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Portuguese primary school reforms bearing fruit, says independent report
A report by independent experts on Portugal’s primary school system indicates that reform measures by the Portuguese authorities are beginning to have positive effects. In a foreword written at the invitation of the Portuguese authorities, the head of OECD’s Education and Training Policy Division, Deborah Roseveare, said the report’s recommendations merit consideration.
The report, Policy Measures Implemented in the First Cycle of Compulsory Education in Portugal, was carried out by independent experts commissioned by the Portuguese Ministry of Education. They were led by Dr. Peter Matthews, Visiting Professor at the Institute of Education, University of London and an international consultant in the area of education, who has worked as a consultant for the OECD in the past.
The OECD had no input into the contents of the report, which remain the responsibility of the authors themselves. However, the authors used an approach similar to that used by the OECD in assessing education policies over a number of years.
In her foreword to the report, Ms Roseveare noted that countries throughout the world “are constantly looking for ways to improve the performance of their education systems, knowing that these play a pivotal role in enhancing economic growth and social cohesion, developing young people to reach their full potential and underpinning healthy and vibrant societies.”
“Portugal has put in place since 2005 an ambitious set of measures to improve teaching and learning conditions in the first four years of compulsory education, which comprise the first cycle. These reforms have been comprehensive and their design has drawn on evidence of what works in other countries and lessons learned elsewhere. Nevertheless they have been carefully tailored to fit the Portuguese context and to respond to the country’s particular priorities and challenges.”
“This report presents emerging evidence that these measures are already raising the standards of basic education. These early results are very encouraging. The report provides not only an assessment of the policy changes and the achievements to date but also makes thoughtful and constructive recommendations on aspects that could be improved or further developed. These recommendations merit the full consideration of the Portuguese authorities.”