On the week of 24th of January 2023, the Learning Planet Alliance celebrated Education Day where organizations came together and presented different informative topics that celebrated education in their own way. The themes ranged from education and youth leaning, the environment and green learning to human rights concerns and accessibility.
Broken Chalk has chosen a few events to attend, and report on some important themes that are necessary to in today’s society and dialogue. This month, we wanted to bring back the spirit of learning and education. This series celebrates relevant themes that Broken Chalk deem valuable and essential to discuss.
The best way to start off is with the event held by Salzburg Global Seminar. This event was titled: The power of peer learning and exchange. It relays the significance of organizations and individuals learning from each other, the event was organized in an anecdotal way where each participant discussed their experience networking as an educational policymaker.

                                                                        Education Policymakers Network: The power of peer learning and exchange

                                                                                                            Source: Salzburg Global Seminar
Salzburg Global Seminar, supported by the LEGO Foundation, has developed a network for policymakers, appropriately named Education Policymakers Network. The event was primarily instigated by the necessity of networking in today’s economy and environment. The idea was to bring together policymakers to understand the influence of our environment and communal policy in schools and education.
The Network’s primary target is school children aged 3-12, the aim is to understand their cognitive and behavioral needs and how best to provide for them in the school system. The network meets every 6 weeks to discuses their agenda. There are between 30 to 35 policymakers that exchange their views on the existing discourse in education. The event was anecdotal as three policymakers shared their experiences being part of the Network.
Starting in Brazil, Renan Ferreirinha , the Secretary of education of Rio de Janeiro introduced himself and his work. He is part of the largest public education department in charge of 700 thousand students and 50 thousand teaching professionals. He stated that Brazil had worked and succeeded to enhance the accessibility of education however, the main issue of quality persists. Quality will be a constant aspect of education that requires work and dedication to improve.
Ferreirinha adds that the 2020 pandemic detrimentally affected the access of education and the mental heath of students. Which is why they have been working with UNICEF for the upcoming school year to better the facilities given to students. The work with UNICEF includes discussions and studies with an emphasis on tutoring as it focusses on school students of all ages who struggle with education.
When asked about his thoughts about the Network, he described his enthusiasm for the opportunity to exchange ideas, and develop leadership and social skills. Two skills which continue to develop as being part of the network. Moreover, one perk of this network is that peer to peer exchange allows the flow of cross border ideas which helped him understand the need for practical ideas in solving issues related to the social decline in Rio.
Moving to Emis Njeru from Kenya who expressed great appreciation for the Network. In her words, it prioritizes empowering policymakers. She sees that the main goal of the network is to learn from peer to peer exchange. The platform facilitates global learning for each of the policymakers. She pointed that being part of the Network broadened her implementation knowledge of educational policies and included reviewing, group working and sector planning.
Civil Society Organizations in Kenya are nowadays also flaunting a community of practice as cross border learning is implemented. This means that the ability to provide education in harsh conditions and community building are now becoming a pillar for CSOs, something that was only possible because of peer to peer exchange. Innovation is also necessary as Information Technology is being introduced as part of teaching. The use of IT and electronic caravans ensures the provision and continuity of education in Kenya.
Njeru also touches on the aspect of breadth of skills and critical thinking, as well as social and emotional learning. Those are some skills which encouraged her to be a part of a life long learning network in Kenya and to promulgate the exchange of ideas and hold conferences. She is also participating in other networks that discuss accessibility of education for the disabled, as well as the Consortium of Research network in Kenya which can carry out research to improve evidence based policies in Kenya.
Lastly, in Scotland, Ollie Bray is the strategic director of Education Scotland. He works mainly around curriculum and school improvement. His responsibility is to mobilize teams to work on curriculum reform and leadership, and to focus on national development programs.
Bray elaborates that the career and education he has, had always been part of a network and that is where he learns practical skills the most. He was always looking for a network to join in Scotland. During his educational career, he observed that it was difficult to find local networks thus, joining an international one was the best course he could take. He valued the ability to look outwards in different communities and countries. Then taking good and practical ideas that were unbiased in practice and create a local recipe for Scotland.
Bray, much like Ferreirinha and Njeu, maintained the importance of revisiting social and emotional skills. He added that creative skills and studying how other leaders practice and solve the problems is part of the peer to peer exchange learning process. Bray mentioned quite an interesting point as well, and that is learning from others essentially builds the confidence to be creative in solving local issues.
He then goes on to say that Scotland has a good relationship with Wales and that they meet regularly in order to share ideas on the curriculum and to enhance their team skills during inspection times. One of the main strengths of this network is its even distribution in its global aspect that brings different ideas to the table, he added.

It is such a pleasure to see that our community continues to expand beyond our borders to produce a network that aims in closing the educational gaps we have in our modern society. These efforts show that education remains an essential component to human development.

Summary 2022 Enlargement package Bosnia and Herzegovina. A focus on the educational issues.

Freedom of expression and non-discrimination

According to the 2022 European Commission Enlargement Package in relation to Bosnia and Herzegovina, no progress was made in adopting countrywide human rights and anti-discrimination strategies. The 2009 law on the prohibition of discrimination is still not applied effectively in Bosnia Herzegovina. In addition, disputes over education continue and systemic solutions for ensuring inclusive and non-discriminatory education are not yet in place. In particular, the common core curriculum is not completed or applied throughout the country, and the availability of teaching in the national groups of subjects remains limited. Furthermore, no progress was made in eliminating the practice of ‘two schools under one roof’ and the name of the Bosnian language is not recognised in schools in the Republika Srpska entity, leading to recurrent school boycotts. Finally, persons with disabilities remain among the most vulnerable groups and continue to face hurdles to access education, healthcare and social assistance. The report underlines how the issue of accessibility to public buildings needs to be addressed in a systematic manner.

Education as a service for refugees and migrants

Some progress has been made in providing essential services to refugees and migrants, in cooperation with humanitarian partners. However, the actions in practice are still limited. A 2021 national report underlines for instance how only the Una-Sana and Sarajevo cantonal authorities provide access to legal guardianship and facilitate access to education for unaccompanied children.

Education in relation to the labour market

The European Commission states that one of the reasons of the persistence of high unemployment in the country is a mismatch of education curricula with the labour market needs. In order to support long-term growth, Bosnia and Herzegovina should in particular improve the quality of education and training, in particular by accelerating the modernisation of curricula with a view to better alignment with labour market needs.

Education and innovation section

Investment in education remains inadequate, highly fragmented and poorly coordinated, leading to varied standards within the country.

According to the European Commission, public spending on education accounted for some 4% of GDP in 2020. When adding private spending and support by foreign donors, the overall amount stands at nearly 5% of GDP. Despite this significant spending, in particular when taking into account the number of students, it is underlined that the system fails to provide the country’s labour force with the skills and knowledge necessary for a smooth integration in the labour market. Furthermore, the insufficient coordination leads to a lack of common standards for various levels of education, as well as in differences in the quality of teachers’ training and performance evaluation.

In addition, teaching curricula continue to be outdated and are still not sufficiently aligned with the country’s needs. The results of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s participation to the 2018 PISA study indicate that the students’ performance ranks well below the OECD average, which is a clear impediment for the country’s competitiveness and growth potential. Unfortunately, Bosnia and Herzegovina refrained from participating in the follow-up study.

Furthermore, spending on research and innovation is limited and impeded by the low degree of cooperation and coordination among the various levels of government, leading to a low efficiency of the overall system.

Finally, the absence of an efficient funding system is another factor preventing the country’s innovation policy from achieving better results for the funds spent. The country’s research capacities remain limited, while brain drain continues, most notably in the health, medical, and IT sectors with no systematic measures having been introduced so far to address the issue.

Equal treatment men and women

The principle of equal opportunities and equal treatment of men and women in matters of employment and social policy is regulated by the laws on gender equality and antidiscrimination, and by the entity-level labour laws. These laws contain provisions on gender equality covering different areas (employment, education, training and professional qualification) but in practice the enforcement of non-discrimination legislation remains low.

