Written by Mekong Institute

The learning course, ” Education Decentralization in the Context of Public Sector Management Reform,” which is part of the Professional Development Series (PDS) at the Mekong Institute Foundation, was held at the Mekong Institute in Khon Kaen University, Northeast Thailand, from 12 February to 2 March 2007. The participants were mid-level government officials from the Ministries of Education, Finance and Planning from central departments, provincial and decentralized units, as well as reserch institutions involved in education policy research in GMS countries.  

MI entered into partnership and sought technical support from Education Policy and Reform Unit of UNESCO Bangkok to design, conduct and evaluate the first education course in 2007. On 28 November 2006, MI and UNESCO Bangkok signed a Letter of Agreement specifying the objectives and modalities for cooperation in the design and provision of a course on “Education Decentralization in the Context of Public Sector Management Reform in the Greater Mekong Sub-region”.

New Zealand’s International Aid and Development Agency (NZAID) dedicated its financial assistance to achieving the learning programme goals. Fourteen participants, four of whom are women, from the six GMS countries (Cambodia, China (Yunan province), Laos PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam) successfully completed the learning programme.

The course consisted of five training modules, as follows:

  • Module-1: Information on ongoing developments of government – donor cooperation and overview of the current situation of education sector reform and development in the GMS countries.
  • Module-2: Concept, methods and tools for modern education sector planning in decentralized country context.
  • Module-3: Information base for modern education sector planning and management.
  • Module-4: Hands-on traning on the use of the analysis and projection tool for modern education sector planning (ANPRO model). Module-5 : International partnerships ni EFA and cross-cutting themes in education.

Over the three weeks of the learning programme, 8 resource persons as well as the MI Programme Manager and Program Administrator facilitated the learning sessions and guest presentations. Participants confirmed that the resource personnel were qualified, experienced and able to explain difficult content topics in clear and simple terms. Overall, the participants rated resource persons as “good” or “excellent” and were able to achieve their teaching objectives.

The participants evaluated the modules at the end of each module delivery.The majority of participants indicated that they have “fully attained” the knowledge and skills from the respective modules and topics conducted. Participants expressed that the main learning activities-lectures, class discussions, presentations, group work and a hands-on training-were useful.

In addition, the participants were fully convinced that they had achieved levels of social development in their careers (friendship and professional contacts) after the three-week course. Participants perceived MIto be a clean, well-run facility with dedicated,friendly staffa and adequate IT and library services. With regard to overall satisfaction, 50% of them stated that they were fully satisfied, which 44% and 6% of participants were very satisfied and satisfied respectively, with none indicating disatisfaction.

Based on the above evaluation by the participants, this report concludes that the learning program was successful.

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