Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Our Education Management Programme requires you to complete all nine modules plus attend a monthly one day Master Trainer tutorial session. In addition, your Master Trainer will visit your school in the role of supervisor to provide encouragement and support for the duration of the programme. These visits are an opportunity for you to discuss elements of the course and applications in your school. You will be assessed in a variety of ways including formal examination, module assignments, weekly reflections, module activities and a practicum. Details about all of this will be provided for you in the Trainee Assessment Booklet which you will receive at the start of the Programme.
This handbook provides you with useful information on the programme. It starts with a description of NCERD and goes on to answer a number of questions about distance education, Master Trainer and learner roles and other related questions. If you have not been a distance learner before, you will find the section on "studying effectively"* particularly useful. Many of us have not taken an education course for some time, so information on study skills will be a useful refresher.
We have tried to anticipate the questions you might have about the programme and your role in it. If we have not covered some point of concern to you, please ask for clarification from either the Master Trainer or the staff at NCERD dealing with the Programme.
Contained in this Programme Handbook, you will also find important information about the origins of the course, the role of the Headteacher, the nature of school headship in Guyana, accountability issues, a training needs assessment, a leadership skills analysis as well as other information which we feel you will find useful.
You should read the whole document as a preparation for starting the Programme. There are no assessed activities but the handbook contains a number of reflections and asks you to make preparations for your 18 month training programme. We wish you every success in your endeavours and hope and expect that you will graduate with flying colours in order to provide quality leadership for a vital part of Guyana’s educational future.
The Education Management Programme is a distance education programme for Headteachers and aspiring headteachers which was launched in 2000 as a pilot in Region 2 and which is now operated from NCERD’s Headquarters in Georgetown, Guyana as a national programme leading to the Education Management Certificate.
National Centre for Educational Resource Development
The National Centre for Education Resource Development (NCERD) is an educational institution, commissioned in 1986 by UNESCO. NCERD has education policy making status in so far as providing recommendations to The Ministry of Education, whose role it is to develop and enact policies. Its primary responsibility is the planning and implementation of all in-service teacher education programmes for Nursery, Primary and Secondary Schools in Guyana.
The NCERD offices are situated in a pleasant part of Georgetown close to the sea wall in Kingston, Georgetown.
NCERD is organised into the following units with a Head for each unit.
· Materials Production Unit is responsible for the mass production of examination papers, curriculum guides, resource materials and other documents.
· Measurement, Evaluation and Research Unit is responsible for the development of test instruments and using the information generated from these instruments to facilitate decision-making.
· Curriculum Development and Information Unit is responsible for conceptualising, developing, testing and evaluating educational materials for nursery, primary and secondary schools.
· Distance Education and Information Unit responsible for the provision of information through the media of broadcasting and formal and non-formal educational programmes geared to meet the needs of individuals.
· Learning Resources Unit is responsible for the provision of library services, educational technology, keyboarding and production of textbooks.
A Director who is assisted by a Deputy Director and the Heads of Units manages the work of NCERD. There are also technical, clerical and administrative staff who work at NCERD. The Education Management Programme is managed directly through the office of the Director of NCERD through the Education Management Specialist.
Initial teacher training is not sufficient to build and sustain a quality delivery system for education. Teachers need to develop and grow professionally on a continuous basis. NCERD is organised to fulfill these professional needs and discharges its mandate by collaborative interaction with education agencies and resource persons. The centre has served the nation well for more than twenty years. However, it is also recognised that it must be continually strengthened and improved in order to fulfill its vision and realise its long term goals. The vision of the Ministry of Education is as follows:-
“The development of a citizenry able to modernise Guyana and live in mutual respect”
In fulfilling its mandated role, NCERD aims to improve the quality of education at all
levels of the system so that education may serve as an effective instrument of social and economic development. The Mission Statement of the Ministry of Education is as follows:-
“To eliminate illiteracy
To modernize education
To strengthen tolerance.”
1. What is the Programme Handbook for?
This Programme Handbook describes the Education Management Programme. It has been written to help you understand the Programme, to let you know what NCERD expects of you and to give you some advice. We hope you will find it useful as you start the Programme. The handbook is a valuable tool to help you study successfully. You should keep it handy and refer back to it as time goes on.
You will receive a lot more information on individual topics in greater detail, as you progress through the Programme. For now, this handbook is an initial guide to help you get started.
2. What is distance education?
Distance education means you remain in your school post, doing your normal work, while you follow the Programme. You study in your spare time, using specially written materials which NCERD will provide for you. You will also attend a workshop in your Region once each month, and you will be visited regularly at your own school.
3. What are the advantages and disadvantages of distance education?
Students in a full-time course, at a college or university, are surrounded by an institutional environment (tutors, classrooms, fixed timetables, libraries, college rules, other students and so on). When you study by distance education, your experience will be very different from the student who is studying full-time at college. As a distance education student, you live in the community and continue your normal work and family life, instead of a college environment, a much more open environment surrounds you.
