|The EFA 2000 Assessment: Country Reports|
Part II Analytic Section
Data have been collected and entered as required in the database and spreadsheet files as provided by UNESCO. The data are stored/saved on diskette under the file names: EFATAB-1990 to EFATAB-1997, ACCESS-1990 to ACCESS-1997 and Cohort 93-94.
The EFATAB, ACCESS and Cohort files contain macros which automatically carry out various pre-determined calculations to highlight selected aspects of the data provided. These calculations, in EFATAB files, relate specifically to what are defined as "Indicators" of components of a given education system and its provisions. The ACCESS files carry out similar analyses but present their results in graphical form as well. The various Indicators employed are considered subsequently.
The cohort analysis compares the results of two successive years of schooling on a given group (= cohort) of pupils. The analysis determines the proportion of youngsters who "go through the system" as well as what proportion of wastage there is, i.e. what proportion of those in the initial group of pupils do not complete the programme.
The data provided for UNESCO are analysed with respect to 18 Indicators that are so selected as to give a good overall view of the educational system to which the process is applied. The results of these analyses are considered with respect to the Barbados education system. The same analyses have been carried out for each of the years for which the relevant pupil data are available and the files have been appropriately identified by the year numbers attached to them (see above).
The output for the several Indicators has been printed out on "Composite" sheets so as better to give an overview of critical components of the system and to allow easier comparison across years. "Indicators of Access and Participation in Education" have also been extracted for each of the years 1990 1997, and are attached for perusal.
[In the following comments the quotations are taken from the Technical Guidelines provided but page numbers have not been included]
Indicator 1 "gross enrolment in early childhood development programmes" points to "a countrys capacity to prepare young children for primary education". The Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) is determined by expressing the number of children in Early Childhood Development programmes as a percentage of the total number of children in the given age range. In Barbados this age range includes children aged 3 and 4 years. During the period under review the GER has ranged from 52.7% to 70.2%.
Table 2 analyses the data from a somewhat different point of view. It takes into account the number of pupils entering the first year of the primary school programme "who have attended some form of organised early childhood development programme".
In Barbados the primary school age range is 5 11 years and at age five years all children enter primary schools, either public or private. A review of Table 2 indicates that in the years 1990-1997 at least 70% of pupils entering the primary school programme had previously attended early childhood development programmes. This proportion had in some years reached as high as 94%.
The data also indicate that in nearly every case a somewhat higher proportion of pupils attending private schools had had this experience compared with pupils in the public school system. This is not surprising since there is a great likelihood that the parent who opts to send his/her child to a private primary school will already have secured prior education for the child either in the public system or in a private preparatory school.
The Gender Parity ratio (relative involvement of boys and girls) is either 1.1 or 1.0.
Indicators 3, 4
These Indicators refer respectively to the "Apparent (gross) Intake Rate" (AIR) and the "Net Intake Rate" (NIR). The former is defined as the "total number of new entrants in the first grade of primary education, regardless of age, expressed as a percentage of the population at the official primary school-entrance age". This percentage is important since it "reflects the general level of access to primary education (and) indicates the capacity of the education system to provide access to grade 1 for the official school-entrance age population". For the period 1990 1997 this ratio does not fall below 85.4% and some cases rises as high as 100%.
The second measure (GIR) determines "(the) new entrants to primary grade 1 who are of the official primary school-entrance age as a percentage of the corresponding population". Consequently "a high NIR indicates a high degree of access to primary education for the official primary school-entrance age children and a high proportion of pupils of the same age in the first primary grade".
As was indicated in the Introduction, all children enter primary schools at age five years of age. Consequently the country does not have the problem of numbers of children who enter school for the first time at the age of, say, six, or seven, or eight or even nine years. As Table 3 indicates, the "new entrants of all ages" is therefore the same in number as "new entrants of primary school entrance age", and the data therefore indicate that the country provides "a high degree of access to primary education "
It should be noted that the discrepancy between the "new entrants of primary school age" and the "school entrance age population" may well be due to the fact that the latter is an estimate based on the Census figures. Such projections can be expected to differ somewhat from the actual enrolment figures recorded, and can result in figures of over 100%..
