Democratic Republic Of Congo Education System Transformation December 2006 J Sheldon


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Democratic Republic Of Congo Education System Transformation December 2006 J Sheldon

  1. 1. Transformation and Evaluation ofthe Democratic Republic of Congo’s National Education System Jeffrey A. Sheldon, M. A., Ed. M. School of Behavioral & Organizational Sciences Claremont Graduate University The Claremont Colleges December 2006 1
  2. 2. Research Questions What is transformation and why is it necessary? What is the most appropriate evaluation approach for evaluators working in a developing country that is undergoing high stakes education system transformation? 2
  3. 3. The Right to an Education The right to education was recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in 1948 and is enshrined in various binding international treaties including the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), Articles 13 and 14, the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), Articles 28 and 29, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), Article 10, and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), Article 17. The right to an education, includes primary (or elementary), secondary, technical and vocational, higher and fundamental (e.g., basic numeracy, literacy and basic life-skills) education. Governments must, at least, ensure primary or elementary education and it must be free and compulsory for all children. 3
  4. 4. Education For All Six key educational goals that map onto the fundamental right to education:  Expanding and improving comprehensive early childhood care and education;  All children, particularly girls, children in difficult circumstances and those belonging to ethnic minorities, will have access to, and complete, free and compulsory primary education of good quality;  Learning needs of all young people and adults are met through equitable access to appropriate learning and life-skills programs;  A fifty percent improvement in levels of adult literacy, especially for women, and equitable access to basic and continuing education for all adults;  Eliminating gender disparities in primary and secondary education and achieving gender equality in education by ensuring girls’ full and equal access to and achievement in basic education of good quality;  Improving all aspects of the quality of education and ensuring excellence so that recognized and measurable learning outcomes are achieved by all, especially in literacy, numeracy and essential life skills. . 4
  5. 5. Theoretical Framework Renewal, restructuring and transformation are typically discussed in terms of educational reform which has three definitive branches - – improvement, reorganization and renovation. Transformation relates to improvement, specifically a change in character or condition, thereby altering nature and purpose, whereas restructuring and renewal concern reorganization and renovation respectively (Steyn & Squelch, 1994). 5
  6. 6. Why Transformation? One compelling force is a shift in the prevailing political or economic control of a society. Such a shift can be precipitated by various events, including the election of a new government as in South Africa or from an economic crisis that calls for new priorities in education through the external investment of non-governmental organizations as in DRC (e.g., Fullan & Miles, 1992; Ota, 1997; Steyn & Squelch, 1994). 6
  7. 7. Transformation in DRC Goals fall into four broad categories: access; equity/inclusion, literacy for all, and HIV/AIDS. Objectives to meet these goals include:  Reduction in primary school fees;  Providing free access to textbooks;  Monitoring learning achievement;  Improving the statutes of teachers (e.g., improvements in training, salary and other structures for teachers);  Restoring access to primary education of at least minimal quality, especially in areas most affected by conflict including rehabilitation of approximately 250 schools and the National Pedagogical University;  Providing an HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention curriculum; and,  Building the capacity of the government to modernize and restructure the policy, governance, financing, and administrative systems of the education sector 7
  8. 8. Evaluation in the International Context Assess the extent to which projects or programs have achieved their intended objectives and have produced their intended changes and benefits in the target populations. Support the process of transformation by monitoring changes introduced, providing the instruments that are necessary to effect and evaluate the changes, assessing the impact of innovations and giving voice to the findings. Evaluations may be conducted by the funding agency, the national agency administering the program being evaluated, or international or national consultants. Evaluation activities may be limited to specific projects, programs, or they may seek to develop national evaluation capacity to replicate the methods. 8
  9. 9. Participatory Evaluation Approach In highly politicized transformation efforts where the potential for further conflict is great, the process of evaluation must be transparent and inclusive. This approach is indicated when there is concern about giving voice to the poor and other groups affected by development programs and policies. Participatory methods have been developed to give voice to the intended project beneficiaries (or affected groups) in the identification, design, management, and evaluation of projects (Bamberger, 2000). 9
  10. 10. Components of Participatory Evaluation Appropriate methodology. Maximization of feedback. Promotion of utilization. Enhancement of local capacity. Building of partnership. Developing and resourcing cross-cultural evaluation teams. (McDonald, 1999) 10
  11. 11. Evaluands Growth in primary enrollment rate. Increases in primary education completion rate Reformation of teacher career structure Development & teaching of an HIV/AIDS curriculum. The approved education sector plan. 11
  12. 12. Discussion/Implication/Analysis When an evaluation is participatory it involves all stake-holder groups. In particular, it addresses the needs of project participants and beneficiaries, involving extensive discussions with members of the various cultural and sub-cultural groups in the community. Fundamental to this approach is that key stakeholders drive the evaluation planning and implementation processes to both inform the evaluation (e.g., developing the evaluation questions, gathering data, providing access to key informants, interpreting data) and developing an evaluative mind-set that supports long-term critical self-analysis and inquiry. 12