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Internal Efficiency

All efficiency indicators in terms of retention, repetition and drop out rates have improved after a decline from 1993 to 1996. A comparison of the data for the primary level shows that the promotion rate consistently decreased at the rate of 3.7% from 1993 to 1996 but increased in 1997. The result is attributed to the introduction of the basic systems related to the improvement of school organization, methodology of teaching, local training at cluster level and the provision of textbooks. Female rates showed greater change during this period. The withdrawal rate is erratic and always below 7% and above 4% but the rate is always higher for girls. Among the different causes for the greater drop out of girls according to a study conducted on girls’ education in 1997 are, parents’ attitude towards the value of education for girls, early marriage, concern for the safety of girls in school environment.

From the data given in table 24 it is assessed that many students repeat grades and drop out before they finish the primary cycle. The survival rate for the elementary level in 1997 was 68.6% (64.9% for girls and 71.7% for boys) which despite the unusual pattern in 1994 (because it should have followed the pattern of the promotion and drop out rates), has been decreasing but again improving after 1996. In general survival rates are lower for girls in all grades and all levels. The survival rate at the end of grade 7 (completion of Formal Basic Education) has improved similarly despite the gradual deterioration until 1996. This must be compared with the result obtained at the general National Examination for grade 7. This is slightly lower because some students who succeeded in their school assessment tend to fail in the national examination. This raises the importance of relating the school-based assessment with the standards of the National examinations.

Table 24: Survival Rate by Grade and Year

 

Grade 1

Grade 2

Grade 3

Grade 4

Grade 5

Grade 6

Grade 7

Grade 8

1993

100

88.8

83.4

78.8

75.1

68.9

64.2

73.9

1994

100

94.5

92.2

88.3

80.9

73.8

69.5

69.3

1995

100

89.1

83.7

79.5

66.9

63.1

58.6

56.7

1996

100

91.4

86.3

80.2

70.4

62.8

54.4

54.2

1997

100

89.8

86.9

82.5

76.6

68.6

61.5

61.3

In this context, a 20.5 % repetition rate has been recorded in 1997 (22% for girls and 19.3% for boys). It is very useful to note that there is a high cost involved per graduate but two qualitative issues are critically raised in relation to the quantitative outputs. In the first place there is a strong and urgent need to assess the effectiveness of the continuous assessment policy used for assessing the activities of students. This is again related to the policy itself and the motivation, skill and capacity of the teachers in handling the assessment process. In the second place similar reforms in the promotion policy are needed though the idea of mass promotion is not a policy adhered in Eritrea.

A study made in 1997 on the frequency of repetitions by students at the Basic education level also showed three important trends (DGE 1997, p 12). At primary school level, the grades where the highest percentage and frequency of repetitions is seen are grades 1 and 4 (24% and 30% respectively). Fort hose repeating more than one time in a specific grade, the highest frequency was in grade 1 (25% repeated 2 and 4% repeated 3 times). In grades 5 it was 8% and 1%, 5% and 1%, 8% and 2%, 2.7% and 0.3% respectively. An important pattern in all the grades is that while the percentage of repeaters for the first time increases as the grade level goes higher up, the percentage of those who repeat more than one time keeps on decreasing. This demonstrates that in terms of cost and achievement there are two significant implications. The fact that frequent repetitions in a grade are minimal shows the enormous efforts made at improving the basic problems of learning achievement especially for repeaters. In addition it has been found out that repetition of more than once is not a major concern though some efforts through extra help, and closer follow up to identify weaknesses with the help of parents could improve the situation significantly. Another interesting trend still applicable in grade 6 is that 8% of repeaters repeat twice in the grade. The prevalence of such a frequency has been found much lower in grade 7 (about 1.6%).

