Axis 1: the state of affairs in EDUCATION: politics, actors, stakes and dynamics
In order to get a clearer picture of the situation that prevails today and to offer the prospect of a well-founded analysis, an inventory helps to trace the evolution of education and its systems (Barnabé and Toussaint, 2002), in Tunisia as in other parts of the world. This axis provides historical, political, economic and social milestones. The contextualization of actions and their conditions serves to reflect the will and dynamics that have animated the education sector in recent decades to define education as it presents today.
Numerous are the questions which can fuel exchanges in this axis, among these are:
- What path of evolution can we trace with regards to educational politics in Tunisia and elsewhere?
- Which organization models have configured the educational systems?
- What are the stakes taken into consideration and which dynamics have contributed to the edification of education?
- What assessments or syntheses can be developed with regard to various experiences?
Axis 2: new governance in education: forms, reforms and accountability
In the last decade, a new model of governance has emerged, that of «accountability » (a new form of regulation) underlined by the political ideologies and the evolution of the socio-educational context in general, without omitting the constraints of globalization and the recommendations of international bodies (Plassard and Tran, 2009; Maroy, 2013), notably for developing countries. In this sense several questions can be submitted for reflection in an axis where forms and reforms articulate, whether on the administrative level, managerial, pedagogical, political or educational:
- How to combine the exogenous global transformations of reforms and endogenous local particularities?
- What are the regional and international influences and what is their impact?
- Do we dispose of sufficient local legislative, jurisdictional, economic, socio-educational, cultural and human devices necessary to drive the reforms?
- What are the implantation modalities of accountability and the anticipated results of this new governance?
Axis 3: school Governance and efficiency of institutions
If there is a field where the implantation of elements of governance does not automatically result in efficiency or performance, it is undoubtedly that of education, in particular when speaking of the school sector. In a context of regulation and accountability, school governance cannot escape scrutiny and it is beyond necessary to extend the analysis to themes such as:
- School governance: Conditions and determining factors of perseverance and academic success;
- Results-based management and effectiveness of educational institutions and managers?
- School governance, mobilisation and commitment by actors in the community;
- Practices of collaborative support and coaching: teachers, professionals and students.
Axis 4: university Governance, HIGHER EDUCATION: autonomy and mode of management
The question about the university’s mission is of fundamental importance especially since it is a consideration if endowing the university with organizational, financial and human resources management autonomy. In this context, the university must find a balance between, on the one hand, its essential vocation of imparting and generating knowledge and, on the other hand, its acceptance of a market culture that it must question in terms of governance as well as pedagogy of teaching and training and whose primary indicator of effectiveness remains employability. By its triple mission, the university must articulate its activities between teaching, research and community services. In addition to being the laboratory for all levels of education, it must make larger investments in the local development and prove its innovative capacity, all while making an original contribution to the development of communities.
Therefore, it shall be relevant to question governance from:
- The decentralization, deconcentration, territoriality and autonomy of universities;
- Territorial disparities between regions and departments and ways to respect the particularities of the territories while guaranteeing equity;
- The links between the university’s mission and the mode of management;
- The autonomy, accountability, efficiency and transparency in governance.
AXis 5: university research, training and community service
The development of university research is increasingly taking place in a less favorable and more difficult context, creating challenges for the practice of research activities. As a result, student training is affected. In several countries, university institutions have intensified their research collaborations with the professional communities and industry to acquire financial resources, find practical applications, provide employment opportunities to graduate students and even target business opportunities. This is not self-evident however, as the place and function of the university must be questioned, in a system where public funding in general and more specifically in research, is unstable, it is paramount to deal with:
- The governance of research : regulations, organization and financing;
- The university’s role in the training, production, and imparting of knowledge;
- The training and preparation of the next generation of research scientists;
- Social innovation and commitment to community service;
- A concrete contribution to guiding and supporting citizen’s initiatives.
Axis 6: strategic management of change and outlook in education
In the current context, we are talking about a model of governance that seeks to be different by emanating from a will other than those which have been satisfied, until now, to copy pre-established models and which have no link to some local realities (history, culture and aspirations). In this axis, we will highlight the different forms than governance can take in order to contribute to the effort of a real, sustainable and citizen reform. A reform cannot be decreed but must emanate from a continuum that justifies it and makes the transition from one era to another not only an obligation dictated by the various factors or indicators, but above all the result of a well-conducted action resulting from carefully thought out objectives.
In this axis, the communications aim to report on works of research, field experiences and studies focusing on governance under the lens of strategic change. In other words, by virtue of the decentralization of the public service and by integrating other actors, the report to the central administration is likely to change, which is not without consequences on the socio-cultural, educational and political representations of the actors.
Given the forum’s objective which is to bring together various actors interested in education to lead to a scientific, practical and citizen reflection, this axis will allow for the proposal of paths of reflection (research, studies, follow-ups) and concrete actions (projects) by exploring the following questions:
- What are the changes, directions and strategies best suited to the context of territorial education?
- Which partnerships are likely to favor a harmonious development of the educational system?
- What are the possibilities for mobilizing and appropriating knowledge or projects for good governance and effective local management?
- What training tools and pedagogical devices for the 21st century?
AXIS 7: Development of the education system through the educational project, teaching strategies, pedagogical innovation and the success of learners.
The governance of education cannot be thought of without a direct link that should be established in a robust and an ongoing process with the educational success. Indeed, isn’t success the primary goal of our educational system and, by the same way, its key responsibility? Today, success depends upon the renewal and the enrichment of the curricula as allowed by the syllabus and the competency-based approaches. It is updated through the use of teaching methods and strategies that will support learning and call for innovation. Success is embodied in the potential of graduates to access employment. Governance, success and pedagogical innovation have become pillars of the educational system development by including, in any action, the actors in the field as close as possible to the implementation of educational policies and strategies designed or decided at any level. To achieve this goal, the educational system should promote the didactic development of teachers so that they become part of an educational project integrating students and taking into account their needs while embodying change. Teachers as stakeholders are agents of change, they express their leadership, commitment and mobilization through curricula, their teaching, and their professional autonomy. This axis could be deployed through proposals that take into account dimensions such as:
- Means that the educational system can implement to promote success at all levels of education;
- Educational project and mobilization of actors around educational success;
- Approaches ensuring curricula coherence and relevance;
- Educational practices that promote learning and success;
- Pedagogical innovation and technology integration;
- Means fostering the pedagogical development of teachers;
- Support for students employability.