHTS AND REALITY OF CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES Introduction 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 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 education. 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 (1993) 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 children’? 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 MDGs 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 region. Results of the evaluation of achievements of the goals of the first Asian and Pacific Decade 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 process. 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 services. 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 are: 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 CWD. 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 levels. 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 provide support and training to all disabled infants and children with disabilities and their families. 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 schools. 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 and Devices Additional actions: Progressively work toward achieving barrier-free and accessible schools and classrooms. 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 NGOs. 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 purpose. 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 plans. 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. Conclusions 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 systems. 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 agencies. 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 school. 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 group. Enhancement of professionalism of all educators and education managers and strengthening the engagement of the community of educators in education reforms. 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) Introduction 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 are: 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: Parents 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 community. 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 idea. 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 Namibia. 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 admirable. (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.) Businesses 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 alliances 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. ESTABLISHING ALLIANCES AND PARTNERSHIPS FOR IMPROVIN GQUALITY IN EDUCATION 1. OVERVIEW - GLOBAL TRENDS IN EFA 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 adults, (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 level. 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. 2. ACCESS AND QUALITY IN EDUCATION 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. 3. ALTERNATIVE SYSTEMS FOR BASIC EDUCATION 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 pushouts/dropouts. 4. AUDIENCES AND APPROACHES FOR BASIC EDUCATION 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. schools 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 adolescents 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 stations 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. 5. ROLE OF ALLIANCES AND PARTNERSHIPS IN EDUCATION 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 sectors. 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 partnership. 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 knowledge. 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 Education. 4. Inputs, outputs, outcomes and assessments of the project. I. Problems Related to People‟s Equality and Rights to Obtain Quality Education. 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 objectives. 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 outcomes. 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 learning. 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 outcomes. 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. Conclusion 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 public. c. Openness to Change and Respect for Diversity MAKING SCHOOLS CHILD – FRIENDLY AND INCLUSIVE 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 learners. 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 flexible. 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 aids. 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. Conclusion: 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 considerably. 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) Abstract 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 (P=.0039). 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 (P=.0039). 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 (Preaium.1995) 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 experts. 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 teachers. 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 coordination 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 coordination 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 Methodology 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 t 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). Results 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 experts 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 pretest (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 parents(P=0.037). 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. Discussion 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 statistics. THE EDUCATION OF HEARING-IMPAIRED CHILDREN (experience 2) Abstract 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. Introduction 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 efficiently. 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. Methodology 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. Findings 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% Conclusion 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) . Introduction 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 polytechnic. 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 learners. 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 stakeholders. 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 countries.
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