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Part 1 – Descriptive Sections

1. Education For All - Goals and Targets

This section refers to the national goals and targets of Education for All as outlined by the Government of Jamaica through the executive body responsible for education - The Ministry of Education and Culture. It is important to state at the outset that no committee was established specifically to deal with Education for All as a country follow-up from the Jomtien Conference in 1990. However, national goals and targets for education in Jamaica were established in the Ministry of Education and Culture which in general coincided with the goals and targets dimensions defined by Education for All established in the Technical Guidelines.

(a) Early Childhood Care and Development

Goals and Targets

The Education Five Year Development Plan of Jamaica 1990 - 1995 lists the following objectives of Early Childhood Education Development Programme:

The expansion of the early childhood education to cater for children 0 – 5 years

Inter-sectoral integration of early childhood services

To institutionalize the use of a standard curriculum in all Infant schools

To improve the quality of Basic School Teachers and the supervision of early childhood education

           To increase the coverage of early childhood education

To improve the quality of early Childhood Education in public institutions

To improve the nutritional status of pupils enrolled in early childhood programmes

On the other hand, the more current Five Year Education Plan 1995 – 2000 emphasizes the maintenance of quality education and care for the age cohort 0 – 5 through a number of initiatives including:

Programme administration

Instructional Supervision

Teacher Training at various levels

Provision of appropriate readiness curriculum

Community and sponsor education and training

Parent and sponsor education and training

Provision of grants and subsidies towards:

In response to the Caribbean Plan of Action adopted by CARICOM in 1997, Jamaica has developed a National Plan of Action for Early Childhood Care and Development (1997 – 2000) The Plan of action has set the following goals for the sector:

Development of an integrated Early Childhood Education Care and Development (ECECD) Policy from birth to 5 years to be incorporated into existing policies in all relevant ministries including Health, Housing, Local Government, Education and Labour

Development of a plan of Action for financing the ECECD Plan of Action to include models of cost distribution and mechanisms for investment linked to poverty eradication initiatives.

Development of a multi-sectoral data collection, monitoring and evaluation system for Early Childhood linked to policy and planning systems of the Government of Jamaica.

Development of an integrated workplan between the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education to target poor families with children between birth and three years for home visiting, day care services and parenting education.

Development of competency-based certification systems for Early Childhood workers and an accreditation system for training institutions and the provision of training opportunities for individuals at entry and technician levels of occupational competence.

Strengthening of parent and community awareness, leadership and support for early childhood and sensitization and involvement of the media.

(b) Universal Access to and Completion of Primary (Basic) Education by the year 2000

Goals and Targets

The Education and Training Five Year Development Plan 1990 – 1995 outlines the following objectives:

To provide equal educational opportunities for the projected enrolment in primary education by 1994

To ensure that most children on completion of primary education have acquired literacy, numeracy, learning and social skills to continue learning both in and out of the school environment.

To enable each individual to develop his/her full potential creativity and critical thought both for his/her own fulfillment and for functioning as a useful citizen.

The Five Year Education Plan (1995 –2000) lists the following outcomes:

By the end of grade 6, students are expected to be equipped with the following characteristics:

    1. Literacy and numeracy by global standards
    2. Competence in prerequisite knowledge and skills to access secondary education
    3. Possession of a caring attitude towards self, others and things.

Special Education

It is also important to mention the objectives set by the Ministry of Education for Special Education as in the past, this area was not a part of the mainstream activities. The Five Year Development Plan (1990 –19995) lists the major objectives of the Special Education Programme as follows:

To expand access to primary and secondary level education for disabled children

To improve the quality of Special Education

To foster the development of the intellectually gifted

(c ) Improvement in Learning Achievement

Goals and Targets

The Ministry of Education and Culture’s Annual Corporate Plan 1998/1999 cites the overarching goal of basic and primary education as the improved quality and efficiency of primary education programme through the introduction of new interventions and the continuation and/or expansion of existing programmes and projects. These include among other things:

Training teachers of Grades 4 and 6 with the skills required to diagnose and remediate illiteracy

Curriculum evaluation and review, designed to revise the existing national curriculum and establish performance standards at the end of each grade

The establishment of 120 School libraries and the improvement in book stock to achieve a book to pupil ratio of 1:3.5.

