National Education Standards


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MINISTRY OF EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY MALAWI
NATIONAL EDUCATION STANDARDS
Primary and Secondary Education May 2015
Directorate of Inspection and Advisory services Ministry of Education Science and Technology Private Bag 328 Lilongwe 3 Malawi

Copyright: 2015 Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Private Bag 328, Lilongwe 3 Malawi. All Rights Reserved

CONTENTS
CONTENTS
Foreword ........................................................................................................... II Preface ............................................................................................................... III Acknowledgements........................................................................................... V Introduction........................................................................................................ 6 How the National Education Standards are organised ................................. 7 Leadership and management........................................................................... 10 Using the Education Standards........................................................................ 11 Making judgements against the Education Standards................................... 12 The National Education Standards................................................................... 14 Education Standard 1: Learning in lessons..................................................... 15 Education Standard 2. Students’ outcomes in the curriculum....................... 16 Education Standard 3: Attainment across the school..................................... 17 Education Standard 4: Students’ participation in education.......................... 19 Education Standard 5: Students’ behaviour and involvement in school life. 20 Education Standard 6: Students’ safety and protection.................................. 21 Education Standard 7: A curriculum which is appropriate and relevant....... 22 Education Standard 8: High expectations........................................................ 23 Education Standard 9: Teachers with good knowledge................................. 24 Education Standard 10: Well-planned lessons................................................. 25 Education Standard 11: Teaching for effective learning................................ 26 Education Standard 12: Accurate and constructive use of assessment....... 27 Education Standard 13: Teaching which meets the needs of all students.... 28 Education Standard 14: Effective management of behaviour....................... 30 Education Standard 15: School vision, goals and values................................ 31 Education Standard 16: School self-evaluation and improvement.............. 32 Education Standard 17: School governance................................................... 33 Education Standard 18: School leadership....................................................... 34 Education Standard 19: Partnership with parents and the community......... 35 Education Standard 20: Staff supervision and development......................... 36 Education Standard 21: Staff deployment and management...................... 37 Education Standard 22: Care and welfare of students................................... 38 Education Standard 23: Access, equity and inclusion.................................... 39 Education Standard 24: Management of buildings and facilities.................. 40 Education Standard 25: Management of material resources........................ 41 Education Standard 26: Financial management............................................ 42
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NATIONAL EDUCATION STANDARDS
FOREWORD
The Ministry of Education Science and Technology has a mandate under the Education Act 2013 (Section 4) to set and maintain national education standards. This publication presents for the first time an agreed set of National Education Standards for Malawi. These Standards specify expected outcomes for students which should be delivered by all education providers in public and private institutions. They also identify the leadership, management and teaching processes which are essential to the achievement of the outcomes.
The Standards articulate clearly the educational experiences and achievements which key stakeholders, in particular students and their parents and carers, should expect their own schools to deliver. Finally, the publication demonstrates how the success of schools in achieving these outcomes for their students should be measured.
My Ministry is sharing these Standards with the education sector and its key stakeholders in a spirit of openness and transparency and to support the processes of school improvement. The Standards are presented in the form of minimum requirements for educational provision and practice. All schools should implement these requirements in order to promote equality of educational opportunity and remove barriers to achievement. In this way, the overall quality of education will improve and the knowledge and skills of the general population increase across the country. Young people will be better prepared for their roles as industrious citizens, parents and workers and make more effective contributions to national development.
To this end, the standards are aligned to the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy II (MGDS II) and the National Education Sector Plan 2008 - 2017. They take into account the goals and objectives of education in Malawi and the guiding principles of access and equity, quality and relevance and governance and management in all education subsectors.
In addition to stipulating minimum requirements expected of all schools, the Standards specify targets for effective practice which are both challenging and achievable. These targets should inform the development of school improvement plans. They should also be points of reference for the work of policy makers, development partners and education agencies as they drive forward educational change and reform across the country. It is the responsibility of education administrators and advisory services in divisions and districts to explain, interpret and exemplify the Standards to education practitioners and civil society within their individual contexts, across all sectors and at all levels in the system.
The specification of Standards enables more accurate and comprehensive reporting on the quality of education than has been possible in the past. The Directorate of Inspection and Advisory Services has a duty under the Act to measure compliance with the Standards. It will report to the Ministry on the extent to which the Standards are being implemented and on the overall quality of education. The Ministry and all its Directorates are committed to supporting the implementation of the National Education Standards, to ensuring openness and transparency in reporting and to contributing to improvements in the quality of education provision across the country.
I sincerely wish to thank all stakeholders who, through several consultations, have contributed to the development of the National Education Standards.
Emmanuel Fabiano, PhD Minister of Education Science and Technology
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NATIONAL EDUCATION STANDARDS
PREFACE
The National Education Standards have been developed to support the work of all those who are striving to improve the educational achievement of students in Malawi. The Education Act 2013 summarises the knowledge, skills and competences which young people must acquire in order to lead productive, fulfilling and successful lives as they continue their education, enter the workforce and assume their civil responsibilities. All students in Malawi have the right to an education which at least meets minimum standards and which enables them to achieve the outcomes they need to build on their skills and provide for their families. These outcomes are expressed in Sections 4 and 5 of the Act as twelve educational goals. These goals inform both the content and the spirit of the Standards. The aim of the Standards is to specify both minimum requirements and what constitutes effective practice in educational provision and practice, for use in evaluation at a number of levels and in a range of contexts. For example:
• inspectors will use the Standards in their planned evaluation and reporting on school quality across the country;
