The text below has been sent to the Albanian Parliament by the MJAFT

The text below has been sent to the Albanian Parliament by the MJAFT!
Movement. (MJAFT = ENOUGH).

---- forwarded e-mail ----
>From "MJAFT subscribe list" <info@mjaft.org>

Dear Friend,

Please find attached the latest information update from the MJAFT!
Movement.(English is below the Albanian version.) If you need further
information please do not hesitate in contacting us.
info@mjaft.org
04 222 389
www.mjaft.org

--------------------------------------------------------------
MJAFT! Movement, Network of secondary and elementary education
NPO-s, (ROA) and the Institute of Public and Private Finances
have recently joined their forces aiming at the increase of
public expenditures on education through advocacy and
lobbying. We believe that if education is thoroughly a
priority for our government than this should be reflected in
the public expenditures.

Below you can find two documents that give a broader view
of the existing problem and our incentive of action.
The first is a letter addressed to the Members of Albanian
Parliament and the second one is our material presentation
submitted in front of Parliamentary Commission of Economy.

During this week, MJAFT, ROA and IPPF will organize different
activities as TV Shows, meetings with MP-s, and protests.

Honourable Members of Albanian Parliament,

We, the Network of secondary and elementary education NPO-s,
(ROA) the Institute of Public and Private Finances and MJAFT
Movement, strongly agree that a nation.s future is created
among the school desks and the level of a society.s emancipation
is measured and evaluated by the attention and care that it
manifests toward citizens education.

The impression that Albanian education is decent can be
considered an enormous misconception. Foreign as well as
Albanian experts claim that the actual situation of education
does not generate the needed professional capacities to bring
the Albanian economy up to speed.  In addition they point out
that the actual level of education is below international
standards and thus cannot compare to the levels of democratic
development in western countries. We jeopardize deterioration
in European coexistence if we do not strive to develop European
citizenship.

Complete reform is a necessity for the education system as a
whole. A fundamental precondition for the success of this
reform is: More expenditure. During the last ten years,
governmental contribution toward education has been around
3% of GDP. The world average on education expenditures is
around 5% of GDP. EU countries spend on the average 5% of
their GDP, and at the same time persist for a substantial
increase in expenditures in order to lead the EU on a path
toward a more competitive economy. On average, countries
with medium income, among which Albania is counted, allocate
4.8% of their GDP. The average of European countries in
transition is slightly higher.  (For the year 2000:
Byelorussia 6.0%, Czech Republic 4.3%, Estonia 4.4%,
Hungary 7.6%, Latvia 4.8%, Lithuania 6.3%, Slovakia 4.7%,
Slovenia 4.4%, and Ukraine 4.0%).

Comparing country percentages of GDP allocated to Education,
Albania is ranked in 93rd in the world. With the actual level
of progress that Middle Term Expenditures Framework provides,
Albania will achieve the present-day educational level of
Macedonia in 57 years. In the National Strategy for
Socio-Economic Development (NSSED) it has been promised to
increase the percentage to 3.7%. Education is proclaimed to be
a priority. However, until now it obviously has not been taken
into account during budget negotiations.

An increase, at least to 3.7% of GDP allocated toward education,
as promised in NSSED, would testify that politicians are proving
their beliefs that the education system exemplifies our
responsibilities toward the future generations. Along this
path, Albania will accelerate close the gap with other
countries in region similar to us, even in their aspirations.

We are committed to increase governmental and public interest
for the quality of education. We truly believe that we will
find allies within Parliament and hope for a positive reply
within next week, 15-20 December.

Sincerely,


Human Development

Indicators of Human Development (combination of three basic
components):
. A long and healthy life;
.
The level of education;
.
A decent standard of living.

The Problem
Education indicators
.
In 1989 the average amount of education was 11.6 years, while in the year
  2000, it had decreased to 8.5 years, which means an average decrease of 3
  years in education over a decade!!!
.
Level of attendance in schools has decreased in pre-elementary school as
  well as high-school. The numbers show a high dropout rate, respectively
  37 per cent and 36 per cent (compared to 1990)
. In sub-urban areas school attendance is below average.

It is recognized that access to education as well as the
quality of education in these areas is problematic

Why high level of drop-outs???

The reasons for the high level of drop-outs are diverse for
different levels of education.
. In pre-elementary education, drop-out is related to the closing of public
  institutions.
. Related to obligatory education, decrease in attendance is mainly caused
  by 2 factors:
.
35 per cent of students that drop-out from school do so due to economic
   reasons
. Meanwhile, almost one of fifth of them drop-out from school because of
   the poor level and the low quality of education

Other problems
. The number of schools has decreased with 55 per cent
. Their closing has its effect on poor families by bringing a decrease in
  the level of their education
. Urban population growth, large number of teachers without relevant
  related education - especially in remote areas - are
other factors that
  cause a decrease in the number of the students attending high school
. 12-per cent of the population over 15 years old is unable to read and to
  write, thus is classified as .illiterate..
.
The level of illiteracy in urban areas (7 per cent) and the rural areas
(19 per cent) is disproportional.
. 83,5 % of poverty is found among individuals without education (4.1%) or
  ones with elementary education (79.4%) (taken from INSTAT)
. The Public Education Service suffers from quality problems related to:
.
Educational tools and instruments;
.
An increase in the no. of teacher.s without relevant related education;
.
Serious deficiencies in teacher.s vocational trainings concern outdated
  or ingrained teaching methods;
.
Content problems, etc.
.
The quality of education is lower in urban areas, remote areas and
  sub-urban areas.