Development of standardized battery of measurement instruments designed to assess pupil’s learning outcomes.

Providing free textbooks for grades 1 to 6, and implementing a textbook rental scheme for grades 7 to 9

Integrating technology into education

Monitoring of school attendance

Provision of school meals

Provision of a school bus service

Improvement in school management

(d) Reduction of the adult illiteracy rate, especially the disparity between male and female illiteracy rates.

Goals and Targets

The Jamaica Movement for the Advancement of Adult Literacy (JAMAL), is a government agency having as its mandate, the provision of opportunities for the improvement of literacy among the population 15 years and over, through non-formal adult education channels. In keeping with this mandate JAMAL:

Conducts Workplace Literacy training programmes

Offers Computer Assisted training programmes

e) Expansion of basic education and training in other essential skills required by youth and adults.

Goals and Targets

During the period under review, 1990 – 1999, the overall objective of the Government was to provide basic education and vocational skills training opportunities for youth and adults outside the formal education system. To this end, a number of initiatives were undertaken in order to promote self-employment, economic self-sufficiency, and the attendant behavioural changes with regard to health, employment and productivity.

Goals and targets included:

The establishment of The Human Employment and Resource Training Trust/National Training Agency (HEART Trust/NTA) in 1982. Its aim is to administer and equip all public sector technical and vocational training programmes to produce adequate numbers of skilled and semi-skilled workers to meet the requirements of sectors relevant to national development priorities.

The reintroduction of the National Youth Service (NYS)

Introduction of:

The Special Training and Empowerment Programme (STEP 1 & STEP 11)

The Skills 2000 Project

-Operation Strategy to Rehabilitate Inner-City through Viable Enterprise (STRIVE)

(f) Increased acquisition by individuals and families of the knowledge, skills and values required for better living, made available through education channels.

Goals and Targets

the operation of Public Education channels to divulge knowledge, skills and attitudes required by individuals and families for a better living.

The dissemination of information pertaining to the social well being of the public

The establishment of a Public Service Broadcasting (PBS) system

2.National EFA Strategy and /or Plan of Action

Early Childhood Care and Development

The main features of the agreed strategy or plan of action as stated in the 1990 – 1995 Five Year Development Education Plan made reference to a number of strategies including the:

Integration of early childhood sections of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education and Culture

Development of curriculum guides for 3 year olds

Introduction of an improved system of in-service training for approximately 3000 teachers and upgrading the qualification of teachers

Assisting communities to upgrade the physical facilities of Basic Schools, by providing building materials

Granting recognition status to all Basic Schools

Ensuring a minimum nutritional level among pupils by providing a nutrition subsidy or snack

Jamaica, in 1997, in response to the Caribbean Plan of Action, adopted by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), developed a National Plan of Action (1997-2000) and established an Integration Advisory Committee to guide the development and integration of the activities of all care providers of early childhood services.

In 1998, legislation was passed to effect the transfer of the Day Care Services of the Ministry of Health to the Ministry of Education & Culture. Consistent with the projected targets of the Draft Five Year Education Plan, 1995-2000, the integration was formalized in 1999, resulting in the establishment of a comprehensive Early Childhood Education and Development (ECED) Programme, for children in the age group 0 – 5 years.

The Draft Education Plan 1995-2000, in its outline of policy objectives to be achieved during the plan period, cites the improved well being of all children at the early childhood level (0-5 years), as the major goal. The Plan emphasises the importance of the uninterrupted development of the child from birth, to be achieved through the inter-sectoral integration of health, nutrition, education and other welfare inputs.

