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Wednesday 20.03.2019 | Name days: Made, Irbe
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UNESCO: securing quality education is the duty of all involved sides

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUResponsibility for securing quality education should be taken by governments, schools, teachers, parents, private sector representatives and students. A responsible education system should be based on justice, inclusion and quality principles, as noted by authors of UNESCO education report ‘Accountability in education: fulfilling our responsibilities’.

Data shows that more than 20% of countries around the world legally guarantee 12-year free compulsory education. There are 264 million children and youngsters around the world that do not go to school. There are also 100 million youngsters around the world who were taught how to read.

According to the report, 41% of Latvian residents older than 15 know how to connect smart devices. 66% know how to copy and move files. 33% of residents know how to use software used to prepare presentations. In Finland and Iceland, on the other hand, 58% of residents are able to perform those tasks.

Analysis of responsibilities in the education system reveals that putting blame on teachers for poor education results is often unfair and non-constructive. Results are affected by many different factors, including the education programme, schoolchildren’s learning ability, parents’ involvement, resource availability, etc. «Use of tests of children’s education results against teachers and schools only increases the possibility that such a measure is aimed at self-defence, increases the isolation of children with the poorest academic results,» as noted by the report’s author Manos Antoninis.

The report puts special attention on gender equality in education. Only 4% of countries provide gender equality in higher education. Although in nearly all regions of the world, except of Sub-Saharan African regions, there are more women than men who gain higher education, women receive degrees in subjects like natural sciences, technologies, engineering sciences and mathematics less often than men.

65% of all degree recipients in Latvia are women. Their proportion is only 30% when it comes to acquiring degrees in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). In India, gender parity in higher education is closer to the goal: approximately 51% of all degree recipients in higher education are women. 42% of all STEM graduates are also women.

In spite of the level of higher education, women are not sufficiently represented in politics and management posts. Data from October 2017 shows that of the 193 UN member states, only 11 country and 12 government leaders are women. The situation is similar when it comes to parliaments. Only Nordic countries are close to the established gender parity goal – 41% of parliamentarians there are women. On average in Europe, excluding Nordic countries, approximately 26% of parliamentarians are women (17.5% in Arab countries). In Latvia, 83 deputies out of 100 are all men. Only 17 deputies are women (data from 8 March 2018).

It is mentioned in the report that it is important to keep society informed of the function of the education system. Still, of the 209 countries only 108 have published a national education review at least once since 2010. Only one out of six governments publishes annual education reviews. Nevertheless, no approach towards responsibility will be successful without a strong supportive environment that provides all involved with resources, motivation and information so that they are able to fulfill their duties.


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