The Gender Parity Index is either 0.9 or 1.0, indicating that there is essentially equality of educational opportunity for children of both sexes.
Indicators 5, 6
Indicator 5 is the "Gross Enrolment Ratio" (GER) which reflects "(the) total enrolment in primary education, regardless of age, expressed as a percentage of the eligible official primary school-age population in a given school-year". In Barbados between 1990 and 1997 this has ranged from 94.7% to 100%.
Indicator 6, the "Net Enrolment Ratio" (NER), is "enrolment in primary education of the official primary school age-group expressed as a percentage of the corresponding population. (It) gives a more precise measurement of the extent of participation in primary education of children belonging to the official primary school age". The percentage is the same as for GER above ranging from 94.7% to 100%.
Since all children between the ages of 5 and 16 years of age are required by law to attend school it is not surprising that the GER and NER are identical and the high NER found is important as indicating "(the) high degree of participation in primary education of the official primary school age-group".
The book of Guidelines points out that "although the NER cannot exceed 100%, values up to 105% have been obtained due to inconsistencies in the enrolment and/or population data". It is therefore relevant to note that the population data used for the "official school age population" is extrapolated from the Census of 1990 and can therefore well differ from the "enrolment" figures, as previously explained.
At this point it is useful to note the results of analysis using the Cohort method which, in this case, compares the enrolment figures for the two successive years 1993 and 1994 in Modules One and Two (attached).
Module One presents the raw enrolment figures and Module Two presents some of the subsequent analysis. The following results help to give a clearer picture of the functioning of the Barbados education system:
The overall (male + female) promotion rate ranged from 94.4% to 100%
The repetition rate was 0% - an inevitable consequence of automatic promotion
A drop-out rate not exceeding 5.6% in any grade and falling to 0% in Grade 7
A survival rate of not less than 83.6% (i.e. the proportion of the cohort of pupils
entering Grade 1 who reached Grade 5)
Indicators 7, 8
Table 5 presents the relevant data respecting public expenditure on education in general and primary education in particular. During the period under review the expenditure on primary education fluctuated between 25.1% and 29.3% of total public expenditure on education in a population that ranged between 260,000 and 266,000 of whom between 27,000 and 29,000 were youngsters of primary school age. The figures also provide include, as requested, estimates of "expenditure from other Ministries that impact on education".
It is to be noted that the Central Bank of Barbados does not produce figures for GNP. Figures for GDP are therefore reported instead.
Indicators 9, 10
Indicators 9 and 10 focus attention on teachers in the countrys education system their numbers, academic qualifications and professional training.
In Barbados teachers are not appointed to the Government (public) primary schools unless they possess the minimum academic qualifications required for appointment to the teaching service. These are a minimum of four (4) subject passes at "General Proficiency" level in the examinations set by the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC).
Certification to teach is dependent on successful completion of a two-year training programme at the Governments Erdiston Teachers College or in comparable programmes elsewhere, such as in the Faculty of Education of the regional University of the West Indies. Teachers in the private primary schools do not necessarily have to meet these criteria although some of the teachers in these schools meet or surpass the minimum criteria previously described. The available data indicate a high proportion of persons certified to teach, rising as high as 93.8% in 1996..
The available data do not provide information about teachers in the private schools beyond the year 1992, and the data do not allow disaggregation, by gender, of the teaching qualifications possessed by teachers in the public system.
Table 7 presents data about teacher:pupil ratios. During the period under review these ratios varied from 1:16.2 to 1:20.5 in the public primary schools. The data available do not permit disaggregation with respect to public and private primary schools.
It is to be noted that data about teachers in the private primary schools are not available after 1992. As a consequence the teacher:pupil ratios are calculated with respect to teachers in the public system only. The teacher:pupil ratios found therefore appear to be somewhat lower than would actually appear if the missing data were available.
The Barbados education system provides for automatic promotion from one grade to the next in line. There are therefore no data of the kind required for response to Indicator 12, since grade repetition is not a feature of the countrys primary education system. Consequently no data have been entered in Table 8.
