Forum on Inclusive and Equitable Education for All in Hong Kong - October 2015
The Education University of Hong Kong hosted a forum on Inclusive and Equitable Education for All, drawing together 17 participants, including scholars, minority group representatives, education practitioners and students, to exchange views on priority areas in education for language minority students. This was the first of an ongoing series of forums on this theme.
The forum was organized by the UNESCO Chair and co-organized with the Centre for Governance and Citizenship and Yew Chung Community College. Representatives from UNISON, the Yuen Long Minorities Parent's Concern Group, Section Juan and CUHK attended. The purpose of the forum was to discuss the key issues affecting language minority students in the school system and look to prioritize these for further focused discussions and concerted action.
Topics of discussion focused around language policies in Hong Kong, the need for a policy on multiculturalism by the government, teacher training and sensitivity, and recognition of children’s right to education. Areas of consensus amongst the group included the importance of involving the community, embedding diversity within the curriculum, the need for positive student role models, and for greater attention to be paid to students failing. Informal education, such as through sports, was also suggested as means of boosting interaction and language skills. Moving forward, the group suggested the need for similar forums in the future with more stakeholders, along with further research investigating factors affecting education for language minority students.
Out of School Children, UNICEF International Study
UNICEF and the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) launched a Global Initiative on Out-of-School Children (OOSC) at the beginning of 2010. The Initiative involved 25 countries. EdUHK managed the Tajikistan country study and worked closely with staff in the UNICEF Country Office. The objectives were to: improve statistical information on OOSC; analyse factors of exclusion from schooling; review existing policies related to enhancing participation; address data analysis and policy gaps; provide guidance for a more systematic approach to addressing the problem of OOSC; and suggest social protection reforms to assist in achieving the objective of free education for all.
Education and Skills for Inclusive Growth and Green Jobs, Asian Development Bank
This was a major ADB study that involved four countries, 15 consultants and it ran from 2012 to the end of 2014. Four countries were involved: India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam.
The objective of this project was to develop recommendations for strengthening green skills in the workforce in anticipation of economic adjustment to climate change. The project involved undertaking surveys, interviews and roundtable meetings in the four countries, with representatives from government, NGOs, development agencies, private sector employers and TVET providers. This was first study to comprehensively collect information from all these sectors on green skill requirements.
Preparing Urban Youth for Further Study and Careers: An International Study Involving Hong Kong
This project was part of the International Cities Project, coordinated by The Education University of Hong Kong, independently funded by the University Grant Committee (UGC) as a General Research Fund (GRF) project, undertaken in association with the University of Melbourne, Australia.
This was a longitudinal study of S4 students as they progressed through school. All S4s were surveyed online in 2013/2014 and then were followed up through repeat contacts for two years. At the time of the online survey in 2013, students were tested using specially developed test instruments, similar to the ones used in PISA. This provided information to schools about its internationally benchmarked performance.
The student survey gathered the views of students regarding the quality of their school experience, their attitudes and values, and their plans, and establishes a basis for contact in later years.
Over 5000 students undertook the test and survey, along with over 600 teachers and nearly 50 school Principals have were also surveyed as part of this project. Due to change is staffing, the project was completed under the direction of the VP (Academic).
The Education Policy and Reform Unit of the UNESCO Bangkok office hosted an expert meeting to develop a “Toolkit on Education Micro-planning” on 27-28 June 2011 in Bangkok, Thailand. Decentralization was one the key educational sector strategies in the Asia-Pacific region at this time. There was a scarcity of resources to consult on the subject of education micro-planning. In order to address this, the expert meeting was held for those involved in, and concerned with, education planning at the local level.
In 2014 the micro-planning tool kit was finalized. The Tool Kit is a joint initiative of UNESCO Bangkok and EdUHK. It was translated into Mongolian for a workshop held in August 2014. Feedback was provided by workshop participants. The Mongolian version of the Tool Kit was used in field trials in Khuvsgul Province sponsored by UNICEF.
Myanmar Capacity Development for Education for All (CAPEFA) Programme
Prof. Kerry Kennedy worked as an International Consultant on the Education Legislation component of the project. This involved an in-depth review of Myanmar’s educational legal, institutional and organizational framework. There was consultation with Myanmar authorities, UNESCO and the CESR team.