• advisory services will use the standards to monitor the production and implementation of school improvement plans, to supervise the work of education practitioners and to provide the necessary support;
• schools shall use the Standards to identify areas where improvement is needed and build the necessary action into their improvement plans; and
• national agencies, development partners and civil society organisations are advised to use the Standards to contextualise and plan their support for education within the context of national, district and school improvement plans.
In summary, the purpose of the Standards is to: • aid policy makers at national, divisional and district level in the evaluation of the effectiveness of education in their area and across the country as a whole; and • guide individual institutions and practitioners in reviewing and improving their practice.
Over recent years, the focus of educational reform has increasingly shifted from analysis of school inputs such as grants allocated, curriculum documentation produced, pupil-teacher ratios, and teacher qualifications, to evaluation of educational outcomes, such as the quality of learning and the extent of student achievement, including graduation rates, and drop- out rates. This set of Standards has been produced by the Ministry of Education Science and Technology through rationalising and harmonising existing approaches, bringing them in line with current approaches to educational evaluation and consulting with practitioners in the field through a process of validation. In their final form, use of the Standards will focus on the achievement of three strategic outcomes: improved performance of students at primary, secondary and teacher education levels; improved teaching at primary, secondary and teacher education levels and improved leadership and management at primary, secondary and teacher education levels. These strategic outcomes provide a framework which both guides school improvement in accordance with stakeholders’ needs and fulfils the MOEST’s mandate to promote education standards of the highest quality. This set of National Education Standards relates to the work of schools and educational settings which are directly responsible for students’ learning. In due course, two further sets of standards will be produced:
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NATIONAL EDUCATION STANDARDS
• for colleges of teacher education; and • for national and district support services. The three sets of standards will complement each other and make a significant contribution to raising standards of teaching and learning across the country. Lastly I wish to request the support and continued commitment from MOEST directorates, Malawi Institute of Education (MIE), Malawi National Examinations Board (MANEB), Malawi National Library Services (MNLS), our Development Partners, and all other stakeholders in effective implementation of the Standards. DIAS, in particular, should intensify its commitment to evaluating and maintaining standards in our education institutions. Lonely V. Magreta (Mrs) Secretary for Education Science and Technology
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NATIONAL EDUCATION STANDARDS
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The development of the National Education Standards has been the result of collaboration by MOEST and its key stakeholders. The MOEST therefore wishes to thank senior policy makers for providing strategic direction and the Directorate of Inspection and Advisory Services (DIAS) for playing a key role in the development and production of the standards. The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MOEST) would like to express its profound gratitude to all development partners, in particular GIZ, the Scottish Government, UNICEF and Link Community Development for the technical and financial support towards the development of these standards. Special gratitude goes to Education Division Managers, District Education Managers, Headteachers and teachers for providing constructive contributions towards the development of these standards. The process of developing National Education Standards also benefitted a lot from the contributions made through the Standards, Research and Development Technical Working Group.
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NATIONAL EDUCATION STANDARDS
INITNRTORDUOCDTIUOCN TION
The aim of this set of National Education Standards is to set down expectations of education quality in important aspects of school education in Malawi. The Standards encompass key features of effective leadership, management and teaching and identify expected outcomes for students.
In particular, the National Education Standards identify minimum requirements which all schools in Malawi should aim to achieve. Schools should focus on those areas of weakness identified through use of the Standards and improve them through the school improvement planning process. Where schools already meet the minimum requirements set down, they should aim to improve their provision and practice by building on their strengths and taking further action for improvement with the aim of becoming a fully effective school.
The Standards derive from work carried out by the Directorate of Inspection and Advisory Services (DIAS) over some time and take into account good practice in evaluation within other organisations and contexts.
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The Standards have been set in accordance with The Constitution of the Republic of Malawi Section 25 which stipulates that every person is entitled to education and that the schools or institutions offering education should be maintained according to official standards. The Education Act Section 4(c) stipulates that it shall be the duty of the Minister to set and maintain national education standards. Target audience The Standards are for use by the following groups of people.
• Headteachers and school staff in primary and secondary schools; • Members of governing bodies, school management committees, parent/teacher
associations and parents and community members more generally; • Local government officials; • Advisers and Inspectors from DIAS; • Ministry officials working in other Directorates; • Education specialists working in partner organisations and in international and
non-governmental organisations; and • Members of associations for headteachers and other education professionals.
ThTeheStSatnadnadrdasrdmmayabyebueseudsetdo:to • identify areas of focus for supervision and the provision of advisory support, school
self-evaluation, school performance review and inspection; • provide topics for discussion at meetings with students, parents and staff; • select priorities for improvement to include in school or district improvement plans: • inform the training of education professionals at all levels within the system; • provide advice about educational priorities for a range of audiences;
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NATIONAL EDUCATION STANDARDS
• evaluate, monitor and report on the quality of education in individual schools, within local areas and across the country as a whole;
• encourage consistent, valid and reliable approaches to evaluation among education professionals working at all levels, locally and nationally; and
• foster partnerships among education stakeholders. HoHwowthethNeaNtiaotniaolnEadluEcdauticoantSiotannSdtaarndds aarrdesoargraenoisregdanised There are three groups of standards, those relating to: • the outcomes which all students should achieve as a result of being educated in
school; • the key aspects of the teaching process which lead to students achieving these
outcomes; and • the leadership and management processes which need to function effectively for
good teaching and learning to take place. In other words, the three-part structure within which the Standards are organised is dynamic and causal. The structure also relates to the responsibilities members of the school community have for school quality.
School leaders are responsible for ensuring that the teaching staff do a good job. Teachers are responsible for ensuring that students achieve the outcomes they should.
Outcomes for students. The outcomes which we expect students to achieve as a result of attending school focus on different aspects of their school experience. Here are the six outcomes which have been identified as important indicators of success.
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NATIONAL EDUCATION STANDARDS

