Building peace in the minds of men and women

Education policy reviews

An education policy review is an independent evidence-based assessment of strategic policy domains which includes policy recommendations as well as specific project plans to be developed. In addition, and upon request of the national authorities, the policy review can include consultations to discuss these plans and coordinate efforts with international agencies. The overall objective of an education policy review is to help education authorities to strengthen their education system and contribute to the development of its capacities.

Typically, a policy review focuses on selected themes or sub-sectors, according to the particular needs of the Member State. Themes covered in reviews have included:

  1. overall assessment of the education system, focusing on quality and equity, and the  ways in which contextual policies, regulations, structures and specific education policies and practices  might be  reformed  to  improve  education  in  the  country.
  2. teacher policies and capacity-building of teachers and school principals through an analysis of  assets and the shortcomings  of past and current situation and an assessment  of the opportunities  for effective change or reform in the present circumstances (e.g. teacher empowerment, academic status, promotion, professionalization, school leadership, social participation, multicultural education, student outcomes);
  3. curriculum development: learner-centred approaches, language proficiency, global citizenship, tolerance, and civic education;
  4. policies for evaluation and the assessment of achievement  in relation to cross-national assessments such as PISA, O-Net, and other relevant indicators; and
  5. mobile learning utilizing ICT in education, including training for teachers.

The policy review process is estimated to take 28 weeks which includes a scoping mission, a country background report, a literature review, a benchmarking fact sheet, a fact-finding mission and a final report.

Education policy reviews are designed to provide technical assistance in carrying out a precise analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of an education system, drawing on the existing knowledge base, and with the overall goal of formulating policy recommendations in particular in the areas in which UNESCO can offer direct technical assistance.

They also aim at stimulating international debates around a wide range of education policy issues and objectives, including promoting equity, quality and relevance in the context of Education 2030. 

Education policy reviews completed to date

This primer aims to provide education stakeholders with an introduction to UNESCO’s education policy review (EPR) methodology in the wider context of SDG 4-Education 2030, and how it could be designed as a tool for capacity development leading to improved policymaking and planning in education. It draws largely on the experience gained during the first round of EPRs carried out by the Section of Education Policy from 2011 to 2018.  The primer benefitted from major contributions from UNESCO colleagues at Headquarters, regional bureaus and field offices. As a tool for capacity development, this primer provides the foundations for and methodological approach to EPRs. It also guides education stakeholders and authorities on how to use the results of the EPR to foster education sector dialogue and maximize country ownership and the adoption of relevant policy recommendations.

This Education Policy Review report highlights the distinctive features of Mongolia’s socio-economic and political context, and its geospatial specificity, which shape current and future relationships between education, society and the environment. It provides an overview of education sector development, including introductory analysis of access and participation, and of the quality of education processes and performance. 

This report synthesizes the findings and policy recommendations of the education system of Sudan. The review covered three policy domains: teacher policies and development; out-of-school children and literacy policy; sector-wide policy and planning. The resulting recommendations are fully aligned with the emphasis placed on SDG 4-2030 targets. This is the first policy review carried out in the Arab region. Despite the multiple educational challenges in meeting national aspirations and global demands, Sudan continues to spearhead the Dubai Roadmap in the Arab region and has the potential to serve as a role model in the region and beyond.

The Peru education policy review report provides an overview of the education system, using the lenses of equity and quality. These lenses are also applied to the analysis of the three priority policy domains: Decentralized Education Management, Teacher Policy Development, and Learning Strategies. The methodological approach, main policy issues, and priority recommendations for the achievement of SDG4, are presented in an annex to the report.
Available in Spanish only.

This report provides an overview of the education system in Guatemala, including a detailed analysis of education indicators. It identifies the main priorities in relation to the SDG4-Education 2030 agenda and framework for action. Information and data are analysed in three policy domains - Curriculum, Teachers  and Secondary Education - leading to recommendations to promote inclusive and equitable quality education. The report includes an annex that explains the methodological approach and methods used to conduct this policy review, in the context of SDG4-Education 2030.

This report provides an overview of education in Albania including the structure of the education system, relevant legislation and information on equity and quality. Three priority domains are explored: curriculum development and reform; ICT in education; and  teacher and school leadership policies. In each, the main policy issues are identified, in light of data analysed, and  recommendations are elaborated. The report also identifies possible future areas for international cooperation in the context of SDG4-Education 2030.

This review focuses on five policy domains, identified as national priorities in relation to Zambia’s Vision 2030: system-wide policy and planning; teacher policies and development; technical education, vocational and entrepreneurship training; youth and adult literacy and education, and;  monitoring and assessment of learning achievement. As a first policy review in Africa, it is a model for UNESCO-led capacity development within the framework of the SDG4-Education 2030 agenda.

This document synthesizes the findings and policy recommendations of the education system of St Kitts and Nevis. The review covered four policy domains: academic staff policy; curriculum development; teaching and learning environments: policy and planning including M&E policies. These closely align with the emphasis placed on quality and equity by the Education 2030 Agenda. This is the first policy review in the GRULAC region; St Kitts and Nevis continues to spearhead policy reform and provide an exemplary model for the Caribbean region and beyond.

This report focuses on four priority areas to prepare students from all backgrounds in Thailand for a fast-changing world: set clear, common standards for all students through an improved curriculum; build capacity to reliably assess students across all competencies needed for success in life and in learning; develop a holistic strategy to prepare teachers and school leaders to deliver education reform, including implementing the revised curriculum, and tackling teaching shortages in deprived areas; create a comprehensive information and communications technology strategy to equip schools, teachers and students for the 21st century.

This abridged review presents a brief account of the performance of the education system in comparative perspective. It provides suggestions and consolidated recommendations for improvement at the system level in teacher development, curriculum development, assessment and examinations, as well as in areas like ICT in education and technical and vocational education. It provides useful insights for other countries based on Malaysia’s formation of high quality human resources as part of its“Vision 2020”. An updated technical annex provides a useful methodology to carry out an education policy review in the context of Education 2030.