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Experiencing the programme: participants and coordinators give their feedback and share their views (3/7)

About half of the training programme has been completed by participants in Indonesia, Thailand, and Viet Nam. IIEP is taking this opportunity to pose questions to some participants and coordinators.

Third to be published:  Dr. Hafid Abbas, team coordinator of the ESP Programme in Indonesia and Professor of Human Rights and Education at the Faculty of Education of the State University of Jakarta, Indonesia

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Dr. Hafid Abbas, team coordinator of the ESP Programme in Indonesia

Dr. Hafid Abbas, team coordinator of the ESP Programme in Indonesia

You have been coordinating the ESP Programme for the past 6 months. Could you please tell us about your role as Team Coordinator?

H.A: My role is very simple. First, as a part of the team, I facilitate the interaction between and among participants during the weekly session. As a facilitator, I have been greatly supported by two co-facilitators, Widya and Lisa. Widya facilitates all matters related to administrative and management, such as the venue of the weekly session, schedule, attendance, etc. Under her initiative, a special website for this team has been made to allow each participant to fully participate in all topics and group activities at each module. Lisa is facilitating participants on substantive matters such as compilation of individual contributions to group report. As a facilitator, I have been greatly supported by two participants acting as experts for each module. For example, for module two, Awaluddin and Aip are the resource persons for statistics and calculation. I have been trying to maximize the capacity of each participant to find what interests them, depending on their knowledge and skills for each module. I assume, if they like to do what they are interested in, they will do it well, and having done it well, they will like to do it better. This is the way to ensure a personal commitment to the ESP.

Could you briefly explain why your training institution is participating in this programme? How do you think this programme has been beneficial for your institution? 

H.A: The State University of Jakarta is one of the largest public universities in Indonesia and the only public university in the capital. In the past two decades, it was a teacher training college and very strong in educational planning. By participating in this programme, this university has been able to renew its strengths on educational planning both for undergraduate and graduate studies.

As the world’s fourth most populous country, which is home to three-quarters of the Muslims of all Arab countries combined, and now the second-largest democracy outside the West, Indonesia should have a leadership role on how to manage education. In the early transition of the country from a centralistic to a decentralized system, from authoritarian regime to democracy, Indonesia amended its constitution to put at least 20 per cent of its national budget into education. Educational planning is absolutely vital to managing education in this new era of Indonesia. Universities, including the State University of Jakarta, could be the “brain” of the nation, providing professional capacity on educational planning to education decision-makers at all levels, and through all types and channels of education across the country. I agree with the saying “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”.

Participants just taken the first individual examination and have completed three out of the six training modules. How would you assess the progress made by participants so far? Do you have some concrete examples?

H.A: As a facilitator to the ESP programme, I noticed all participants have done their best. They have been working very hard to digest the substance of all modules. They have made significant progress. I am therefore very optimistic that they will be able to complete this programme successfully.

Prior to this programme, most participants have not been able to use statistical formulae in educational plans, but now most of them are very familiar with those formulas and are able to apply them in their own institutions.

Experiencing the programme: participants and coordinators give their feedback and share their views (2/7)

About half of the training programme has been completed by participants in Indonesia, Thailand, and Viet Nam. IIEP is taking this opportunity to pose questions to some participants and coordinators.

Second to be published:  Ms. Pikoon Kantawang, participant of the ESP Programme and Educator at the Office of the Education Council (OEC), Ministry of Education of Thailand.

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Ms. Pikoon Kantawang, participant of the ESP Programme in Thailand

Ms. Pikoon Kantawang, participant of the ESP Programme in Thailand

You have been taking part in the ESP Programme for the past six mounts. Could you briefly tell us what your expectations were when enrolling in this programme?

P.K: I think that the ESP programme is very important for the educators and staff involved; I hope to benefit from it in many ways. I expect to learn about the education planning procedures, the necessary information to be gathered, the procedures to be followed, as well as the framework of education sectors and networks. Planning practices and research outcomes could be used to guide discussion on education planning, strategies, structure, monitoring processes and evaluation.

