Improving Teacher Quality in Moldova
When Moldova decided to reform the quality of its teaching force as part of measures to address poor student learning results, it wanted to learn from other countries that have successfully dealt with a similar situation. It therefore turned to Chile and Brazil, countries among those that have shown important improvements in international assessments over the last decade.
The education sector in Moldova has been witnessing poor outcomes student performance as measured by international test scores. This is especially evident when compared to neighboring countries. Key reasons for this lag include challenges in attracting the best into the teaching profession; poor salaries, career advancements prospects and incentives to retain and motivate teachers; and a mismatch between teacher skills and students’ needs.
In response, the Ministry of Education is embarking on a reform program to improve the quality of its teaching force. The Ministry recognizes the usefulness to learn from other countries that have successfully implemented similar reforms to gain an understanding of key technical and political considerations. The knowledge exchange would therefore enable Moldova to anticipate potential problems in designing and implementing their reform, and to put in place mitigation measures to increase the likelihood of success.
Chile and Brazil were selected as knowledge providers, based on the individual countries’ track record in addressing similar issues faced by Moldova. The two countries were also among countries that had shown large improvements in international assessments over the last decade.
In Santiago, Chile (July 6-11, 2015), a team from Moldova visited major institutions engaged in the education sector and learned about how Chile has implemented education reforms. Particularly enlightening was information about a planned new education law that would lead to strategic changes in teacher policies, training scholarship, and performance agreements.
In Brasilia, Brazil (July 12-14), the group visited the Ministry of Education for an overview of the National Plan of Education and fundamental policies and reforms in Brazil. They learned about a system for the diagnosis, planning and evaluation of education policies, and the Basic Education Development Index, which has facilitated a number of quality-enhancing initiatives in Brazil. In Rio De Janeiro, Brazil (July 15-18), the Moldovans met with the Municipal Secretariat to discuss teacher training, recruitment, performance evaluation and the incentive system to improve the quality of education practiced by the municipality. The team also met with the Roberto Marinho Foundation to learn about programs developed and implemented to increase access and address problems of age-grade distortion all over Brazil.
Two key points were emphasized in all meetings: the importance of assessing student learning and monitoring educational performance for increased system, school and teacher accountability; and informed policy design to develop and retain quality teachers.
Using lessons learned from the exchange:
- The Ministry of Education has launched a process to hire technical assistance to re-design its in-service teacher training and directors’ training, which is then expected to be linked to career progressions for both teachers and directors.
- Work is underway to make changes to teachers’ career and remuneration programs.
- The Ministry of Education and the World Bank are designing a project to further support launching of the above reforms.
- The selection of participants for learning exchanges needs to carefully weigh the risk of staff turnover and promote the participation of career staff over political appointees. In the case of this exchange, despite that consideration and the careful selection of participants, much of the knowledge was lost because shortly after the exchange, the Government was replaced, resulting in some of the key participants, including the Vice-Minister for education leaving their positions.
The World Bank team working on education in Moldova facilitated the visits. The knowledge exchange program was funded by a South-South Facility grant of US$47,670.
Ministry of Education
- Ministry of Education
- Instituto Nacional de Estudos e Pesquisas Educacionais Anísio Teixeira (INEP): National Institute for Educational Studies and Research
- Municipal Secretariat of Education of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Roberto Marinho Foundation
- Ministry of Education
- Centro de Investigación Avanzada en Educación (CIAE): Center for Advanced Research in Education
- Centro de Perfeccionamiento, Experimentacion e Investigaciones Pedagogicas (CPEIP): The Centre for Training, Experimentation and Pedagogical Research aims to be a support center for teacher training in order to improve learning and delivery of academic content to students
- La Comisión Nacional de Acreditación (CNA): National Accreditation Commission
- El Consejo Nacional de Educación (CNED) National Education Council
The knowledge generated from this exchange guided Ministry of Education staff in preparing terms of reference for the required technical assistance to develop the teachers’ in-training training, as well as the directors’ management training program. The Ministry of Education is also expected to re-design the remuneration program of teachers and directors, which has benefited from the technical and political economy lessons from this exchange. The government and Bank have agreed on an Additional Financing to the current project directly supporting interventions addressing teacher and directors’ training, career and remuneration.
Liliana Nicolaescu-Onofrei, former Vice-Minister of Education, and now Executive Director of the Pro Didactica Educational Center, remarked:
"It was a significant learning and sharing experience. For me, it was very important to see Chilean and Brazilian experience in education policy development, from initiation and planning to the grass-roots level implementation. The quality of the research behind policy development, the well-orchestrated interaction between institutions in charge with quality assurance, the powerful impact of non-governmental education projects, and the variety of professional growth and improvement opportunities, offered to teachers and institutions – all of these having in mind the wellbeing and success of the child – that would be just some of the most important features I have taken away, with lots of notes on ideas for applying it back home.”
Moldova Education Reform Project: http://www.worldbank.org/projects/P127388/moldova-education-reform-proje... Instituto Nacional de Estudos e Pesquisas Educacionais Anísio Teixeira (INEP) - National Institute for Educational Studies and Research: http://portal.inep.gov.br/inep-ingles