chapter  1
Schools and schooling in Asia
Achievements and challenges for “Asia rising”: an introduction to the Handbook
ByKerry J. Kennedy, John Chi-Kin Lee
Pages 11

The Handbook on Schools and Schooling in Asia takes a snapshot of key education developments in Asia as the second decade of the 21st century approaches. Asia’s diversity almost ensures unevenness across the region characterized by rapid economic development in some countries and chronic underdevelopment in others. Attempts have been made in many countries to overcome inequalities, and education has contributed in important ways. Yet inequalities still characterize much of the region, and quality initiatives in education are seen to be one way to try to reduce them. Despite these macro problems that require urgent attention, there are clear indications that progress has been made in both the quantity and quality of education. A number of Asian countries are now seen to be international leaders in supporting high levels of student performance. The great challenge for the future is to ensure that all students are given these opportunities to create fairer and more just societies across the region.