The Economic and Social Survey of Jamaica, 1996 (ESSJ), states that the process of integration was further facilitated through the Evaluation and Revitalization Programme financed jointly by the Bernard Van Leer Foundation and the Dudley Grant Memorial Fund. Curricular support was provided through a joint project with the Government of Jamaica (GOJ), The United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF) and the University of the West Indies (UWI). The project administered by the Caribbean Child Development Centre (CCDC) developed the Infant Care Curriculum, based on a set of performance standards developed by the Child Focus Project.

During the decade of the nineties, the main driver in the physical expansion of the ECED programme, was the Social Sector Development Programme (SSDP) started in 1989, designed inter alia, to effect the physical upgrading of a number of basic schools. The Programme Advisory Committee Report, indicate that by the end of the project in 1997, some 26 Basic schools were either expanded, refurbished or constructed.

Documentation supplied by the Early Childhood Education Unit (ECEU) of the MOE&C, state that under the Programme for the Advancement of Childhood Education (PACE), special emphasis was placed on the upgrading and training of teachers to improve the quality of delivery in an effort to reduce the large number of para-professionals working in the system. In 1992, over 250 teachers benefited from a series of in-service training. Additionally, 55 early childhood teachers successfully completed a one-year intra-mural training programme funded by the GOJ and the Bernard Van Leer Foundation. The Jamaica Twenty-Five, provided 25 teacher-trainers with Fellowships to pursue the Bachelors in Early Childhood Education Degree at the University of the West Indies (UWI). A follow-up to this programme is the joint UWI/Teachers’ College Bachelor of Education introduced in 1996, and currently being offered to upgrade practitioners in this field.

Simultaneous with teacher training was the development of curriculum and support materials resulting in the completion and adoption of an Integrated Readiness Programme for children in the age group 3 to 5 years old.

The effect of these, and other small scale interventions has resulted in an increase in the number of government recognized basic schools from 1,251 to 1,980 over the period 1990 to 1998. In addition, the merger between early childhood education and day care services added some 335 day care centres to the then existing complement of physical plants at this level. The Jamaica: Education Statistics 1990/91 and 1997/98, indicate that the gross enrolment rate at this level increased from 83 to 85 percent for 1990 and 1998 respectively. This data is corroborated by the estimates of the GOJ/IBRD Survey of Living Conditions (SLC) for the same period.

(b) Basic Education

For the purpose of this Country Paper, Basic Education is inclusive of grades 1 to 9. The strategies used for the Basic Education Programme according to the Five Year Education Development Plan 1990 – 1995, lists:

Expanding the provision of textbooks

Improving the Schools Library Service by training teacher librarians

Working with community groups to sensitize parents regarding the importance of regular attendance

Reinforcing the Compulsory Attendance Programme

Improving accommodation by building new school places, and refurbishing existing schools, and removing grades 7 – 9 of All Age Schools

Identifying needy students and providing them with uniforms, exercise books and pencils

Improving the teaching of language arts and mathematics through the establishment of Resource Centres

Evaluating the curriculum and making necessary adjustments

Maintaining a pupil :teacher ratio of 1:40

Developing and expanding the National Assessment Programme for Grades 3 and 6 as well as a diagnostic test for Grade 4

Strengthening the provision of basic education and Training teachers to teach multi-grade classes.

The GOJ Primary Textbook Programme (PTP), which has been in existence for over two decades, epitomizes government’s support to education by enhancing access to quality primary education and optimizing learning outcomes. The principle of the PTP is based on pupil’s ownership of free, consumable, annually reprinted books. Under this programme, all pupils in grades 1-6 are provided with text  books in Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies. Approximately 1.3 million books are printed and distributed annually.

In addition, a series of readers, The Doctor Bird Series, are provided  to each school in ‘class sets’ to be retained by the school for class use.

