Education Policy Outlook 2021

Shaping Responsive and Resilient Education in a Changing World

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Education systems operate in a world that is constantly evolving towards new equilibria, yet short-term crises may disrupt, accelerate or divert longer-term evolutions. This Framework for Responsiveness and Resilience in Education Policy aims to support policy makers to balance the urgent challenge of building eco-systems that adapt in the face of disruption and change (resilience), and the important challenge of navigating the ongoing evolution from industrial to post-industrial societies and economies (responsiveness). Building on international evidence and analysis from over 40 education systems, this framework endeavours to establish tangible, transferable and actionable definitions of resilience. These definitions, which are the goals of the framework (Why?), are underpinned by policy components of responsiveness (What?), which define priority areas for education policy makers. Policy pointers for resilience (How?) then illustrate how policy makers can apply these components in ways that promote resilience at the learner, broader learning environment and system levels of the policy ecosystem. Finally, a transversal component looks into the people and the processes undertaken in order to reach a given purpose (Who?). The report has been prepared with evidence from the Education Policy Outlook series – the OECD’s analytical observatory of education policy.



Portugal’s Qualifica Programme is an integrated strategy to enhance the employability of adults by tackling the low qualification levels among the adult population. By 2021, it has already led to an increase in adult participation in training and in the number of adults obtaining qualifications. Qualifica operates through three main strategic structures and tools. A network of regional Qualifica Centres aim to bring adult learning and career guidance services closer to target populations. Furthermore, the Qualifica Passport is a digital tool that records an individual’s qualifications, skills, prior learning and interests, and provides guidance on qualifications pathways. Finally, the National Credit System sets out the units of learning that make up professional qualifications, allowing learners to accumulate learning outcomes and certification across different contexts. Between 2017 and 2020, over half a million adults enrolled in Qualifica Centres. Of these, 22% engaged in prior learning assessment and recognition, and 85% obtained a new certification (National Information provided to the OECD). Challenges remain in ensuring sustainable funding for the initiative and in recruiting and retaining high-quality adult educators and career guidance professionals.



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