Created out of the need for greater scrutiny and improvement of the sector, the Ministry of Education’s Monitoring Evaluation Reporting and Development (MERD) Unit is achieving its objectives, says Minister of Education, Shaik Baksh.
He emphasized that the Unit was visionary on the part of the Ministry and is advancing the quality agenda which is imperative to the Ministry of Education 2008-2013 Strategic Plan.
“I am confident it is working,” Baksh stated.
The Minister made the bold statement at the review of the Ministry’s strategic plan last week where top managers gathered to discuss the implementation of the plan.
It was noted that the MERD Unit has been supervising the school system and carrying out monitoring and a number of activities in schools.
Reports from the visits are disseminated to the Regional Education Departments and other top managers. This allows the Ministry to improve where the deficiencies are in areas such as work and academic programmes.
Minister Baksh noted that the Unit is not only about monitoring and evaluation it is about support to improve schools. However, if a school continues to be in default and performing below expectation, heads will be written to and action taken, he stressed.
There have been some complaints that though this Unit is in operation, some teachers continue to be absent from schools during learning sessions. The Minister stated that the Unit has helped the Ministry put some delinquent teachers before the Teaching Service Commission for disciplinary action.
He noted that though the MERD Unit looks into issues regarding delinquent teachers it also focuses on the overall growth and performance of schools at the various assessments. Delinquent teachers are a contributing factor to poor performance but it was observed that there have been improvements in the education system.
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