Education and Culture

The European Commission states that Bosnia and Herzegovina is at an early stage of preparation in the area of education and culture. It is stated that there was no specific progress in the area, with Bosnia and Herzegovina failing to participate in 2021 PIRLS or 2022 PISA. In particular, a fully functional system of accreditation of higher education institutions and in particular study programmes is still lacking.

According to the European Union, Bosnia and Herzegovina needs to align legislation at all levels of government with the framework laws on education, and ensure application of the common core curriculum based on learning outcomes. Social inclusion at all stages of education needs to be ensured. Youth strategies across the country should be developed and implemented. Finally, the European Commission provides specific recommendations to Bosnia and Herzegovina:

→ to extend and update the action plan for the national qualification framework (NQF) and establish an inter-sectoral commission for NQF;

→to ensure a fully functional system of (re-)accreditation of higher education institutions and study programmes across the country;

→ to ensure continued participation in international assessment studies and implementation of findings to improve PISA results.

Furthermore, in the specific area of education and training some other issues have to be underlined. First of all, education should be provided to children with special needs, particularly in terms of ensuring the necessary infrastructure, provisions, transportation and school assistants to support both children and teachers. Secondly, the absence of a mechanism to systematically measure or monitor the quality of education inputs, outputs, or outcomes needs to be taken into consideration. Finally, the European Commission underlines the lack of common standards for the different levels of education, as well as in teacher training and performance evaluation.


Written by Serena Bassi

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Summary of the Education Under Attack 2022 Report

In 2020 and 2021, education continued to face various types of aggression in several countries. Students, teachers, schools, and universities encountered harmful and wrongful acts committed either by armed groups or generated by political circumstances, such as wars and armed conflicts. Numerous incidents of atrocities were reported to be committed against thousands of students, staff members, and teachers. The Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA) identified many attacks that resulted in the abduction, injury, or death of thousands of students and educators who were kept as hostages or were arrested. Other acts of violence also took a place, such recruiting and training children to participate in armed conflicts, sexual violence, and the use of heavy arms and explosives against hostages.


The Education under Attack 2022 report by GCPEA[i] reviews the challenges many countries’ education systems face, as well as how students, teachers, and staff members in education are affected by such issues, what kind of dangers they are subjected to, and why, in many cases, their studies or career are interrupted.


According to this report, more schools suffer from violent actions and attacks compared to universities. Moreover, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, schools became easier targets for state militaries and other armed groups to occupy, as remote teaching left the buildings empty. Consequently, according to the report, the number of attacks on educational institutions increased noticeably in 2020 and 2021, but the number of people affected by these attacks declined. According to the GCPEA, this can be explained by the decreased number of people present in school buildings due to the pandemic.


In the following, this article provides a summary of the Education Under Attack 2022 report’s findings on several countries where such attacks and issues occurred.


  • Afghanistan:

The GCPEA identified more than 130 attacks in 2020 and 2021, targeting schools in different parts of Afghanistan, where explosive weapons were used against educational institutions, and schoolteachers and students were terrorised [p.92]. Attacks were committed by groups with different profiles, such as the Afghan Air Force which bombed schools in 2020 [p.93], the ISIS in Khorasan Province, and the Taliban which increased their criminal activity in 2021 seeking territorial dominance. Moreover, after the Taliban took control of the country in May 2021 with the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, there was a significant increase in atrocities targeting different civilian groups, women, and journalists meanwhile more than 250 schools closed in Afghanistan or were exposed to military occupation [p.92]. The rise to power of the Taliban severely affected Afghan education, leaving more than 4 million children out of school, 60% of whom were girls. This is because the Taliban prohibited girls from attending schools in some of the regions under their control, although in some other areas girls were allowed to go to school. Unfortunately, the report does not give any specific explanation for the different rules on girls’ education among different regions ruled by the Taliban.


  • Azerbaijan:

The six-week conflict in 2020 between Azerbaijan, Armenia, and the de facto Nagorno-Karabakh security forces resulted in the destruction of more than 130 schools in and around Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as several other schools faced obstruction due to the conflict. While the Nagorno-Karabakh authorities reported damage to more than 70 schools during the conflict, the Azerbaijani authorities reported 54 cases [p.98]. However, the Armenian authorities did not report clear numbers on school damage or attacks on educational institutions during the conflict period. According to Human Rights Watch, both Azerbaijani and Armenian forces either attacked schools using explosives or initiated air-striking targeting educational institutions. Furthermore, some schools were used as barracks or for military purposes in all territories involved, according to the GCPEA [p.99].


  • Burkina Faso:

Burkina Faso witnessed one of its fastest-growing crises in 2020 and 2021. A serious conflict escalated among different non-state armed groups fighting against each other as well as the state security forces. Brutality against civilians was not only committed by non-state armed groups but by security forces too who also arrested and killed many civilians whom they suspected to be associated with the non-state armed groups.


In Burkina Faso too, schools were easy targets for perpetrators and several schools suffered armed attacks or were reported to be occupied and used as military bases. In 2020-2021, there were more than 145 attacks on schools reported in the country according to the GCPEA, during which attacks more than 250 students and school personnel were killed, suffered injuries, or were abducted. In 2020, 70 attacks [p.101], while in 2021, 46 attacks on schools were confirmed by the UN [p.102]. However, the GCPEA identified at least 78 attacks in 2021 [p.102].


Higher education institutions also faced violence, but the reported number of attacks on universities was way lower than that of schools. Nevertheless, according to the GCPEA, both general education and university students experienced sexual violence while going to or coming back from their schools or universities.


  • Cameroon:

Attacks on schools and students are not new phenomena in Cameroon, and the period from 2020 to 2021 was no different from previous years. Attacks were committed by different armed groups, such as Boko Haram, and the ISWAP group which is a splinter group from Boko Haram in the Far-North region. [p.105].


In 2020 and 2021, schools were often used as military bases in different parts of the country, such as the Far North, the North-West, and the South-West regions [p.105]. Furthermore, the GCPEA confirmed more than 55 attacks on students and more than 65 attacks on schools in those two years.  However, these numbers are still significantly decreased compared to prior years, like 2019, when the number of reported attacks against students reached almost 4000 cases while teachers experienced atrocities on 1124 occasions.


In 2020 and 2021, cases of sexual violence and sexual abuse targeting higher education students and teachers were also reported [p.108], while in 2021, there were also several reported cases of abducting students and staff [p.109].



  • Central African Republic:

The Central African Republic experienced significant brutality associated with elections. Conflict emerged between non-state armed groups and state forces supported by pro-government allied groups. All of these conflicting parties, including the police, occupied or attacked schools during the period from 2020 to 2021 at least on 85 occasions [p.110]. The GCPEA reported 2 attacks targeting students, teachers, and academic personnel. Furthermore, the GCPEA reported 45 cases of using schools for military purposes in the highlighted period [p.111].  In 2021, the UN verified that multiple dozens of schools were occupied by different military or armed forces, but the GCPEA identified only 5 cases in the same year, which resulted in unclear numbers and information [p.112].


  • Colombia:

Armed conflict continued to be present in Colombia in 2020 and 2021. The conflicted parties were the Columbian government, the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC), and other armed groups that escalated chaos in the country in 2020. Due to these issues, accessibility to education suffered major limitations which were exacerbated by the spread of Covid-19. Because of the pandemic, large numbers of children were out of school and have become easy targets of recruiters for groups participating in the armed conflict [p.113].


According to GCPEA reports, at least 35 schools, mostly in rural areas, were targeted by different non-state armed groups, who often used explosives and engaged in fights with each other or with state forces near schools [p.113, 114]. Some schools ended up being used for military purposes. However, while the GCPEA identified 6 cases in the 2020 to 2021 period, the UN confirmed only 1 incident in 2020 [p.116] which makes it difficult to access clear and certain information on the number of attacks.


Higher education institutions were not safe from attacks either; in 2020 and 2021, 19 cases were reported [p.118]. Furthermore, the GCPEA identified more than 60 attacks targeting students and members of staff in 2020 and 2021, with most of these incidents occurring in 2020. Furthermore, 2 cases of sexual violence were reported by the GCPEA in 2021 [p.117].


