Secondary schools to get rewards for improvements

Stabroek News
January 6, 2003

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The Ministry of Education is to institute a substantial incentive scheme to reward secondary schools which make significant improvements in their operations and exam results, Education Minister Dr Henry Jeffrey has announced.

This new scheme is said to be in keeping with the ministry’s Secondary School Reform Project (SSRP) and was prepared by the Director of the SSRP, Dr Kenneth Hunte.

Speaking at his first press briefing for the year at the National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD) in Kingston on Friday, Dr Jeffrey said the scheme would be regionally and nationally-based. Input and output and process indicators would be so designed as to give each school an equal chance at winning the awards.

A ministry circular on the initiative said the ministry would be required to identify those key indicators which influence school effectiveness and which can also be continuously monitored and accurately measured over time. The key elements are inputs, processes and outputs.

The inputs include student intake, support and resources; while the processes involve school ethos, teaching and learning; and outputs will involve student attainment, social skills, empowerment and employment. Valuation is weighted among the factors with 25% for inputs, 50% for processes and 25% for outputs.

The input-based indicators will include the percentage increase in the performance score required to gain access to the school; and percentage increase in parent/community support for the school through donation of goods and services such as text books, library books, furniture, information technology, audio-visual equipment, other equipment and materials, school maintenance projects among others.

The process-based indicators will include the percentage increase in the number of extra-curricular activities organised by the school; percentage increase in the number of educational visits/tours; highest student staying-on rates; highest average teacher/student attendance rates; highest average teacher/student punctuality rates; highest number of school improvement plan (SIP) targets achieved per year; highest attendance rate of parents/guardians at Parent/Teachers’ Association meetings, among others.

The output based indicators will look at the percentage increase in average student performance across the core subjects at national and regional examinations, such as the National Third Form Examinations (NTFE) and the Caribbean Secondary Edu-cation Certificate (CSEC); the highest percentage increase in average chronological reading age of students by Form Three; the highest percentage increase in the school’s total performance score (TPS) at the CSEC; the highest increase in the number of students achieving 50% or more in each of the core subjects at the NTFE; and the highest increase in the number of students achieving five or more CSEC Grades I to III, as well as in the core subject areas among others.

Other output indicators will involve sporting activities, such as cycling, cricket, swimming and track and field; expressive arts such as dance, drama and music; and approved community-based projects.

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