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  • The National Education Inspectorate (NEI) Report has revealed improvements across all eight indicators of school effectiveness, following inspections carried out at 653 primary and secondary institutions.
  • The document, covering the period 2015-2019, was presented at a press conference hosted by Minister with responsibility for Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Karl Samuda, at the Pembroke Hall High School in Kingston on Friday (Jan. 24).
  • Of the total number of schools inspected by the NEI, 554 were primary while 99 were secondary, representing 70 per cent of the nation’s primary and secondary institutions.

The National Education Inspectorate (NEI) Report has revealed improvements across all eight indicators of school effectiveness, following inspections carried out at 653 primary and secondary institutions.

The document, covering the period 2015-2019, was presented at a press conference hosted by Minister with responsibility for Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Karl Samuda, at the Pembroke Hall High School in Kingston on Friday (Jan. 24).

Of the total number of schools inspected by the NEI, 554 were primary while 99 were secondary, representing 70 per cent of the nation’s primary and secondary institutions.

The report showed that student progress, and leadership and management, recorded the highest percentage increases at 23 per cent and 22 per cent, respectively.

Use of human and material resources improved by 18 per cent; quality of teaching, 17 per cent; curriculum and enhancement programme, 12 per cent; safety, security, health and well-being,  11 per cent; and personal and social development, eight per cent.

In the critical area of leadership and management, 60 per cent of the schools received a satisfactory score; 19 per cent were found to be good; 18 per cent were unsatisfactory; two per cent were exceptionally high; and one per cent in need of immediate support.

As it relates to student progress, the report found that while 75 per cent of pupils, who sat English language in the Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate (CSEC) were successful, overall performance continued to be low, particularly in mathematics, where the success rate was 58 per cent.

It was noted, however, that many students were achieving success in the City and Guilds and the Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) examinations. 

At the primary level, only 40 per cent of students who sat the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) were proficient or above in mathematics. The trend was relatively consistent across the four subject areas.

At it relates to overall effectiveness, 61 per cent of schools were found to be satisfactory; 30 per cent, unsatisfactory; seven per cent, good; one, per cent, exceptionally high; and one per cent, in need of immediate support.

Overall, approximately 69 per cent or 453 of the schools were rated as effective, representing a 21 per cent increase in the number of institutions rated as satisfactory and above.

Mr. Samuda said the Ministry is “very encouraged” by the improvements that are taking place within the schools. 

He expressed pleasure at the number of non-traditional institutions that scored top marks in the targeted areas.

  He, however, highlighted the need to address disparities, noting that some institutions were “severely challenged”, while others were “severely privileged,” which was reflected in the results.

Minister Samuda said that while the physical environment in which the students are taught is very important and must continue to be improved, focus must also be placed on parenting and the work that has to be done in the homes in order to ensure that children have the best guidance in their formative years.

“The Ministry cannot easily correct a deficiency that started at infancy and too often, we get sidetracked into believing that the real success is to provide more schools, more classrooms, make the buildings much nicer.

“Perhaps we are overlooking the most fundament of improvements that are necessary, which can only be found in the home,” he said.

Meanwhile, Chief Inspector of the NEI, Maureen Dwyer, said the overall results show that the schools are trending in the right direction but that there is need for increased support for teachers at both levels of the system to facilitate the implementation of the National Standards Curriculum.

Additionally, she said, there is also a need for continued progress in the quality of school-based leadership particularly with regard to self- evaluation and improvement planning.

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