If you consider a student studying in a college environment and compare that with a student studying in a more open, community environment, you will be able to see that each of these two situations has some advantages and some disadvantages.
Consider the advantages and disadvantages you think distance education might have?
Well, we've listed some possible advantages and disadvantages below. How far do you think the advantages and the disadvantages suggested here apply to you?
Possible advantages of distance education
You can study without moving away from your home, village or family
You can keep working during the time that you are studying
You can immediately apply what you are learning to your work
You receive your own set of printed course module booklets to keep. You can keep referring to these throughout your career
The printed modules are written by experienced people
You do not have to worry about being shy or feel nervous if you feel you are older or slower than some of the other students
learning by distance education gives you a feeling of satisfaction, control and achievement.
Possible disadvantages of distance education
It may be difficult to find time or a suitable place to study in your home
Family commitments may make it hard to concentrate on your studies
Family, colleagues and managers may not be understanding about your need for time and peace to study
You can feel isolated and lonely
You may be frustrated or blocked in your study at times because most of the time you will not have a Master Trainer with you to answer your questions
Some people find it harder to learn from reading than from listening to a Master Trainer and discussing with other learners
You have to be very self-disciplined to organise your time and study
You have access to support facilities only some of the time
The benefits of completing this Programme are that you will get an increment on your salary, will get six points towards promotion and in some cases gain academic credit at the University of Guyana.
Can you think of other advantages and disadvantages of distance education?
Later in this handbook, you will get some tips about some of the problems you are likely to experience in organising your studies as a distance education student and how to deal with these problems.
4. Where can I get support for my learning?
If you have read carefully and thoughtfully up to this point, you will probably conclude that studying by distance education is not easy. However, as well as problems and pressure, you will also discover many sources of support in the Community. This support may be practical emotional or academic and professional. All of these will make it easier for you to study successfully.
To have the best chance of success as a distance education student, you should aim to make use of support from many different sources within your community. Some sources of support are within the Distance Education Programme itself. Others are from outside the Programme. Study the diagram below. It shows many different source of support.
What kind of support do you think you can get from each of these sources? Can you think of any other source of support which you could add to the diagram? Can any of the sources of support also be sources of problems?
You will learn more details about the specific supports available from the Distance Education Programme in the rest of this handbook.
Support from the distance education programme
· Growing skills, knowledge and confidence
· National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD)
· Learning Resource Centre (LRC)
· Your Master Trainer
· Course modules
· Programme Handbook
· Fellow students
· Study skills course
· Feedback on Tutor Marked Assignments (TMA's)
· Master Trainer visits
Support from other sources
· My family
· My school
· Church, temple, mosque
· Regional Education Office
o Past experience
5. What will I study on the Programme?
The programme is made up of nine different modules, the Trainee assessment Guide and the Programme Handbook. A list of all of the modules is included in this handbook. You will receive the actual printed modules at the launch of the programme and at the various Master Trainer’s Workshops during the school year. Please note that we also show an average completion time for each unit and module. Depending on your style of learning, you may take longer or shorter than the times listed.
6. How will I study in the Distance Education Programme?
To study in the Distance Education Programme, you will use a combination of several difference methods. The main methods you will use include:
¨ Printed materials. As noted earlier you will receive nine different modules of printed materials. These contain most of the information you need to complete the programme. They also contain activities for you to do as you work through the module, page by page, and feedback to let you assess how you have understood the module.
¨ Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs). Each module has a corresponding assignment. Your Master Trainer will mark your work and give you detailed feedback on it, along with advice on where your assignment was strong, where it was weak and how to improve next time. The tutor -marked assignments will be returned to you at the various Master Trainers' Workshops.
¨ School visits. A Master Trainer will visit you regularly at your school and perform the role of supervisor. You will discuss how you are progressing in the Programme with your Master Trainer and s/he will help you to develop your skills in education management. S/he will also review your weekly reflection sheets and generally see how you’re doing.
¨ Monthly workshops. Once a month, all the Distance Education Programme participants in your area will meet together, along with your Master Trainer. Your Master trainer will have organised a workshop lasting one day. At this workshop, you will participate in various activities and have the opportunity to discuss your progress in the Programme and any problems you are experiencing.
¨ Practicum. There will be a specific project you will be asked to complete to improve the operation of your school. The details of the project and the grading criteria will be given to you at the time of the launch of this programme and are included in the Assessment Booklet.
¨ Portfolio. You will maintain a portfolio of completed assignments, reflections and related documents you collect and develop during the programme. A list of the various items you will be requested to place into your portfolio will also be given to you at the time of the launch of this programme and are included in the Assessment Booklet.
