News and Research 55: Remembering Gwang-Jo Kim

Remembering UNESCO Bangkok Director Gwang-Jo Kim (1955-2017)

Gwang-Jo was a friend.  I feel honored to have worked with him at the World Bank. He was the first Korean to join us as part of a secondment program.  A better representative could not have been chosen.  He excelled and everyone around him benefited.  We worked on several projects, including the Lifelong Learning book, a first for the World Bank.  I was sorry to see him go.  Again, I was privileged to be invited by him to visit Korea.  It was an eye-opening experience.  It led to many exchanges and programs that continue to this day.  One of the highlights was the Global Human Resources Forum.  Then again I was fortunate to work with him when he was appointed Director of the UNESCO office in Bangkok.  We were able to do great things together and he championed the cause of education.  The highlight for me were his contributions to the establishment of the education benchmarking initiative, SABER.  He will be missed but his legacy will live on.

Enhancing School Quality in Vietnam through Participative and Collaborative Learning  The Vietnam Escuela Nueva (VNEN) program incorporates and integrates several innovative and globally recognized practices including: (a) Participative and collaborative learning; (b) Self-paced learning guides; (c) Student government; (d) Formative assessment; (e) Application or real-life oriented learning, with community integration; and (f) Teacher professional networks. The combination of these elements is intended to spur a transformative and powerful learning experience that produces the kinds of new skills and competencies expected of children in the 21st century. This report presents the findings and conclusions of an Impact Evaluation (IE) study of the VNEN program. The study compares the experience of students and school communities from VNEN schools with the experience from a randomly selected comparators group of traditional schools. The cohort comparison of children from third grade to fifth grade shows that the VNEN program positively impacted both non-cognitive and cognitive skills of the students.

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