Coordinating Committee Meeting (C.C.M)
The CCM as an Assessment Forum is a major policy endeavour that will enable the participating stakeholders (i) to construct a comprehensive picture of the progress at school level towards the achievement of the Education for All goals which was set since1990 at the Jomtien Conference, (ii) to identify priorities and promising strategies for overcoming obstacles and accelerating progress, and (iii) to revise the national plans of action accordingly. The results should be useful for policy-makers, planners and managers both within and outside government, and the Development Partners. The Assessment process will also provide an opportunity to refocus attention on basic education and reinvigorate efforts to meet basic learning needs. The Ministry encourages public-private partnership and allows the private sector to use the forum to market their products.
Thus the Assessment is not just a data collection exercise, nor does it aim merely to produce a report. However, the assembly and analysis of relevant data and qualitative information constitute an essential part of the Assessment, providing the factual basis for discussion and decision.
The coordinating committee meeting group comprising planners, school principals, statisticians, education managers, local donors, non-governmental organization and researchers, to collect and analyze the various data needed. The Forum’s Technical Advisory Group, comprising specialists from WFP, UNESCO NATCOM, UNFPA, UNICEF, PEACE CORPS, VOLUNTARY SERVICE OVERSEAS (VSO), NOVA SCOTIA GAMBIA ASSOCIATION, ACTIONAID, EFA CAMPAIGN NET, FAWEGAM, GAMBIA TEACHERS UNION, NATIONAL LIBRARY, GAMBIA COLLEGE (TEACHERS TRAINING COLLEGE), ASSOCIATION OF EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT, MADRASSA SECRETARIAT, CHAIRPERSON OF PRIVATE SCHOOLS, REPRESENTATIVES FROM METHODISH MISSION SCHOOLS and CONFERENCES OF PRINCIPALS FOR LOWER BASIC, UPPER BASIC AND SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL.
The agenda of the forum are presented in three parts: (1) Chairman’s Opening Remarks and Statement by the Honourable Minister for Basic and Secondary Education; (2) Review and adoption of the previous meeting agenda; (3) Implementation Updates; (a) Report on programme activities, (b) Update of implementation arrangements, (4) School visits and report on the school visits; and (5) Any other business. The introduction includes general information regarding the core indicators, data sources, suggested analytical practices, and several issues to be kept in mind when implementing the Education Policy and Strategic Plan. The second part outlines the main areas to be assessed and using the proposed indicators. The third part consists of two annexes: (a) a glossary of technical terms; (b) a set of illustrative data sheets for compiling the data and calculating the indicators at the national and regional levels; (c) instructions for the use of the accompanying electronic presentations; and (d) a technical note on pupil-cohort flow analysis. The data sheets had a common format for key statistical tabulations that is featured in the assessment report such as: (i) Leadership and Management (ii) Curriculum Management (iii) Monitoring and Quality Assurance, and (iv) School Environment.
Accompanying these Technical Guidelines is the electronic template that includes the minimum standard sheets for power-point presentation by the various groups that visited the schools. Fifteen (15) schools are identified in each region and a group of 4-5 officers visited a school. The completed data sheets can be used also to produce tables and graphs for the national assessment report which can be shared with stakeholders, especially our development partners. The report can also be used for decision making process when the sector is preparing a concept paper or project proposal. The schools visited are given feedback on the outcome of the visits. Also the principals are given the chance to react to the statements highlighted in the report before it is being finalized. Schools that scored 60% and above are given certificate of commendation/appreciation. Any school that is found wanting or not meeting the minimum standard is given a corrective note, and the schools that are operating illegally are required to close down immediately. The following indicators are reviewed and assessed: (a) LEADERSHIP AND MANAGMENT (Strategic and Operational Planning; Financial Management, and School Policies) (b) ASSETS MANAGEMENT (c) STAFF MANAGEMENT (d) SCHOOL DATA (e) CURRICULUM MANAGEMENT (Organisation of Teaching Time, Work Planning and Lesson Preparation, Lesson Delivery) (f) ASSESSMENT (g) STUDENT PERFORMANCE (h) TEACHING AND LEARNING RESOURCES (i) LIBRARY (j) SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT (k) PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT (l) STUDENT WELFARE (m) MONITORING AND QUALITY ASSURANCE (Internal Monitoring and External Monitoring) and (n) FOOD MANAGEMENT (School feeding, Canteen, Kitchen, Utensils).