7. What does my Master Trainer do?
It is important to understand that your Master Trainer is not expected to teach you the content of the Programme: to learn by distance education means that you must learn mostly by studying the modules, completing the activities in the modules, completing any Tutor Marked Assignments, completing the Practicum and writing your weekly reflections. Your Master Trainer is there to help you to negotiate your journey through the modules and to give you helpful advice and feedback on your progress.
Lastly, your Master Trainer is there to hear any problems you may be having in following the course, and to try to help you to find a solution to these problems so that you can continue to study effectively. This does not mean that they will solve the problem for you but they will certainly listen and respond sympathetically and knowledgeably. Also, they will always be waiting to discuss the ways in which you may want to try to solve the problem by yourself.
Your Master Trainer is your main link with NCERD. So, if you have questions about the Programme, or if you want to communicate anything to NCERD, your Master Trainer is there to assist you.
8. When will I do all the things, which are involved in this Programme?
A schedule of modules and the main landmarks of your progress through the Distance Education Programme is included in the Assignment Booklet that you will receive shortly. Your Master Trainer will tell you about any changes in dates for monthly meetings or due dates for assignments.
9. Where will I go for the monthly workshops?
You will go to a central regional location to be identified for each region. Your Master Trainer must let you know where this is in good time. This is often the LRC if there is one or a school which is central.
10. What will the Learning Resource Centre (LRC) offer?
Where an LRC is available, we will supply it with relevant reference texts. LRCs could also be used for self-organised programmed study circle meetings.
11. What happens during the supervision visits?
You will have regular visits to your school by your Master Trainer. He / she will be a senior person, perhaps a REDO, DEO, a DES, or a College or University faculty person or Headteacher. S/he will review your portfolio, discuss the record of your weekly reflections, assess your progress, mark your assignments and discuss your Practicum and offer general support for your study in the course.
You may also receive feedback on the assignments submitted to your Master Trainer during some supervision visits. In addition you will have the opportunity to discuss any matters or issues related to your work in the course.
12. How will I get the modules?
Usually, you'll get all your modules at the launching of the programme. However, some modules could be given out later if this is deemed more appropriate.
13. What will I have to pay for the Programme?
The Ministry of Education is covering the cost of the modules. You will receive details about this at the launch of this programme.
Salary. You will continue to work and receive your regular salary during your period as a Learner on the Distance Education Programme.
Textbooks and supplementary materials. You will be encouraged to read textbooks and reference books for some of the modules on the Programme. Some of these textbooks will be available at the LRC. However, you may need to buy some of these books. You will be responsible for paying for these books yourself.
14. What are the Programme Modules like?
Each module will be a little different because it deals with a different subject. You may also notice that the approaches in different modules are varied. The modules have been written by a wide range of experts. This means the programme material is quite varied. We hope that the variety will ensure that your interest will be maintained throughout.
The programme has been completely reviewed, revised and many parts rewritten during 2008. It now fully meets the requirements of the Guyanese educational context.
However, all the modules follow an overall design, so you should find that once you are familiar with one module it is not too difficult to adapt when you move on to the next one in the Programme.
Each module consists of a series of carefully planned units. These are written so that each one builds on the one before it, leading you further in understanding the subject and gaining the skills you need to be an effective education leader.
When you read a module, it is not like reading a textbook from the library. The module was written specially to help you study this particular Programme. So everything in every module has been carefully selected and is important for you.
In many ways, the module acts as your teacher and as your guide. As you work through a module, you will be asked to stop and do Activities. These will help you practice the skills you are reading about and help you learn and check your own understanding. After most of the Activities, you will find feedback comments to help you assess yourself.
You will also find a series of reflections. These are written in negative and are easily distinguishable from the activities. Reflections are not assessed, whereas activities are as part of your overall portfolio. You must complete all activities.
Activities and Comments will be displayed like this and reflections,
in negative, as above.
It's a good idea to cover these comments with a piece of card so you are not tempted to read the commentary before doing the activity.
15. How much time will I have to spend studying?
Most modules have between 20 and 25 hours working and study time. This is the amount of time the course designers think you will need to read the modules, reflect and do the activities. These times do not include the time you’ll spend reading supplementary readings, preparation for and writing of any assignments and attending monthly workshops.
As a rough guide, you should expect to spend about six to eight hours per week to complete one module every two months plus as much extra time as you need and can find for reading the recommended books and working on assignments. Obviously, the more time you spend studying and working on your activities, the more deeply you will come to understand the course content and the more you will develop your management skills. Clearly, these are only a rough guide as everyone has different circumstances, background knowledge, experience and works at different speeds.
For the monthly workshops, you are expected to be present for the entire workshop. This may include Saturday all day, and, at times, part of Sunday.