Eventually, some teachers received threats from non-state armed groups for their involvement in teachers’ unions, while also threatening non-local teachers to keep them out of certain regions. This prompted state authorities to move some teachers to safer locations [p.115].


  • Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) :

Armed conflict has been significantly affecting the Democratic Republic of Congo, where clashes among state forces and 130 different non-state armed groups are spreading chaos around the country. The fighting negatively affected thousands of students and prohibited them from attending school, which was further exacerbated by the spread of Covid-19, leaving millions of students without education.


More than 600 attacks by armed groups on schools were confirmed by the GCPEA in 2020 and 2021. The organisation also reported on the occupation of 25 schools that were used for military purposes [p.120, 123], while higher education institutions were targeted 12 times in this period [p.124].


  • Ethiopia:

Ethiopia has been suffering from political-regional clashes among different governmental and non-state groups, such as the Central Government Troops, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), militias from the Amhara region, and others [p.126].

Attacks on schools committed by several different armed groups noticeably increased from 15 cases in the period 2018 to 2019 to 32 cases in the period from 2020 to 2021. Furthermore, almost 70 cases of schools used as military bases were identified by the GCPEA in 2020 and 2021. In addition, the GCPEA reported 14 incidents of proceeded attacks on higher education institutions during this period [p.129].


  • India:

Increasing political tension between India and Pakistan, as well as other domestic issues in India, have triggered some armed clashes and attacks in the country. In 2020 and 2021, attacks on students and teachers were reported in Jammu, Kashmir, and some eastern states more than 55 times according to GCPEA estimates. Attacks on schools included threatening, arresting, and detaining more than 1600 students and educators [p.131]. As for the military use of schools, the UN confirmed that a total of 7 schools were used for these purposes in 2020 [p.132].

The Covid-19 pandemic further exacerbated issues regarding the accessibility of education in India. The government’s measures to contain the virus and stop its spreading included shifting in-person teaching to remote education which resulted in severe negative effects on more than 290 million students [p.130]. Among other issues, many of these students did not have internet access to participate in online classes.

In the period from 2020 to 2021, students and higher education staff also encountered almost 65 attacks, 28 of which were committed by the government to suppress protests [p.133]. However, the reported number of incidents targeting higher education institutions was lower than in 2018 and 2019.


  • Iraq:

Iraqi educational institutions experienced an increasing number of attacks in the 2020 to 2021 period, some of which were committed by the Iraqi government itself. Several attacks targeted protestors who were demonstrating against corruption, the poor quality of public services, and low wages. In some regions of the country, teachers participated in the protests because of immense delays in receiving their wages. Multiple attacks targeted higher education students and staff too; altogether 10 cases were recognised by the GCPEA [p.137].

In 2020 and 2021, 11 attacks were reported by the GCPEA on schools used as polling centres in the Iraqi elections. Attacks were executed by planting explosive devices in schools or nearby them to disrupt the elections or to target police guarding the building [p.135]. Furthermore, the GCPEA reported the use of schools for military purposes on 33 occasions.


  • Kenya:

The decade-long conflict in the North-Eastern region of Kenya between the government and the Al Shabab Islamic fundamentalist armed group has spread instability across the country and negatively affected the education sector, among others.

Teachers were in particular danger in Kenya in 2020 and 2021, as the Al Shabab repeatedly attacked teachers who the group considered to be outsiders and/or Christians. This aggression led to the closing of hundreds of schools, thousands of teachers fled, while teachers originally from the area where the attacks occurred were transferred from the region. The GCPEA also recorded 5 incidents where the Al Shabab targeted students [p.139].

The GCPEA identified only 1 case of a school being used for military purposes between 2020 and 2021. However, attacks on higher education institutions reached a much higher number of 10 incidents [p.140]. These attacks were committed by the government which ordered the police to use teargas against protesters demonstrating against the government [p.141].


  • Libya:

In 2020, violent acts committed by non-state armed groups increasingly targeted schools and universities leading many of them to close which negatively affected more than 127,000 students. The GCPEA reported 22 attacks on schools in the period from 2020 to 2021, most of which were committed by shelling school buildings [p.142]. According to the UN, between 2019 and 2021 around 700 schools were closed because of conflict. Furthermore, 8 attacks on higher education institutions were reported by the GCPEA [p.144].


  • Mali:

Clashes between non-state armed groups, state forces, and international forces [p.145] continued in the 2020 to 2021 period in Mali, particularly in the northern, central, and southern territories of the country. In these 2 years, the hostility rate, and the number of victims dramatically increased: the GCPEA identified more than 620 attacks on educational facilities and teachers. Moreover, several cases of schools being used as military bases were reported by the GCPEA and the UN. There were also numerous cases of recruitment of children for armed conflict in schools which majorly reduced the willingness of parents to send their children to school [p.147].


  • Mozambique:

In 2020 and 2021, armed conflict continued between government forces, non-state armed groups, and the Al Shabab Islamic terrorist organisation in Mozambique. The GCPEA identified several cases of attacks on educational facilities, particularly in Delgado province, which has been the most affected by the conflict. Delgado experienced more than 100 violent attacks against schools, which led to the severe damage and destruction of educational institutions, leaving many children without access to education. However, schools in the rest of the country were not free from atrocities either: according to the UN, a minimum of 220 schools encountered violent attacks in 2021 in Mozambique [p.149]. Moreover, according to Human Rights Watch there have been incidents of kidnapping children and women, and enslaving them or sexually abusing them [p.148].


  • Myanmar:

The country witnessed severe political instability in the period from 2020 to 2021: a military coup overthrew the government, and in reaction to this, anti-coup protests began, while wide-scale strikes left the country in a state of chaos and insecurity.

According to the GCPEA, more than 200 attacks on schools took place, most of which included the use of explosive weapons, while using arson, bombing, and airstrikes were frequent too. Furthermore, students, teachers, and educational personnel were targeted in several attacks, while the GCPEA also confirmed more than 220 cases of schools and universities being used for military purposes [p.153].


  • Niger:

Conflict among several armed groups continued in Niger in 2020 and 2021, which significantly impacted the safety of the civilian population of the country. The western Tillabéri and Tahoua regions and the eastern Diffa region are the most affected by the conflict, which also affects the education sector. According to the GCPEA, more than 40 schools were attacked, threatened, or set on fire in 2020 and 2021 [p.156]. Students, teachers, and educational staff also faced violent atrocities on 17 reported occasions [p.157].


  • Nigeria:

Armed conflict among the state military forces, the Islamic State militias in West Africa Province, and other fragmented armed groups continued to be present in Nigeria in 2020 and 2021. The conflict seriously affected general safety in the country as well as the education sector, among others [p.159]. According to the GCPEA, 21 attacks on schools occurred in 2020 and 2021, and more than 1850 students, teachers, and educational personnel were injured, killed, or abducted. Since some of the injured or abducted students were relatives of “high-profile” personnel, the government developed stricter measures and closed more than 600 schools to prevent similar tragic incidents [p.160]. However, cases of abduction and murder targeting higher education staff and students also rose, which affected more than 100 people in 2020 and 2021 [p.162]. The GCPEA also reported multiple cases of sexual violence committed by all parties in the conflict, including state authorities, such as the police.


  • Pakistan:

Violent attacks targeting the education sector, as well as students, teachers, and educational staff, were committed by various actors in Pakistan. While the conflict of non-state armed groups significantly affected the education sector, the government did also stand behind some atrocities targeting protesting students and educational staff. More than 250 students, teachers, and educational staff were arrested in 2020 and 2021.

The GCPEA confirmed 7 attacks on schools by armed groups in the period from 2020 and 2021. One of these incidents was a bomb attack which injured more than 130 people and caused 7 deaths [p.164]. Moreover, higher education institutions were also terrorised: 18 attacks were reported by the GCPEA which resulted in the death of 4 female vocational trainers and the arrest of more than 140 students and staff members [p.166].