The major problem in student flow is at entry grades of the cycles, i.e. grades 1, 6 and 8. Though this is showing improvement (Refer Table 25), there is a great need to focus on these entry grades in order to improve the overall efficiency in the school system. An innovation, which helped improve the situation was the measure taken to deploy more experienced teachers in lower grades to fill the gap. Another major problem is the disparity in attainment and the wastage rate at all grades. Girls achieve lower in all grades. There is regional disparity here with the regions having many second language schools relatively having lower internal efficiency.

Table 25: Internal Efficiency Basic Education Level: 1993- 1997

Year

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

Grade

P

R

W

P

R

W

P

R

W

P

R

W

P

R

W

1

63.1

28.9

8

63.6

32.7

3.7

69.9

27.2

7.9

63.6

30.4

6

66.1

26.3

7.6

2

78

17

5

79.1

19

1.9

76.7

18.5

4.8

76.6

19

4.4

80.3

17.1

2.6

3

80.6

14.7

4.7

81.7

14.8

3.5

80.3

15.4

4.3

72.9

21.7

5.5

76.9

19.0

4.1

4

75.9

20.5

3.6

72

21.5

6.5

68.6

22.1

9.3

65.3

25.9

8.8

72.8

21.8

5.4

5

79.4

13.6

7

76.9

16

7.1

77.7

14.0

8.3

74.4

17

8.6

76.4

14.8

9.3

6

78.9

15.5

5.6

79

16.2

4.8

74.9

16.8

8.3

71.2

18

10.8

73.4

18.2

8.4

7

86.8

13.2

80.5

19.5

85.5

14.5

81.3

18.7

75

25.0

In general, the degree of transition to the next level of basic education has substantially changed. The rate for girls is lower by about 7.7% at junior level and 25.3% in the transition of the senior level than that of boys. It has been found that in standard terms the transition rate of the National Examination is lower than the school achievement result for grade 7 by about 25.9%. This poses several policy issues. The first is the need to introduce examination reform to standardize the National Examination in relation to the National Curriculum and its implementation. During the last 3 years modest improvement of the quality and organization of the examination process has started. The initiative requires more consolidation in the future. The same major problem is the effectiveness of the continuous assessment policy and its implementation as far as teacher readiness, capacity and attitude in implementing the assessment is concerned. This would require major intervention in terms of improving teacher qualification, revising the assessment policy through concrete research and improving teacher readiness and motivation.

Local Training and Support

The major strategy in improving the quality of education is the focus on local and grass root interventions. The trend here is to give continuous support and monitoring to teachers at local level. Effort has been made to relate this to the improvement of the teaching-learning process at school and local levels, develop a local training system to achieve the above objectives and improve the qualification of teachers. The implementation of the local training and support strategy has been based on the organization of schools into 120 clusters. Local training has been aimed at improving the teaching methodology, procedures on the continuous assessment of students, the use and development of teaching aids, the introduction of innovations, and the local adaptation of the curriculum. Training of trainers programmes were conducted in all subjects with more focus on languages, mathematics and science. The trainers already have become local trainers. In many clusters their work was supported and supplemented by local supervisors.

In general, the cluster management organization has greatly helped in the introduction of local training, the establishment of school pedagogic resource centers, introduction of innovations and the mobilization and proper utilization of scarce resources. Pedagogic resource centers have been established and equipped in about 78 clusters through UNICEF and DANIDA funds and fourteen of them have already built new centers. The major problem here is the lack of appropriate qualification of the teachers who serve as coordinators. Lack of supplies has also become a crucial problem.

Qualification and Utilization of Resources and Teachers

The improvement in the under-qualification of teachers was also a major contributor in the overall improvement of the school system. The academic under-qualification of teachers has improved as a result of two measures. One way in which this was reduced was through the process of streamlining made during the restructuring of the civil service. The second but major intervention was the academic course given to more than 228 teachers to complete their secondary education thorough summer programmes. These efforts have reduced the number of those with low academic qualification from 486 in 1993 to 46 in 1998. At present it is believed that about 60.3% of teachers at the elementary level are certified by the TTI. Only 46 (0.7%) are those without any training and low academic qualification and the rest are those ranging from a secondary plus one year university education (sec +1) to masters level. The TTI has been certifying an average of 300 teachers annually at primary school level. Despite some shortages in the provision of teachers, this has enabled the ministry to facilitate the necessary expansion at primary school level. About 1173 teachers have been trained in a one year regular primary school teaching certificate in the last 5 years. During the same time 400 unqualified teachers have taken the same course through a two years distance learning programme and 615 have started this year. This has assured cost effectiveness by certifying the teachers without separating them from their teaching duties.