16. How will I be assessed?
You will be assessed by a combination of methods. These are
¨ Self appraisal from your portfolio
¨ External Appraisal by your Master Trainer who will visit your school
¨ Grades from you ‘end of module’ assignments
¨ Your Portfolio
¨ A grade from your Practicum
¨ Part One (modules 1 - 4) and Part Two (Modules 5 - 9) Examinations
Details on assessment are found in the Trainee Assessment Booklet.
Attendance Although no marks for attendance will be awarded, the monthly workshops are an integral part of the Programme and you are required to attend them. The attendance record of students in the Distance Education Programme will be judged according to the circumstances which apply in each case.
Portfolio. You will use a portfolio (a large 3 ring binder) to document and reflect on your progress during this course. Such documentation will help you conduct a fair sell-assessment. In addition the portfolio will be used to assess your final grade in the course.
17. How can I study most effectively?
Learning in a distance education programme requires special skills and attitudes in order to be successful. You will spend considerable time studying alone, without the help and support from fellow learners, available to students on fulltime programmes in colleges and universities. Also, you will have family commitments, work commitments and all the other distractions of everyday life: all these will make it quite a challenge for you to concentrate on your studies.
Ideally, you should try to find a quiet place and time to study. But you may well have a study environment which is not ideal - for example, perhaps you do not have electricity, or you have to study in a busy family room where the children are eating and others in the family are talking or watching television at the same time. This will make it more difficult for you to concentrate.
To overcome these problems and to be a successful student, you will need to organise yourself very efficiently. You will need to develop efficient and effective study skills and re-organise your life in such a way as to include a regular routine of putting other things aside for an hour or two a day and concentrate on your studies.
You should refer to the section on Study Skills below. You can also seek advice from your Master Trainer on what kind of study skills you personally need to develop. They understand the difficulties you may face as a distance learner and it is part of their role to support you in suggesting ways in which you can develop and maintain appropriate study skills.
Studies have shown that successful students are the ones who develop a good range of strategies for organising themselves. The main strategies of organisation follow:
· effective time management
· creation of a good study environment
· development of concentration skills
· efficient text-reading skills and note-taking skills
1. Effective time management - Prioritise your activities: you cannot do everything in life - you will have to sacrifice some time at certain things so that you keep enough time free for your studies. For example, you may have to reduce the amount of time you give to community activities or socialising.
2. Be organised and plan ahead. If you are disorganised, you will waste a lot of time and you will give yourself a lot of stress.
3. Make a wall calendar (or buy one). Mark out all the modules. For the next two to three months, plot out the unit you must study each week, the dates when you will be preparing any assignments, when you will hand the assignments in, when you'll go to workshops and so on. Try to put this calendar somewhere where you can look at it easily from the table where you study. Check your progress daily and adjust your plans if you are falling behind; try always to catch up so you get through each module on schedule.
4. Develop an individual schedule which you keep in your file and can carry around with you. This too will show activities such as handing in assignments, meeting your Master Trainer, travelling to the monthly workshops or completing the reading of each module / unit. You can discuss this schedule with your Master Trainer and adjust it progressively to meet the needs and possibilities of the moment. You can also use this schedule to assess yourself and to set personal targets.
5. Don't put off studying. In particular, don't put off starting to think about and make notes on any assignments. If you read and plan your assignments early, you will find the task less onerous and much more satisfying. Start them early and work on them gradually over a period of time. Good work is never done in a rush at the last minute.
6. Creating a good study environment. Keep your notes neat and in order. Label them clearly, so you can see exactly which module / unit the notes refer to, when you come back to look at them some time later. If you have to spend a lot of time looking for your notes because they are all mixed up, you will not be using your precious time effectively.
7. Try to make a clear space in the house where you remove all distractions and can keep your modules, pens, paper and other things you need to study. If possible, find a quiet place or a place where other people will not come and speak to you. In a family environment, you will probably need to explain to your family that you need some peace to study and ask them not to speak to you unless it's really important, at the time when you are studying. Of course, the easiest way of achieving this is to study at a time of day when other people are asleep or when they are not at home.
8. Try to avoid using the study place for other kinds of activity, such as eating, drinking, watching television or sleeping. When you sit down to study, you want to concentrate on that alone.
9. Developing concentration skills. Sometimes, you may find it very difficult to concentrate on studying. You may find you are distracted by daydreaming, feeling sleepy, worrying about your studying or other personal problems. Try to cut these things out of your mind when you are studying. If you find yourself just sitting for a long time but not actually concentrating on studying, then stop studying and take a break. Do something very different for a little time and then try to settle down again to study.
10. Go for a walk or doing some other kind of physical exercise for about fifteen minutes or half and hour, such as physical sport, digging or doing energetic housework, helps you to relax and feel more settled than just sitting around.
