Strategy and Approach of PEDP-II
i. A key lesson learned from PEDP I and from development programs throughout the word is that lack of an over-arching strategy leads, almost inevitably, ti development activates becoming an uncoordinated mixture of individual projects in which significant potential benefit is list through the very fragmented process by which each project is assembled. While a single strategy cannot cover all the requirements for the improvement of primary education in Bangladesh, at least the use of a single strategy focusing quality improvement is considered essential for the successful implementation of PEDP II.
ii. It is proposed, therefore, to adopt a “Primary School Quality Levels” (PSQL) strategy for PEDP II. In other words, PEDP II will be designed to ensure that every child has access to the minimum inputs necessary as a foundation for an acceptable quality of Primary schooling.
iii. The PSQL strategy sets a floor of minimum of school and classroom attributes or characteristics required for effective instruction and learning. In this very fundamental way PSQL is pro-poor, and promises to ensure equality the programme has *** economically impoverished areas and communities so that they are not condemned automatically by their location or other circumstances to having second-rate primary schools for their children.
iv. PSQL comprises and combines a variety of education resources and processes in order to address the multiple factors-supply-side, demand-side, and institutional factor that affect children's enrolment, retention, complementation and achievement.
v. PSQL criteria are a combination of features: inputs (e.g. books and other core learning materials), processes (e.g.: changing the nature of the classroom dynamic so that it is more child friendly and student-activity-oriented), standards (e.g. teacher qualifications and competencies), and procedures (e.g. community consultation) that are critical to producing the access, participation and students performance targets established by the Ministry.
vi. While PSQL defines the most essential or minimum ingredients for quality that will optimize resources to improve the learning conditions of the greatest number of children.
vii. PSQL provides for a realistic and affordable definition of school quality that will optimize resources to improve the learning conditions of the greatest number of children.
viii. The PSQL strategy is not an inert strategy. it allows and builds on growth and change. Once the first set of PSQL have been achieved the targets can be set at a higher level and the process can be ongoing, moving always to higher standards of excellence in both provision and output.
ix. It is important to note that quality standards can be set for student achievement and learning outcomes, but these can only be attained through the quality of inputs and the interaction of inputs, i.e. processes. In the context of Bangladesh where the level of resourcing - both in human and capital terms - is inadequate to support a high quality primary education the PSQL focuses quite deliberately on improving those resources comparatively simple act of providing more resources will be enough. As has been noted previously, many other changes will be required. These will include changes in attitude on the part of government, administrators, teachers, parents and communities, as well as major systemic and organizational changes. However, some of these targets will take much longer than the lifetime of PEDP-II to achieve, and meanwhile, unless a strategy such as PSQL is adopted, millions of children will be subjected to a learning environment that is simple sub-standard.
x. Central to the PSQL strategy is the definition of some basic standards, which the Government is prepared to work to achieve. PEDP-II proposes the following primary school level quality standards:
xi. All children should receive schooling in classes and classrooms not exceeding 40 students. In fact, analysis has shown that this desirable target will not be fully achievable within the period of PEDP-II as many schools switch from double-shifts to single-shift. The PEDP-II as many schools switch from double-shifts to single-shift. The PEDP-II target will be 46 pupils per class and classroom
xii. School staffing levels should permit one teacher per class/section.
xiii. All children, including those with special needs, should be able to attend school if international standards of about 900 contact hours per annum. The PEDP-II target is to increase annual contact hours for all Class levels (Classes 1 to 5 inclusive) from the current 768 hours per annum to at least 850 hours per annum by 2008.
xiv. Students should have texts provided for each subject and these texts should be available from the first day of the new school year.
xv. Classrooms should be properly constructed with durable materials and provide a well-lighted and properly ventilated environment for learning. Standards of construction should be the same for rural as for urban areas.
xvi. Classroom should be of sufficient size and furnished to suit the age and size of the children and should encourage the use of student centered, activity and enquiry based methods as required by a curriculum focus on cognitive, affective, and psychomotor development and competencies. PEDP-II envisages that additional classrooms should be about 60% larger than chairs that present norm for construction and should be furnished with tables and chairs that permit a variety of teaching and learning strategies.
xvii. Every schools should have proper latrines and water suply and should promote and support ideals of good health and hygiene.
xviii. All teachers should be trained to at least Certificate in Education (C. in Ed.) standard, and no untrained teacher should be in un-supervised charge of a class or grade level.
xix. The minimum qualification for entry to teacher training should be H.S.C.
xx. Initial pre-service teacher training should include both theory and practice and involve regular periods of supervised practicum in schools specifically designated and supported for training purposes.
xxi. All teachers irrespective of school type, should receive regular, preferably annual, professional development or in-service training. In the case of PEDP-II it is possible only to aim and plan for in-service training on a two year cycle. However sub-cluster training will be strongly supported.
xxii. All teachers should be provided with the texts, teacher guides, aids and equipment, for each class and subject taught.
xxiii. All GPS, RNGPS and Community in school management, teacher support and supervision, community mobilization and participation, and in other areas necessary to facilitate and support quality teaching and learning in all grades and classes.