The GOJ Schools Internet Project introduced in 1998 is another strategy implemented to facilitate learning achievement. This project aims to provide all 995 schools in Jamaica with a computer and Internet access where the telecommunications infrastructure is avail-able. Multi media software will be provided for schools without access. Government’s Attendance Mobilisation Project, introduced in 1998 is aimed at increasing the present levels of attendance to at least 85 percent by the end of the plan period in the year 2000. Reports from the Regional Offices of the MOE&C indicate that schools with aver- age annual attendance rates below 60 percent have been targeted for close monitoring and interventions are being applied on a school by school basis.

In addition, government has also made an effort to support learning achievement through welfare schemes and social safety net measures. The National Poverty Eradication Programme was expanded during the decade. One such programme is the GOJ School Feeding Programme (SFP), which is self-targeting and provides a balanced meal for over 300,000 pupils daily. Students, who can afford, contribute a small subsidy of approximately US$ 0.05 per lunch.

Under the GOJ Social and Economic Support Programme, (SESP) a school bus service for children is being gradually phased into the general transportation system.

The School Outreach Programme in Education (SCOPE) a component of Primary Education Assistance Project (PEAP) and the precursor of the Adopt-a-School programme is designed to mobilize community support for schools and facilitate learning achievement. As a follow-up, PEAP II, which came on stream in 1991 and ended in 1996 expanded the SCOPE principle of school management through the establishment of a number of SCOPE committees across the island. The MOE&C also benefited from institutional strengthening through the establishment of a Management Information and Geographic Information Systems in its Planning and Development Division.

The Five Year Education Plan (1995 – 2000) expanded on the strategies developed in the previous five –year plan. and overall, the strategies were embodied in the Primary Education Improvement Programme Phase II

(PEIP II). In general, this programme jointly funded by the Government of Jamaica and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is aimed at improving the quality of primary education and reducing inequalities in its provision.

Special Education

The strategies designed for Special Education include those above for the

primary level as well as:

Reserving at least a 5 per cent capacity at the primary and level for disabled children

Instituting support services in association with private voluntary organizations to foster a more positive attitude to the disabled

Expanding existing special education facilities to cater for more students

Expanding the principle of mainstreaming to accommodate more disabled children in regular classes

Designing school buildings to cater to the needs of the disabled

Amending the curriculum in teacher’s college to allow trainees to pursue courses in Special education

Establishing an institutional framework to develop strategies and other instruments to foster the development of the intellectually gifted.

(c ) Improvement in Learning Achievements

Plan of Action

The Education Plan 1995 - 2000 outlines the principal outcomes of the basic level as the achievement of global standards of literacy and numeracy by all, the establishment of pre-requisite skills for accessing secondary education and the development of social and interpersonal skills required by pupils to function in a civil society.

This commitment is well documented and enunciated in the MOE &C’s Annual Corporate Plan 1998/1999, which cites the overarching goal of primary education as the improved quality and efficiency of primary education programme, through the introduction of new interventions and the continuation and/or expansion of existing programmes and projects.

Consistent with the diagnosis in the earlier Five Year Education Plan

1990-1995, which stated that approximately 30 percent of basic graduates were functionally illiterate, The Draft Education Plan 1995-2000, in its summary of diagnosis at the primary level states inter alia that:

The Plan concludes that the provision of quality education at the primary

level has not kept abreast of quantitative achievements, resulting in children

being ill equipped to access secondary education. The thrust of the education sector is therefore, the provision of quality primary education for all.

The following four components of PEIP II are designed to achieve significant impact in this area:

According to the Status Report for the Corporate Plan for the period ending March 1999, the National Curriculum has been revised and piloted in 32 schools. The performance standards and measurement instruments for

diagnosing literacy were developed and 2,000 teachers trained in the new methodologies. The libraries of 103 schools were refurbished and provided with a total book stock of some 134,000 books. Additionally, 115 duplicating machines were purchased and distributed to schools.