An analysis of education situations in our country will lead us to identify problems needing to be addressed which have existed over time. Results from this programme could provide us with a guidance framework of national policies based on Results after participated this program could guide us to provide a guidance framework of national policies composed with the most efficiency of teacher utilization, personnel development and quality control of education system as the important goals.

You are completing the ESP distance programme while continuing to work at your job. Has the programme helped you in your day-to-day work? If so, how?

P.K: Yes, this programme can help my day-to-day work. Because my occupation is directly involved in education planning, practices and concepts could guide my work for a preparation of the national education plan and strategies. It definitely helps me to focus on key requirements for education development and solutions which address continual problems. This programme has provided advice which is necessary for our country’s educational planning. Even though some suggestions are made based on the context of another country, this information is important for applying to project management and simulation, which are necessary steps involved in the preparation of an education plan. Upon completing an analysis of the expected results using the methodology suggested by the programme, we can set our working steps and improve some method to obtain better results. Moreover, we can plan our project and use the recent data for further analysis.

Has this programme allowed you to enlarge your professional network? Has the cooperation with the other programme participants been helpful? If so, how?

P.K: Yes, this programme has improved my professional network. In order to carry out effective planning, officers from several organizations with important roles to drive the national education plan should get involved. Even though the education council has direct responsibilities to develop the education plan and strategies, the units such as school, university, ministry of Education are not currently involved in the planning. They just implement the set education plan which might be weak and then is eventually reflected by an unsatisfactory evaluation result of the education quality. The cooperation with other participants will enable us to share information about the roles, visions, missions, strengths and weaknesses of the particular units we belong to. Co-workers could exchange their views on department structures, management systems and social roles, while the programme is running and afterwards. The cooperation with other participants could lead to a streamlining of our working systems for an efficient development of the plan and system applications.

Experiencing the programme: participants and coordinators give their feedback and share their views (1/7)

About half of the training programme has been completed by participants in Indonesia, Thailand, and Viet Nam. IIEP is taking this opportunity to pose questions to some participants and coordinators.

First to be published:  Mrs. Nguyen Lan Huong, participant of the ESP Programme and Deputy Head, International Programs and Relations Office at the National Institute of Education Management (NIEM), Hanoi (Viet Nam)

Mrs. Nguyen Lan Huong

Mrs Nguyen Lan Huong, Participant to the ESP Programme in Hanoi (Viet Nam)

You have been taking part in the ESP Programme for the past six months. Could you briefly tell us what your expectations were when enrolling in this programme?

N.L.H: Enrolling in this programme, I expected to gain thorough knowledge about education planning, to such extent that I can use it for my planning, my teaching of this subject and researching in the area of education management. Moreover, I understood that this programme would enlarge my networks by interacting with other institutes (Ho Chi Minh City) and in other countries (Indonesia and Thailand) with their expertise and experience to be shared.

You are completing the ESP distance programme while continuing to work at your job. Has the programme helped you in your day-to-day work? If so, how?

N.L.H: I will not lie, completing the ESP distance programme while continuing to work is a big challenge. However, in another perspective, it helped me a lot in my day-to-day work. Each module is very useful with relevant knowledge and information that can be integrated immediately in the planning process for our annual plan, in the revised curriculum and materials for our students and adult trainees. The knowledge from this programme also helped me in reviewing our strategic planning for our education system and to make my own assessment about this process.

Has this programme allowed you to enlarge your professional network? Has the cooperation with the other programme participants been helpful? If so, how?

N.L.H: One of my expectations for this programme was to enlarge my professional network and I believe it has already done that, even though the programme has not ended yet. I have got to know other colleagues, not only from Vietnam but also Indonesia and Thailand. The cooperation with other participants in our class is very fruitful. We have grown closer and discovered we have a lot in common, especially in terms of targets. We always act as a team to make the research work relevant to the courses. We also look forward to the one-week study visit to the Hong Kong Institute of Education (in January 2013), where we will have a chance to see in person other participants and actually activate our professional network for the long-term benefit.