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NEI report: More schools failing

Published:Thursday | August 21, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Anastasia Cunningham, News Coordinator

With the 2014 National Education Inspectorate (NEI) report revealing that most primary and secondary schools were failing in their education delivery, Minister of Education Ronald Thwaites said immediate and drastic intervention would be made to improve performance.

Data in the report of the inspection conducted between September 2013 and March 2014 of 129 schools (115 at the primary level and 14 secondary) showed that 61 per cent, or 79 schools, were ineffective, while 39 per cent, or 50 schools, were effective.

This last report has brought the accumulated number of schools inspected since 2010 to 803 across the six administrative regions of the Ministry of Education. This represents 84 per cent of all primary and secondary schools.

Of the 803 schools so far assessed, 45 per cent, or 361, have been found to be effective, and 55 per cent, or 442, ineffective.

"More primary schools were assessed as unsatisfactory than their secondary counterparts. With over 800 schools inspected, it is clear, based on the data, that these trends are not likely to change when the entire baseline of 954 schools is completed," said Thwaites, outlining the findings of the report yesterday at the Alhambra Inn in St Andrew.

"This means we have sufficient evidence to show that the level of performance system-wide is mediocre, with the primary schools lagging behind the secondary ones."

He continued, "Additionally, with approximately half of the lessons observed rated as unsatisfactory, there is an urgent need to ensure that there is the requisite link between pedagogical practices and the national curriculum."

The minister said the data showed that there was a strong correlation between the quality of school leadership and the quality of teaching support for students, as well as the quality of school leadership and curriculum and enhancement programmes.

"Effective schools were defined by having strong leadership, a clear school mission, quality teaching and learning, a safe and orderly climate, transparent and effective monitoring of students' progress, and high expectations and parental involvement," Thwaites said.


On the issue of safety, security, health, and well-being, the report rated 14 per cent of the schools as good; 51 per cent as satisfactory; while 35 per cent were rated unsatisfactory.

Stating that this latest NEI report was similar to the previous two, Thwaites said the objective of the report was to establish a baseline of the quality of education inputs and outputs of the schools inspected.

He said revealing the figures was not meant to cause depression or hopelessness or lay blame, but to have a clear picture of the situation, which would allow the ministry to properly address the problems.

"This national picture on education has never before been available, which is significant because for the first time, we have the actual data to give us a clear and truthful picture. The Ministry of Education has now become data driven. We no longer act upon anecdotes, which is the essence of a transformational approach," he said.