The lack of teachers for minority languages (Saho, Afar, Nara, Kunama, Bilen, Hedareb, and Tigre) has for a long been a crucial problem at elementary level. Thus a special training programme arranged for these languages has to a large extent solved the provision of teachers in almost all languages except in Afar and Hedareb which need to be taken as special targets in the future. In the last 3 years more than 570 teachers have been trained through the programme which directly recruits students from the secondary level. The programme has been instrumental in the expansion of the schools in the specified languages. The approach was based on two needs. In the first place there is great need to promote equal opportunity in all minority languages. Secondly there is a great deal of disparity in results and outputs of secondary education. It has been very difficult to find competent recruits with satisfactory secondary school leaving examination results, whom successfully fulfill the expected grades. Thus, second year secondary level students were recruited, and these are allowed to finish their secondary academic qualification in the TTI and take secondary school leaving examination. They also take pedagogic training to certify them as primary school teachers. This is a very successful experience though assessment is needed to consolidate the management, organization and content of the programme.

An innovative programme in teacher provision is the special measure introduced on Female Teachers coaching at the TTI. More than 170 have benefited from this intervention through UNICEF funding. Far from benefiting female teacher trainees, it has demonstrated (socially and culturally) that the role of women teachers is central to the teaching and upbringing process in general and that of girls in particular. The education policy in Eritrea is co-educational and hence the female coaching is not seen in relation to separate classes for girls. It is rather a way of consolidating the role model factor. There is an extensive plan to consolidate this programme on the basis of the evaluation to be made very soon.

The major problem in teacher qualification is in the middle level. Most of the teachers are not qualified and certified to teach at this level (less than university diploma or sec +3). A significant number of these teachers are certified for primary level. The rapid expansion of that cycle compelled the management to transfer many primary teachers to the middle level. In principle this is not accepted but as the problem has gone beyond control, many primary teachers are teaching at junior level. It is to be reckoned that this has enormous effect on the quality of teaching and on the result of the national examination given at that level. The MOE has given serious attention to the provision of quality teachers and has started a diploma programme for middle school level teachers.

The maximization in the utilization of resources especially teachers and the school time has been a major area considered in the promotion of quality education. One of the major interventions in the last four years has been the increase in the instructional time and a flexible and effective utilization of resources in double shift organization based on a study conducted (MOE 1995). A guideline was developed on the basis of this study. The instructional time has been increased by an average of about 25% at Formal Basic Education level special emphasis was given to lower primary in languages and mathematics (by about 50% to 60%). This has greatly reduced the repetition rate and improved the basic learning competencies at grade 1 and 2 in particular.

In 1996 the government significantly increased the remuneration of teachers. To maximize the utilization of the resources and expertise of teachers and assure their decisive role in changing the quality of education, a teacher management system has been worked out. This is based on the intensive use of teachers for improving the quality of education in the country. Teacher performance evaluation has been one of the central dimensions and an effective mechanism for transparent and practical performance evaluation have been developed. Teachers, directors and other educational officers exhaustively discussed the system. It has helped a great deal in the improvement of teacher motivation, commitment and relationships. Furthermore, a ranking system for teachers based on their professional experience, qualification, years of service, performance and special professional contribution has been developed. To supplement this a Teacher Employment and Management Regulation has been developed and is going to be implemented after approval. The regulation will be submitted for discussion among teachers and other concerned bodies.

