Center on International Education Benchmarking

1. OECD Finds Little Change in 15-Year-Olds’ Career Aspirations

Despite major changes in the world economy, the career aspirations of 15-year-olds have changed little in the past two decades and are focused on a narrow set of jobs, a report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has found. The report, based on data from the 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), found that 47 percent of boys and 53 percent of girls from 41 countries and economies expect to work in one of just 10 jobs by the time they are 30, only a slight increase from 2000.  The report also found that many of the jobs young people aspire to are likely to become automated. Dream Jobs? Teenagers’ Career Aspirations and the Future of Work is available here

Dream Jobs

2. Education Ministers and Experts Gather in London for World Education Forum 2020

World Education Forum 2020

Each year, education ministry delegates, policy makers and experts from more than 120 countries gather for the Education World Forum to debate future education policy as well as education’s common issues and challenges. The theme of this year’s forum was  “One Generation – what does it take to transform education.” Main topics of discussion included the success of Estonia’s education system on the back of its performance on PISA 2018 as well as the challenges facing the education sector worldwide caused by the rapid development of advanced technologies. Read more here.

3. Singapore’s New Effort to Help Disadvantaged Students Stay in School

The Ministry of Education launched the Uplift Community Pilot to provide support for more than 300 primary and secondary school students. Schools will identify students from disadvantaged backgrounds who show early signs of absenteeism and refer them to a designated Uplift coordinator. The coordinator is responsible for working with local agencies to match students to resources and programs aimed at preventing the student from falling off track in school, including homework supervision, academic coaching, enrichment opportunities and mentoring for social-emotional development. Students’ families would also get help through parenting skills support and child care services. “Today is the beginning of a new way by which we ensure that we tackle inequality holistically, proactively working together with partners,” said Social and Family Development Minister Desmond Lee. Read more in The Straits Times.

Desmond Lee, Singapore Minister for Social and Family Development
Desmond Lee, Singapore Minister for Social and Family Development

4. UK Department for Education Proposes Higher Starting Salaries for Teachers in England

UK Education Secretary Gavin Williamson
UK Education Secretary Gavin Williamson

The UK Department for Education (DfE) has proposed increasing minimum starting salaries for new teachers across England in an effort to boost recruitment and retention. Beginning in September, starting salaries for new teachers in areas other than London would increase by 6.7 percent to £26,000 (US$34,000) per year. Teachers in outer or inner London would receive higher starting salaries of £30,000 (US$39,300) and £32,000 (US$41,900) per year, reflecting higher costs of living. UK Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said of the proposal: “We want to make teaching attractive to the most talented graduates by recognizing the prestige that we as a society place on the profession.” While teachers’ unions in England generally applauded the proposal, some educators cautioned that it does not address the issue of retaining experienced teachers and school leaders, who will receive a less substantial pay raise of 2.5 percent this year. The DfE will submit its proposal to the School Teachers’ Review Body, an independent body responsible for making recommendations on teacher working conditions and pay. Read more from The Guardian

5. Alberta Announces Performance-Based Funding for Post-Secondary Education

Alberta Advanced Education Minister Demetrios Nicolaides says that starting in April, up to 15 percent of operational funding provided to schools through grants will be linked to enrollment levels, graduation rates and filling job market needs. Schools will work with the government to identify up to 15 performance measures for funding which will be granted proportionally. If a school meets all of its targets it will receive 100 percent of its funding; if it meets 90 percent of its targets, it will receive 90 percent of its funding. Nicolaides explained: “Policy makers and leaders around the world are taking a close look at the relationship between government funding and labour-market outcomes of post-secondary institutions, and we must do the same to remain competitive.” 

Demetrios Nicolaides, Alberta Advanced Education Minister
Demetrios Nicolaides, Alberta Advanced Education Minister

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