Most people have to learn how to learn. This may surprise you! If you are worried because you find it difficult to study, don't worry - you are perfectly normal! Especially if you have not been used to studying or haven't read a lot for some years - you will need to practise. Start with small goals which you can achieve. Soon, you will find you can.
Think about doing all these things. As a committed participant, I will
· read and study all the modules deeply
· read as much of the recommended reading as I can, and think about what I read
· do all the activities and assignments to the best of my ability
· think about the feedback my Master Trainer gives me on any assignments and go back over parts of the course again as a result
· discuss my ideas with fellow learners
· actively prepare for the supervision visit by maintaining my portfolio
· discuss issues and applications with my Master Trainer
· keep to all my commitments in my school
· continue to fulfill my social obligations
On reflection, do you still think you should be able to go through the Programme more quickly, or have you changed your mind at all?
20. How can the design of the module help me learn?
The printed modules are designed specifically to make it as easy as possible for you to learn by yourself. Flip through one of the modules. You'll see an introduction and several units. Spend a few minutes to read the introduction in the modules; it's the same in each module. One section in the module introduction describes how modules and units are organised. For example, each module unit has an introduction, an indication of study time, learning outcomes, activities, reflections, comments and a summary.
One advantage of the modular structure is size. Each module is a convenient size to handle. It is not too heavy or too thick to carry around. You can take one with you to fill in short blocks of time, for example, a half-hour you might have while sitting on the bus.
You should also see that many of the modules are very practical. Where possible, the modules try to link what you are studying directly to your practical school management experience.
At times, you may be tempted to copy material directly from others or from books and treat it as though it is your own work. This is not helpful to your personal learning and development. Your grades will be dependent upon the way in which you apply your newly acquired knowledge and insights to education management at your school. Plagiarism will be treated as such and discarded without marks.
22. How should I prepare for my assignments?
Each individual assignment and activity contains notes for guidance on preparing that particular assignment or activity. Additionally, the following general guidelines or principles apply to all the assignments.
Plan your personal timetable to include the process of preparing your assignment. Answer gradually, alongside your other studying and work. The process may include various stages. According to the particular assignment, these stages may be:
· Read all assignments carefully and make sure that you understand clearly what is being requested
· Collect the information you need and make notes on it (from the modules, from discussion with colleagues, etc)
· Select and organise your points into a structured answer
· Write a first draft; review it and write a revised draft
· Check your final copy for mistakes; and
· Hand in your finished assignment.
· Don't delay. Start your assignment early allowing yourself plenty of time to complete the process of preparing and completing your assignment.
· Stick to the "hand-in" schedule. Even if you run out of time preparing your assignment, and this means your assignment is not quite as good as you would like it to be. Always do your best in the time available and give your work to your Master Trainer by the deadline date if at all possible.
It is important to note that Master Trainers really need to mark all assignments in one go in order to ensure consistency of grades. If you are not able to hand in your work on time, this makes it more difficult for them and will inevitably mean a delay in the work being returned to all. In addition, when work is returned to some candidates, it could give others an advantage.
Don't spend so much time on your assignment that you ignore your other studies and work. These assignments are not an excuse for ignoring the content modules or attending the monthly workshops! They are meant to help you study, not stop you from studying.
25. Who is responsible for running the Distance Education Programme?
The Distance Education Programme is run by the National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD). The Administrator in NCERD, who reports to the Director of NCERD, is responsible for all organisational aspects of the programme.
26. What can I do if something goes wrong? Welfare, grievances, discipline, complaints and general problems
The welfare of all participants is the responsibility of NCERD. The centre will take all necessary steps to ensure effective delivery of this course. It also has the responsibility for receiving and processing all grievances and complaints.
27. What kinds of records will the Programme keep about me?
The Programme will keep various detailed records about you. These records will give the NCERD accurate information on your progress and achievement as you move through each part of the Programme. The kinds of records that will be kept about you are:
¨ academic and professional records: These include grades scored in assignments, tests and examinations; and records of school supervision visits by your Master Trainer.
¨ attendance records: Records will be kept of your attendance at the monthly workshops.
¨ administrative records: Records will be kept of the modules and other materials which have been issued to you by the Programme.
¨ registration records: You must register at the start of the Programme on the Registration Form.
¨ personal records: Any personal information the Programme will keep about you is essentially the initial data you provided when you applied and then enrolled on the Programme. This contains information such as your educational background, family status, address and any special needs or disabilities you may have indicated. This information will be updated from time to time, to include any changes which come along.
These records are important and we keep them in order to:-
¨ give NCERD a basis on which to assess you and award you a certificate;
¨ help your Master Trainer and the Centre see how you are progressing and if you are having difficulties, so they can quickly know where you need help. This is particularly important in case your Master Trainer changes during the Programme, so that your new one has this information.
¨ help the Ministry of Education to evaluate the Distance Education Programme and the course modules. This will enable changes to be made to improve the Programme where necessary to ensure that you are treated fairly with regard to receiving services and materials, and that you fulfill the requirements of NCERD by participating fully in the Programme.