One of the major concerns and issues in the qualification and training of teachers is the content, extent and organization of a cost effective primary school teachers training programme. This has been debated on several occasions and there is a general tendency to extend the duration and content of the training given. Several issues require extensive studies in line with the Teacher Education Policy. The major problem that needs to be addressed is the redefinition of the content of the programme. Extending the duration of the training has always been questioned in terms of pedagogic relevance and cost effectiveness. This is not to negate however, the importance of raising the quality of the training and teachers at primary level. This makes the development of a new Teacher Education Policy and Strategy necessary to address these and other policy issues of teacher training. It will be helpful in order to address the high challenges and great demands existing in the country to universalize primary education as a first priority.

Organizational Indicators and School Environment

Another basic phenomenon that has been observed in the last eight years is the effect of the school environment on the teaching-learning process and results of teaching and learning. Thus, one of the major constraints in the improvement of quality is the standard of organizational indicators. Class size increased from 48 to 51 at primary, 57 to 63 at middle and from 51 to 56 at secondary level between 1996/97 and 1998/99 at government schools while this is very much lower in non-government schools. The general indication is however, that class size in itself is not a decisive determinant of the quality of instruction. Results show that in many cases schools with small class-size have scored lower results than schools with high-class size and population.

There is a similar situation in the teaching-learning environment and presently there is a one section to 0.95 teachers at primary, 1 to 1.01 at middle level and 1 to 1.07 at secondary level. These are lower than the standards set in the school organization regulation. The above situation has greatly influenced the teaching learning environment and has increased teaching load for teachers especially at middle and secondary levels. The standard class-size set in the school organization regulation is 42. Pupil-teacher ratios are 1:1 at primary, 1:1.1 at middle level and 1:1.2 at secondary level. Employing and building about 691 teachers and 922 classrooms at primary, 648 teachers and 406 classrooms at middle will be required so as to address the class-size problems. In the long term a general strategy and plan needs to be worked out to address the challenge in a phased approach. As this would take a long time and investment, however, introducing innovative approaches and extra efforts to challenge faced due to large class sizes would be required.

For many schools the growing enrolment has become a major challenge and requires larger resources and investment. Double shift system has for long been practiced to maximize resource utilization. This has considerably solved the space problems though in some big schools the large school population seems to affect the school environment and create problems of management. It also hampers the organization of extra classes, studies and extra curricular activities to be conducted in the schools. In general, 40% of the schools at elementary and about 60% of the schools at middle school level work in double shift. The problem of school size and student population sometimes becomes a major impediment with some 1.7% of the schools at the elementary and 1.7% schools at junior accommodating more than 2000 students. Few of these accommodate more than 3000 students.

On the other hand there is also the problem of under-utilization of resources in many schools in the sparsely populated areas. Distance of schools from the community is also a major impediment in enrolment. In standard terms schools with less that 250-student population are classified as small schools. Presently there are more than 37% of schools with less than 250 students. As schools were built to accommodate 250 students in single shift and 500 students in double shift, in many cases under-utilization of school premises has been a major concern. Thus, the idea of establishing standard size schools has been criticized in sparsely populated areas. The alternative measure adapted was to build small size schools (feeder schools).

Support Systems

Lack of support systems has influenced the teaching-learning process. There are more than 54 middle schools without library and more than 75% without demonstration rooms. In the past three years there were efforts to establish nine middle school libraries and nine demonstration rooms at a pilot phase with DANIDA funding. Delays in the construction and provision of equipment have hampered the functioning of these facilities. In addition about 12 from the 40 School Pedagogic Resource Centers (SPRCs) have got buildings with DANIDA funding and will start functioning very soon. These centers have greatly helped in the proper functioning of the local training system and the improvement in the teaching-learning process. In general, the lack of support systems has greatly affected the practical implementation of the teaching learning process, It has curtailed teachers’ self-learning and self-confidence greatly. This should be critically seen in respect to the innovative creative and dynamic effort of teachers to exploit locally available resources. This has been the secret in which many schools in rural areas have been able to achieve the best results in National Examinations despite the lack of support systems.

