Look to performance pay to boost learning - World Bank economist

Published: Friday | November 16, 2012 Comments 0

Nadisha Hunter, Staff Reporter

Doha, Qatar:

LEAD EDUCATION economist at the World Bank, Dr Harry Patrinos, says the Government should seek to determine the feasibility of performance-based pay as a means of improving students' performance in public schools.

Patrinos, who was a speaker at Wednesday's fourth staging of the World Innovation Summit for Education, at the Qatar National Convention Centre in Doha, Qatar, told The Gleaner that the initiative has proven to be effective in some countries where it has resulted in improvement in students' performance.

"Do it as a pilot, evaluate it and see what works. There are different ways of doing it. It could be individual performance pay, it could by the benefits you get from the school group and there are different ways to measure the success it could be through test or other things depending on what the problem is," Patrinos said.

Thwaites' take

Earlier this year, Education Minister Ronald Thwaites, at a Gleaner Editors' Forum, said he supports a brand of performance-based pay for secondary-school teachers which is not based solely on passes in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate.

He argued that it must take into account the level of the student when he or she comes into contact with the teacher and the level of that student at the end of the school year.

In the meantime, Patrinos argued that given the resource shortage, countries will have to be innovative in order to be successful. He said that too often, increasing government spending is seen as the panacea to treat with underperformance, and argued that "less spending could give you good results".

"The other thing that you could look at is to see how you could use the Government's authority to mandate change instead of Government deciding every aspect of the system and then finding the inputs they could say we want to achieve certain outcomes and challenge providers to come up with solutions," Patrinos said.


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