The UNESCO Education Support Strategy

Manila Bulletin, January 14, 2009 | Go to article overview

The UNESCO Education Support Strategy


UNESS is a country-based education support strategy of UNESCO which is aimed at helping local efforts to make basic, higher education, technical and vocational education, as well as non-formal learning more "dynamic, efficient and effective." This has been a long-time concern among some sectors which continue to push for a drastic overhaul of the educational system.

The two recent consultations convened by our UNESCO National Commission and the Jakarta regional office with local stakeholders (government departments, NGOs, academe, industry), validated earlier analyses of some of the weaknesses, gaps and recommendations for structural reforms. Too, it noted how UNESCO can complement current reforms that are carried out by our national institutions with technical assistance from development agencies.

What will be a significant contribution of UNESS is what it would do with the gaps identified after the thorough inventory and analysis of ongoing programs. Given its strategic objectives which are to serve as a catalyst, a clearinghouse, set standards, support economic development and provide a functional education, many look up to it for policy directions and innovative approaches in research, training, and information management based on its multidisciplinary and intersectoral framework. It has identified as priority areas pre-school, basic education school-based management, and standards setting.

How then do we navigate through what the special task force in education describes as the "educational highway?" The inter-government task force states that the current investment in education is 34 percent (a small figure given the fact that the Constitution mandates that it be given the highest priority allocation). But it is still substantial when we think that the largest percentage of our budget goes to debt servicing. …

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