Textbook provision was also a major task in the last 3 years. The effort to reprint the elementary, junior and selected senior secondary school textbooks through DANIDA and UNICEF funding has been accomplished and this has created a 1:1 textbook to student ratio in about 90% of the grades and this has greatly facilitated the teaching and learning process. Though the precise impact is to be assessed in the near future from the experience obtained in the last three years, this has helped in raising learning achievement and internal efficiency. Some interventions to print English textbooks for various grade levels through CSDP and British council funding has also helped in ascertaining the provision of the new English language textbooks. In general, textbooks are provided for free at Formal Basic Education level. A cost recovery mechanism by introducing a rent system has been introduced in the last two years. This is a minimal charge per book, which rests responsibility on the students to use the book properly and also create a revolving fund for textbook repair and replacements.

A major undertaking with great impact in the last three years was that of improving the physical quality of the textbooks. Efforts have been made to upgrade the hardware quality of the DTP and manpower training has been a major endeavor. In general the establishment of a strong publishing system has been a major accomplishment. A network structure was established and a Book Progress Monitoring System and a Production, Costing, Printing and Distribution database have been developed so as to develop a tracking and monitoring system for the development of quality textbooks in the future curriculum and textbook development. To consolidate implementation, a five-year textbook production plan has been developed to direct the textbook development process when curriculum review starts. Various guidelines related to authorship scheme, in-house style procedures, editing, general guidelines on distribution and textbook designs have been developed. These guidelines have established a clear vision and orientation on textbook quality and techniques. Furthermore a cost recovery mechanism for senior secondary school textbook provision has been developed based on a study made and has been implemented at senior secondary schools. Students participate by paying about 62% of the cost to create a revolving fund for the re-printing of textbooks continuously.

Improving School Management

One of the major problems in the transformation of the quality of basic education in Eritrea has been the low level of school management in terms of its efficiency and its effectiveness. A major problem was the low qualification of directors. A fourth of the directors have no training. More than 200 directors have been trained in Educational Management and Supervision through a three summers programme in collaboration with Bristol University. The training of directors has been a priority area expected to improve the managerial capacity. Continuous local training has also been introduced at the cluster level with the support of UNICEF.

The main focus of all the efforts made is the development of the school as an institution of learning based on excellence, high quality, responsible participation and strong relationships with all stakeholders. Thus the management structure and capacity of schools has been consolidated to meet these demands. School based monitoring has been considered highly and the directors’ task has concentrated more on supervision rather than on routine administrative activities. After an extensive study, a school management manual and policy was introduced which has greatly helped directors in their planning, administration, implementation and evaluation of the school activities

A cluster management organization of schools has been established to promote greater standardization, mobilization of resources, exchange of experiences and improvement of teaching-learning process. Directors in a cluster area have the joint and collective responsibility to work together and plan joint activities, which can raise enrolment, improve the quality of teaching, and allow greater community participation and involvement. Thus, regular meetings (at least twice per semester) depending on the distance between the schools are conducted and this are always associated with making evaluations, workshops in relation to the improvement of the management and innovative effort in using locally available expertise in the cluster area.

In the last eight years the effective involvement of parents and communities has been a major task. Parents’ committees established in almost all schools have produced a great effect in the democratization of education and smooth running of schools in general though their role varies from school to school and across various areas. Two major handicaps have been identified. The first is concentration of the committees in activities related to fulfilling the material and financial demands of the school. Thus, expanding the activities of the committee to include in following up the academic performance and activities of the schools and students, enforcing the discipline in schools, organization of extra-curricular activities is considered to be essential. In the second place the parents’ committee gave little attention in consolidating the relation between teachers and parents. Thus more focus needs to be made in this area. This has led to the establishment of a Parents’ Teachers Association (PTA) as an important development in school management. A guideline has been developed and circulated to schools and sensitization campaigns have been going on in many areas, schools have started establishing PTA’s. Relation between parents and teachers school is expected to be strong through the establishment of parents committees and PTA.