Indicators 13, 14
An important aspect of any education system is the number of pupils who complete the entire school programme compared with the number who "drop out" or "fall out" for one reason or another.
Data in Table 10 indicate the proportion of pupils who meet specified attainment levels at the end of six years of primary school education. The judgement is based on the pupils performance in the annual Secondary Schools Entrance Examination (SSEE) which, as indicated above, determines whether or not pupils are eligible for transfer to the secondary programme.
The transfer examination, in May of each year, is normally taken by pupils who will be over the age of 11 years but under the age of 12 years on the first of September in that calendar year. The examination consists of tests in English, including comprehension and free expression (composition writing). The Mathematics test focuses on the basic skills which pupils are expected to master prior to entering the secondary school.
Within recent years the Ministry of Education has taken the view that pupils who score below 30% on these tests are likely to be in need of remedial attention and special provisions have been set up to provide them with extra guidance and assistance. For the purpose of responding to the requirements of Indicator 15 the pupils deemed to have "mastered basic learning competencies" are those who scored at least 30% in the English and Mathematics examination papers.
It is also to be noted that the data selected for analysis are taken from the 10-year olds. The rationale for doing this is as follows:
Pupils who enter secondary schools in September 1999 as 11-year olds, actually sat the SSEE in the preceding May as 10-year olds. The reality of this situation therefore justifies basing "achievement" performance on pupils in this latter age group in each year for which data are provided.
No data are available on which to respond to the request for information about the pupils acquisition of "life skills".
Indicators 16, 17, 18
No hard data are available about literacy levels in Barbados.
Training in Essential Skills
The section of the Report dealing with Essential Skills requests information that is seldom available. Specifically it requests that countries "measure impacts" and "give quantitative data and empirical evidence where available".
In the majority of the cases this column has been left empty since there is no relevant information that can be provided. In a few instances some concrete information of the kind requested has been provided.
TRAINING IN ESSENTIAL SKILLS
IN-SCHOOL ACTIVITIES AND PROGRAMMES
|Essential Skills Adults as young people should be able to:||List of in-school activities to impact skills||Measure Impacts Give quantitative data and empirical evidence where available|
1. Respect the sanctity of life and value human dignity.
|Health and Family Life Education programmes|
2. Strengthen democracy and respect human rights.
|New Unit in the primary Social Studies syllabus. This includes a focus on rights and responsibilities in the module on Citizenship curriculum.|
||Health and Family Life Education programmes of various kinds.|
||Physical Education is part of the core curriculum in primary schools. Teachers are being sensitized to the need to focus on the "wellness" aspect of physical education. The Ministry of Education has assigned an officer with responsibility for physical education.|
||The Ministry of Education recognises the difficulties experienced by boys (evidenced in part by their lower-than-expected performance in academic work) and is beginning to make provisions to address the attendant problems. Some data collected in a few schools offer pointers as to possible steps than can be taken to deal with these problems.|
||Use of the module on Comparative Religions in the Citizenship curriculum. A major focus of the activities is to develop tolerance and respect for all religions. In addition a new Values Education programme has been introduced which will operate in conjunction with education in Human Values.|
||The Citizenship programme introduced contains a module on Cultural Heritage. Another programme is African Studies which focuses on stimulating and promoting awareness of, and interest in, the "roots" and origins of the majority of the countrys citizens.|
||Citizenship programme referred to above.|
||The Ministry of Education has committed
itself to a 7-year Education Sector Enhancement Programme that is intended to
implement some of the reform initiatives outlined in its1995 White Paper on Education
Reform. The programme includes providing a sufficiency of computers in all schools
(primary and secondary) in Barbados. Other components of the programme are provisions for
training all teachers in effective classroom use of the technology, and rehabilitating
school buildings where needed.