During 1998/99 the Grade Four Literacy Test and the Grade Six Achievement Tests (GSAT) of NAP were institutionalized and administered to almost 98,000 pupils at the relevant points in the system. The GSAT was used to place all graduates of the primary level into grade 7 of secondary and comprehensive high schools as well as all-age schools. The Literacy Test was used to identify and regulate the flow of pupils from grade 4 to grade 5. Pupil flow at this stage will be based on pupil mastery of appropriate reading skills rather than on age grade promotion.

At the end of grade 9 an achievement test is administered, the success of which is measured by students who are awarded the Junior High School Certificate.

To date this project has supplied computer facilities to 104 schools. Some 340 teachers have been trained in the fundamentals of the computer system and use of the Internet. The MOE&C has also developed a National Education Technology Policy which will guide the integration of educational technologies into the education system.

Despite the provision of adequate pupil space, relevant teaching/learning and support materials are a real threat to the achievement of universality at the primary level, is the low average annual daily attendance rate of approximately 70 percent, recorded consistently for the most part of this

decade. According to the Draft Five Year Plan, 1995-2000, irregular attendance plagues primary education with absenteeism higher among boys than girls, higher in rural than in urban areas and lower on Fridays than on any other day. The Plan alludes to socio-economic factors as the main reason for this chronic level of absenteeism in the system. Consistent with this, are the findings of the SLC 1998, which states that ‘money problems’ was the most prevalent reason given by parents for not sending their children to school regularly.

Completion of basic education by the year 2000

Pupil flow through the education system in Jamaica, is based primarily on the principle of age-grade promotion, consequently the incidence of repetition is relatively low. Data provided by the MOE&C for 1997/1998 indicate that Grade 1 accounted for the highest repetition rate of 4 percent, while the highest dropout rate of 2 percent was recorded in the movement from Grade 4 to 5. Taking into account the approximately 6 percent of pupils who exit the primary level at Grade 5, via the Common Entrance Examination (CEE) the data revealed that some 96 percent of children completed the primary cycle.

Government is the major provider of basic level education, accounting for 96 percent of the enrolment and in 1998/99 allocated approximately 32 percent of the education budget to this level. Six years of primary education are

provided for pupils in the age group 6-11 years in primary (grades 1-6), all-age (grades 1-9), primary & junior high (grades 1-9) schools.

Access to education

For more than a decade, Jamaica has achieved near universal access to basic level education with an optimal 94.5 percent of primary school age children enrolled at the appropriate level. Jamaica: Education Statistics 1997/98, indicate that in addition, approximately 5.1 percent of this age group is to be found at the secondary level with less than one percent at the early childhood level, resulting in a 100 percent enrolment of primary school age children.

During the period under review, the major interventions designed to expand access and sustain the achievements already made at this level, were the Social Sectors Development Project (SSDP), GOJ/USAID Primary Education Assistance Project (PEAP), GOJ/IADB Primary Education Improvement Project (PEIP) Phase II and the GOJ/IBRD Reform of Secondary Education (ROSE).

The most comprehensive programme to have been implemented at the primary level, during this decade was the GOJ/IADB PEIP II, started in 1993. The main objective of this project is the improvement of the quality of primary education and the reduction of the inequalities in the provision through five inter-related components. The construction component of the project targets the construction of two new, the replacement of seventeen, and the extension of eight and the refurbishment of seventeen primary schools.

According to the Status Report of the Corporate Plan for the quarter ending March 1999, the project has contributed to the construction, refurbishing and or extension of 26 primary and all-age schools. This is a consolidation of earlier interventions by PEAP and SSDP. A five year project which ended in 1990, PEAP contributed to the renovation of 56 primary and all-age schools while the SSDP, refurbished, upgraded and/or expanded an additional 20 primary and all-age schools during the period 1990-1997 (Economic and Social Survey 1990-1997).