AREA Outcomes for students

NO EDUCATION STANDARD 1 Learning in lessons 2 Students’ outcomes in the curriculum 3 Attainment across the school 4 Students’ participation in education 5 Students’ behaviour and involvement in school life 6 Students’ safety and protection

Learning in lessons

This Standard relates to students’ active engagement in the learning process while they are in class. With good teaching, even children who may not do well enough to pass examinations can still improve their skills, particularly literacy, numeracy and social skills. Such skills are important for parenthood and employability. Teachers are responsible for helping all children in their class to learn, not just the most able. This Standard looks at the quality of children’s learning and the extent to which they are acquiring the kinds of skills they need to carry on learning in later life.

Students’ outcomes in the curriculum

This Standard relates to students’ achievements as measured by their mastery of the learning outcomes set down in the national curriculum. It measures the extent to which students are achieving at the expected level for their stage, using quantitative measures relating to their achievement of the specified learning outcomes.

Attainment across the school

This Standard measures the effectiveness of the school in achieving positive outcomes for all its students. It uses statistical measures such as examination results. These measures should be analysed in the context of the success of the school in ensuring that its students complete the education on which they have embarked (see below).

Students’ participation in education

This Standard measures the school’s effectiveness in ensuring that its students gain as much from their school experiences as possible by attending for the full number of years. It uses statistical measures such as the proportion of students who repeat classes or complete their education.

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National Education Standards