The Ministry of Education is preparing an ambitious reform agenda that will begin to be implemented in 2021 and will include, among other things, teacher evaluation, universal kindergarten education for 4-year-olds, who will be taught English, a degree of autonomy for schools to set their own curriculum and monitoring the progress of university students.
This agenda aims at catching up with best practices elsewhere and reintroducing some accountability abandoned long ago. The corps of inspectors made up of experienced teachers was dissolved in 1982 by the socialist government of the day and teachers’ unions have long opposed any plans for its reintroduction.
To assuage fears, the current Education Ministry leadership has let it be known that the evaluation will not be “punitive,” but that teachers found to be lagging in skills and performance will be trained.
Allowing individual schools to determine a small part of their own curriculum, two to three hours per week, sounds modest but is a break with the established tradition of curricula being determined solely by the ministry, with uniform schoolbooks.
The ministry also wants to expand the role of interactive learning and introduce new lessons.
At university level, besides monitoring student progress, the ministry wants to expand collaborations with foreign institutions, introduce joint degrees and facilitate commercial applications of university research.