Innovative Secondary Education for Skills Enhancement (ISESE) Project
The ISESE project, run by the Results for Development Institute, Washington, DC with sponsorship from the Rockefeller Foundation, aimed to identify the skills secondary students in developing countries need in order to best position them for employment opportunities, and explored paths to scale up the most effective models in Africa and Asia. As a Reference Group member, Prof Adamson attended an expert meeting at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Centre in Bellagio, Italy, on July 25-26, 2012 to review all ISESE Phase I work. He also participated in the ISESE Asia Regional Skills Symposium jointly organized by National University for Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA), India, and Results for Development Institute in New Delhi, January 9-10, 2013, as well as a Reference Group meeting. A book based around this project was published in the Springer series, Education in the Asia-Pacific Region: Issues, Concerns and Prospects.
Education Support Sector Programme (ESSP) for Indonesia
The UNESCO Chair was part of a consortium with Cambridge Education and the Australian Council for Educational Research, along with three Indonesian partners, for the purposes of undertaking projects for the ADB on their Education Support Sector Programme (ESSP) for Indonesia. This initiative was funded by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and the European Union (EU), and contributes to: the implementation of Indonesia’s medium-term development policies and strategies for poverty reduction; the achievement of Education for All (EFA); and meeting the education related MDGs.
Collaboration with the Barefoot College in Rajasthan, India - A Comparative Study of the Barefoot College’s Solar Night School programme
Professor Mark Mason (formerly Head of the International Education Research Group) and a PhD student in the Centre, Ms Emilia Szekely, conducted a comparative study of the Barefoot College’s Solar Night School programme with relevantly similar programmes elsewhere, with a view to enhancing the programme’s financial sustainability and its scalability. The Solar Night School programme provides opportunities to attend school at night for children who would otherwise be excluded from school – typically, young girls, who are needed to assist in household duties in tending to the family’s animal(s) and/or crops, etc, while their brothers attend school. This programme provides schooling opportunities at night, but because there is no electricity grid in these poverty-stricken areas, light has to be provided by solar-powered lanterns. The model has been shown to be cost-effective and successful, and this comparative study aims to ascertain how the programme might be put on a financially sustainable footing, and considerably expanded.
Skills Development for Green Jobs in Hong Kong: Knowledge Sharing Forum
The forum brought together approximately 60 participants representing key stakeholders in the fields of TVET policy development and provision, government representatives, employers, and business/sustainability oriented NGOs. A guest speaker from the Asian Development Bank provided an overview of skills training for employability in the Asia-Pacific context. Two guest speakers from mainland China were also invited to provide additional international perspectives.
The Forum enabled participants with an interest in green skills to attend a specific event that brought stakeholders together for the purposes of information sharing and discussion.
UNESCO Feasibility Study Mission, Colombo, Sri Lanka
The purpose of the mission was to evaluate the proposal submitted to UNESCO by the Sri Lankan Government for the establishment of a Regional Centre for Teacher Development in Sri Lanka under the auspices of UNESCO (Category 2) with particular reference to the: vision, mission, objectives, strategies, activities, governance, partners, legal status, financing, monitoring and evaluation, impact analysis of the proposed centre, and the contribution of the Centre to UNESCO’s key priority areas.
Building Capacity for a Low-Carbon Green Economy Approach to a Climate-Change Responsive Curriculum in TVET in Hong Kong (Initial Study)
The objective of this research project was to understand the changing needs of employers so as to inform policy makers, managers and staff in TVET in Hong Kong so that they would be able to respond effectively to the curriculum planning and teaching challenges brought about by climate change, and the emerging carbon-constrained economy. This initial pilot study conducted interviews with industries identified as becoming carbon constrained in future to determine perceived changes in training requirements of staff, and the most effective means by which such changes could be implemented.
Towards A Cross-Cultural Understanding of Learning By Senior Adults: Hong Kong and Australia
This research project aimed to identify, describe and develop a critical understanding about the involvement in, and views of, older adults concerning learning, and to compare and analyze the similarities and differences within and across the two learning cultures—Hong Kong and Australia. This project was funded under the GRF.
Effects of Liberal Studies on Hong Kong Students’ Environmental Knowledge and Behaviour
This project involved surveying two cohorts of first year students at the EdUHK on the influence of the NSSC Liberal Studies course on their environmental/sustainability knowledge and actions. This led to a larger Partner Project covering all 8 of Hong Kong's UGC-funded tertiary instritutions.