The Specific objectives of EduTech 2000 are:
In sum the technology will be used as a tool to:
provide better motivation for both teachers and students;
enable schools to provide better educational management;
assist students in mastering the requisite skills and competencies of a computerised world; and
enhance the teaching of subject matter of the various curricula offered in theschools.
||An important contribution to resolution of
conflicts is made by the Guidance and Counselling section of the Ministry of Education,
particularly through the work which its officers undertake and carry out with pupils in
The Citizenship programme in use in schools contains a module on Conflict Resolution. The Ministry of Education is collaborating with UNICEF in promoting a programme on conflict resolution at primary level.
Contributions in this area are also made by PAREDOS (Parent Education for Development in Barbados), an NGO, through its Conflict Resolution Training Programme now in its third year. This programme
--- "provides parents with conflict resolution skills in a workshop setting and allows
them to practice these skills in their home with the support of a facilitator/social worker
--- "enables parents and children to accept responsibility for their own behaviour through self-directed learning" .
PAREDOS notes that "because there is a great demand for this programme, a training manual will be developed and training will be offered to resource persons interested in conducting programmes in conflict resolution".
|"Programme results are obtained
through verbal reports, anecdotes, etc." and indicate that participation in the
various workshops have a high pay-off:
"a 100% attendance throughout the programme, 100% of the participants showed an increase in knowledge in the conflict resolution skills. The 98% who showed a significant increase in attitude and behaviour change, also noted a change in their children' behaviour. Behaviour changes included: Less shouting, more active listening, reduction in corporal punishment, and use of problem solving skills. Parents also experienced a reduction in their stress level".
TRAINING IN ESSENTIAL SKILLS
OUT-OF-SCHOOL ACTIVITIES AND PROGRAMMES
|Essential Skills Adults as young people should be able to:||List of out-of-school activities to impact skills||Measure Impacts Give quantitative data and empirical evidence where available|
||A major contributor in this area is the National Youth Parliament, an NGO with a membership of about 30 young people. The organisation is structured along the lines of the Parliament of Barbados i.e. Government and Opposition. It is active in several ways. It regularly publishes articles in the press on matters of national interest and occasionally represents Barbados at international youth fora. In addition the organisation plays an active role at the summer camps (organised by the Division of Youth Affairs) which involve as many as 5,000 youth. At these summer camps the National Youth Parliament assists by discussing with camp members matters such as democracy, human rights and responsibilities.|
||Major activities in this area are
undertaken by the Ministry of Education in conjunction with an organisation named Parent
Education for Development in Barbados.
The Barbados Family Planning Association has developed an Adolescent Parenting Programme "designed to get the adolescent parents back on track by providing for their education, training and the development of essential skills. These include: self esteem building, goal setting, the care of the young child, coping in relationships, the world of work, budgeting, counselling and other relevant areas".
Similar assistance is offered by PAREDOS (Parent Education for Development in Barbados) through its Adolescent Peer Counselling Programme which "provides comprehensive information to young women between the ages of 12 to 18 years (drawn from schools, community groups and church groups). Topics include self-esteem, human sexuality, conflict resolution and adolescent development. It is designed to
--- enhance the self-esteem of young women
--- develop a teen support system that allows young women to share their knowledge with their peers
--- encourage them to refer peers with problems to the appropriate agencies.
The organisation also provides a programme: Parent Group Training. The programme "offers parents an opportunity to share their experiences and concerns in an atmosphere of trust in weekly 2-hour sessions, and are designed to increase parents knowledge and skills in specific areas". Topics include: child development, parent child interaction, parenting, self-esteem, discipline and other parenting issues. The programme involves 20 30 participants at a time.
In addition PAREDOS has developed a programme whose focus is on males Education and Support for Men. This programme is intended to:
--- develop a greater awareness of themselves and their roles in the family
--- encourage them to share the information with their peers, and
--- organise and conduct further sessions for men
The programme includes training workshops and dissemination of educational material. Topics include: anger management, interpersonal relations, gender differences, family law, domestic violence and parenting. The educational component is carried out using lectures/discussions, pamphlets and radio programmes.
