Spotlight Panel Presentation Announcement: “Access to Secondary Education in the Asia-Pacific Region”

“Access to Secondary Education in the Asia-Pacific Region: Marginalized Pupils in Bangladesh, Lao PDR, Mongolia, and the Philippines” has been announced as the second Spotlight Presentation at The 13th Asian Conference on Education (ACE2021).

This panel features speakers from the United Kingdom and the Asia-Pacific region, including Dr William C. Smith of the University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom, Batjargal Batkhuyag of the Mongolian Education Alliance, Mongolia, Dr Manjuma Akhtar Mousumi of the BRAC Institute of Educational Development, Bangladesh, Rene Raya of the Asia South Pacific Association for Basic and Adult Education (ASPBAE), Philippines, and Antonia Voigt of the University of Bristol, United Kingdom. The aim is to share key findings and highlight recommendations to aid national and international efforts to provide equitable access to education from a recent scoping project in the Asia Pacific region.

The full report can be accessed here (PDF).

Presentations are given Spotlight status when they are decided by the Organising Committee to have wide appeal and are of particular interest to academics within the field of education.

To participate in ACE2021 as an audience member, please register for the conference.

The presentation will also be available for IAFOR Members to view online. To find out more, please visit the IAFOR Membership page.

IAFOR Journal of Education (Scopus Indexed Journal)

This conference is associated with the Scopus and DOAJ listed IAFOR Journal of Education.


Access to Secondary Education in the Asia-Pacific Region: Marginalized Pupils in Bangladesh, Lao PDR, Mongolia, and the Philippines

This live-streamed panel will share key findings and highlight recommendations to aid national and international efforts to provide equitable access to education from a recent scoping project in the Asia Pacific region. The project identified children with multiple disadvantages who are most likely to be excluded from secondary education. Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 includes secondary education as an important target, encouraging countries to press forward toward universal access, at a time where up to one in three secondary school-age children in the Asia Pacific region remain out of school. The panel will start with a team from the University of Edinburgh providing a numeric overview of the state of access in the region, including new projections on when the region will achieve universal access to secondary education, and highlight marginalized populations most at risk of exclusion. Panellists from the BRAC Institute for Education, UNESCO Bangkok, the Mongolian Education Alliance, and ASPBAE will then share insights from their case studies on Bangladesh, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Mongolia, and the Philippines. Discussions will highlight the economic, political, structural, and social barriers leading to the marginalization of specific groups of children in these countries. The conclusion will further examine the complex, intersecting and seemingly intractable nature of these barriers. Although the groups of children marginalized differ across the case studies, the web of barriers faced by them is very similar. Finally, a new tool, designed to help policymakers and local stakeholders to identify and address barriers to secondary education, will be introduced.

Speaker Profile

Dr William Smith

University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Dr William C. Smith, University of Edinburgh, United KingdomWilliam C. Smith is a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Education and International Development at the University of Edinburgh. Prior to the University of Edinburgh he worked as a Senior Policy Analyst at UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report where he contributed to the 2015, 2016, 2019, and 2020 GEM Reports and led the development of the thematic section of the 2017/18 GEM Report Accountability in Education: Meeting our Commitments. William’s work in education and international development focuses on education access and barriers to education for the most marginalized. This includes his recent project exploring access to secondary education with partners in the Asia Pacific region and his role as the Academic Lead for the Data for Children Collaborative with UNICEF, a multi-million pound co-constructed project between the University of Edinburgh, UNICEF, and the Scottish government.

Batjargal Batkhuyag

Mongolian Education Alliance, Mongolia

Batjargal Batkhuyag is the Executive director of the Mongolian Education Alliance, one of the longest-standing education NGOs in Mongolia. His work focuses on the barriers to education for the marginalised children and youth, community engagement in schools/education, and advocacy on education financing. He also advocates for the importance of quality early years and early literacy. He has contributed to the Global Education Monitoring Report since 2017/18 as a co-author of country background papers and as compiling country profiles. Recently, he has contributed in developing numerous national level education policy documents namely, The Education Sector Mid-Term Development Plan, The Skilled Teacher 2021-2024, and National Comprehensive Plan to Address the Learning Loss & Support Learning 2021-2024. Mr Batkhuyag serves as a Founding Board member of the 'All for Education!' (AFE) National Civil Society Coalition and CSO representative in the Local Education Group (LEG) and Education Cluster.

Dr Manjuma Akhtar Mousumi

BRAC Institute of Educational Development, Bangladesh

Dr Manjuma Akhtar Mousumi is Assistant Professor and Head of Academics at BRAC Institute of Educational Development (BRAC IED), BRAC University, Dhaka, Bangladesh. She mainly teaches the Master of Education/Post-Graduate Diploma in Educational Leadership & School Improvement. In addition, she also teaches the Master of Science/Post Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Development programme, and the Professional Development Centre’s course and short courses on Play. Her research interests include: market forces, social equity, educational development, and issues related to school choice in India and Bangladesh.

Rene Raya

Asia South Pacific Association for Basic and Adult Education (ASPBAE), Philippines

Rene Raya has been Lead Policy Analyst of the Asia-South Pacific Association for Basic & Adult Education (ASPBAE) since 2006. Prior to his involvement in ASPBAE, Mr Raya served for over two decades in development work, serving as staff and consultant to various Philippine and international NGOs, development agencies and UN Agencies – UNICEF and WHO in particular. He has done extensive studies and projects on education financing and public investment in the social sector. He has conducted extensive training on education financing and budget work in the Philippines and in other Asia-Pacific countries. He serves as speaker and panelist in numerous international conferences and events on the right to education, SDG 4, and education and literacy cost-benefit analysis. Mr Raya is also credited as developer of the Basic Capabilities Index (BCI) and the Gender Development Index (GDI) which has been used by Social Watch in monitoring MDG progress across countries globally.

Antonia Voigt

University of Bristol, United Kingdom

Antonia Voigt, University of Bristol, United KingdomAntonia Voigt is currently working towards a PhD in Education at the University of Bristol. She holds an MSc in Comparative Education & International Development from the University of Edinburgh. Her main research interest is the sustainability strategies of higher education institutions. She was a Research Assistant for the research project on Universal Secondary Education in the Asia Pacific Region at the University of Edinburgh.

Posted by IAFOR