Improving Education in Europe and Central Asia (News and Research 180)


Romania: Deputy Prime Minister Raluca Turcan on Monday discussed with experts of the World Bank about the project on secondary education (ROSE), whose objectives are to reduce school dropout and increase the rate of passing the baccalaureate exam | Deputy Prime Minister Raluca Turcan discussed Monday with experts from the World Bank about the Secondary Education Project (ROSE), whose objectives are to reduce school dropout and increase the rate of passing the Bachelor’s exam…

Romania’s education minister wants pupils to spend 20 minutes a day reading at school In an attempt to promote and encourage reading in schools, education minister Monica Anisie sent an open letter to the Romanian teachers, urging them to allocate reading time of 20 minutes every day. She also asked the teachers to read “the right books” to children and then encourage them to ask questions, local Mediafax reported.

My meeting with the Minister of Education of Moldova, Corneliu Popovici | Comunicat de presă al Ministerului Educației, Culturii și Cercetării

Belarus: Roundtable on PISA 2018 – Pavel Fountikov presented the findings in the context of equity. The gap between children from high socioeconomic status families and their peers from the bottom 20 percent of the distribution reaches 111 points (roughly equivalent to three years of learning). What to do? The country should ensure that schools are equally financed, children that need the most help get it, and avoid segregation between and within schools

Returns to Education in Azerbaijan: Some New Estimates | Vicente Garcia & H. Patrinos

_aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaThe private rate of return to education in Azerbaijan is 6%. The returns to schooling are 6% for men, 8% for women (even controlling for selection). The returns to higher education are 9%. Using full discount method, the private rate of return to tertiary education is 9% and the social rate of return is 8%. Returns to schooling for those who pay for their higher education is much lower, at 5%. One policy implication is to re-examine the funding of higher education and for its expansion.

Can Azerbaijan Deliver on Reform Promises? There is a simple but fundamental skills gap that is not being addressed.

Georgia: Government decides to split Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport into two ministries Government has decided to split the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport into two ministries, Nukri Kantaria, first deputy chairman of the Education, Science and Culture Committee of the Parliament, told InterPressNews. He said the process of separating the ministries will begin in February.

Uzbekistan: President Mirziyoyev declared 2020 as the Year of Science, Education and the Digital Economy

Uzbekistan: President Mirziyoyev introduces the post of DPM for Education and Healthcare

Uzbekistan: PM Aripov announces GOU priorities in education sector | …“the development of human capital,” said Abdulla Aripov. In particular, in the field of development of the lifelong education system, a new version of the Law “On Education” will be adopted. A new law “On Preschool Education and Training” will be put into practice. Measures have been outlined to create more favorable conditions for expanding the network of preschool educational institutions, as well as developing an effective system of public-private partnership (PPP). Alternative forms of preschool education will be introduced in 2020–2022. In 2021, 692 thousand children aged 6 years will be fully covered by compulsory one-year free instructional groups in schools, and in 2022 2 million children aged 3-7 years (70%) will be covered by preschool educational organizations. Higher education enrollment among young people will be increased from 20% to 35% by 2025. In addition, the number of foreign private universities will be increased to at least 30 in five years. Steps will be taken to gradually transfer the educational process in universities to a credit-modular system and introduce advanced standards of higher education…

Uzbekistan: 10 universities were switched to self-financing as a pilot project (

Uzbekistan: Uzbekistan to adopt Poverty Reduction Program

Armenia: TUMO center to open in Berlin in October

No Shortage Of Students As Tajikistan Builds New Russian Schools | Tajikistan’s parliament has approved an agreement to build five new Russian schools in the next three years, with funds largely provided by the Russian government. The move shows the Tajik authorities’ willingness to maintain close ties with Moscow and reflects a growing demand among Tajiks for Russian-language education.

Are Private Kindergartens Really Better? Examining Preschool Choices, Parental Resources, and Children’s School Readiness in Ghana | Luca Maria Pesando, Sharon Wolf, Jere R. Behrman, and Edward Tsinigo | Low-cost private schools are expanding across sub-Saharan Africa and are often perceived by parents to be of better quality than public schools. This article assesses the interplay between kindergarten (or preschool) choice, household resources, and children’s school readiness in Ghana. We examine how child, household, and school characteristics predict private versus public kindergarten attendance and whether household characteristics are associated with school readiness beyond preschool selection. Using a geospatial-identification strategy to account for observed and unobserved determinants of preschool choice, we find that parental investments—including number of books at home and caregiver help with homework—predict both private-preschool selection and start-of-year child outcomes beyond their influence on preschool choice. We take this evidence as suggesting that investments in children support learning beyond simply selecting the presumed best preschool type. We also find independent associations between attending private preschool and one-year changes in early literacy scores. The findings contribute knowledge to the literature on the recent expansion of preschool education in sub-Saharan Africa and globally and shed new light on the role of private-preschool attendance in early academic skill development.

The Economics of Education (2nd Edition; editors Steve Bradley & Colin Green) coming out 28 January | We (w/ George Psacharopoulos) have a chapter on returns to education in developing countries