  • Palestine:

Clashes between Palestinian armed groups and the Israeli state authorities continued in 2020 and 2021. As a result of the conflict, 429 kindergartens, schools, and universities became victims of violent attacks according to the GCPEA. However large this number may seem, it is still less than the number of attacks committed in 2019, when the Coronavirus pandemic also severely affected the education sector [p.168].

The GCPEA reported at least 85 attacks on students and educational staff in the observed period. Intimidation, detention, and opening fire on unarmed school students and staff on the way to or from school were among the most common types of atrocities [p.171]. Furthermore, the GCPEA identified 19 attacks on higher education students, staff, and facilities too [p.173].


  • The Philippines:

The conflict between state forces and non-state armed groups continued in 2020 and 2021, as the Philippine government began a campaign to combat the spread and trade of illegal drugs. The armed clashes largely affected the education sector, among others, which prevented thousands of students from accessing appropriate education and educational facilities. The period from 2020 to 2021 showed a decline in the number of attacks targeting schools with only 8 attacks reported by the GCPEA, while, from 2017 to 2019, 62 attacks were recorded by the UN [p.175]. Students, teachers, and educational staff were also targeted on 5 different occasions and suffered from detention and shootings [p.176].


  • Somalia:

Somalia has been experiencing a series of crises in the forms of armed conflicts between non-state armed groups and international forces, political instability and poor general security, as well as natural crises, such as floods and the Covid-19 pandemic. While all of these issues severely affected the education sector, the armed conflicts were particularly damaging in 2020 and 2021, as they left over 3 million children without education. Moreover, different armed forces recruited more than 1716 boys to join fights, while many girls became victims of sexual violence [p.178].

In 2020 and 2021, the GCPEA confirmed 84 attacks on schools by using explosive weapons planted at or near schools [p.178]. Students, teachers, and educational personnel were also targeted on several occasions, and the GCPEA identified 146 abduction cases.


  • South Sudan:

Despite the peace agreement that was signed to settle the conflict between the government and oppositional groups and to facilitate the establishment of a transitional government, political tension continued to be present in South Sudan in 2020 and 2021. The conflict affected the education sector as well; the GCPEA identified 11 attacks in this period, which, however, were fewer than the 18 attacks committed in the period from 2018 to 2019 [p.180]. A similar declining pattern can be observed in the number of schools used for military purposes: in 2020 and 2021, only 10 cases were reported, while 35 incidents occurred in 2018 and 2019 [p.181]. Furthermore, in 2020 and 2021, the GCPEA reported an attack on a higher education facility while another targeted university students [p.182].


  • Sudan:

Sudan experienced political transitions in 2020 and 2021 which severely affected general safety in the country. In reaction to several issues regarding both the oppressive Sudani government and the education system, such as the lack of suitable facilities for disabled students, widespread protests started among students, teachers, and educational personnel in 2021. The government decided to apply harsh measures to suppress the uprisings: protesters were targeted in 6 attacks in the form of detention and the use of teargas according to the GCPEA.

However, not only armed conflicts disturbed the education sector in Sudan: the spread of Covid-19, natural disasters, such as floods damaging 559 schools, and food insecurity severely affected children’s education. These disasters lead to millions being in need of humanitarian assistance, and most of the victims were children according to the UN.


  • Syria:

As armed conflicts continue in Syria between non-state armed groups and government forces, schools still suffer numerous attacks all around the country. However, the intensity of these attacks declined in 2020 and 2021: this period recorded 85 attacks on schools according to the GCPEA, which is a significant decrease compared to the 260 recorded incidents in the previous 2 years. Most of the attacks in 2020 and 2021 occurred in the forms of shelling and air strikes in northwest Syria, in Aleppo and Idlib [p.186], however, Damascus, Homs, Al Hasaka, Deir-Ez-Zor, and Quneitra were also largely affected [p.187]. In addition, over 35 cases of schools and universities used for military purposes were reported [p.190]. Furthermore, the GCPEA also reported 17 incidents targeting students, teachers, and educational personnel, who were victims of intimidation, threats, arrests, and detention [p.188, 189].


  • Thailand:

Instability continued to be present in Thailand due to the non-state armed groups in the southern provinces of the country, putting people’s lives at risk. The GCPEA identified 5 attacks on schools in 2020 and 2021, while 6 attacks were reported targeting students, teachers, and educational personnel. While the exact number of attacks on schools did not change compared to the 2018 to 2019 period, attacks on students and teachers have decreased compared to previous years [p.192, 193].

In addition, atrocities targeting students and education staff have also been committed by state authorities. In the 2020 to 2021 period, the Thai police arrested students who protested against the education minister for his incompetence in preventing and appropriately handling cases of harassment and beatings in schools and kindergartens.


  • Turkey:

Since the 2016 coup in Turkey, several sectors, such as the media, business, and education sectors have faced drastic changes. The Turkish government has been targeting institutions, platforms, and people, who have any real or claimed connection to an Islamic scholar and American Turkish millionaire, Fetullah Gülen, who the government accuses of standing behind the coup. The education sector has particularly been affected by the government’s purges: schools and universities were shut down, thousands of teachers lost not only their jobs but also their teacher certificates, and academics have been imprisoned for alleged connections to the Gülen Movement.

In 2020 and 2021, the GCPEA confirmed 3 attacks on schools [p.194], while school students, teachers, and education personnel were also attacked on 3 occasions. Using schools for military purposes reached a minimum of 7 cases which indicates an increase compared to previous years [p.195]. One case of sexual violence was also confirmed by the GCPEA in the 2020 to 2021 period. As for attacks on higher educational institutions, a total of 30 incidents were reported resulting in the injury or arrest of more than 600 university students. Most of these attacks and arrests targeted students, teachers, and educational staff who were participating in education-related protests [p.196].


  • Ukraine:

The eastern part of the country experienced shelling and small armed clashes on several occasions in 2020 and 2021. These attacks resulted in the destruction of several schools: 30 attacks were identified by the GCPEA in that period, which damaged a total of 25 schools. The number of attacks shows an increase compared to the 2018 to 2019 period [p.198].

As for attacks on students, teachers, and educational personnel, 5 incidents were identified by the GCPEA in 2020 and 2021. This number marks a decrease compared to incidents reported from 2018 to 2019, which were a total of 15 cases [p.199].


  • Yemen:

The intensity of the conflict in Yemen increased in 2020 and 2021 and clashes between state forces and non-state armed groups escalated. The GCPEA reported 48 attacks on schools in that period, in the form of air strikes, shelling, and the use of explosives [p.200]. As for attacks on students, teachers, and education staff, the GCPEA reported 13 large-scale cases one of which included the abduction and assault of more than 100 students and teachers [p.201].

The rate of using schools and universities for military purposes was particularly high as 49 of these cases were reported by the GCPEA in the 2020 to 2021 period. Furthermore, the GCPEA identified 20 schools where armed groups were recruiting and training children for fighting [p.203]. The GCPEA also identified 10 cases of attacks on higher education facilities and 14 attacks targeting higher education students and teachers [p.204].


Written by:

Noor Mousa 13/07/2022

Edited by:

Johanna Farkas

[i] Education Under Attack. Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack. 2022.

Albania’s Enlargement Package: Education as a Keystone for Accession to the EU

As Albania continues its path of accession to the European Union (EU), the European Commission annually assesses its readiness for full EU integration. This process is called the enlargement package and is ongoing for all of the Western Balkans and Türkiye regions. In the 2021-22 enlargement package, the European Commission pledged to accelerate the integration of the Western Balkans as a whole, including Albania. The European Commission’s Albania 2022 Report (hereafter, “the Report”) details Albania’s many positive reforms, but also identifies many areas that are still below EU standards. Several of these areas affect and interact with education policy; some even explicitly derive from the Albanian education system. With a critical lens focused on education and human rights, this article will summarize and explore the Report’s findings and recommendations on Albania. Firstly, this article will focus on Albania’s readiness for EU accession before diving into the primary political and economic concerns.

Secondly, the education system as described in the Report, including its shortcomings regarding COVID-19, technological capacity, and minority incorporation. Finally, the current state of the rights of the child in Albania will be discussed.