Backyard Training a programme also provided by PAREDOS comprises activities conducted in the parents homes or in any other convenient location. The programmes are intended to "cater to the unreached parents or those persons who do not attend structured training programmes". Topics include: parent-child relationships, conflict resolution, self-esteem, budgeting, human sexuality, time management, discipline and abuse. The methodology includes mini-lectures/discussions, group discussions, role playing, songs and anecdotes. An important aspect of the programmes is that "it affords facilitators the opportunity to observe parent-child interaction in the home environment, and allows them to guide parents while acknowledging their strengths and competencies".
Finally the organisation is associated with a programme funded by the Van Leer Foundation titled: "The Parent Support Programme" whose objective is "To develop innovative parent education programmes and encourage the development of social support networks in the region".
|Pre and post test evaluations are used to
measure participants knowledge, attitude and behaviour change in relation to their
self-esteem and their reproductive health.
"Outcome results over a 3-year period showed a high level of anticipation, serious commitment to the programme, and a good knowledge base with positive attitude and behaviour change sin over 98% of the 1,000 parents who benefited from this programme". The programme is funded by private sector organisations.
Participants found the sessions to be educational and informative but only a very few of the participants have initiated any male programmes.
Results indicate that interaction between facilitators and parents helps parents self-esteem and increases their parenting skills.
||Healthy lifestyles are actively promoted by a local newspaper in conjunction with other organisations. Together the several agencies sponsor walks and cycle rides that may involve as many as 15,000 and 10,000 persons respectively. In addition there are regular articles in the press which discuss various aspects of health such as diabetes - causes, prevention and treatment; the importance of prostate checks for men and mammograms for women, etc.|
||Activities of the Youth Development Programme|
||This aspect of national life is largely promoted through an entrepreneurship programme under the aegis of the Youth Entrepreneurship Programme, as part of the Youth Development Programme.|
||Several organisations offer/provide training programmes intended to help participants acquire skills in the use of technology so as to help them enhance their work opportunities and make them more self-reliant and productive citizens.|
||Promoted through the activities of the Youth Development Programme.|
EDUCATION FOR BETTER LIVING
|Media to improve access to education for better living||Provision of activity to address||Measured Impacts if
Give quantitative data and empirical evidence where available
||Under the aegis of the Barbados Family
Planning Association several radio programmes have been organised including:
--- "Family Life Issues in Focus" involving "a wide cross section of guests"
--- "Youth in Focus" a monthly programme hosted by the Family Life Club.
During the school terms there are also programmes in selected subject areas, like English usage, which are geared to the needs of pupils under 12 years of age.
|Public response has been good and "the radio programme has developed into one of the major sources of sexual and Reproductive Health Information in Barbados".|
The leading agency providing this service is the Government Information Service (GIS) which regularly disseminates information on a wide range of issues.
This educational output is supplemented and paralleled by organisations such as PAREDOS (Parent Education for Development in Barbados) which "hosts a series of focus group discussion on parenting and family life issues as part of its community outreach service". These pre-recorded one hour sessions are then aired once a week during a popular call-in programme. The organisation also co-hosts a series of parenting programmes in association with the local television station.
There are also several weekly programmes which focus attention and provide "informed" discussion on matters of national importance. These include:
Radio Point at issue
TV In the hot seat
On the table
A public affair
Conflict related programmes are promoted by UNICEF.
Guidance leaflets on this subject were prepared and distributed to two schools where the teachers had been given an orientation to conflict resolution. Two "control" schools were also identified and the results of the "experiment" are being examined. The object is to determine whether or not students exposed to the reading material provided and the guidance of the teachers involved in the orientation programme respond differently to conflict situations compared with pupils in the control schools. The analysis of the data has not yet been completed.
||Because of its small size (166 sq. miles) Barbados is not divided into geographical regions for purposes of radio and/or TV broadcasts; all broadcasts reach the entire country|
|7. Newspapers and
|Various organisations, including
Ministries of Government, disseminate information through the print media. A good example
is the NGO, Parent Education for Development in Barbados (PAREDOS) which
"provides information about programme activities, child development and parenting to
the public. This information is shared through pamphlets, booklets, and
Other information is also provided. Both daily newspaper regularly include study material for pupils on selected subjects at two levels
--- a) for pupils preparing for the transfer examination from primary to secondary schools. Vacation workbooks are also made available.
