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PART 111 PROSPECTS

3.0 POLICY DIRECTIONS FOR THE FUTURE

3.1 Overview

Recognising the crucial role Educattion plays in national social and economic development the Government of Antigua and Barbuda since independence in 1981 has ben committed to improving the offerings in Education both quantitatively and qualitatively.

More visible is the quantitative thrust. Not only have we fulfilled our promise of a primary school in every village but we have approved the establishment of twenty five (25) private primary schools. However the worldwide recession had taken a grave toll on our financial capability , schools were not maintained at the desired pace. Now with the recent upturn in the economy and the establishment of the Board of education purpose-built schools will be constructed and a vigorous maintenance programeme will come on stream.

With a participation rate of about 95%, universal primary education is almost achieved ;at the secondary level it is 65% with the remaining 35% allocated to senior primary schools. It has been observed however that the goal of pupils accessing education opportunities offered has not been fully achieved, There is still evidence of some truancy, dropouts and a relatively low repetition rate at the primary level. The outcomes of a recent study of first Formers at the secondary level indicate that repetition rate is high.and points the way toward strategies for enhancing transition from primary to secondary education.

The provision of free text books to all pupils have removed some discriminatory barriers based on socio-economic circumstances.

Education at the pre-school level is not compulsory. Most of the schools are private. But being cognisant of the importance of guidance and appropriate socialisation experiences in the child’s formative years, Government, with assistance from UNICEF has been working assiduously in this area. A Coordinator has been appointed who has the responsibility of ensuring that appropriate teaching learning practices are established and maintained. Constant monitoring at this level has shown that though there is tremendous improvement in the quality of service rendered there is much more to be done to enhance he quality of service.

In the past ten years focus has been on expanding facilities for accessing prevocationsl education programmes. There is an increase in the number of centre offering pre-vocational programmes for both in-school and out -of-school youth . With assistance from both CIDA through Mohawk College and Burlington Rotary International Of Canada as well as from DFIDC the technical and Vocational Section of the Ministry of Education has started an Evening Institute.

A deficiency that has been observed in the managing of the education system is the lack of consistency in the training of our education managers who have been appointed from within the school system without the necessary exposure to induction programmes and in managerial skills and techniques.

Strengthening our officers’ capability to deliver and monitor the performance of our education system is pertinent to our moving toward the goal of quality education for all and the promotion of equity. In this sense, concentration is placed on strategies which aim at institution building at every echelon of the education system.

Against this background, our five year education development plan is outlined. And, acknowledging that the successful implementation of education reforms hinges on the performance of its education managers at all levels of the education system, we start first with policies and strategies planned for the administration and management of the education system, human resource development and curriculum development capability.

3.2 Administration and Management

Goal To improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the education system

 

 

Objectives

 

Strategies

 

Expected Outcomes

 

To establish a clearly defined administrative structure

 

Rationalising the role and functions of the Ministry of Education

 

The smooth operation of the ministry is facilitated

 

To institute an effective planning facility

 

Strengthening the planning facility

 

Decisions are informed by reliable information

 

To improve feedback communication within and without the Ministry

 

Establishing a reporting and communication mechanism

 

Collaboration and cooperation among officers improved

 

To access data on a timely basis

 

Establishing a data base and education information system

 

Accurate data are given on a timely basis

 

To ensure better management of the school plant

 

Reinforcing the concept of principals’ accountability for their schools

 

Principals become more accountable for the management of their schools

 

3.2 Human Resource Development

Goal: Improving the delivery of educational services

 

 

Objectives

 

Strategies

 

Expected Outcomes

 

To attract a more qualified intake to the teaching force

 

Streamlining recruitment procedures

 

Persons with the appropriate attitudes are recruited as teachers

 

To provide a well qualified staff to man the system and to keep them abreast with new development in their respective fields

 

Continuing full/inservice teacher training programmes; and on-the job professional development programmes

 

A more qualified teaching force is in place

 

To ensure that personnel have the relevant skills in their respective specialist areas

 

Organising training in specialist areas

 

More qualified and specialist teachers are placed in secondary schools

 

To motivate teachers and make the profession more attractive

 

Developing a career path for teachers

 