  1. Political Concerns

Many areas of the Report may not directly impact education or human rights but are still worth noting to contextualize Albania’s current political climate. Overall, the Report finds that Albania is “moderately prepared” for integration. The Parliamentary elections in 2021 revealed significant internal conflicts within the largest opposition party (DP) as well as the gridlock that characterizes the Albanian Parliament. The Report notes that these untimely and unfortunate barriers to consensus resulted in Parliament delaying and even abandoning certain reforms that would have furthered EU criteria, notably including electoral reform. Ultimately, the Parliament found common ground on several critical issues, passing nine laws aimed at EU integration.


Albania is also suffering from economic and political consequences associated with the triple shock of the 2019 earthquake, the COVID-19 pandemic, and, more recently, Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. In particular, public administration remains in disarray as the establishment of agencies subordinate to the Prime Minister without a comprehensive framework detailing their purpose and limits raises questions concerning the standards of public administration. Nonetheless, Albania is making progress in public administrative reform, anti-corruption reform, the fight against organized crime, judicial reform, and migration. Although it is moderately prepared in economic criteria and competitive growth, it is still below EU standards and struggles to manage fiscal policy. This is a special concern given that Albania needs to generate and appropriately manage a more diversified revenue in order to implement the large expenditures necessary for adequate public and social services, as further explored below.


  1. Economic Concerns: Educational Funding and Employment

The Report notes that Albania is not fully prepared for the competitive pressure of the EU job market, but it is making advancements to this effect. Albania made progress through the National Strategy of Education and Action Plan 2021-2026, but a lack of financing has impeded this Plan—only an estimated 3.6% of GDP was directed toward this Plan. The funding of education is significantly below Albania’s needs. The allocated budget for the main ministries responsible for education, among other social services, remains below 1% of GDP. Individual schools lack financial autonomy and remain vulnerable to corruption. Anti-corruption measures that have recently resulted in criminal prosecutions of some high-level officials have had little effect on social services, including healthcare and education.


These financial issues are particularly acute because Albania heavily lacks human capital. Notably, human capital acquisition continues to be stifled by skill and education gaps, especially in technological and entrepreneurial know-how. This area is a blend of skilled labor and academic theory, and thus an area that would require greater communication and collaboration between the discrete institutions within the broader education system. The Report notes that “[e]fforts are still needed in the development of innovative policies aimed at promoting better links between academia, industry and government….” Albania is engaged in many projects to further human capital acquisition, including the Horizon 2021 program, the EUREKA network, and the “EU for Innovation” Tirana project, but few are producing results. The Report emphasizes that Albania will not be able to accede to the EU without improving its human capital gains. Among other reasons, the Albanian job market in its current state would be shocked after integration by the high human capital present in other EU countries. The resulting shocks would depress the employment of native Albanians and incentivize native Albanians to seek education in other EU member states.


Graduates and post-graduates in Albania are entering a recovering job market. Employment growth is steadily advancing after the COVID-19 economic downturn. However, the gender gap in employment remains wide. Structural changes in the labor market also reflect the increased need for graduates with higher education; the unemployment rate of tertiary educated persons dropped markedly, while it increased for workers with primary education and persons 15-24. These market distortions incentivize young people and other primary-educated people to seek higher education in order to increase their value in the job market. This dynamic is already taking shape, as the share of people aged 20-24 in tertiary education programs has increased from 12.3% in 2016 to 14.9% in 2022. However, as more young people seek an academic lifestyle, fewer seek vocational training, leading to shortages in skilled labor. These shortages contribute to higher pay for skilled laborers, thus incentivizing young people to seek labor-intensive jobs. These two competing incentives—the first for higher education and the second for skilled labor—create skill mismatches in Albania’s labor market as some workers with higher education are seeking more lucrative jobs in skilled labor, and vice versa.


Many youths without skills or education continue to struggle; the percentage of young people neither employed nor in education or training was 26.1% in 2021. To attempt to give direction to many of these young people, Albania created the Youth Guarantee scheme to give advice to and coordinate opportunities for floundering Albanian young people. In February 2022, the Parliament established an inter-ministerial working group to oversee the implementation of the Youth Guarantee scheme, including by allocating human and financial resources seconded from the ministries themselves. The Report again emphasizes the importance of incorporating these youth into the formal job market either through education or skills training in order to build human capital in anticipation of EU accession.

Tiran Univercity
Polytechnic University of Tirana – Source Wikipedia

The Education System

  1. Basic Characteristics and Current Initiatives

In 2021, Albania implemented a new competence-based curriculum for the grades 1-12 pre-university education system. Of 286,486 students currently enrolled, 260,953 received free textbooks under this new initiative. For reference, 158,528 students are in primary education, and 127,958 are in lower secondary education. The simultaneous attempt at preschool reform was not successful, however. Due to a lack of resources, the new policies passed for preschools could not be implemented. The Report notes that partnerships with local authorities are essential to ensure cooperation and avoid disrupting the everyday goings on in schools as new standards begin.


Albania’s Vocational Education and Training (VET) system is also being revised. Participation in the VET scheme remains low, with only 17.7% of upper secondary students enrolled in 2021 (18,279 out of a total of 103,467). In 2017, Parliament adopted a VET Law that established the National Agency for VET and Qualifications and attempted to standardize VET programs. The implementation of this Law is not yet complete, however. The National Agency requires further organizational clarification, especially in the human resources department. Legislation regarding VET providers is also lacking. The Report states that Parliament must adopt a law guaranteeing the financial autonomy of VET providers in addition to the Optimisation Plan endorsed by Parliament and VET providers in 2020. Both legislative efforts would require certain standards of learning and training, organizational strategies, functions, and activities from VET providers while simultaneously allowing them the independence to determine how to achieve these measures. In other words, these legislative efforts would regulate the VET providers while ensuring their discretionary rights and privileges. The Report states that this VET scheme must be implemented by 2023 to ensure the modernization of the VET.


  1. COVID-19

2021-2022 was a “year of adjustment and planning” after the shocks caused by the 2019 earthquake and the COVID-19 pandemic. The earthquake sent the education system into immediate turmoil as 21,000 children from 11 municipalities were forced to move to host schools or temporary facilities. Students attended classes in shifts, thereby straining already scarce resources, negatively impacting the quality of teaching, and negatively affecting students’ capacity to absorb information amid a stressful and constantly changing environment. 87 schools damaged by the earthquake have returned to normal operations. The problems derived from the earthquake are distinct from the problems that arose under COVID-19, but both exposed the same skills and resource gaps in the education system.


Already struggling with remote, hybrid, or part-time school due to the earthquake, teachers and students were forced to revert to fully online methods for which they were not prepared. Prior to the earthquake, most teachers had never even received IT training, much less training on how to effectively teach an entirely digital class—many were technologically illiterate. Albania began training 2,362 teachers on digitization in 2021, but this excluded the majority of a total of 30,000 teachers in need. This skills gap was compounded by a lack of digital resources available to both teachers and students for a free or reduced cost. Albania provides only one computer per 26 students, which is inadequate to ensure that all students have access to digital education. The Report compares this to the EU average of one computer per five pupils. As a result of these complications, enrollment rates 2019-2021 dropped considerably to 72.9%. Even more concerningly, enrollment in preschool education for children aged five to six decreased by 9%. The Report states that even as the COVID-19 pandemic eases, the government should continue to provide digital training to teachers and technological literacy courses to students in anticipation of a future emergency.


  • Minority Incorporation

On the flip side, changes to the education system related to the COVID-19 pandemic have generated increased inclusion of vulnerable populations, most notably Roma and Egyptian minorities. These groups suffer from a lack of access to certain socioeconomic benefits, lower income levels, and structural barriers to upward mobility. Strategies such as distance learning, remote teaching, and part-time education aligned with these groups’ needs by leaving room for flexibility in scheduling. This allowed parents of lower school children to guarantee their children’s quality of education even while struggling with the economic downturn. Similarly, this allowed older students to maintain their employment and living standards while simultaneously accessing higher education. As COVID-19 has dissipated, schools have reduced many of these measures. The enrollment rates of Rome and Egyptian children in pre-university and early childhood education have dropped. Inclusion efforts include scholarships, free textbooks, complimentary transportation, and part-time education programs. Measures that, in theory, facilitate Roma and Egyptian access to universities, such as a quota system and fee waivers for university applications, are generally not enforced in practice.


