This comparative report reviews and analyses a range of selected educational issues in Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)+6 countries, which include 10 ASEAN member countries plus Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, and the Republic of Korea. In particular, it highlights the key issues, challenges and opportunities for improving system performance and reducing educational disparities across ASEAN+6 countries. It thus provides useful inputs for informing policy options for education development in these and other countries. The issues reviewed are grouped into three policy areas: 1) sector policy and management frameworks, 2) secondary education, and 3) technical and vocational education and training (TVET), all of which are of critical importance in the context of formulating and operationalizing education reform agendas in these countries. The reports informs about legislative and policy frameworks. The report focuses on quality, teachers and financing.

This report shows that the Philippines is neglecting its obligation to guarantee free public education for all. Since 2009 the government’s allocation of funds to private school chains has increased to more than PHP 31 Billion, nearly $700 million USD, which Riep points out could have paid for 60 thousand more classrooms and accommodated roughly 3 million students.

The report reveals how for-profit schools are using the education system, with the aid of public money, to produce a generation of young people programmed to work as “semi-skilled... cheap labour” for a plethora of corporations in the Philippines. At the same time, low-fee, for-profit schools are employing untrained teachers for low wages at the cost of quality education.

The main findings of the report are:

  • Complicity and failure on the part of Filipino government to fulfil its obligations to provide quality free education for its citizens - this on the heels of the adoption of the SDGs and the FFA.
  • It also reveals failure on the development, implementation and enforcement of legislative requirements that go to for-profit schooling - noting that APEC receives directly and indirectly government/tax payer funding.
  • The report further highlights failure on enforcing a social contract / minimum standards regarding qualified teachers, curriculum and facilities. In fact, the government waived legislative requirements vis a vis school facilities.  
  • What is new here is the state sponsored / subsidised human resource factories directly advancing Ayala’s business interests. This is achieved by reverse engineering the curriculum to produce an army of labour for their businesses e.g. call centres. All in all, the research provides evidence why the profit motive has no place in dictating what is taught, how it’s taught nor how schools are organised. 

The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights considered the combined fifth and sixth periodic report of the Philippines on the implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (E/C.12/PHL/5-6) at its 65th and 66th meetings (E/C.12/2016/SR.65 and 66) held on 28 and 29 September 2016, and adopted the following concluding observations at its 79th meeting, held on 7 October 2016.

The objectives of this study are to:

  • •understand why boys have been underperforming in education over the past few years
  • analyse factors (including economic, societal, and cultural) that are causing the trend of poor performance and low survival rates at higher levels of education
  • •describe current policies and interventions in place to address the issue

The UNESCO Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP-UNESCO) has just published six case studies from Asia and the Pacific to inspire and inform open school data policies in and beyond the region, and to empower citizens to fight corruption in education.

The case studies look at a range of school report card initiatives (both government-led and citizen-led) to create a new evidence base for more informed policy-making on how to use school-related data to create a more transparent and accountable education system.

They look at who publishes school data, what type of data is published, and the level of accessibility and use by various stakeholders. Each case study also draws from a survey of some 250 school-level actors to understand how users of school data currently interact with various school report card initiatives. The case studies conclude with a number of recommendations for more effective school report card design and implementation.