Increased school inspections expected

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PHILIPSBURG – There will be increased inspection and assessment of government-funded schools on St. Maarten beginning the new 2016/2017 school year, announced Minister of Education Silveria Jacobs at the Council of Ministers press briefing on Wednesday, June 8.

The Minister noted that in a bid to assess the performance of schools, and to improve the quality of education on St. Maarten, each school will do internal monitoring, which will be performed by the managers and school boards, while the Inspectorate of Education will perform external monitoring and enforcing. “They (schools) will have to make and execute action plans to improve weak areas and safeguard strong areas,” the Minister said.

Regarding external monitoring, Minister Jacobs noted that this will be done in the establishment of law through ordinance on education monitoring in 2016/17. The Minister noted that there are seven inspection areas on which the external monitoring will be conducted. These are: output, educational process, quality of teaching, student care, quality care, compliance to laws and management. There are also four performance indicators: poor, insufficient, sufficient or good.

Meanwhile, the Minister assured that all the major education stakeholders will be properly informed of these increased inspections as the government seeks to improve the quality of education delivered to the children of St. Maarten in both the primary and secondary schools.

She also noted that in depth inspections will continue with secondary and primary education, including joint inspections with VROMI, VSA and Fire Department as part of the future activities of the Inspectorate of Education.