Nonetheless, the Report emphasizes that the inclusion of vulnerable populations within the Albanian education system is lacking. Some schools continue to segregate Roma and Egyptian children, resulting in a ruling from the European Court of Human Rights in May 2022 ordering the Ministry of Education and Sports to implement desegregation policies. Roma and Egyptian graduates are systematically discriminated against in the workforce as well. The low employment rate of these groups worsened due to COVID-19, health insurance coverage for these groups is sparse, and the digitization of many public services during COVID-19 (including healthcare and employment) impeded technologically illiterate members of these groups from accessing much-needed protection.


Ethnic minorities are not the only groups discriminated against in public service delivery, however. The Report notes that “no progress” has been made with regard to the incorporation of disabled persons in the Albanian education system. Already scarce resources are simply not being allocated to solve this problem. Teachers and other educational professionals receive slim to no training on the complex challenges and functional strategies of including disabled persons, alternative methods of teaching, or early detection of disability. Those teaching assistants qualified to assist disabled students are very few and not sufficiently dispersed throughout educational institutions. The Report highlights that “additional efforts are also needed to shift from a system with dual education towards a system where children with disabilities are integrated into inclusive mainstream schools.”


Written by Rowan Scarpinoagainst LGBTIQ persons is also rampant in Albania. A lack of knowledge and awareness about queerness and queer rights, especially in rural areas, drives high levels of intolerance. Physical aggression and hate speech, particularly on social media against LGBTIQ people are routine. This creates a hostile environment for LGBTIQ students in schools, thus disincentivizing them from engaging with the curriculum or creating bonds with teachers and other students. Further, discrimination prevents LGBTIQ students from fully accessing future educational opportunities, such as higher education, thus depressing their capacity to enter high-paying employment. Generally, LGBTIQ persons face discrimination in public services, including barriers to healthcare and housing. Albania lacks legislation authorizing cohabitation or same-sex marriage, thus perpetuating the social stigmatization of LGBTIQ persons. In November 2021, Albania did implement a new 2021-2027 action plan for LBGTIQ persons. However, Parliament has failed to implement the policies associated with this plan due to a lack of financing and political will. The Report stresses that Parliament must enact this action plan and other inclusive policies in order for Albania to meet EU criteria governing fundamental rights and freedoms.


Rights of the Child

Albania ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1992 and has since implemented a legal framework protecting children. The Report notes that progress continues in institutional capacity-building to effectively execute the Convention. However, malnutrition and physical activity continue to be critical issues for children and pregnant women in Albania. The Report recommends that Albania develop a national nutrition plan that includes an awareness campaign in schools and community centers. Additionally, Albania remains a “country of origin, transit, and destination” of human trafficking. Institutionalized and minority children, including Roma and Egyptians, are more vulnerable to trafficking than adults or their peers. Fortunately, the number of Albanian victims significantly decreased in 2020-2021, but this may be due only to border closures associated with COVID-19.


The Report also finds that “the practice of child marriage still exists, and is primarily driven by gender inequality, poverty and social exclusion.” Because of a lack of official data, it is unclear how prevalent child marriage is, but laws protecting adolescents from child marriage are clearly ineffective or applied inconsistently. To remedy this fundamentally abusive practice, the government addressed child marriage in the national policy framework in 2021 for the first time in history. It continued to prioritize the issue by enacting the 2021-26 National Agenda for the Rights of the Child. Further, the Albanian National Deinstitutionalization Plan allocated funds to develop childcare services as an alternative to institutionalized social care, which has violated and exploited children. Despite this progress, violence against children, especially sexual violence, remains a problem. Child Protection Units received 2,389 cases of children in need of protection in 2021; a large amount made even more difficult by the lack of child protection workers. Albania needs programs and legal frameworks that prioritize social work and incentivize students to become social workers.



Overall, Albania could advance its moderate level of preparation in most EU accession criteria to the next level by increasing its focus on education. In order to meet economic standards, for example, skills and resource gaps must be remedied through higher and vocational education. Similarly, in order to meet standards relating to respect for fundamental rights and freedoms and social cohesion, Albania must increase the incorporation of minorities into society and formal markets, which begins with the incorporation of minority and migrant children into education. The list goes on; the areas in which Albania is most unprepared for EU accession, including public administration and economic competitiveness, all negatively impact the education system and yet can be solved through increasing funding, awareness, and participation in the education system. In preparation for the next enlargement package report, Albania should engage in educational reform to accelerate its preparedness for EU integration.



Written by Rowan Scarpino


European Commission. (2022). (rep. num. SWD(2022) 332). Albania 2022 Report. Brussels, Belgium.

تحديات التعليم الإبتدائي والثانوي في روسيا

إن الاتحاد الروسي دولة حديثة في الأساس. تم تشكيلها قبل ٣٠ عامًا بعد تفكك الاتحاد السوفيتي. تتمتع روسيا بخلفية تاريخية واجتماعية وثقافية فريدة من نوعها، مع مزيج بين الإمبريالية والتأثير السوفيتي و ٣٠ عامًا من التاريخ الحديث. كانت لهذه الفترات المختلفة تأثير على النظام التعليمي. فقد تمت العديد من المحاولات لإصلاح نظام التعليم بعد تفكك الاتحاد السوفيتي. ومن أهمها، القانون الفيدرالي لعام ١٩٩٢ و سميَّ ʼحول التعليمʽ، و يشمل ذلك فرص إنشاء المدارس الخاصة و الكتب المدرسية الجديدة و الاستقلال المالي للمدارس (داشنسكايا، ١٩٩٧). أيضا٬ توقيع بيان بولونيا في عام ٢٠٠٣ الذي يمثل بداية توحيد التعليم الأوروبي في بعض المؤسسات الروسية و تجسيد الاختبارات الموحدة الوطنية التي أصبحت إلزامية منذ عام ٢٠٠٩ (سيرلنا-سبيدي، ٢٠١٦ ).
وفقًا لأحد خبراء التعليم، ظهرت تغييرات أساسية مع إصلاحات ٢٠٠٩- ٢٠١٠ بالضافة الى إصدار توجيه قانوني جديد (حول التعليم في الاتحاد الروسي، ٢٠١٢). تضمنت أهم الإصلاحات تمويل الدراسة لكل طالب، واختبارات موحدة جديدة لخريجي المدارس وطلاب الجامعات الجدد. أيضا  وضع أهمية لقرب المدارس للطالب في عملية القبول̣ و أخيرا، خَلق واستدامة بيئات مدرسية آمنة، وتعزيز التعليم الشامل، والإنهاء التدريجي للمؤسسات التعليمية المتخصصة.

 هذه التغييرات الناجحة تنجم من الاستثمار المستمر في التعليم، وإنشاء نظام تقييم وطني و اتخاذ الدرجات التي تم الحصول عليها في المدارس كمؤشرات رئيسية للقبول الجامعي. و بهذا يتكافأ توفير فرص جامعية لجميع المراهقين، بما في ذلك الأسر ذات الدخل المنخفض و سُكان المناطق البعيدة. تتضمن هذه التغيرات التغطية الشاملة للتعليم و بما فيها مرحلة الحضانة، وتمويل الفرد فيما يخص التعليم. سمحت هذه التغيرات للطلاب الروس بتحقيق نتائج عالية في الدراسة الدولية للرياضيات والعلوم (TIMSS) لعام ٢٠١٩ و التي أظهرت بأن روسيا تتصدر الترتيب بعد اقتصادات شرق آسيا (شميس، ٢٠٢١). بالرغم عن كل هذه التغيُّرات و محاولات الإصلاح، لا تزال روسيا تواجه تحديات في قطاع التعليم.

