Mon | Oct 21, 2019

Sheryl Bromfield | Not every PEP book endorsed by ministry

Published:Monday | September 16, 2019 | 12:08 AM
Sheryl Bromfield

The letter in your September 7, 2019 edition, under the headline ‘PEP textbook errors embarrassing’, had a number of misleading and erroneous information based, unfortunately, on wrong assumptions, which may confuse your readers. Please see the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information’s clarification below.

As part of its standard operating procedure, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information (MoEYI) engages in a rigorous review process for educational resources used in public schools. It should be noted that the text, with the referenced problematic questions and titled Ability Test: Practice Exercises and Tests for PEP (by Phyllis Wint), was NOT reviewed by the ministry. Not every publication on the market with the name PEP as part of the title has been vetted or endorsed by the MoEYI.

By way of advertisements in the print media, publishers and individuals are asked to submit titles for review based on the subject areas. Titles are reviewed and selected based on several criteria.

The review panel comprises persons selected from nominations received from the six regional offices, Core Curriculum Unit, and others taken from the ministry’s Reviewers Bank. Reviewers are selected having satisfied the selection criteria, which include the length of time that they have been teaching, their qualifications, having no affiliation to any publisher, their level of students’ achievement, and they should not be published authors.

Members of the review panel are trained to carry out the review to the required standard. Emphasis is placed on understanding each criterion, making judgements using the relevant curriculum, and presenting judgements in accordance with the review instrument.

ANALYSIS OF DATA

The Textbook Review Committee employs the following guidelines for the analysis of data and selection of titles. The committee meets to make a decision on the selection of the titles for the approved and supplementary lists.

n A title that covers the main areas/strands into which the subject is divided has to score a minimum of 95 per cent for curriculum alignment to be considered for selection.

n Textbooks with the required curriculum alignment that have a high percentage of content or editorial errors are not considered for selection.

n Textbooks should show strong evidence of the complementary integration of theories (5E instructional model, project-based learning, 21st-century skills, depth of knowledge, and curriculum drivers) to be considered for selection.

Each title is examined based on the predetermined guidelines indicated above, the ratings it received, the strengths and weaknesses of content, and the design and production features outlined by the reviewers. Based on the reviews and recommendations, titles that meet the criteria and are deemed suitable are then selected and recommended for approval by the chief education officer and the permanent secretary. Upon approval, titles are included on the lists.

The MoEYI Approved and Supplementary Educational Resources Lists 2019-2020 can be located on the MoEYI’s website using the following link:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0BzlAiS6fPqgZfm9MeXhjV25MbDRNeWVU...

As the MoEYI seeks to widen access to quality education in a cost-effective and efficient manner, the ministry is committed to providing the necessary support services to the nation’s children. Learning resources are important tools as they play a critical role as determinants of learning outcomes. Texts, videos, software, and other materials assist students to meet the expectations for learning defined by national curricula.

These e-resources/content and printed materials should enable our students to develop 21st-century skills – critical thinking and problem-solving, collaboration, communication and creativity. The MoEYI is fully aware of the importance of these curriculum support materials and, as such, has developed these guidelines to help in their usage.

The ministry trusts that this information will provide clarity on the texts/educational resources selection process, as well as the vetting procedure for all texts selected by the MoEYI for the National Standards Curriculum.

Sheryl Bromfield is public relations and communication officer in the MoEYI. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com.