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Abstract

Background Despite the progress made over the past several decades in developing educational systems in Qatar and in the GCC countries as a whole, results in terms of quality of learning outcomes are low when compared to other countries at similar income levels. Indeed, data generated by international comparative surveys such as PISA (2009), PIRLS and TIMSS (2011), and the UNESCO EFA GMR 2012 and IBE World Data on Education, indicate that average levels of student learning in the GCC countries are low. Effectiveness, equity, and quality are among the most serious challenges faced by most education sectors across the Arab countries. Particularly in the majority of GCC countries including Qatar, low student achievement have been specifically and significantly linked to the insufficient quality of inputs, outdated teachers' skills, often limited and unfit facilities, inappropriate assessments, lack of updated technological and pedagogical materials and resources, and weak counselling and supervision functions (Chahine & King, 2012). In response to these issues, UNESCO Doha is currently carrying out a research study on Momentum for Education Beyond 2015: Improving the Quality of Learning Outcomes and Enhancing the Performance of Education Systems in the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries (NPRP No.: 6- 828- 5- 098). This study provides a critical analysis of the performance of Education Systems in the GCC countries, and proposes recommendations for improving the quality of learning outcomes to enable evidence-based decision-making. The project's aim is to describe and analyse weaknesses and strengths of GCC education systems in implementing practical measures that support the use of high quality learning outcomes. As part of this analysis, we are reviewing the progress reported in achieving the six EFA goals, in the national EFA Assessment reports as part of UNESCO Education for All (EFA) Initiative to observe sub-regional trends, challenges, and priorities to inform a future agenda for education in the Gulf States. In this panel discussion, we propose to present the preliminary findings of this regional study with a focus on GCC states. The research project employs mixed methods design, a combination of quantitative and qualitative techniques to understand challenges facing education systems in GCC countries by generating deeper insights on the specific needs for improving learning outcomes and enhancing performance. Data is triangulated using multiple sources and is collected in several tiers: 1. Tier 1 policy level: Ministries of Education, curriculum developer, and other stakeholder 2. Tier 2 organization level: institutions, think tanks, education partners, civic communities 3. Tier 3 school level: principals, teachers, students Five types of quantitative and qualitative data are collected including international assessments of student performance reports; surveys; interviews; focus group discussions; observations of classroom practices; and brainstorming. The research project will supplement the public policies and services in Qatar and the GCC countries by providing a highly valuable platform for analysis, synthesis of findings, conclusions and recommendations for the post 2015 Education framework.

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/content/papers/10.5339/qfarc.2014.SSPP1062
2014-11-18
2019-12-15
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