تحديات التعليم الشامل.
هناك عدة أنواع من التحديات التي تعيق تحقيق التعليم الشامل. أولاً، لا يوجد عدد كافٍ من المتخصصين الذين يمتلكون المهارات والخبرات اللازمة للعمل مع الأطفال ذوي الاحتياجات الخاصة. دوَّنت دراسة أجريت في منطقة الأورال الفيدرالية على أن حوالي ٦٠٪ من مستجيبي الدراسة لاحظوا عدم وجود موظفين متخصصين (علماء نفس، ومعلمون اجتماعيون، ومعلمون خصوصيين، وما إلى ذلك). لا سيما في مدارس المدن الصغيرة والمناطق الريفية (غرنت، ٢٠١٩). ثانياً ، لا توجد مواد دراسية كافية. على الرغم من أن معظم المدارس الشاملة في الوقت الحاضر بها مصاعد ومنحدرات ومداخل موسعة وعلامات برايل ومرافقة صوتية، إلا أن هناك نقصًا في المواد التعليمية والمنهجية لتعليم الأطفال ذوي الاحتياجات الخاصة (ميرنوفا، سمولينا نوفغورودتيفا ٢٠١٩). ثالثًا، البيروقراطية المتعلقة بالتعليم ترهق التعليم الشامل. فإن توزيع السلطة والمسؤوليات بين المعلمين وعلماء النفس والأخصائيين الاجتماعيين يشكل حاجزاً أمام الإصلاحات الازمة.  وأخيرًا، هناك فجوة كبيرة في التواصل والتعاون والتفاعل المناسب بين المعلمين وأولياء الأمور، و بين الأطفال ذوي الاحتياجات الخاصة والذين من غيرهم. يتضح تضارب القيم عندما تختلط الفصول العادية مع أطفال ذوي الاحتياجات الخاصة. و لسوء الحظ، فإن الجهات المعنية في الأنشطة التعليمية ليست على استعداد دائم لفهم تغييرات العصر الحديث.

تراجع مستوى الكليات المهنية والتقنية.
الاتجاه السائد للحصول على دبلوم التعليم العالي مفيد بلا شك للمجتمع. ومع ذلك فلكل عملة وجهان. ففي حالة الاتحاد الروسي، أدى هذا الاتجاه إلى إشباع سوق العمل بأخصائيين من ذوي التعليم العالي. و بدوره أدى إلى تقليل مكانة الكليات المهنية والتقنية و نقص المتخصصين التقنيين أو العمال الحاصلين على تدريب مهني ثانوي (ايفانوفا، ٢٠١٦). تتمتع روسيا بأحد من أعلى معدلات التحصيل الجامعي بين أعضاء منظمة التعاون الاقتصادي والتنمية، كما هو موضح في الرسم البياني ١ أدناه (OECD ، ٢٠١٩). على الرغم من انخفاض مستوى الدراسات المهنية، لا تزال البرامج المهنية أكثر انتشارًا مما هي عليه في دول منظمة التعاون الاقتصادي والتنمية الأخرى.

نموذج ١. توزيع الطلاب الذين تتراوح أعمارهم بين 25 و 34 عامًا، الحاصلين على تعليم عالٍ حسب مستوى التعليم العالي (٢٠١٨)

المصدر: منظمة التعاون الاقتصادي والتنمية. (٢٠١٩). لمحة عن التعليم لعام ٢٠١٩: مذكرة قطرية. منظمة التعاون
الاقتصادي والتنمية.

الاستثمار الناتج عن التحديات الجديدة في النظام التعليمي
لدى روسيا بنية تحتية رقمية رائع، لذا فإن الرقمنة وإنشاء منصات تعليمية مخصصة هي مسألة استثمار إضافي وجهود تعاونية. توجد أهمية راسخة في إمكانيات التكييف مع أساليب التدريس المتغيرة مثل الأنظمة الهجينة والأنظمة عبر الإنترنت أثناء جائحة كوفيد-١٩. تقديم طرق تعليم وتعلم فريدة من نوعها و مخصصة تساهم في زيادة تحفيز الطلاب ومشاركتهم في عملية الدراسة و التعليم.
تنمية المهارات الحياتية
بعد مشاركة الطلاب الروس في تقييم PISA لمهارات التعاون في حل المسائل (٢٠١٥) ، لوحظت أهم فجوة سلبية بين النتائج في الرياضيات والعلوم والقراءة (اختبارات PISA الأساسية) وقدرة الطلاب على حل المشكلات بشكل تعاوني (شميس، ٢٠٢١). يجب تكييف الإصلاحات الجديدة لإدخال جوانب حديثة من العمل التعاوني في المدارس نظرًا لأنها إحدى المهارات الحديثة الحيوية، وجعلها مركزًا لاكتساب المعرفة الجديدة وإتقان المهارات اللازمة و الملائمة لهذا العصر.

بقلم إليزافيتا روساكوفا

ترجمة رويفة الريامية من


OECD. (2019). Education at a Glance 2019: Country note. OECD.
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EUROPEAN COMMISSION Turkey 2021 Report Summary (Education)

Education in Turkey

Introduction and Context


Turkey has been a key partner for the European Union via an Association Agreement since 1964 and the establishment of a Customs Union in 1995. Turkey was granted the status of a candidate country in December 1999 and accession negotiations were opened in October 2005. Within the framework of accession negotiations, 16 chapters have been opened and one of these was provisionally closed. The General Affairs Council conclusions of June 2019 reiterated the Council’s position of June 2018 that under the current circumstances, Turkey’s accession negotiations have effectively come to a standstill, no further chapters can be considered for opening or closing. Over the reporting period, the Turkish government did not reverse the negative trend as regards the reform agenda despite the Turkish government’s repeated commitment to the objective of EU accession. The EU’s serious concerns on the continued deterioration of democracy, the rule of law, fundamental rights and the independence of the judiciary have not been addressed. There was further backsliding in many areas. Relations with the EU deteriorated until December 2020, mostly due to actions taken by Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean, directly challenging the rights of the Republic of Cyprus in its maritime zones. This summary will focus on the area of education.

Chapter 26 Education and Culture


The EU encourages collaboration in education and culture through funding programs and the open method of coordination, which allows Member States to coordinate their policies. Member States must also avoid discrimination and guarantee that children of migrant workers, including those from poor families, receive a high-quality education. Turkey is moderately equipped in terms of education and culture, and some progress has been made in this area, such as the smooth operation of the national qualifications system, the inclusion of culture in development policies, and the promotion and protection of the country’s cultural heritage.


In the coming year, the EU commission has recommended Turkey to (1) continue the improvement of inclusive education, focusing on including girls and disadvantaged children and reduce the proportion of school drop-outs, (2) further ensure the good functioning of the Turkish Qualifications Framework and Turkish Higher Education Quality Council, (3) take steps to implement the 2005 UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.


With regards to education, access to early childhood education (ECE) in Turkey varies by age group and region. While the net enrolment rate for pre-school education (age 5) further increased from 68.3 % to 71.2 % during the 2019-2020 school year (70.4 % for girls, 72 % for boys), the combined net enrolment rate for children in Turkey aged between 3 and 5 remains low at only 41.8 %. Flexible and community-based ECE models need to be implemented, guided by clear targets and strategies, which cover vulnerable children and the overall quality of ECE services requires improvement. The net enrolment rate in primary schools grew slightly from 92.1 % to 93.6 %, with 93.5 % for girls and 93.7 % for boys. In lower secondary school, the net enrolment rate grew from 93.3 % to 95.9 %, with a rate of 96.1 % for girls and 95.7 % for boys. In upper secondary education net enrolment increased from 84.2 % to 85.0 % (84.9 % for girls, 85.2 % for boys). In higher education, the net enrolment rate decreased from 44.1 % to 43.4 % (46.3 % for girls, 40.6 % for boys). Both the number and the rate of students in special education (students with special needs who are in regular classes) increased slightly in 2020, from 398 815 in 2019 to 425 774 in 2020, which represents an increase from 1.65 % to 1.74 %. However, there is a noticeably large disparity between the number of girls and boys with special needs in education (269,897 male versus 155,877 female students).