Retention rate of teachers is improved

 

To provide a more efficient and reliable mechanism to deal with teacher related matters

 

Exploring the establishment of a Teaching Service Commission

 

A more efficient mechanism is in place for expediting teacher related matters

 

3.3 Curriculum Development Capability

Goal To develop competence in curriculum development

 

 

Objectives

 

Strategies

 

Expected Outcomes

 

To facilitate the develop-ment of curricula for the varying needs of individuals and groups within the society

 

Appointing a national curriculum advisory committee

 

Curricula are reviewed and renewed

 

To coordinate all activities related to curriculum development

 

Establishing and staffing a curriculum development unit

 

A unified approach to curriculum development is achieved

 

Curriculum Development Capability ( Contd)

 

 

Objectives

 

Strategies

 

Expected Outcomes

 

To improve the competence of curriculum development officers

 

Training and professional development

 

A cadre of qualified curriculum officers is in place

 

To ensure that the curricula are properly implemented

 

Monitoring and evaluating the implementation of curricula

 

Deficiencies are detected early and corrective measures taken

 

To keep abreast with modern trends in curriculum development

 

Research and documentation

 

Officers are kept abreast with new development in curriculum

 

3.4 Pre-School Education

Goal: To enhance access to quality preschool education

 

Objectives

 

Strategies

 

Expected Outcomes

 

To ensure safety and maintain a desired level of Quality education

 

Regulating the establishment of private schools

 

A safe and healthy teaching learning environment

 

To expose pupils to rich and varied socialisation experiences

 

Developing and implementing relevant and suitable curriculum

 

Pupils experience a variety of rich socialisation experiences.

 

To provide parents with skills needed to stimulate their young children

 

Conducting parenting education

 

Parents are sensitised to the value of early childhood education

 

To help teachers to acquire relevant skills amd knowledge in early childhood education

 

Training of Preschool teachers

 

Teachers are better able d to relate with pre-schoolers

 

3.5 Primary Education

Goal: Improving Physical and Socio-economically Accessibility to Primary Education

 

Objectives

 

Strategies

 

Expected Outcomes

 

To provide more facilities to meet expanding needs

 

Constructing and rehabili-

tating schools

 

Physical environment is enhanced

 

To keep physical facilities in good condition

 

Refurbishing and doing minor repairs to schools

 

Good physical condition of school is maintained

 

To enhance the teaching learning process bu providing a healthy and supportive environment

 

Providing adequate equipment and general school supplies.

 

The teaching learning process is enhanced

 

To provide basic health care and medical services .

 

Providing medical services through joint ventures

 

Student participation is increased

 

To foster and encourage parental and community involvement in school activities

 

Strengthening linkages with parents and the Community

 

A supportive home school learning environmen is established and maintained.

 

To provide activities & programmes that will develop a sense of achievement

 

Initiating co- and extra curricula school and community activities

 

Student self esteem is enhanced.

 

3.5.1 Primary Curriculum

Goal To provide for the socialisation of the pupils through a systematically planned and coordinated programme of basic education

 

Objectives

 

Strategies

 

Expected Outcomes

 

To provide curricula that are relevant to the pupils’ needs & society

 

Reviewing and developing curricula in the four main subjects

 

Pupils will access relevant curricula

 

To train a cadre of teachers who are qualified in remedial teaching

 

Training primary school teachers in remedial teaching techniques

 

Slow learners are given the opportunity to learn at their own rate

 

Curriculum Cont’d

 

Objectives

 

Strategies

 

Expected Outcomes

 

To minimise adjustment problems pupils encounter during the transition period pre-school to primary and to secondary.

 

Developing linkages between levels of education and sensitising pupils and parents to expectations at each level.

 

Pupils cope better during the transition period;

pupil performance is improved;

 

3.6 Secondary Curriculum

Goal: To provide students with a rounded programme that would cater for their varied abilities and career plans

 

 

Objectives

 

Strategies

 

Expected Outcomes

 

To provide relevant curricula that will produce well rounded students

 

Developing curricula in the four core subjects for the first three forms

 

Curricula in four core subject areas is developed for Forms 1 to 3

 

To help students in career choices and to cope with a variety of situations that may affect their lives.

