The strategic framework (multiannual national strategic documents, South Eastern Europe 2020 Strategy, Economic Reform Programmes and their assessments) specified improving the quality and efficiency of education and training as one of the strategic objectives, crucial for the success of the region, and for enhancing employability.
The education systems should develop along the lines of policy guidance directed at, among others, adopting and implementing quality standards in education, introducing internal assessment and external evaluation of education, improving education systems outcomes for greater employability and greater achievements, improving access to education, skills matching the labour market needs, increasing levels of basic and transversal/soft skills among teacher and consequently students, and creating opportunities for permanent in-service teacher trainings. Increase in the level of digitalisation is also deemed necessary for the increase in the quality of education and better preparation for students for the life and work in the modern era.
To address the policy guidance, within the framework of ERI SEE, following activities aiming at supporting quality developments (particularly in general education), have taken and are taking place:
- Establishment of the regional platform for the cooperation of education experts in the region dealing with quality assurance in general education (Regional group of experts in QA in general education)
- Establishment of the regional SEE Network of Experts in Teacher Education and Training (continuous professional development), teacher education and training being a crucial aspect of quality of education
- Synchronization of the work of the Regional group of experts in QA and the SEE Network of Experts in Teacher Education and Training with the work of the Education and Training 2020 Workgroups for School Education
- Organization of regular annual activities for peer learning and exchanges of ideas and practices, supporting improvements in national systems and identifying areas of regional cooperation for further actions.
To address the quality assurance in pre-tertiary education, the ERI SEE has been implementing the EQET SEE project – Quality Assurance (QA) component.
Within its framework, following activities have taken or are taking place:
- Improvement of collaboration between schools, QA agencies and other stakeholders, via: kick-off meeting, policy vision meeting, trainings of data management for QA agencies
- Analysis of currently used QA methodologies and instruments and development of new, regionally-based methodology for external evaluation, and its adjustment for national use
- Piloting of new methodology at a sample of schools, including selection of schools in all economies, conducting external evaluations with new methodology, collecting feedback from schools and fine-tuning of the methodology and instruments
aiming at increasing external quality developments and quality culture, as well as:
- Development of regional standard of competences for external evaluators and its adaptation to national contexts and integration into internal quality assurance processes
- Development of tools for training needs analysis of external evaluators and evaluation of their work, followed by the training needs assessment and external evaluators evaluation
- Development of regional training programme module for external evaluators and its delivery; training adaptation to national specificities and delivery on national level
- Development of recommendations for internal procedures for HR management
aiming at increasing capacities of quality agencies and external evaluators for more effective, cost-efficient and cooperative QA processes.