The GOJ/IBRD Education Programme Preparation and Student Loan Project (World Bank IV), a precursor of the Reform of Secondary Education (ROSE), essentially designed to address the first level of secondary education benefited a number of primary schools. By 1995, the facilities in 36 primary and all-age schools were upgraded through the consolidation of the grades 7-9 of the smallest ones into three central schools and one Junior high school.

d) Reduction of the Adult Illiteracy Rate

In an attempt to address the problem of adult illiteracy in the country, JAMAL, in its Annual Report 1997/98, aims to achieve a reduction in the illiteracy rate to, no more than 15 percent by the year 2000. This will be achieved through:

The Workplace Literacy Programme is geared to move participants beyond the needs of basic literacy and numeracy and seeks to address the development of sector-specific, on-site training programmes to meet the needs of both the employer and employee.

Despite these initiatives the Literacy Survey conducted by JAMAL in collaboration with the Statistical Institute (STATIN) of Jamaica, in 1994, indicate that approximately 24.6 percent of the targeted population was illiterate, with the rate for males being 30.8 percent or 12.2 percent higher than that for females. The survey data also indicate an inverse relationship between age group and literacy, with literacy rates highest among the youngest age group and lowest among the oldest. In other words 86.5 percent of the age group 15 – 19 was found to be literate compared to 47.9 percent of the age group 65 and over.

In 1998, JAMAL, in collaboration with other organizations carried out a number of activities designed to improve literacy among the adult population. Through the Workplace Literacy Project, introduced in 1997 some 25 in-plant literacy classes involving over 386 participants (75 percent males) were conducted. Evening and day classes for adult literacy were held at twenty-three Adult Education Centres as well as other venues across the island for over 11,000 participants monthly. The Computer Assisted Learning Programme was launched in 8 centres and intensive training in the use of

Microsoft Windows, Productivity Tools as well as the Academy of Reading Software was provided for adult education teachers. The joint JAMAL/Fanshawe College Linkage Project by the Canadian International Agency (CIDA), now in its final year developed the Level 4 Numeracy materials.

(e)Training in Essential Skills

HEART Trust/NTA the National Training Agency has implemented a number of strategies aimed at increasing and creating a consolidated cohesive and articulated training system. A modular approach has been adopted to increased access and permit flexibility in the delivery of training programmes.

The NYS, STEP1 and 11 programmes and STRIVE, were specially designed to provide the nation’s youth with attitudinal and employable skills, and to inculcate a sense of service and discipline.

The NYS was launched in 1995, and aims to bring about changes in values and attitudes and inculcate a sense of service and discipline among some 123,500 of the country’s unemployed youths between the ages of 17 and 24.

STEP 1 was launched in 1991, to provide access to training by at-risk youth in the age group 17 – 24. This is an integral part of the government’s Poverty Eradication Programme.

As a follow up, STEP 11 was launched in 1997 and targeted the age group 18 – 35. The Project is designed to improve their income earning capabilities

and facilitate vocational training employment or continuing education.

(f) Education for Better Living

The strategies adopted include a wider media coverage of the information through a variety of traditional and non-traditional means including the publication of a weekly information bulletin in the major newspapers, public service announcements on radio and television, and campaigns of varying natures. Strategies also include conflict resolution in schools, the encouragement of youth and families to strive for proper education and interest on matters of general public interest, the provision of information essential to a better social life as well as health and health related and entertainment issues.

3. Education For All Decision-Making and Management

Although there was no Education for All Committee, many of the initiatives undertaken in education were done through the Ministry of Education and Culture, which has been the primary decision-making body. For example, the Early Childhood Unit in the Ministry of Education is responsible for the management of day care and Basic Schools services in Jamaica.

Each public school is governed by a School Board appointed by the Honourable Minister of Education and Culture. The School Board is intimately involved in the decision-making process and management of the schools. In other aspects, major decisions are made via national consultations.

The National Council on Education promotes consensus on educational policies in support of the nation’s pursuit of a coherent and consistent system of education. Membership includes participants representing the Press Association of Jamaica, Trade Unions, the Professional Societies of Jamaica, the Jamaica Teacher’s Association, the Coalition for Better Parenting the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce, and the Jamaica Council of Churches.

