Our programs are accredited by IPENZ and every three years an external committee comes to assure the quality of the education. In addition to that, internal committees continuously review the quality of teaching and quality of research throughout the department.
The followings are some of the Ministry of Education quality assurance tools:
i. Kiribati Qualification Standards (KQS) for ECCE
ii. National Infrastructure Standards for Schools (NIS) in Kiribati
iii. Pacific Quality Assurance Framework (PQAF)
i. KQS - one of the challenges in using this tool kit is that some standards or quality criteria are not realistic and costly to apply in the context of Kiribati preschools.
ii. NIS - infrastructure standards mainly in the design standards of classrooms does not adhere to ICT classroom features . That is Infrastructure standards must adhere to technological changes.
iii. PQAF - this quality assurance tool prepared by EQAP and adopted by Kiribati for the accreditation of education and training institutions in Kiribati. As it is a regional quality standards, therefore there are number of challenges that some local training institutions like Teachers Training Institution are still facing like - It takes time for local teachers training institutions to satisfy all the quality criteria due to the lack of qualified teachers trainers, poor infrastructure that requires large amount of investment and many more.
One of the quality assurance method use here is the curriculum division unit visit to school from ministry of education. This department visits schools to check if that whatever that is been thought is in line with the ministries curriculum. Teachers LTP and lesson notes are being assessed by the department . Students notes books are assessed also. This is to check if the notes in the students book is in line with the LTP of the teacher which is supposed to be inline with the curriculum and the syllabus. The tool used here is the quality assurance tool kit for open schooling.
After Covid19, blended mode of delivery has been initiated in most of the schools and institutions in Fiji. Therefore, we had a great responsibility towards assuring that the graduates are more competent in field. Quality assurance was determined by improving the unit descriptors which was due to be revised and also post completion students monitoring team was assigned to ensure their involvement in industry (Engineering field)
It is good that you have such quality assurance tools in Kiribati, Toaiauea. Usually, there are always challenges in using certain quality assurance toolkits in some institutions, for one reason or the other. Sometimes one needs to slightly adapt the toolkit for particular institutions, or use it slightly differently.
Regional Quality Frameworks are generally used to harmonise education systems and promote student (and even labor) mobility. Often it takes time for country systems in a region to align with the regional framework.
You have quite a thorough system Lawrence, where the Ministry has a hands-on approach to enhancing quality compliance in schools. It is possible because you probably have few schools and distances to be travelled by Ministry officials may not be that long.
I am glad that you use the Quality Assurance Toolkit for Open Schooling. Is this the COL published Toolkit?
Nomsa, the best way of getting people to understand the Tools is by using and discussing them as teams. the more you engage with them, the better you get to understand them and their value in enhancing quality in your organisation.
You need to develop a culture of implementing quality assurance in your organisation, using QA Tools. Once the culture sets in, the Tools become an integral part of your institutional business.
The following tools are used within the Kiribati Teachers’College.
i. Kiribati National Teacher Service Standard. (all teachers serve in Kiribati)
ii. Pacific Qualification Assurance Framework (PQAF)
KNTSS is a monitoring tool used to monitor the performance of Internship teacher trainees in the schools ensuring quality education is delivered to every child in the classroom. It is also used for peer appraisal to provide feedback to colleagues so they can improve on their weaknesses.
Pacific qualification Assurance Framework is another tool used to align our system with the region for accreditation. This will take years to meet the requirements or to be accredited due to the limited of fund for infrastructure and lack of qualified teachers.
Good to use student feedback surveys in your school Ravneel. We also collected feedbacks on our courses every semester using that tool where we analyzed the data and identified areas that need to be improved for future use. Very useful tool.
In my institution the Quality Assurance Tool is Quality Management System. The tool is specifically designed for face-to-face learning. A rubric is developed by internal quality assurance auditors based on sampled quality clauses to be audited. The challenge faced in its implementation is lack of policy one Open Distance and Flexible Learning
The quality assurance department is a fairly new concept in our institution thus no specific tool has been applied yet. Steps to assure quality so far, borders around, vigorous registration, orientation, content uploaded in specific LMS platforms, Learner support, media/ technology and assessment.
The Quality Assurance Tool of my choice is Quality Assurance Rubric for Blended Learning. Its strengths include; The module is generally well written, the module activities are comprehensive and well thought out, there is good interactivity in the module, which is key to student learning. Its weaknesses include; Provision of a powerful introduction that welcomes the students to the module, diversify interactive activities so that you are not only using YouTube videos, indicate how assessment will be done and how students will get feedback.
Quality assurance tools-internally Heads of departments are suppose to check, monitor and record data on teachers output in the classroom. Clinical supervision and class visits are to be done regularly to observe teachers in the classroom and to record observations to assist teacher in any way to make lesson planning easier and delivery in the classroom more engaging. HODs are to conduct regularly checks on students notebooks and assessments to see if they match up with the schemes of work and record and forecast done by teachers. These reports are sent to Vice principal and Curriculum officers to record challenges or improvements or best practices.
HODs do appraisal each year for teachers under their departments based on teachers output and other criteria.
Sometimes, the tools used in clinical supervision are too general and it can not fit each situation. Monitoring of teachers schemes help to see if they are using the recommended, adapted schemes for remedial classes. Curriculum officers regular visits help to get teachers up to date with recording data needed.
Some teachers have perfect written lesson plans and lesson notes and schemes but when you do the class visits unexpectedly then you see how the class really goes. Reports are done to ensure that administration knows of the issues and a plan of action takes place.
Regularity and punctuality is an issue teaching at high risk schools, so monitoring and checking up on teachers can help.
The data is normally hard copies and if it was soft copies it would be easier to show trends and patterns of missing same classes and periods during the same days.
Sometimes, teachers are very hostile when visiting classes and they see it as intrusive and punitive, but it is explained as a way of monitoring. So this can be a challenge.
Since our school is a school of focus, we have regular visit by the district team to see and monitor all departments progress during the term. This is sometimes viewed as just wasting time, since the data collected is not really reflective on what is happening in the school such as- lack of furniture, lack of teaching resources, shortage of teachers, limited access to technology in the classroom, shortage of spaces for classes, high issues with students misbehavior, students lack of resources to bring to class- no pens, pencils, notebooks, calculators etc.
Lack of parental involvement and gang infiltration at the school, issues of drug addition, attending no classes, larceny, destruction of school property, bullying and increased numbers of fights including parents are just some of the issues facing the school that a monitoring team will not understand.
The school culture is different and parenting styles are changing and thus difficult to find ways to deal with indiscipline since the Ministry wants to cut down on suspensions and use different approaches.
Many students are faced with weak academic performance seem to frustrated in the classroom and therefore get into other activities that do not involve school work or even drop out of school.
Since, there are little or no facility to get students tested for learning challenges and behavioral issues it becomes a challenge for both students and teacher to find ways to cope.
The Ministry of education has started collecting data- on both teachers and students from the school, unfortunately the figures only show some aspects of what is happening.
It will not show the data on students who came into school not wanting to try a subject area but at the end of a teachers hard work getting the students motivated to write the work in their notebook or to stay in class. The data will only show the pass rate of different subject sat at varying levels or number of suspension or teacher/students absenteeism but never give a realistic picture behind the real issues at the school. Students come in with extremely low scores in Math and English, they have never been assessed for any learning disabilities, class sizes are too large to try to help them, lack of parental involvement and so many issues.
So we have adapted schemes and diagnostic tests but the data is to provide the stakeholders and providers of loans with data not true intervention to bring about change in a real way.