PESHAWAR: The elementary and secondary education department has come up with a new initiative to ensure quality education in the government primary schools across the province, according to officials.

They said that under the new initiative called “School Quality Management Initiative (SQMI)”, the education department would keep a check on the students learning outcome, teaching methodologies and classroom environment.

They said that SQMI would improve quality of inspection at school level, standardise teaching learning process according to curriculum and rank schools on the basis of standard at provincial level.

Officials say check will be kept on students learning outcome, teaching methodologies and classroom environment

It will also provide feedback to teachers and head teachers for quality management, supervision, assessment and learning environment.

The education department has spent around Rs30 billion on the structural development of government schools during the last five years. The amount has been spent on construction of the required classrooms, boundary walls, electrification, washrooms and provision of drinking water to the schools.

According to a recent survey conducted by Alif Ailaan, an NGO working on education in the country, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government is on the top of list in structural improvement in government schools. However, it lags behind Punjab and Sindh in terms of quality education.

“The new initiative of school quality management would help to improve quality in the education sector,” said officials.

They said that around 500 assistant district education officers were bound to visit primary schools in their respective areas to collect data from students, teachers and classrooms through their android phones provided by the department.

All ADEOs have been imparted training to operate the android phones and specific applications being installed to collect the required data.

The officials said that the ASDOs would assess the students in three subjects of primary schools including English, Urdu and mathematics.

During visits to schools, they ask selected questions from the students installed in the android phones. The questions are sort of multiple choice questions.

“The replies of students are fed in the android phones on the spot which instantly sink into a centralised system established in the provincial secretariat of the education department. Through questions, the ASDOs assess the students learning outcome,” said officials.

The ASDOs also have questions for the teachers to know about their teaching methodologies. By questioning the teachers, they check their preparedness. They also check whether the head teachers guide other teachers about the teaching methodologies or not.

Regarding the classrooms environment, officials said that placards with messages for students, cleanliness of the classrooms and students were examined.

They said that actually it was the duty of ASDOs to check the quality of education in the schools but the department had so far engaged them in the office work.

“With the new initiative, now the education department can easily do evaluation of the schools and their ranking. The proper ranking of schools and districts would help in framing of improvement plan,” they said.

Officials said that initially SQMI was launched on pilot basis in Abbottabad district in 2017. They added that it was extended to the entire province, keeping in view the results of the pilot project.

“The proposal to extend SQMI to middle, high and higher secondary schools is also under-consideration,” said officials.

Published in Dawn, March 26th, 2018

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