The Causes

.
During the last ten years, public funds for education remain around 10
  per cent of budget expenses, but their reflection in the GDP has been
  decreasing.
. From 3, 8 per cent in 1995, this indicator has decreased to 2, 8 percent
  in 2002, which is much lower than the level of other Eastern European
  Countries.

Commitments of the Albanian Government

Millennium Development Goals
The Albanian Response
"or what YOU have committed"
. Goal 3: Ensure that, by the year 2015, children  everywhere, boys and
  girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling.
Taken from Albania and Millennium Development Goals, pg.17

Millennium Development Goals
The Albanian Response
"or what YOU have committed"
Increase the level of attendance in elementary education
- From 90 percent in the year 2000 to 94 percent in the year 2004 and 100
  percent in the year 2015, divided in accordance with groups of population
  and areas.

Increase the level of attendance in secondary education
- From 40 percent in the year 2000 to 50 percent in the year 2004
Increase the average of years of education
- From 8.5 years in 2000 to 10 years in 2004.


UN Recommendations on Millennium Development Goals

.
Possibilities should be created to increase financing for the educational
  sector at all levels and in all regions. Thus, an increase of the share
  of budget expenditures for education (as a percentage of the GDP) should
  be considered as one of the primary goals that the government should
  strive for.


THE PRIORITIES OF NATIONAL STRATEGY for SOCIO ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT (NSSED)
"or what YOU have promised"
Priority fields of public demands are:
.
Health and Education
.
Infrastructure
.
Improvement of governance
.
Economical growth
.
Social Support
.
Macroeconomic stability

Goals and Objectives from NSSED
"or what YOU have promised"
The disturbing and acute problems present in the educational system call
for direct reforms within this sector. The main goals to strengthen this
process of reforms, as well as the objectives of the education strategy
are:

.
Increase participation of population within education services, focusing
  on poorest level of society and remote country areas;
.
Improve quality of services and rebuilding and adapting the education
  system in accordance with market developments and needs;

The education sector.s specific objectives within the strategy for economic
growth and poverty reduction are:
. Increase participation in elementary education focusing on poorest level
  of society and remote country areas as well as increasing participation
  in secondary education, especially professional education
. Improve the quality of teaching methods
. Expand professional education and adapt it better to market needs.
. Increase administration efficiency and education system financial
  efficiency


The Strategy translated into funds

The major problems of poverty in rural and remote areas of the
country are the poor quality of essential services as well as
health and education services, requiring more sources which
need to be addressed in order to solve these problems. This
leads to a decrease in sources available for solving problems
of other problematic areas regarding development.

Strategic Priorities in MTEF
Strategic priorities for public expenditures under 2004-06
MTEF, remain largely unchanged and reflect the policy and
program proposals identified in NSSED
These are:
.
To increase the share of GDP allocated to health and education which is
  very low in comparison to international standards and reflects the poor
  quality of public services in these sectors;

A Comparison to other countries in the world
The budget for education as percentage of the GDP

. 1st  place     Moldova     10.3%
. 24th place      Congo,         5.9%
.
39th place      Macedonia,     4.9%
.
92nd place      Sri Lanka    2.9%
. 93rd place      Albania        2.8%
. 94th place      Benin        2.7%
. 95th place      Ethiopia    2.7%
. 96th place      Antigua and Barbuda 2.6%
.
97th place      Mozambique    2.6%
. 98th place      Nicaragua    2.6%
. 99th place      Bhutan        2.4%
. 100th place      Uganda        2.4%

. Average                       4.75 %

Strategic Priorities under MTEF
  "or what YOU have promised on June 2003"
According to NSSED, strategic priorities of public expenditures which are
sustained by financial sources are:
.
Increase resources, both in real terms and as a share of the GDP, which
  are allocated to health and education sectors;

Linking MTEF and NSSED
. Budget program and resource ceiling for 2004 are based on the priority
  measures identified under the NSSED.
. Linking and settling of the correct ratios between the NSSED, MTEF
  2004-06 and the draft Budget 2004 is considered as a process and
  principal goal of this framework.

Linking MTEF and NSSED
.
MTEF assures all the needed mechanisms through which the main priority
  objectives, identified under the NSSED, can be integrated in to the
  budget process

Strategic settlement of Priorities
. Strategic prioritization of public expenditures is beginning to be
  achieved through the MTEF process. The NSSED has highlighted the
  strategic requirements for a relative redistribution of resources toward
  health and education sectors which address the relatively low levels of
  spending within these sectors.

NSSED Priorities

Priority fields of public demands will be:
.
Health and Education
.
Infrastructure
.
Governance improvement
.
Economical growth
.
Social Support
.
Macroeconomic stability


In the meantime!?!

NSSED Promises that:
.
Human Development:
Education: The percentage of the GDP allocated to education will be
increased from 3.4 in 2002 to 3.7 of GDP in 2004

MTEF Promises that:
. Education expenditures are envisioned to increase from 3.0% of GDP in
  2004 to 3.1% of GDP in 2006.

A Comparison to other countries in the world
With the above mentioned level of progress of 0.1% in 3 years, Albania will
achieve the current level of education of:
. Macedonia in    57 years
.
Congo in    87 years
.
Moldova in    219 years

Budget 2004
.
Education expenditures are projected to be 3.1% of the GDP

What WE ask for?
.
Recognition of the promises made regarding the increase of the percentage
for education of the 2004 budget from 3.1% in 3.7% of GDP

 

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