Malta has hosted a consultation on a new toolkit designed to strengthen education systems and deliver 12 years of free and quality education to all girls and boys in the Commonwealth.
According to the World Bank, more than 260 million children worldwide are out-of-school while more than half of those in schools are not learning.
The toolkit aims to address the core challenges affecting the learning outcomes in education systems to help member countries meet the targets set in sustainable development goal 4 - ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all.
The consultation, held from 18 to 19 November, brought together policymakers, researchers and educators from the Commonwealth to jot down the key issues associated with the delivery of education. These ranged from lack of availability of data to ineffective quality assurance processes and weak accountability mechanisms.
Delegates’ inputs will shape the key features of the new toolkit to help governments respond to the unique challenges facing education systems.
Malta’s Minister for Education and Employment, Evarist Bartolo, welcomed the initiative and said member countries must use the toolkit within their national context.
He said: “We can learn from each other but every country has to find its way in education, as you cannot import a system not rooted in its reality.”
The Commonwealth is developing the Effective Management of Education Systems Toolkit in partnership with experts from Jamaica, Malta and Kenya and the Association of Commonwealth Universities, Education International and CARICOM Secretariat.
Commonwealth education adviser Nasir Kazmi said: “The purpose of the toolkit is to provide a resource to the ministers, policymakers and practitioners for strengthening good governance and effective education management practices.
“It will help the member countries deliver 12 years of quality education including early childhood education and development, mainstream vocational education programmes in schools and improve overall learning spaces.”
The toolkit will be launched at the Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers taking place in Kenya in 2021.