Government???s first phase in the development of the School Teacher Effectiveness Plans (STEPS) for eight pilot schools kicked off today at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, with a workshop that places emphases on literacy, numeracy and assessment.
The workshop is part of the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation???s continuing activities under the Enhancing Teacher Effectiveness Component of the Education Sector Enhancement Project II (ESEP II).
ESEP II is being undertaken by Government, in collaboration with the Caribbean Development Bank.
Senior Education Officer, Planning, Research and International Relations, Dr. Roderick Rudder, speaking on the significance of this phase, said the consultants hired would take staff of the selected schools through a process of developing the STEPS programme, using best practice models.
Noting the inclusion of personnel from the Ministry and Erdiston Teachers??? Training College, as part of the process, he said: ???Erdiston has a critical function to play with regard to the overall training and preparation of teachers beyond the project itself and the Ministry has responsibility basically for the monitoring of the delivery of pedagogy in the classroom.???
The next phase will be done on site at the eight primary schools: Chalky Mount, St. Elizabeth, Boscobel, St. Martin???s Mangrove, Belmont, Wesley Hall, St. Philip and Wilkie Cumberbatch.
According to Dr. Rudder, this will involve team and model teaching where the consultants will take the staffs of these schools through the paces as to how the current methodologies in relation to the delivery of literacy and numeracy are done at the international level.
???They will give those teachers a chance to experiment with new methods. So, basically it will be a case of knowledge-sharing and best practice sharing to guide the process of developing these steps,??? pointed out the education official.??Once the initial draft STEPS has been developed, the schools will have an opportunity to refine them.
Come September 2015, there will be an opportunity to go through the process of implementing and executing the STEPS within each institution. Further on, the STEPS project will be rolled out to the entire primary school system, with the eight pilot schools and Erdiston being responsible for sharing that knowledge.
Asked about the need for enhancing school effectiveness, Dr. Rudder remarked that Barbados, among other countries, had a very mature education system that recognised the need to remain on the cutting edge and to ensure its teachers and students derived maximum benefits from the delivery of pedagogy in the classroom.
Acknowledging it as a thrust towards re-invigorating the education system to reach for higher levels of excellence with respect to student and teacher performance, he noted it would also ???ensure that we can have students who are leaving our education system better prepared for the challenges of the global economy???.
???When one looks at what is happening internationally, there is a heavy emphasis on excellence in literacy, numeracy and even science. What we want to do is to ensure that teachers and students are trained and prepared to enhance that level of performance, particularly in these core areas,??? stressed Dr. Rudder.