28. How will NCERD keep track of my examination results and assure anonymity with the markers?
When you write your examinations in the region where you are studying, you will be given a unique identification number which will consist of your regional number plus a personal number e.g. 01/004. This will be allocated by the regional Master Trainers. You will not write your name or any other identifier on the paper and the markers will not have access to the names. In this way your paper will be anonymous to the markers.
29. How can I communicate with the persons responsible for this Programme?
Monthly Workshops: You will meet the Master Trainers of this Programme at the monthly workshops. It is possible that, at times, several Master Trainers will be present at a respective workshop.
Calling by telephone: We also suggest you make use of the telephone to keep in touch with your Master Trainer if this is possible in your situation. You should discuss with him / her whether there is a regular time each week when s/he may be available by telephone. However, please note that you are personally responsible for paying for any telephone calls you make. You should particularly communicate with the Master Trainer at the earliest possible opportunity:
¨ if you will not be available for the Master Trainer's scheduled school supervision visit;
¨ if you cannot attend the corning monthly workshop, or
¨ if you have any major difficulty or problem in continuing to follow the Programme.
30. Can I communicate directly with NCERD?
Yes, although usually it is better to communicate with your Master Trainer. If you want him / her to pass any message on to NCERD, s/he will do so. However, if you wish to communicate directly with NCERD, rather than through the Master Trainer you may do so, through the Administrator at NCERD. She will be sure to transmit the message to the Director or to the appropriate person at NCERD.
So, now you have learned quite a lot about the Distance Education Programme. This information will help you to get started with your distance learning. Please feel free to ask your Master Trainer if you are not sure about anything which we have talked about in this handbook or whenever you have anything you want to discuss during your time on the Distance Education Programme.
Remember: this is your handbook. We wish you well in your studies with NCERD on our Distance Education Programme and we hope you will find the Programme stimulating, enriching and above all useful in your teaching.
In Guyana, the situation is a particularly difficult one. Often, experienced and skilled teachers are appointed to run complex schools without adequate preparation and training.
The Commonwealth Secretariat in conjunction with UNESCO, SIDA and GTZ introduced the Training and Support Programme for School Heads which was initiated by the Commonwealth Education Programme in 1991. The joint Programme undertook to work with English‑speaking African ministries, to analyse the way they trained school heads, given available resources. At the same time, writing teams in seven countries, with the support of their Ministries of Education, began drafting resource materials covering the primary aspects of running a school. Problems of producing and distributing training materials were also addressed.
The training modules were written, trialled, edited and designed, and made ready for presentation in 1993. They constitute a remarkable testimony to the possibilities for effective co‑operation among education professionals.
In practical terms, the work has been co‑ordinated by the Commonwealth Education Programme. But nothing could have been achieved without the very generous contribution of participating Ministries of Education. Permanent Secretaries assigned senior ministry staff and school heads to work on the materials; they committed funds from overstretched budgets to support the writing teams; they made trialling and testing of the materials possible and they released their staff for the regional sessions. Thanks must go to all those who made this project possible.
The Programme demonstrated the practical advantages of working co-operatively. Participating ministries were supported throughout by generous financial contributions. Joint funding made possible the development of a regional strategy to address the needs of school heads and laid the foundation for bilateral support for national initiatives.
In 2000, the materials were adopted with the kind permission of the Commonwealth Secretariat as the basis of the Education Management Certificate in Guyana. They were updated by a variety of officers from NCERD, the Ministry of Education, The University of Guyana and the Cyril Potter College of Education. The materials and costs for the project were supported by the Guyana Basic Education Training Project (GBET) in conjunction with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). In their own words, GBET really means "Improving Guyana Basic Education Teacher Training Project." The primary goal is to improve the quality of basic education in Guyana. The expected outcomes are:
¨ Increased number of teachers qualified and trained in hinterland regions.
¨ Increased number of head and deputy headteachers, Regional Education Officers, DE Supervisors and Inspectors certified in Education Management in hinterland regions.
¨ Improved rationalisation and functioning of Distance Education resources support services and mechanisms
The project recognises the particular difficulties in Guyana relating to access to Higher Education, particularly in the hinterland. Hence, this Programme is delivered through the model of Distance Education.
The first batch of the Education Management Programme was successfully completed in 2004 with 201 school managers being successful. As a result of experience gained and comments from Master Trainers who were integrally involved in the delivery of the Programme, it was found prudent to have some of the modules revised and to include another module to deal with current management needs of the education system.
This is part of the process of building the management capacity of the education sector, utilising resources within the Ministry of Education. This is a necessary aspect of any developmental programme that has to respond to the needs of its clientele. The experience gained from the first two trials of the programme provided the backdrop for the revision process which addressed the Study Guide and User’s Guide for participants of the third and fourth cohorts of trainees, training of whom is now completed, with the most recent batch having over 350 graduates.