Since 2004 Turkey has participated in EU education programs. Applications for the Erasmus+ programme climbed from 12 467 in 2019 to 13 079 in 2020, demonstrating the program’s ongoing popularity among Turkish education stakeholders. In 2020, 497 new projects for 124 million euros were contracted. Furthermore, applications for the European Solidarity Corps (ESC) program surged from 349 in 2019 to 896 in 2020; EU funding was allocated to 269 projects totalling EUR 6.12 million (181 volunteering initiatives and 88 solidarity projects) with over 2000 participants. Turkey implemented the recommendations of the European Commission to limit the detrimental effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on both beneficiaries and future beneficiaries of Erasmus+ and the ESC.


Turkey is at an advanced stage of implementing the Bologna process, although significant quality differences persist among Turkey’s 207 higher education institutions. The reorganisation of the Turkish Higher Education Quality Council (THEQC), the national authority evaluating Turkish higher education institutions, led to greater administrative and financial independence. THEQC became a member of the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) in April 2020. THEQC added an institutional accreditation programme to its quality assurance activities in 2020. Relevant higher education regulation and procedures need to be further adapted to THEQC regulations in order to guarantee its effectiveness. In addition, THEQC should aim to further increase the size of permanent staff in order to strengthen its operational independence.


Implementation of a national vocational qualifications system by the Vocational Qualifications Authority (VQA) is ongoing. VQA, the competent authority for preparing national occupational standards and national qualifications and for authorising certification bodies, is also in charge of implementing the Turkish Qualifications Framework (TQF). As of June 2021, the number of occupational standards and qualifications approved by the VQA increased satisfactorily for the functional implementation of the Turkish Qualification Framework; however, the number of vocational qualifications certificates still needs to be increased substantially. Studies regarding the full implementation of TQF continued under the coordination of the VQA. Private education certificates were integrated within the framework of VQA certificates. Although the European Qualifications Framework is referenced within the TQF, Turkey needs to ensure that principles and procedures relating to quality assurance, credit systems, inclusion of qualifications, and validation of non-formal and informal learning are fully in place. In the formal vocational education and training sector, implementing the modular curricula and credited module system, instead of the current class passing system, remains an important issue for the effective implementation of the TQF.


By Kate Ryan

Educational Challenges in Syria

The Borgen Project: ‘The Education Crisis in Syria’ accessible in <>

Syria’s educational system has faced challenges for a long time, but the situation improved before the war’s outbreak in 2011. In the decades that preceded the crisis, the educational sector in Syria was witnessing improvements concerning school and university enrolments. Nevertheless, the Syrian government was, at the time, taking initiatives and showing interest in fighting illiteracy as well as increasing the number of primary and preparatory schools throughout the country. 

Following the outbreak of the civil war, Syrian children of all ages were left without access to education. According to recent data published, there are more than 2.4 million Syrian children currently out of school.


Syrian children are currently facing several challenges that make it extremely difficult to attend their school or continue their education. The conflict has led to people’s displacement from their homes, poverty, and the inability of families to pay for school materials. In addition, the Syrian civil war has dangerously normalized and dramatically increased the issue of child labour. The stories shared by some of the affected children highlight the gravity of their situation. Issa, a 12-year-old boy, expressed his feeling of bitterness when he could not attend school for years after his family was displaced due to the war. Or Salim, a victim of displacement and child labour who was forced to seek refuge in Lebanon, where he currently works daily carrying potato bags. 

Albeit the employment of children under the age of 15 is illegal under Syrian legislation, no prominent governmental initiatives have been taken in the past few years to address this issue. However, UNICEF is taking steps to tackle the problem by adopting and implementing friendly policies designed to assist Syrian children in the enjoyment of their rights. 

A 2012 International Labour Organisation report recommended the Syrian national legislation to reform and impose further regulatory norms in the field of children’s work. The report also highlights how Syrian penalty laws are not severe enough to prevent employers from hiring children. Although the Syrian crisis slowed down the ILO’s work, in 2018, it adopted a ‘multi-sectoral approach’ to prevent child labour. This approach is meant to protect children’s rights to education and livelihood. It is also led and coordinated by several parties, including the Syrian Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour, as well as the United Nations. Perhaps this multi-sided tactic, including a governmental representative, will reduce the number of children who are working rather than attending school. 

Unfortunately, Syria’s educational system faces other challenges as well. One of these is the limited access to electricity. The electrical energy infrastructure in Syria was damaged severely after the crisis, leaving most cities in the country, such as Aleppo and Damascus, without electricity for most hours of the day. Most schools in Syria were affected, and students had to struggle in dark classrooms. However, the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) and UNICEF intervened in some places and saved the situation. For instance, in Aleppo, ECHO and UNICEF supplied 30 schools with solar panels, a successful step that positively changed the situation for students and teachers.

Nonetheless, implementing solar panels in all schools throughout the country is lengthy and costly. Since students of all age groups need electricity at home to prepare for exams, it would also fail to solve the issue in its entirety. The situation is undoubtedly precarious, but the government can take initiatives to assist students to study in more adequate conditions. Both the UN and ECHO could provide public city libraries with solar panels for electricity generation. This would allow students to learn in quiet and well-lit surroundings, thus contributing to their educational success. 

Another major challenge in Syria’s educational sector is the severe lack of fuel which directly affects students’ capabilities to access educational institutions. The Covid-19 pandemic, in addition, forced schools and universities to shut down for months, leading to the dropping out of a vast number of students. 

As mentioned above, UNICEF is taking several steps to improve these circumstances and combat the so-called ‘lost generation’. According to recently published data, UNICEF has not only been active in Syria throughout the past ten years but has also helped over 1.5 million children since 2016 by providing them with study materials and better chances for education. Furthermore, UNESCO has played an active role in Syria by launching several platforms to support Syrian children, psychologically as well as educationally. An example of this can be seen in the creation of “The Second Chance Program” by CapED, which assists the students who failed their final exams in retaking these during the summer, thereby providing them with a second opportunity to move onto the next grade. 

Overall, the situation in Syria is chaotic and complex, and governmental administrations fail to prioritise education. According to a report published by The Middle East Institute in 2022, the limited and short-term nature of the funding, insufficiency and inefficiency of data collection, and the delays in the embracement of new approaches are significant factors hampering Syria’s educational success. Education in Syria is in dire need of funding and rebuilding to improve students’ situations and guarantee their basic human rights. 


Written by Noor Mousa 

Edited by Olga Ruiz Pilato 

Submission to the Universal Periodic Review of the United Nations Human Rights Council: Finland

Broken Chalk is an Amsterdam-based NGO established in 2020 and is focused on raising awareness and minimising human rights violations in the educational field.

Together with our international sponsors and partners, we encourage and support the following activities/projects: removing obstacles in education; contributing to the achievement of peace and tranquillity in the society through adaptation studies in an environment of intercultural tolerance; preventing radicalism and polarisation; and eliminating the opportunity gap in education for all. Our goal is to work together with global partners to remove barriers to access to education and to take concrete steps to ensure universal access to education.

In this 4th Cycle Universal Periodic Review, Broken Chalk will be occupied with reviewing Finland’s challenges and improvements in the educational field. In the 3rd cycle, (September 2017) Finland received 153 recommendations and supported 120 (78% of acceptance).

By Maya Shaw

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Submission to the Universal Periodic Review of the United Nations Human Rights Council: Morocco

Child domestics in Morocco face significant barriers to education before, during, and after working. Denial of the right to education leaves children without the skills and knowledge which they need to find good jobs, to participate fully in society, and to exercise their other rights. For child domestics, who frequently work in isolation, lack of education also means they miss its crucial role in socializing children and exposing them to potential sources of protection from workplace abuses.

By Ntchindi Chilongozi Theu

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Submission to the Universal Periodic Review of the United Nations Human Rights Council: Bahrain

The right to education is a fundamental pillar of children’s rights. Achieving universal education, however, is a complex process that requires social policy to join with educational policy to develop strategies that bring about change. Bahrain is an island country located in western Asia, which, based on the projections of the latest United Nations data, has a population of about 1,773,831.

By Ntchindi Chilongozi Theu

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