JIS: Regional Director for the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information’s Region 3, Sophia Forbes Hall, says the duties of education officers are being transformed.
“The education officer, over the years, has primarily carried the role of an administrator. We are moving beyond that in order to make teaching and learning our priority,” she emphasized.
To this end, the Regional Director said “you will find that our senior education officers will no longer be assigned to levels of the system, but will be assigned to parishes”.
Mrs. Forbes Hall said all stakeholders “will be formally advised, as we move forward”.
She was speaking at the recent Quality Education Circle (QEC) 27 stakeholders’ conference, at Troy High School in Trelawny.
Mrs. Forbes Hall said the decision to revamp the duties of education officers is intended to afford them more time to analyse data relating to students’ performances in high-stakes exit examinations, such as those at the secondary level.
This initiative is intended to ensure that students receive quality education at all levels of the system.
Mrs. Forbes Hall further advised that the Ministry’s QEC team will be assisting education officers in analysing the data and creating a template for each region. The template will providing guidance regarding the extent of support required for each educational institution in a QEC.
Meanwhile, the Regional Director encouraged stakeholders to continue supporting the QEC concept, “as we move forward in ensuring that the education system is ‘super- ready’ to receive our 21st century children”.
“We require the support of all partners on board. We require the support of parents, schools and support through partnerships [with] our business community,” she emphasised.
Mrs. Forbes Hall also underscored that one of the Ministry’s main priorities is fostering public-private sector partnerships, noting that these are critical in maximizing the resources deemed pivotal to advancing education.
The QEC, which was commenced in 2009, is a programme which sees a diverse group of administrators within a particular area, collaborating to create a ‘learning community’ for professionals in education.
Through this medium, educators and other stakeholders meet at specific times throughout the school year to share best practices, discuss challenges, propose solutions, assess the progress made, as well as celebrate achievements.
The Ministry’s Regions are further divided into QECs, each of which is assigned an education officer who is referred to as a convener.
The QEC’s members are expected to meet with all stakeholders in their region at least once per annum. At these meetings, general information about the performances of schools is presented which affords stakeholders the opportunity to share best practices.
For her part, Education Officer and South Trelawny QEC 27 Convener, Veniesha Morgridge, lauded the QEC area for their achievements over recent years.
She reported that South Trelawny has the 10 registered basic schools, the most in Region 3, to date.
Mrs. Morgridge also advised that the three high schools in the QEC – Albert Town High, Troy High, and Westwood High – performed well the in 2018/19 Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations.
“All three high schools are blazing the trail in QEC 27; they have not become complacent… they are growing,” she stated.
The conference featured presentations from key stakeholders within the Ministry on best practices, school performances as well as the way forward.
The event was held under the theme: ‘Celebrating Success: From Vision to Action’.