In 2008, the Modules were revisited. They were completely revised by NCERD staff in cooperation with Voluntary Service Overseas. The VSO Education Management Specialist worked with officers of the Ministry of Education, Regional Education Office staff throughout the country, Master Trainers of the Programme and Trainees themselves to review, revise and rewrite (in many cases) the whole programme so that it met the needs of the educational context in Guyana in the 21st Century. We offer our sincere thanks to all those involved.
What is our purpose?
It is widely recognised and agreed that one of the key factors influencing school effectiveness is the nature and quality of the leadership and management provided by each school head.
This series of modules has been written to provide school heads with a source of practical ideas about ways in which they may become better managers of better schools. The material does not present much theory; instead each reader is required to draw on their own individual experiences and to evaluate their own circumstances and practices, in order that they may apply the lessons learned in their schools. Like other professionals, school heads need to accept a large measure of responsibility for their own self‑development and for the development of their schools.
The extent to which these materials have a practical impact on school quality will only become clear over time but school heads should fairly quickly be able to identify some examples of how they have changed the way they manage their schools and how their schools are better as a result. Heads may wish to share ideas with their school colleagues, District Education Officers and Inspectors, discuss with them what they are doing and how these materials are helping to improve their practice. The purpose of these modules is to reverse this trend and to equip school heads, those aspiring to be heads and those interacting with heads, with the necessary knowledge and skills of good leadership and management.
Who are the materials designed for?
These materials are written primarily for practising school heads of nursery, primary and secondary schools, whether government, board schools or private as well as those in senior positions who aspire to be Headteachers. We hope that Principals of other educational institutions will also find these materials of use.
Leadership and Management skills are also required by many others involved in education, from the senior Ministry of Education staff, through to Regional Education Officers, District Education Officers M.E.R.D. inspectors, school governors, private school owners, and even, in some aspects, parents and members of the community. These materials are for readers who belong to any of these groups, and who are interested in improving school performance.
What are the methods of study?
Since these materials are written for a variety of people, let us move from describing readers specifically as 'school heads' to something more direct and personal: 'you'.
Self‑directed study: One of the main ways in which we hope you will use these materials will be through self‑directed study or open‑learning. By self-directed study we mean that you, the readers, choose when and what you want to study. Because everyone has a different background, in the experience we have and in the character of our schools, our learning needs vary considerably. We hope within the nine modules, each of which consists of between five and nine units, you will find something new and relevant to your needs. You will study the modules in an order prescribed by the Programme but indeed many units may be studied on their own.
The modules may be studied by individuals working on their own, or in informal or formal study groups.
Individual study: A large part of our learning takes place on our own, perhaps reading and thinking quietly in school or even at home. We hope that these materials will be available for you to do this. Then you may select what you want to learn, in the order and at the pace of study you choose. In this way you are not put under any immediate external pressure, but may work out for yourself what may best apply to you and your school.
Informal study groups: Of course you do not have to study these modules only on your own. The materials could and should be used by you with other heads in your locality, coming together informally, in peer groups or study circles, perhaps at a local resource centre, to review your work and share ideas. Within your own school, members of staff would benefit by looking at topics together. The materials should prove a useful source of ideas for your School Improvement Plan Committee. The materials could also be used at your Regional School Heads’ Meetings.
Formal groups: These materials can also be used in a more systematic way to cover all school heads at formal workshops organised by District Education Officers or for more advanced specialist courses, by NCERD or CPCE.
How is the content related to change in schools?
These resource materials are written in an interactive style which requires your participation. More than that, they require a commitment on your part to introduce into your school beneficial changes, which are relevant, cost-effective and accepted by your staff, pupils and community.
Each unit contains a variety of stimuli which are intended to get you thinking, to capture your interest and to open up the topic. These include activities like drawing up checklists, answering questions, gathering data and discussions with your colleagues, whether teachers in your school or other heads. While you are doing the activities you will be involved in reflection, in which you are encouraged to think through issues, to reconsider standard practices, and to seek alternative solutions to solving problems. Within the units there are regular commentaries which draw together loose ends and consolidate principles. The study of these resources will not be complete until there is some action by you in the way in which your school is organised and managed, following guidelines included in each unit. Evaluation, especially self‑evaluation (which also relates to the concept of reflection above) is the last element in this cycle.
Introduction: This provides an overview of the contents of the unit and provides a link between the units in the module.
Individual study time: An estimate is given of the amount of time you will require to study the unit on your own, including all of the activities. Of course, if you are working in a group it is likely that more discussion will be generated, and thus more time will be required.
Learning outcomes: These provide a series of statements about what you might expect to cover and learn if you complete a unit.