xxiv. Each school should have an active School Management Committee (SMC) that has both authority and responsibility in school planning and development and in meeting the specific needs of children from the local community. SMCs should have access to discretionary funds- through a School Support Fund- to procure basic consumables, to meet the cost of minor repairs and maintenance, and to meet local and special needs.
xxv. All School Management Committee (SMC) should be trained on a regular basis to effectively undertake their specified functions and to meet the needs of their school and community. The process of community mobilization must be a key role of the SMCs enduring effective linkages and access between the formal structure of the SMC and the broader community and civil society.
xxvi. Each school should have a "policy", agreed with the SMC and community of parents, that covers matters such as attendance, gender discrimination, discipline, homework, inclusive education, PEDP-II must also.
xxvii. While the PSQL strategy will provide the over-arching structure for quality improvement at school level, PEDP-II must also:
xxviii. Ensure that the over well primary system is organized, managed, staffed and resourced, so as to be able to properly support and facilitate the work of the schools and teachers in providing a quality education to primary children.
xxix. Provide such the support as may be appropriate to overcome the demand-side constrain that reduce the ability of parents to send their children to school.
Approach to PEDP II
In summary, the overall OEDP II approach has a number of dimensions, including:
- A Focus on both quality of and access to primary schooling.
- A guarantee of fundamental school quality levels (PQSL) to safeguard the rights of all children to a basic level of essential inputs at primary schools level.
- A child-cantered approach, defining key interventions through the lens of the requirements necessary for the child to access, continue and achieve in School.
- Development of the Upazila and Upazila Resource Centre (URC) as key outreach and support mechanisms.
- Systemic reform, capacity building and organizational reform at all levels, including the National Academy for Primary Education (NAPE), the NCTB, and the PTIs, to ensure the most effective, efficient and nation-wide delivery of primary education.
- Maximum possible integration of the PEDP II program within the organizational and operational systems of the Ministry and the DPE to ensure that policy, procedures, processes and resources are harmonized to support project activities and to ensure institutionalisation and sustainability.
- Coordination and integration of the activities and projects of Development Partners within the PEDP II.
The recommended structure for the PEDP II is as follows:
Component 1: Quality improvement through organizational development and capacity building.
Component 2: Quality improvement in schools and classrooms.
Component 3: Quality improvement through infrastructure development.
Component 4: Improving and supporting equitable access to quality schooling.
Component 1: Quality Improvement through organizational development and capacity building
- At MOPME and DPE
- At Division, District and Upazila
- At school level
Component 2: Quality Improvement in Schools and classrooms:
- The Environment for Learning
- The Physical Environment
- Primary Curriculum Wing of NCTB
- Resources for Quality Learning-Textbooks and materials
- Teachers and Teaching
- Teachers-recruitment, status and training
- Teacher Support
- Primary Training Institute (PTI)
- In-service training
- Head Teacher training
- Upazila Resource Centre
- Community Awareness and Support
Component 3: Quality Improvement through Infrastructure development
Component 4: Improving and supporting equitable access to quality schooling
Component 5: PEDP II management, monitoring and evaluation
- Coordination, management and implementation
- Monitoring and evaluation
Economic and Financial Analysis:
Question may arise as to why the government should invest in primary school education and not leave this to market forces. Recently there has been a marked shift towards enrolment of children in different types of non-Government schools (specially in the so called Kindergarten schools) where school fees have to be paid and where it may be said that to some extent market forces apply, e.g. , in that parents may withdraw their children from the school at any time. However, even in those non-Government schools the quality of education provided is generally quite low and naturally it becomes the responsibility of the Government to ensure that all children are entitled to receive suitable and adequate primary education.
The main economic arguments for a proactive role for the Government are as follows:
- Primary-level education is universally regarded as a public good, with significant externalities and, therefore, will not be adequately provided by the private sector.
- Primary-level education is characterized by the achievement of benefits to the beneficiaries over the long term, in fact over whole of their life cycle, and by incomplete information, leading to poor supply of response from the private sector.
- Quality primary education is strongly correlated with economic development and with increased productivity. Without PEDP II, the majority of the labor force will continue to lack the foundation of a good quality basic education, will remain unskilled, and be noted for inefficiency and low productivity. The effect of PEDP II in providing an enhanced primary education to the children of Bangladesh will be able to put them on the road towards better employment and income earning possibilities. The quality interventions would ensure that level of student's achievement is raised, thereby adding to the employability of the graduates and to their suitability for further training in areas of economic need.
- Cost-benefit analysis studies of primary school education have been carried out in many countries and invariably show very high rates of return, both to the country and to the individual. The underlying assumption for the calculations is that the role of education in development is that of investment in human capital.
- A number of studies have shown effective primary education for all children to be a pre-requisite for the achievement of economic take off. The achievement of high quality primary education will also lead to spin off effects in the form of significantly increased demand of secondary education, from which rates of return are normally also high.
- As the national level, PEDP II will support the development of a framework for a system of enhanced primary education that will meet the needs of the country to upgrade its workforce to meet the national economic goals. More immediately, PEDP II will contribute to the reduction of rural poverty by supporting the expansion and improvement of primary school education in rural communities, thus generating enhanced rural employment possibilities.