Plan to engage parents, education ministry asked


One of the sessions during yesterday’s meeting

Representatives from the Ministry of Education and other government departments, schools, non-governmental organisations, parents and students met yesterday at the School of Education’s auditorium for a workshop to iron out unresolved issues with the draft documents of the proposed National Curriculum Framework (NCF) and the National Assessment Framework (NAF).

The consultative workshop sought the views of the ministry’s partners in education before finalising the curriculum documents, and following on from other suggestions surrounding parent involvement, one delegate suggested that greater use should be made of the ministry’s communications department to educate and involve parents on issues concerning the education of their children.

Also present among the audience in the packed auditorium was the principal secretary of education, Merida Delcy, the principal secretary for social affairs, Linda William-Melanie, and members of the National Assembly.

In her opening address, Ms Delcy said the constitution of Seychelles makes provision for education a fundamental right for all children and that the education ministry was mandated to fulfil this right to meet the education needs of the citizens of the country.

“The exercise before us is to ensure that the two documents respond to the provisions and requirements of the education reform priorities and to gauge the extent to which they meet the emerging needs of our society, be it economic, cultural, ecological or social, to name but a few,” said Ms Delcy.

The NCF of 2001 has been reviewed in line with one of the Education Reform 2009/10 priorities, which focused on providing for the diversity of educational needs and national development priorities. The reform policy also identified the need to establish set procedures and guidelines for assessment of learning at all levels of the education system, making the NAF the first framework of its kind for the education ministry.

The principal education officer for curriculum assessment and teacher support at the ministry, Odile de Commarmond said the current 2001 curriculum framework is outdated and needs to meet the changing needs of society.

“Many new developments have happened since then, so that is why we need a new framework, which we expect to launch within the next few weeks,” said Ms de Commarmond.

“Before we were more focused on academic areas, so maybe now we need to include other areas such as technology and enterprise that will allow for the needs of all the students to be met.”

“This is why we are doing the assessment framework alongside the curriculum framework and within the NCF itself there will be a monitoring system to try and see where we can assist those students who are lagging behind and pull them up to cater for their needs.”

Ms de Commarmond said the NAF will be an invaluable tool to help evaluate and monitor the progress of all children in the school system through continual assessments, for children in the early childhood development stage all the way up to S5 (secondary 5).

“This doesn’t mean we are going to make the younger children sit down and write exams. There are all sorts of different methods we are going to use to assess the progress of children across the system,” she said.

More details on the contents of the finalised curriculum and assessment framework documents are expected to be made available from the Ministry of Education when they are officially launched within the next few weeks.