Education ministry gets School Effectiveness Toolkit

Friday, February 27, 2015

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THE Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) yesterday handed over a School Effectiveness Toolkit to the Ministry of Education, to be used by the ministry's National College for Educational Leadership (NCEL) in its training of school principals.


The toolkit, an output of a school effectiveness study commissioned by the ministry and financed by the IDB social fund, is an important resource for the NCEL Aspiring Principals Programme that has introduced a common leadership qualification that all prospective principals will have to obtain in order to head a public school in Jamaica.


At the presentation, which was held at the ministry's Heroes Circle offices, EducationMinister Thwaites described the Toolkit as "a tool for reform, material for change and a primer for advancement." This, as he emphasised that the appointment of school principals are based on qualification and training and not on political affiliation and seniority.


Meanwhile, IDB country representative, Therese Turner Jones -- who handed over the toolkit -- said that the IDB supports countries across Latin America and the Caribbean to achieve success in the promotion of effective teaching and learning.


"The School Effectiveness Study and Toolkits are a good example of development in action. This shows how an IDB-supported study can lead to concrete and implementable actions," Turner-Jones emphasised.


"Any investment in education that the IDB can make in Jamaica is money well spent. Jamaica is a good laboratory for testing -- a big economy in the region -- and lessons learnt can also benefit the rest of the Caribbean," she added.


The School Effectiveness Toolkit outlines the nine factors, in line with international standards, that highly correlate with positive student behaviour and performance. According to these standards, some 50 per cent of the 96 schools that participated in the study were deemed effective. The study also validated the effectiveness ratings and criteria used by the National Education Inspectorate (NEI) for its school inspections.


The toolkit is very practical and hands-on. The resource section provides links to websites, videos and other international good practice. At the same time, it is very Jamaican, filled with excerpts from NEI school inspection reports to exemplify the different elements of an effective school.




CAPTION:


Minister of Education Ronald Thwaites (centre) showing off the School Effectiveness Toolkit which was presented to the Ministry of Education by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) yesterday. With him (from left) are Cynthia Hobbs, senior education specialist at the IDB; Country Representative Therese Turner-Jones; Elaine Foster Allen, permanent secretary in the education ministry; Claudia Uribe, lead education specialist at IDB.



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