Public Expenditure on Basic education

The role of education in improving the quality of life has been highly regarded. The economic value of education is also accepted beyond doubt. The formation of human capital is also regarded as one of the highest contributors of GDP. Due to the competing and over stretched priorities in the country’s development, the government’s limited capacity and lack of institutional capacity to absorb and manage extensive programmes, there have been major problems in the allocation of resources. The government’s political will and commitment to invest on people particularly in education is however beyond doubt. This has been demonstrated by the overall positive change in educational expenditure as a percentage of GNP, as a percentage of total public expenditure and as a percentage of the expenditure on social services. The rough indication (though not final) on Basic Education expenditure has been summarized in table 26.

Table 26: Comparison of BE Expenditure in Relation to Various Expenditures and GNP by Year: 1993-97

Year

Exp. on BE

Tot Education Expenditure

Ed Exp as a % Total Gov Expenditure

BE as % of Total Expenditure

Tot Education Expenditure as % of GNP

BE as a % of GNP

1993

27,998,640

65,600,000

4.2

42.6

2.1

0.9

1994

44,157,620

74,200,000

3.7

59.5

1.7

1.0

1995

46,815,400

113,100,000

4.2

41.4

2.4

1.0

1996

40,311,290

120,000,000

4.4

33.6

2.34

0.79

1997

111,725,390

238,600,000

9.2

46.8

4.0

2.07

Tot/Av

   

5.3

44.3

2.6

1.16

The percentage of total education expenditure has grown by 23.05% while the percentage of education expenditure as a total of expenditure has grown from 4.2% in 1993 to 9.2% in 1997. The percentage of education expenditure as a total of GNP has grown from 2.1% in 1993 to 4% in 1997. Preliminary assessments also show that education expenditure as a total of social service expenditure has increased by 9.3 percentage points yearly. These figures are significant not only in terms of the amount of investment put in education, but in the progressive nature of the growth itself. This is a major indicator of the political will of the government and the firm position to take the investment on people in general and the education of children in particular as a priority. Preliminary figures show that 1998 expenditure on basic education was 94,723,750 and the indication is that despite the present border war with Ethiopia, the government’s effort to investing on education has not declined much.

The domestic source of education expenditure was 70% of the total education expenditure at basic education in 1993. This has increased to 76% in 1997. The salary expenditure for basic education as a percentage of the total salary expenditure was 78.4% in 1993 and 75.1% in 1997. At primary level this was 83.3% in 1993 and 90.3% in 1997. This shows that there has been a great increase in salary spending at primary school level. In general, a large part of the recurrent cost in basic education is devoted to salary.

There are two major issues that should be critically observed, however. Despite the government’s heavy commitment to education and the expanding expenditure in education, the prioritization of the various components of the education system and the equitable distribution of resources among the different components should be carefully weighed. It should be observed here that the allocation per student at BE level was 115.93 Nfa in 1993 while it was about 386.43 Nfa in 1997. The unit cost for a student at BE level has increased by about 58.3% yearly. The per capita income for an average Eritrean increased from 1308.25 in 1993 to about 2213.07 Nfa in 1997. The unit cost per student is thus 8.9 % of the pre capita income in 1993 and increased to 17.6% of the per capita income of an Eritrean in 1997.

In terms of the development of general education, the secondary level is the area, which has not received major investment share especially investment to improve quality. There was no capital cost made in the last 5 years since 1993. Most of the expenditure was devoted to recurrent costs especially salary but unit cost pre student was estimated to be 400 Nfa in 1997. The major question is that more than 50% of the education expenditure is spent on secondary, technical and tertiary education as well as NFE despite the limited number of enrolment in these components of the education system. In 1997 the expenditure on university education was about 25.2% of the total expenditure. The unit cost per student is estimated to be about 22,769.60 Nfa. This is 59 times the unit cost per student in Basic Education and is 10 times the per capita income of an average Eritrean in 1997 (Preliminary Ministry of Finance Sources).