4.Cooperation in Education for All

There has always been extensive cooperation and partnerships within the sector among various government ministries, the private sector and the wider community at large. The Ministry of Education and Culture also established a successful School-Community Outreach Programme. During the decade of the nineties, the Ministry of Education & Culture (MOE &C) in order to expand and develop the early childhood programme in Jamaica undertook several initiatives and interventions, which have been achieved through partnerships with stakeholders in education.

Churches and private trusts have also had close relationships within the sector while other examples such as the GOJ/IBRD Social Sectors Development Project (SSDP), the Programme for the Advancement of Early Childhood Education (PACE), the Bernard Van Leer Foundation, the Dudley Grant Memorial Fund has assisted the operators of facilitators in the field. Other private, local and international agencies have been at the forefront of cooperative efforts in the sector. Some of the international agencies include:

- IDB -USAID - IDRB (World Bank) -UNESCO; - UNDP; -UNICEF;- DFID

5.Investment in Education For All since 1990

Major investments in education during the decade 1990 – 1999 include:

- Construction

The construction and refurbishing of schools has been extensive and has been in conjunction with the needs of the Grades 1-6 and 7-9 reform programmes. There is also a programme to design school buildings to cater to the needs of the disabled

- Curriculum Development

This includes the revision of the Grades 1-6 and 7-9 curriculum. There has also been the evaluation and review, designed to revise the existing national curriculum and establish performance standards at the end of each grade.

The development of curriculum guides for 3 years olds has been a major boost the early childhood programme.

- Teacher Training

The Professional Development Unit of the Ministry of Education & Culture has the responsibility of designing in-service training programmes, identifying fellowships and scholarships and institutions for advanced studies. Additionally, there have been extensive training sessions with teachers in preparation for the Grade 4 Literacy Test. Grades 4 and 6 teachers are being equipped with the necessary skills required to diagnose and remediate illiteracy.

- Assessment of students

The National Assessment Programme has been the central focus of the Ministry of Education & Culture. A standardised battery of measurement instruments has been designed to assess pupils learning outcomes at various levels of the primary levels - Grade 1 readiness, Grade 3 diagnostic, Grade 4 literacy and Grade 6 achievement.

- Institutional Strengthening

The Ministry of Education & Culture has taken steps toward institutional strengthening by: decentralising the aspects of the administrative responsibilities, the establishment of teacher resource centres evaluating the curriculum and making the necessary adjustments. There has also been the provision of basic education and training of teachers to teach multi-grade classes.

The operation of Public Education channels are use to divulge knowledge, skills and attitudes required by individuals and families to improve standards of living.

The provision of a school bus service, the provision of school meals and school uniforms have also strengthened the process and improved the student attendance and performance

- Development of learning materials

The provision of textbooks for Grade 1 – 6, and the implementation of a text book rental scheme in Grade 7 –9 has been an area of concentration for the Ministry of Education & Culture.

The establishment of 120 school libraries and the improvement of book stock to existing libraries has achieved a book to pupil ratio of 1:3.5.

- Computer Assisted Instruction

The integration of computer technology into the school curriculum, the use of the Internet in research and communications has been piloted in some schools with much success. The use of computer assisted learning instruction has also been piloted in Grade 1-6 and the learning

outcomes are now being evaluated to determine future directions. Computer Assisted Instruction is also being used in the Adult Literacy Programme to provide basic literacy and numeracy skills to young adults who do not meet the entry requirements for skills training with much success.

  • Textbook Rental Schemes and the distribution of free Textbooks at the primary level.
  • Under the programme, all pupils in Grades 1-6 are provided with textbooks in Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and social Studies. Approximately 1.3 millions books are printed and distributed annually.

    - Changes in the recurrent expenditure e.g. increase in per capita grants to cover teaching materials at the school level.


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