--- b) for pupils preparing for the regional examination at about age 16 years.
Worksheets are published for use by the students, and solutions to the
problems and test questions are subsequently published.
8. Libraries, museums, book fairs used actively to promote and support basic education.
|There is considerable usage of the various
library resources and there are brief comments on TV by well-known persons who talk about
the value of reading and of the benefit of this activity to them. The speakers also
encourage listeners/viewers to develop a reading habit or to increase the time spent on
There is a branch of the National Library Service (Public Library) in each of the countrys 11 parishes. There is a national Museum which is well patronised and which regularly hosts lectures open to the public.
Of particular importance is the Barbados Association of Reading. This non-profit organisation was established in 1990 to:
--- disseminate knowledge helpful in the solution of problems related to literacy, and
--- ensure that reading plays its role in the educational and recreational advancement of citizens and residents of Barbados.
The Association annually organises a Reading Festival which has the following objectives, to:
--- encourage children to develop a love for reading
--- highlight the importance of reading in everyday life
--- provide affordable reading material and to encourage reading as an alternative recreational activity.
The Festival has attracted regional participation and in 1997 an estimated 15,000 persons visited the Expo. The Festival was discontinued in 1998 because of lack of funds.
|The Barbados Family Planning Association
reports "receiving an inordinate amount of requests from learning institutions and
students for the use of our library to conduct research".
No formal evaluation has been carried out some indicators of its success are:
10. Social mobilization campaigns to increase public awareness and knowledge, e.g. child vaccination, environmental protection, health hazards.
|One important contributor has been the Barbados
Family Planning Association which completed a number of special projects including:
--- a Family Planning Showcase
--- a Community Rap Session Series
--- a Gender Awareness Programme with emphasis on Male Involvement in the Family
--- Reproductive Health
The NGO, PAREDOS (Parent Education for Development in Barbados), has likewise contributed by its public involvement programmes and activities. These consist of Community "Group Lecture/Discussions in the form of interactional sessions that offer information on a wide range of family related topics, such as parenting, child development, child abuse, etc."
|"The series of community rap sessions
Men talking with Men on Mens Issues were held across the country, and
the response was so overwhelming that a new focus on male issues has developed at the
"The demand is extremely overwhelming and brings PAREDOS staff and volunteers into contact with over 3,000 parents/guardians each year".
EDUCATION FOR BETTER LIVING
|Media Policy, management and funding||Provision of activity to address||Measured Impacts if
Give quantitative data and empirical evidence where available
||The commitment of the Government to use of
the media for educational purposes is illustrated by the recent establishment of an
enhanced and up-graded Educational Media Resource Centre adequately equipped with
computers and other hardware and software. It has the capability for reviewing software
for use in the countrys schools, especially in relation to the EduTech 2000
The Centre was funded by one private sector organisation and has benefited from financial assistance from another. An annual programme of some significance is one involving schools which compete by developing illustrative displays in selected topics such as Fishing (1996), Manufacturing (1997), Tourism (1998) and Water a natural resource (1999).
In addition the Audio Visual Aids Unit (AVA) regularly facilitates the development and implementation of media programmes by lending equipment to schools and other organisations. The Unit is also active itself through its production of Charts and Posters on various health themes, e.g. in collaboration with the Nutrition Centre. It regularly assists with youth fora in Churches, and with programmes sponsored by the Dental Association and the Ministry itself through its school health programmes.
Finally the AVA collaborates with the Barbados Community College in training Environmental Health students in the use of audio visual technology.
|Feedback on the effectiveness of these
activities is judged by verbal statements of appreciation, by comments received by the
organisers and, occasionally, by written acknowledgements of their usefulness.
