16/02/2004 - Education ministers from OECD countries will meet in Dublin on 18-19 March 2004 to debate ways in which they can improve the quality and equity of their education systems. Many of them face huge challenges: widespread teacher shortages, changing social conditions and increasingly diverse student populations.
Their meeting will focus on the theme of "Raising the quality of education for all". While findings from the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA 2000) have shown some countries achieving both high levels of performance and equitable distribution of outcomes, other countries have performed significantly less well. What is more, many OECD countries face difficulties in ensuring an adequate supply of teachers, particularly in mathematics, science and technology, and in improving teacher effectiveness.
On Thursday 18 March, a Forum open to the media will bring together ministers and officials with representatives of business, labour unions, other non-government organisations and academic institutions to examine how school systems can respond to increasing student diversity while contributing to enhanced social cohesion.
On Friday 19 March, Irish Education Minister Noel Dempsey will chair a closed-door ministerial meeting focusing on three main themes: raising performance levels; education for democratic citizenship; and providing high-quality and effective teachers. Media briefings will be organised in parallel with the ministerial meeting and a closing news conference will take place on Friday afternoon.
Further details concerning the issues under discussion, the agenda and participation, as well as of media facilities and briefings, will be made available at www.oecd.org/edumin2004. For further information and accreditation, journalists are invited to contact the OECD’s Media Relations Division (tel. (33) 1 45 24 97 00).