Right to Education Index: Albanian education lacks basic learning conditions!

Low education budget, inadequate teaching conditions, violence and bullying in schools impede children to enjoy their right to education.

Tirana, 18 December 2019 – For the first time, Albanian Coalition for Education, presents the findings of the Right to Education Index, a global accountability initiative that aims to assess the level of fulfilment of children’s right to education. Major international education specialists part of UNESCO, Global Campaign for Education, Education International etc, are involved in this process by developing the assessment tool, monitor the indicators, review country briefs and vet the results.

Although in the global rankings Albania generally receives a positive rating, as it has a well-developed legal and education policy framework, our country receives only half of the points on the most important aspects that have to do with the factors that influence the quality of  education.

According to RTEI, the national budget allocated to education meet only 45% of students' needs for education in Albania. In 2020, only 2.55% of GDP will be allocated to the education sector, a figure that is insufficient to meet the education needs for the children. Based in the official data of the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Finance and INSTAT, the formula “per child” has never been implemented when the education budget has been prepared.

PISA 2018 results showed that low education budget and lack effective reforms will continue to affect Albania's education system, and will continue to rank the country among the last countries in Europe for children’s achievements in education.

The Education Index also raises serious concerns about providing free textbooks for all children, as well as equal opportunities for disable children education, including inadequate learning environments for all.

Another area that the Index assesses and where Albania received low scores regards the ratio of well-trained teachers per children, as Albania still does not have a minimum standard set in place. Over the past 22 years, education system reform has not been focused on reforming the teaching profession, and the state is still involved in the teacher evaluation system. The public funds available for teacher training are almost non-existent and teachers are required to pay for their continuing training.

The sub-theme of textbooks received zero score, as still children pay for their textbooks. Despite that the Law 69/2012 "On Pre-University Education System in Albania" (revised), Article 5 "right to education" states that the compulsory public education and upper secondary education are free, in fact children and families pay to provide the textbooks. For the school year 2019-2020, only grades 1-5 received free textbooks.

The learning environment in the education institutions received 50% of the scores. The high level of violence and bullying in schools and the lack of an effective mechanism where children can report these cases, are seen as the main weaknesses of the system.

The index in Area 5, Adaptability, identified that education fulfils only 67% of the education needs of children with disabilities and those of minorities. The school environment today does not guarantee access that provides inclusive education for children. About 64% of children with disabilities continue to remain outside the pre-university public education system. In addition, Albania has no data on the ratio of qualified assistant teachers  for children with disabilities. The fact that policy in the employment of assistant teachers is constantly changing makes it difficult to measure this indicator effectively.

Meanwhile, education of Roma children is a serious concern. The low level of Roma children attending pre-university education combined with the impossibility to learn in their own language and the socio-economic conditions in which they live, forces Roma children to exercise their right to education. .

Data from the Right to Education Index and its impact on Pre-University and higher education were made public for the first time today by the Albanian Coalition for Education (ACE), during the 5th National Youth Forum: “Justice, Education and Youth Participation”.

The index is based on a questionnaire consisting of 79 questions with a total of 365 points, and contains data that monitor aspects of the exercise of the right to education. The Index is a global accountability mechanism that aims to ensure that everyone, no matter where they live, enjoys the right to quality and inclusive education. The Global Index monitors national progress and reveals key areas that need improvement.

For more information, contact:

Linda Pino

National Coordinator

Coalition for Education in Albania

E-mail: acce@acce.al

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