A questionnaire to schools has been distributed but the results have not yet been analysed.
||Several Government Ministries provide, or
assist with the provision of, media based programmes for educational purposes, including
the Ministries of Education, Health, Agriculture, Tourism. Such activity is also carried
out by such bodies as:
-- The Public Sector Reform Unit which undertakes dissemination about the on-going
Public sector reform, and has produced some relevant publications, and
--The National Productivity Board which publishes a quarterly journal.
||Several private sector organisations assist with the development, promotion and use of media programmes for educational purposes, very often by financing the programmes or otherwise facilitating their production.|
||See item (3) above.|
EDUCATION FOR BETTER LIVING
|Media quality, effectiveness and outcomes||Provision of activity to address||Measured Impacts if
Give quantitative data and empirical evidence where available
||As indicated above under "measures for the use of the media for educational purposes", some pedagogical training in this area is provided at the Barbados Community College. It is also anticipated that some of the teachers trained in the EduTech 2000 programme will assist with the development of media programmes.|
||Responses in this category come largely from private citizens through "call-in" programmes, and from occasional comments in the press.|
||Responses in this category come largely from private citizens through "call-in" programmes, and from occasional comments in the press.|
5. Behaviour patterns of target audiences, as evidenced in better health practices, child care, family planning, use of public services, participation in social
MEASURES TO SUPPORT EDUCATION FOR ALL
|Measures to support Education for All||Provision of activity to address||Measured Impacts if
Give quantitative data and empirical evidence where available
||The Ministry of Education provides a
Guidance and Counselling service for students in the public schools and in addition each
secondary school has a Guidance Officer as a full-time member of its staff.
All primary teachers have been given an orientation to guidance and the Government supports a Masters programme at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus in Barbados, together with a Certificate programme in Special Needs offered at the Erdiston Teachers College. It is projected that all secondary teachers will be given an orientation to Guidance similar to that offered to primary teachers.
Present policy is for integration of children with special needs into the normal school while at the same time ensuring that these children are provided with supplementary resources. This action is strongly supported by parents who evince genuine interest in the new provisions and are themselves anxious to learn how their children can otherwise be helped.
For youngsters of secondary school age (over 11 years) there is a Centre for Pre-Vocational Training catering to approximately 75 individuals. In addition a special Centre, the Alma Parris school, was recently established to offer an "alternative curriculum" for pupils with special needs. In this school there is considerably less emphasis on academic work than in other secondary schools, while more attention is given to skill and vocational activities.
There is also a school for the Deaf and the Blind (the seeing and hearing impaired).
An important provision is the Individual Education Plan (IEP) in which resource persons sit with parents and plan individualised programmes for children in Special Units.
These provisions are supplemented by recently (1995) introduced provisions for testing all children (on entry to public primary schools) for speech and/or hearing defects so that they can receive assistance at an early stage.
Guidance and counselling is provided on a regular basis for all students in secondary schools between the ages of 11 and 16 years. Such activities include individual and group counselling and frequently focus on or relate to such aspects as:
Personal and social development Health and Family Life Education and related matters
Another provision is the recently established Edna Nicholls Centre which provides guidance and counselling for youngsters who have been suspended from the regular school programme.
Attention to family Life Education is supplemented by the activities of PAREDOS (Parent Education for Development in Barbados), by Public Health Nurses in the countrys polyclinics, and by the Barbados Family Planning Association.
This Association has been a particularly significant contributor through its educational programmes in schools. These activities have included: "organised tours, video presentations and literature on a wide range of reproductive health issues". They were supplemented by the Associations "participation in a number of Health Fairs, Science and Technology Exhibition and other community education projects".
Additionally, the Family Planning Association continued for the seventh year its Peer Counselling Training Programme with 83 persons satisfactorily completing the training programme.
|The effectiveness of the Guidance and
Counselling programme is evidenced by:
.. enthusiasm shown and voiced by students for the work of the Counsellors student and parent acknowledgement of the value of the helpreceived during the counselling sessions and activities especially with respect to:
---- self respect/self pride/self worth
---- conflict resolution and decision-making
---- problem solving and setting goals
.. the continued and continuing support for the guidance programme provided by private sector organisations.