Activities: These require your involvement, perhaps by drawing on your experience, or through the gathering of data. Sometimes an activity comes at the start of a section, and sometimes an activity follows a piece of text. It is important that you do all the activities, as they form the core of each unit and provide the basis of the interactive approach to learning used here. As the activities vary considerably in character you should read the instructions carefully. Activities are assessed as part of the Education Management Programme.
Reflections: These are different from activities and are not assessed. They are clearly identified in the same way as this paragraph (in negative). They encourage you to think about the situations outlined and evaluate them.
Comments: As mentioned before, avoid looking at the sections which follow most of the activities until you have completed each one. The comments are intended to provide a discussion of some of the points you may have identified in the activity. They are not intended as model answers.
Summary: This appears at the end of each unit to pull together the ideas which have been brought out.
Ideally, the modules cannot be studied without access to other materials, the most important of which should already be at hand in your school or in your local Resource Centre or the NCERD library. However, it is recognised that access to materials in Guyana can sometimes be very problematic and expensive. You will not be penalised in any way if you are unable to obtain them, although it is highly desirable to “read around” all of the subjects in the modules. NCERD has developed a website which it is hoped will be regularly updated with information about the Programme, additional materials as well as links to other educational websites.
Important materials published in Guyana or available in your school or Resource Centre include:
¨ the constitution
¨ education acts
¨ by‑laws relating to your region or district
¨ civil service rules and regulations
¨ executive instruments on education
¨ policy papers, guidelines and circulars from the Ministry of Education
¨ code of conduct for teachers
¨ the constitution of the board of governors or school committee
¨ annual reports, speeches, exam results, pupil/staff data, etc.
¨ school account books, stores ledgers, rules and regulations, timetables,
¨ circulars, report forms, minutes of meetings, etc.
¨ pupils' exercise books and work.
You should also look out for books and websites about the history and development of education in Guyana. In addition there are usually many useful articles on current educational issues in newspapers and magazines, and on radio and TV. You should also have on hand a good dictionary.
In addition there are very many books on leadership and management, including educational management. We would suggest you look for these in your local bookshops, and libraries. Alternatively, internet bookstores in the USA and Canada will often deliver to Guyana. However, these books are expensive and it may be better to share the cost with your local group if you decide to purchase them.
However, it is unlikely that many titles will be readily available to the average school head, particularly those in rural areas. We hope that the publication of these modules will encourage more people to write complementary texts and for publishers to ensure the availability of relevant books on educational management wherever schools are located.
Module 1: Self‑Development for Educational Managers
Unit 1: School mission, values and objectives
Unit 2: Styles of management
Unit 3: Needs identification
Unit 4: Job analysis
Unit 5: Time management
Module 2: Principles of Educational Management
Unit 1: Introduction to educational management
Unit 2: Government organisation and functions
Unit 3: The functions of school management
Unit 4: Human and public relations
Unit 5: Delegation in a school
Unit 6: Communication and negotiation
Unit 7: Decision‑making and problem‑solving
Unit 8: The management of change
Module 3: Personnel Management
Unit 1: Staff selection
Unit 2: Staff development
Unit 3: Staff motivation
Unit 4: Staff appraisal
Unit 5: Staff supervision and discipline
Unit 6: Keeping staff records
Unit 7: Managing meetings
Unit 8: Managing conflict
Module 4: Managing the Curriculum and Resources
Unit 1: Establishing the curriculum
Unit 2: Timetabling
Unit 3: Organising resources to support the curriculum
Unit 4: Selecting and managing textbooks
Unit 5: Libraries, media and low cost teaching aids
Unit 6: Examinations, testing and record‑keeping
Unit 7: Resource maintenance
Unit 8: Finding financial resources
Module 5: Financial Management
Unit 1: Sources of school funds
Unit 2: School budgeting
Unit 3: Mobilising financial resources
Unit 4: Basic framework and mechanism of financial management
Unit 5: Expending and accounting for school funds
Unit 6: Auditing school account books
Module 6: Monitoring School Effectiveness
Unit 1: Indicators and characteristics of school effectiveness
Unit 2: The rationale for evaluation
Unit 3: Evaluation techniques
Unit 4: Planning a programme of evaluation
Unit 5: Using evaluation findings
Module 7: The Governance of Schools
Unit 1: Defining the parameters of school governance
Unit 2: Legal basis of school governance
Unit 3: School managers and governing bodies
Unit 4: Relationships between schools and other agencies
Unit 5: Partners in school management
Module 8: Leadership
At the time of going to press, this Module had not been completed. It is expected that it will be ready by January 2009 and will be completely rewritten.
Module 9: School Records and Documents
This module is the copy of the publication by the Ministry of Education on “School Records and Documents”. It has separate introduction, guidance on how to use it, a list of reflections and activities and a summary.