Ministry of Education, Guyana

Thursday, 27 January 2011 09:49

Building managerial capacity, a key focus in 2011

The Ministry of Education has intensified the building of managerial capacity of school managers to gear them to be more attuned to the needs of students and sound operational management of their schools.

Education Minister Shaik Baksh in his address to hundreds of headteachers of Region Five and Six at the University of Guyana (UG) Berbice Campus on Friday said more attention continues to be placed in this area to enhance the quality of education delivery.

He pointed out that the Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting and Development (MERD) Unit has been active throughout the regions identifying areas of weaknesses and to offer guidance and support to headteachers on strategies to overcome their challenges.

The MERD has compiled numerous reports highlighting a range of concerns in relation to school plant management and has put the necessary systems in place to correct these.  Various school-based developmental interventions have been done to build capacity along with continued follow-up and monitoring to ensure progress.

He underlined that this approach is necessary because at the end of the day, the delivery of quality education and improvement in students’ performance really matters and his Ministry has been making concerted efforts to realize these goals.

This task, Baksh noted can only be accomplished by having quality administrators in the school system. On that score, he stressed that more than 1000 senior school mangers throughout the country have completed the Education Management Programme conducted by NCERD and better results are now being seen in many schools

The minister reported that greater supervision and monitoring of school managers have resulted in an overall improvement of leadership at the school level. This in turn has translated into noted improvements in students’ performance at the last CSEC and National Grade Six Assessment. The strides made in this quarter, he said will be beefed-up this year to expand on these achievements, particularly in the areas of Mathematics and English.

To this end, the minister had convened a special meeting with all heads of secondary schools at the beginning of the academic year to devise strategies for sustained growth.

The Ministry in keeping with its trust to constantly enhance the performance of students and the quality of teachers has also adopted a culture of evaluation to ensure that all programmes are attaining the desired results.

Baksh who was accompanied by Chief Education Officer, Olato Sam and his Technical Advisor, Roopnarine Tewari stressed that if headteachers demonstrate sound leadership of their schools, ultimately the performance of students will improve and that overtime there will be less need for consistent intervention from the Central and decentralized system can function effectively.

He explained that this does not mean that there will be no supervision; rather it will empower headteachers to better handle some of the challenges relating to quality education delivery and students’ outcomes confronting their respective schools.

Foremost in attaining this level of management, the minister pointed out is the need for school managers to embrace accountability, effective policy implementation and regular feedback on the performance of teachers and students under their supervision.

Baksh who has also met with all headteachers in Regions Two and Four since the beginning of the year explained that the intention is to place more attention on the poor performing schools to raise them to a standard of acceptable performance.

The minister who will be meeting with headteachers from the other regions to outline his Ministry’s vision for 2011 said good managers know that planning and organization are critical to success and urged that every school manager adopts this approach.

He pointed out that the best performing schools often have better organized and prepared teachers and stressed that all headteachers and their senior staff must inculcate these habits in their teachers to bring out the best in them.

The minister emphasized that it is time for senior teachers to see themselves as leaders in the school system and together strive to create a culture of learning that focuses on improving the outcomes of students as well as the operational efficiency of their respective schools.

Recent reports from the various regions have indicated an improvement in teachers’ attendance and the minister while commending this development, called for their full dedication and support in making a positive difference in the learning outcomes of their charges.

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