The effectiveness of the Centre may be judged by the reluctance of several pupils to leave the Centre when their counselling period is at an end.
||Meals are available each school day in the Government (public) primary schools for all pupils who wish them. The Alma Parris secondary school provides its pupils with meals and at other secondary schools provision for meals is made for children where there is need.|
||Transportation is subsidised for pupils who use the public bus service.|
||A text-book loan scheme was instituted in
1975 with the objective of facilitating education for all by providing easier access to
school texts for all students in secondary schools. Each student is charged a nominal fee
and those who are unable to pay this fee may request/secure a waiver. Text book assistance
is provided for students in Government (public) schools as well as for students in private
secondary schools. Between 1986/87 and 1991/92 the cost to the Ministry was $6.565
At primary level the Ministry provides class sets of texts in core areas and, from the academic year 1998/99, a special programme has been instituted to introduce reading material intended to meet the needs and interests of boys.
||Assistance is provided through funds allocated to each school for its administration.|
||The Ministry of Education is at present
engaged in a rehabilitation programme for school buildings intended to prepare them for
participation in the EduTech 2000 project noted above. It is envisaged that
over the next seven years all schools in the country will be refurbished and will meet the
minimum standards set by the Ministry.
In addition steps are being taken to ensure that all schools are adequately provided with sports and recreation facilities and with other equipment normally required for use by teachers for classroom instruction.
||Parental involvement in activities
relating to school are encouraged and, as indicated above, teachers have been trained to
serve as teachers aids in primary schools.
Parents are also encouraged to become members of the PTA(s) associated with the school(s) attended by their child(ren), and the National Council of PTAs is in a position to bring to the Ministrys attention matters of concern to parents.
The Parent Volunteer Support Programme is co-ordinated by the Ministry of Education with input from the National Council of Parent-Teacher Associations (NCPTA). In this programme parents are paid a weekly stipend and are trained to work as teachers aids at early childhood level.
|This programme has expanded every year since its introduction, and increasing numbers of parents express an interest in becoming involved.|
||There are several opportunities for the
various stakeholders in education to participate in decision-making or to provide-feedback
to the authorities responsible for education in the country. The include, among others:
-- The National Curriculum Development Council (members are drawn from the
business and academic communities, and the teachers unions). This body is charged
with responsibility for monitoring and advising on curricula used in schools.
--Boards of Management. Each secondary has its own Board of Management comprising a cross-section of persons from the community as well as a representative of the Ministry of Education. The Board serves as an advisory body to the school Principal with respect to the general administration of the school, including disciplinary matters, fund raising and t he like.
--Each primary school has its own Committee of Management whose role is similar to that of the Board of Management of a secondary school.
-- The Caribbean Examinations Council National Committee holds a watching brief over the examinations set and administered by the Council, and advises the Ministry of Education on matters of concern with respect to syllabuses, etc.
-- The Parent Support Programme was established to provide training for parents willing to serve as teachers aids in primary schools. It enables those so trained to play a more direct role in the education of the Nations children.
-- The National Council of PTAs is a private sector organisation representing PTAs across the country.
-- The EduTech 2000 Advisory Committee is a technical one appointed to advise on matters of policy especially with respect to technical aspects of the programme.
||As part of its EduTech 2000 project all the countrys schools will be upgraded and their physical facilities enhanced over the planned 7-year period.|
||The Ministry of Education is engaged in curriculum reform with emphasis on student-centred instruction. Provision has been made to address individual differences in the delivery of instruction. The use of alternative means of assessment also allows for individual differences to be taken into account.||These new approaches are now being implemented so no feed back is yet available.|
||Aspects of relevant provisions have already been noted above. In addition to the provisions previously referred to it is to the Ministry of Education has recently secured the services of an additional psychologist. The Ministry also continues to ensure, as far as possible, that children with special needs benefit from the various facilities that have been provided for them.|
||Publicity campaigns and radio and TV
programmes are regularly mounted which specifically draw the attention of parents and
other adults to the importance of protecting children from abuse of various kinds.
A Drugs Education Officer is attached to the Student Services section of the Ministry of Education.