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CERC Book Published in Japanese Translation

CERC Monograph No.10, written by Mark Bray and Ora Kwo, is entitled Regulating Private Tutoring for Public Good: Policy Options for Supplementary Education in Asia (2014). It has had a significant impact in the field, being used in policy making as well as academic discourse. The book has already been published in Chinese and Korean, and cited in UNESCO documents and policies by national governments.

  Now the book has also been published in Japanese. The process was managed by Yoko Yamato, who is a graduate of the HKU MEd programme in Comparative Education and who has remained in close touch with CERC. The translation team worked with great diligence, and added a section to contextualise the book for Japanese readers. The book is published by Toshindo, who specialise in the education sector and have an excellent reputation. It was launched in June 2019 at the annual conference of the Japan Comparative Education Society (JCES).

CERC is delighted to reach a new audience through the book, and sincerely thanks Yoko Yamato and her team. The English version can be downloaded here, and the Japanese version can be ordered here.

Muslims and Islam in U.S. Education: Reconsidering multiculturalism

By Liz Jackson

Chair: Mark Bray

12.45 – 14.00
Wednesday 16 September 2015
Room 203 Runme Shaw Building

Muslims and Islam in U.S. Education explores the complex interface between the U.S. school curriculum, teaching practice about religion in public schools, and societal and teacher attitudes toward Islam and Muslims. It presents multi-culturalism as a concept that needs to be reformulated in the interest of cre-ating a more democratic, inclusive, and informed society.

Islam is an under-considered religion in American education, partly because Muslims comprise less than 1% of the population. This group faces a crucial challenge of representation in United States society as a whole, as well as in its schools. Muslims in the United States are impacted by ignorance that news and opinion polls have demonstrated is widespread. U.S. citizens who do not have a balanced, fair and accurate view of Islam can make decisions in the voting booth, in job hiring, and within their small-scale but important personal net-works and spheres of influence, that make a very negative impact on Muslims. This book has implications for curricula, religious education, and multicultural education, examining the unique case of Islam in U.S. education over the last 20 years.

In its first year in print, Muslims and Islam in U.S. Education has been selected for the inaugural Book Award of the Phi-losophy of Education Society of Australasia (PESA), and garnered multiple positive reviews across the globe. It has been commended for its innovative approach to educational research as well as its focus on an important aspect of education globally. In celebration of its success, CERC is looking back to the launch held one year ago, with a relaunch event emphasising its findings and the path forward for this topic intersecting curriculum, policy, media impact, and religion in public education.

LIZ JACKSON is Assistant Professor of Curriculum and Policy Studies in the Division of Policy, Administration and Social Sciences Education at the University of Hong Kong Faculty of Education.

All are welcome !

Rethinking Education

UNESCO has published a vision statement entitled Rethinking Education: Towards a Global Common Good?. It is a sequel to the1groundbreaking 1996 Delors Report “Learning: the Treasure Within”. The new document recognises fundamental changes in the decades since 1996, and stresses that review of the purpose of education and the organisation of learning has never been more urgent “in a world of increasing complexity, uncertainty and contradiction”.

The publication results from several years of work by a distinguished panel and the UNESCO Secretariat, and with inputs from many partners. Among those inputs was a panel of UNESCO Chairs, led by HKU, at the World Congress of Comparative Education Societies in Buenos Aires, June 2013.

The HKU Chair is pleased to see recognition of its work on shadow education (p.74), including citation of the HKU-CERC book Regulating Private Tutoring for Public Good: Policy Options for Supplementary Education in Asia.

UNESCO’s EFA Global Monitoring Report

GMRUNESCO has launched its 2015 Education for All (EFA) Global Monitoring Report, which reviews challenges and achievements since the 2000 World Education Forum in Dakar, Senegal. The report can be downloaded here. It will be a core document for the May 2015 World Education Forum in the Republic of Korea, which will look ahead to goals for 2030.

The UNESCO Chair at HKU has a specific focus on shadow education in the EFA agenda. We are glad to find our work highlighted in the report (Box 6.2, page 202). Prof. Mark Bray will himself attend the World Education Forum, and will contribute to discussions about shadow education among other topics.

Regulating Private Tutoring Book Launch in Bangkok

launch2UNESCO’s Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education (UNESCO Bangkok) has today launched a book entitled Regulating Private Tutoring for Public Good: Policy Options for Supplementary Education in Asia.  

The book focuses on the extensive scale of private tutoring in countries of the region, regardless of their development status. For example surveys have found that:

  • in Hong Kong, 54% of Grade 9 students and 72% of Grade 12 students receive private supplementary tutoring;
  • in India, 73% of children aged 6-14 in rural West Bengal receive tutoring;
  • in the Republic of Korea, the proportion reaches 86.8% in elementary school; and
  • in Vietnam, respective proportions in lower and upper secondary schooling are 46% and 63%.

The tutoring consumes huge amounts of household finance, and has far-reaching implications for social inequalities, let alone the huge implications it has for school education services. Yet few governments have satisfactory regulations for the phenomenon.

 The book’s authors are Mark Bray, UNESCO Chair Professor in Comparative Education at the University of Hong Kong, and Ora Kwo, Associate Professor in the same University. They have worked on this theme for over a decade, much of it in collaboration with UNESCO.

launch1“UNESCO’s mandate permits and demands attention to this important issue,” remarked Professor Bray. “The organization coordinates the global Education for All (EFA) agenda, and leads the shaping of the post-2015 education framework. It is strongly concerned about equitable access to quality education.” UNESCO provides an arena in which governments can learn from each other about policies that are desirable and feasible.

Regulations for teachers and companies

One major question is whether teachers should be permitted to provide private supplementary tutoring. This is permitted in some countries but prohibited in others. Particularly problematic are settings in which teachers tutor the same students for whom they are already responsible during regular school hours. This situation encourages corruption, with the teachers reducing effort during normal hours in order to promote demand for the private lessons.

A separate question concerns companies. Most governments require tutorial companies to register, but are more likely to treat them as businesses than as educational institutions. Regulations for tutoring companies are only beginning to catch up with those for schools, but are arguably almost as important. Governments have a responsibility for overall social and economic development, which includes ensuring an appropriate environment for private sector institutions.

Learning from comparing

Gwang-Jo Kim, Director of UNESCO Bangkok, highlighted patterns in the Republic of Korea (ROK), with which he is intimately familiar as he served as Deputy Minister of Education there before joining UNESCO. The ROK government has devoted most effort to regulations over the longest period. “Yet even ROK has not yet found all the answers,” remarked Mr Kim. “Governments can see the challenges as well as useful strategies in the South Korean case.”

In South and Southeast Asia, in any case, conditions are rather different from those in South Korea. UNESCO has long recognised the diversity in the region, whether in the contexts or in the experiences. The lessons in this book highlight the value of comparisons across countries in all categories.

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