IIEP trainees ready to plan education for a stronger future

29 June 2017

IIEP congratulates today 15 new graduates of its flagship Advanced Training Programme in educational planning and management.

In the presence of H.E. Mr Stanley Simataa, President of the UNESCO General Conference, H.E. Mr Michael Worbs, Chairperson of the Executive Board of UNESCO, and Mr Nicholas Burnett, Chairperson of IIEP’s Governing Board, the closing ceremony came at the end of a six-month residence at the IIEP headquarters in Paris.

Hailing from nine countries in Africa, Asia, and the Pacific, the trainees join a global alumni community of planners striving to create more equitable and quality education systems.

Time to act in the face of climate change

While the participants of this year’s 2016-17 ATP class were diverse, many of them share the common reality of climate change.

Seven of the nine represented countries – including island states, coastal nations and land-locked countries – were ranked by the World Bank in 2008 as among the countries most at risk from climate-related threats.

“If we do not act, climate change will aggravate the existing social and economic inequalities of resource use,” said IIEP’s Director Suzanne Grant Lewis in her commencement speech.” Poor rural women and children, already vulnerable, will be put at even greater risk. It is a challenge at all levels: community, national, regional and global.”

Educational planning and management is an important part of the solution. It can help support the prevention and mitigation of climate change related crises, and can help countries adapt to new realities.

Speaking to a room full of new graduates and guests, Grant Lewis stressed how the new capacities developed during the ATP can help enable the participants to lead the change in their countries.

“You can advocate to build the political and popular will to act; you can support and help strengthen existing policies,” Grant Lewis continued. “Be a champion of a healthy planet. There is no greater challenge in this world.”

Mastering the fundamentals of educational planning

Beginning with a three-month online phase completed in-country, the ATP covers the fundamentals of educational planning and helps develop strategic leadership and management skills. In and beyond the classroom, it also helps develop personal and professional competencies that stress tolerance and differing perspectives.

“The intended outcome of the ATP is to strengthen your personal contribution, which in turns strengthens your unit and your institution,” said Jim Ackers, IIEP’s head of training. “This is a critical contribution to ensuring that your government can fulfill its commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as national goals.”

Towards Education 2030

In a similar vein, Mr Svein Osttveit, Director of the Executive office of the UNESCO Education Sector, stressed how the ATP can help advance countries on their individual paths to achieving the global goals.

“Capacity development is the key strategy for accelerating progress towards the objectives of SDG 4 (the education-related Sustainable Development Goal), which include learning for all, lifelong learning and equity. Achieving these should help contribute towards more just and peaceful societies and more sustainable development,” he said.

Upon completion of the programme, the trainees have the skills to undertake policy analysis and sector diagnosis, as well as develop all aspects of a solid education sector plan, from formulation through to implementation, and monitoring and evaluation.

President of the ATP Trainee’s Association, André Bucyana, from Rwanda, also took to the stage to congratulate his fellow trainees.

“I stand here to testify that all these specific educational objectives of the ATP programme were achieved,” Bucyana said. “The expertise, strong experience and professionalism which characterize all IIEP teaching staff were paramount in achieving those objectives.”

Countries represented in this year's ATP include Pakistan, Rwanda, Sri Lanka (2), Liberia, Cambodia (3), Niger (3), Zimbabwe, Burkina Faso and Vanuatu. IIEP also congratulates the five trainees who completed the shorter Education Sector Planning module this year, which focuses on the skills and competencies that form the basis for educational planning and management. They came from Burkina Faso, Angola, Portugal, Equatorial Guinea, and Lesotho.