The above analysis leads to some basic policy issues. The increase in the unit cost per student at basic education and the increase as a percentage of the per capita income indicate increase in investment in education. Several dimensions could be mentioned here. The most important is the increase in recurrent cost of teachers due to increase of teachers’ salary, the improvement in the quality of school constructions and major interventions related to quality. The largest portion has gone to the first three dimensions. This implies that in the first place more investment should be devoted to improving the quality of Basic Education. Secondly introducing low cost school and durable construction schemes need to be introduced. Thirdly the intensive use of teachers and maximization in the utilization of resources is necessary. From pedagogic considerations and cost effectiveness the innovative utilization of resources need to be considered in small size schools. With the proper consideration of these policy issues, it is essential to improve the expenditure on Basic Education in relation to the other components.

The Establishment of a Monitoring and Support System

The Supervision System

In the last eight years the improvement in the philosophy and organization of supervision has been an important part of the effort at improving educational management. The main principle has been to dissociate supervision from the practices of inspection and routine checks and observations on teachers by supervision. The main tenets adhered have been to introduce local monitoring related to improving quality, local support to teachers and activities related at introducing innovations based on studies and concrete evaluations. The main strategy has been to

establish a local monitoring system where local supervision on a cluster management basis becomes the main organization. Although the system is at its early stage, it has significantly impacted on improving the quality of education and monitor educational opportunity. A policy guideline on the supervision system based on this philosophy and vision has been developed since 1996 to consolidate the effort.

Impact in Educational Standardization

One of the effective measures in standardizing the school system at a national level and in developing yearly national plans has been the introduction of an educational guidance system. Major policy issues and standard guidelines based on surveys and studies were the major themes of the exercise and evaluations. This has helped to arrive at policy options, recommendations, ways at standardizing the implementation and results of the curriculum and methodologies. Experience sharing and demonstration of innovations were also highly considered. A great advantage of this exercise was the participation of many stakeholders in which administrations at various levels, associations, teachers, directors and education officers participated. Similar exercises have been started at regional level on the basis of the experience gained, which will further be replicated at lower levels in the future.

To supplement and consolidate this effort, special workshop programmes for supervisors working at local levels were conducted every semester. The aim was to establish a strong local monitoring and support system. This is related to the effort of developing a local monitoring system and strategy. The strategy is aimed at the provision of continuous monitoring of the standard of education, support in improving the quality of teachers and monitor the school environment at grass root level in each cluster area. A major constraint is that supervisors are appointed at a sub region level and the tendency seems more geared to inspection and routine semester tours to schools. Various indicators and regulatory standards have been issued. These systems have contributed to the development of a unified school system but there needs a great deal of work in monitoring their implementation that is till very low.

The impact of the efforts made in the standardization of education could further be demonstrated by the results of the National Examinations. A national examination policy was developed and implemented to create a policy environment and assure its use as an instrument for curriculum enrichment and monitoring of school performances. Three major interventions were made to improve the quality and outputs of the examinations in a progressive manner in the course of 3-4 years. In the first place, general guidelines on the organization and implementation of examinations, correction of examination papers and the management process were developed to assure the effective management and efficiency of the system. In the last 3 years continuous surveys were conducted and workshops held to improve the content, quality and organization of the examination. In addition Item Analysis of examinations has also been made for the last 3 years and has been used for improving quality. Lastly the type of examinations and the promotion cut points have been raised gradually.

Systems Approach and Impact in the School System

The overall strategy in the functional arrangements and tasks of formal basic education is based on the systems approach. The school system is considered an essential and important component of the national Educational System. The main effort has been to assure the interrelated and interconnected development of the three parts of the school system. The school system mainly encompasses the curriculum and related dimensions which are used in the process of teaching-learning, the pedagogic style and the methodology required to implement this into reality and a school organization which is needed for establishing the necessary environment for proper implementation and monitoring. Efforts are being made so that the three parts fit into the overall strategy of developing an equitable, practical and quality education.


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