 

Establishing guidance & counselling programmes in schools

 

Students become more knowledgeable of post secondary and job opportunities

 

To give practical orientations to theory

 

Establishing linkages between the world of work and school

 

Students apply theoretical concepts in functional situations

 

To enable prospective school leavers to adjust to new environments

 

Introducing programmes that will effect a smooth transition to the world of work and further education opportunities

 

Students are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to enable them to cope with a new environment

 

3.7 Curriculum Technical & Vocational Education

Goal To extent the full potentials of the individual for further education and training in TVET

 

 

Objectives

 

Strategies

 

Expected Outcomes

 

To establish and maintain standards among TVET Institutions

 

Harmonising the various programmes

 

TVET Programmes are harmonised.

 

To provide instructional guides to assist teachers in meeting the demands of the syllabus

 

Reviewing and updating learning modules and instructional materials

 

Learning materials are reviewed and updated

 

To train a cadre of teachers competent to teach the specific curriculum

 

Organising training programmes for teachers

 

Teachers become more competent in the delivery of the curriculum

 

To give practical orientations to theory

 

Organising work experiences with the private and business community

 

Students are better prepared for the world of work and further education

 

To increase access to TVET

 

Providing more opportunities for training & retraining in TVET

 

More students parrticipate in TVET Programmes

 

To maximise the use of available local human resources for TVET programmes.

 

Harnessing and maintaining available resources

 

Linkages between education and the world of work strengthened

 

3.8 Adult and Continuing Education

Goal: To have an educated populace that can make meaningful contribution to our country’s development

 

 

Objectives

 

Strategies

 

Expected Outcomes

 

To improve functional

Literacy and numeracy

 

Developing and conducting literacy and numeracy skills training programmes

 

A Cadre of craftsmen trained for the labour market

 

To enable persons to complete primary and secondary education

 

Improving academic courses for second chance achievers

 

More student have access to further education opportunities

 

To strengthen the institution which accommodates ongoing adult and continuing progs.

 

Conducting training of trainers programme; providing access to a wider variety of programmes

 

On-going adult and continuing programmes expanded and improved

 

To provide pertinent information about availability of programmes

 

Mounting public awareness programmes

 

The public becomes aware of opportunities provided in adult and continuing education.

 

3.9 Expanding and Improving Information Services

Goal: To increase public awareness of opportunities available for self development

 

 

Objectives

 

Strategies

 

Expected Outcomes

 

To provide a purpose-built structure to house a much needed Public Library

 

Linking with the community for the construction of the building

 

Access to library facilities improved

 

To provide information services and encourage reading at the local level

 

Expanding and enhancing school and community libraries

 

ditto

 

To ensure that many students and teachers as possible are exposed to quality teaching

 

Reinvigorating education broadcasting

 

A greater number of students is exposed to quality instruction

 

3.10 Alliances With Partners in Education

Goal: To achieve an equitable educational standard among all schools

 

Objectives

 

Strategies

 

Expected Outcomes

 

To strengthen and maintain partnerships for the provision of education services

 

Setting up structures for effective partnerships for maintaining equitable standards

 

There is a greater commitment by the community to participate in the education of the nation’s children

 

To encourage self reliance among youth and help them to direct their energies toward meaningful participation in the life of the society

 

Strengthening the capability of the Youth Development Division

 

Youth becomes empowered

 

To encourage parents to be directly involved in the education of their children

 

Facilitating the formation of vibrant parent teachers Associations

 

A supportive school home, community teaching learning environment is created

 

To strengthen linkages with the community and encourage the sharing of resources and participation in non school activities

 

Establishing and maintaining structures that will facilitate collaboration and communication among the Ministry, the school and the community

 

The resource base is increased through the pooling of expertise, sharing of facilities and the undertaking of joint activities.

 

Aspects of the plan outlined above are being implemented through the Government of Antigua/ Caribbean Development Bank Education Project and partnership with DFIDC. This is in addition to our Education Levy on education administered by the Board of Education.

For the future, emphasis is placed on institutional strengthening and human resource development across all echelons of the education system, curriculum development .and improving physical conditions of schools.



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