Education Ministry to pilot Grade Maker initiative to aid students’ upgrading

GINA, GUYANA, Monday, March 6, 2017

The Ministry of Education, Department of Culture, Youth and Sport will be piloting the Grade Maker initiative to improve students’ performance, based on individual needs.

Technical Advisor to the Minister of Education, Vincent Alexander

This came out at a two-day data analysis workshop that opened today. It is a collaborative effort between the Education Ministry and Grade Maker. The latter is a United Kingdom-based assessment technology company that specialises in providing diagnostic feedback to school leaders to support improvement in education delivery.

The Ministry of Education’s Technical Advisor, Vincent Alexander said that the Grade Maker is a great tool for the improvement of local education system. However, he noted that the education officials will also need to assess the social issues which affect the students faced on a daily basis.

“Those of us who are involved have to ensure that we go beyond this moment of finalising the tool and gaining the knowledge of how to use the tool and ensure that the tool in fact is integrated into our routine operations so at the level of the school itself, we know what is required of us,” Alexander added.

Ministry of Education’s, Assistant Chief Education Officer, Marcel Hutson

The technical advisor pointed out that the Ministry often implements programmes to improve the delivery of education however, ‘one cannot always guarantee that what we (Ministry) do at the top will penetrate at to the bottom.” Alexander added that through the implementation of the Grade Maker, the Ministry will determine the weak points in the system that need to be addressed.

In brief remarks, at the National Centre for Education Resource Development (NCERD) auditorium, Kingston today, the Ministry’s Chief Education Officer (ag.) Marcel Hutson said that the workshop is geared towards providing the education officials with tools which will help students improve their classroom performance, based on their individual needs.

The Grade Maker workshop is aimed at providing empirical evidence to develop a strategic plan to improve the education delivery. Hutson noted that the Ministry “will be able to make a significant move that we (Ministry) want to make in terms of impact in our results.”

Section of the education officials attending the Analytics –Grade maker workshop

Meanwhile, Analytics Grade Maker, Managing Director David Haggie said that the implementation of the tool is considered as a global movement in the education system. He added that Guyana is leading the way in the Caribbean with the implementation of the Grade Maker.

Haggie noted that the success of the programme depends on how it is taught to the students and adapted to suit the country’s setting.

Additionally, the acting CEO noted that he, “doesn’t want the education officials to just come and sit to glee or get information and not allow that information to reach down in the classroom” since the knowledge and skills will be needed  to be applied in the classroom to achieve improved grades.

By: Neola Damon

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