MoBSE Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education
PPM Participatory Performance Monitoring
SPMM School Performance Monitoring Committee
SMC School Management Committee
CRC Community Record Card
CPC Community Participation Chair
SRC School Record Card
CPC Community Participation Chair
SDP School Development Plan
SRC School Record Card
MS Minimum Standards
RED Regional Education Directorate
NSG Nation Steering Group
NAT National Assessment Test
GABECE Gambia Basic Education Certificate Examination
SQAD Standards and Quality Assurance Directorate
This book is a guide to implementers and provides information about PPM. It will equip demonstrate strategies to prepare and conduct the School Performance Monitoring Meeting (SPMM). It will also show how to use the decisions and action points from the meeting for the School Development Plan.
The handbook will give the Chairperson the skills to interpret the Community Record Card (CRC) and share it with the community at the meeting. It will also help the Chair person and Head teacher cope with issues which might arise before, during or after the meeting.
PARTICIPATORY PERFORMANCE MONITORING (PPM)
Monitoring is not a new phenomenon in Gambian schools; schools are regularly monitored externally by Cluster Monitors, Headquarter Directorates (SQAD), Regional Directorates and the community; as well as internally by head teachers and senior staff. Participatory Performance Monitoring (PPM) is another form of monitoring which involves local communities in monitoring the academic performance of students for the purpose of improving the overall performance of their school.
PPM is participatory in the sense that schools and communities come together at annual meetings known as the School Performance Monitoring Meeting (SPMM), to discuss the evidence (resources and performance of the school captured on the Community Record Card), seek solutions, and come up with recommendations and action points for schools to include in their annual development plans. The SMC will monitor schools to ensure that recommendations and action points agreed on are implemented.
The PPM initiative has proven to be effective in improving the performance of schools in Ghana and Uganda. However, there is variation in the way PPM is implemented in these countries; in The Gambia, the main focus is on the Community Record Card and how schools and communities use it to improve the academic performance of students.
Implementing PPM in Gambian Schools
Improving the quality of education in Gambian schools is a priority for the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education; access is less of an issue and MoBSE’s focus is now on initiatives that will help to improve the quality of schools. Research has shown that involving parents or communities in the life of a school greatly helps to improve the performance of the school. Therefore, seeing the positive impact PPM has had in schools in other countries in West Africa, the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education has decided to implement Participatory Performance Monitoring in schools in a bid to improve the performance of students as measured by external examinations like NAT and GABECE.
Implementing PPM in schools will, apart from improving the performance of students, facilitate community members including Alkalos, NGOs, business people and local entrepreneurs as well as parents, and students play a meaningful role in progressing the development of their school. In addition, the PPM initiative will help build partnerships and a sense of local ownership of schools as well as provide timely, reliable, and valid information for school managers to use in improving their schools.
The Participatory Performance Monitoring initiative will be implemented in all government and grant-aided lower, upper and basic cycle schools in the country. One of the reasons why PPM is targeting only these school types is that the Community Record Card, which is the main focus of SPM Meetings, is currently prepared for these schools only.
SCHOOL PERFORMANCE MONITORING MEETING (SPMM)
What is SPMM
School Performance Monitoring Meeting (SPMM) as indicated above, is a meeting that takes place annually in every school. During the meeting, the school community members are informed about the resources of the school as well as the school’s performance indicated by the tests and examination results. The information is shown on the Community Record Card which contains data on the school’s academic performance and the resources available to the school
The meeting is led by the Chairperson of the School Management Committee (SMC) and all the staff members of the school, parents, head boy and girl and other members of the community are invited to attend.
When to conduct SPMM
The SPMM is conducted annually in every Lower Basic, Basic cycle and Upper Basic School. The meeting is held in the month of December. During this time, the school is able to discuss the results produced by the students of the school during the previous academic year.
The meetings can be held in the school, the village square –‘BANTABA ‘or’ PANCHABI’ or any suitable place where a meeting can be held.
How to conduct SPMM
Schools organise these annual School Performance Meetings so that both the school and the community can review the resources of the school and its academic performance using the Community Record Card. During the meeting issues that have a bearing on the effectiveness of the school or its progress shall also be discussed.
During the meeting the Chairperson will first review all the indicators on the Community Record Card. The meeting will then discuss the issues and advise on how they as a school community can improve the school’s performance. This could include how the community can help ensure that the students study hard, attend classes regularly and punctually, and how they as members of the school community can help with resources or other forms of support
Minutes of the meeting will be taken and will include what is agreed, when it is to be done, by whom and how it shall be monitored and evaluated. The issues agreed upon by the meeting will form part of the School’s Development Plan
Role of SMC
The SMC Chair together with the HT, DHT, and Community Participation chair will coordinate and implement PPM. The SMC chair (being the link between the school and the community), with the Head teacher will choose a suitable date and venue for the SPM Meeting. The SMC chair will inform the community and all stakeholders of the meeting at least one month in advance of the planned date and is responsible for chairing the meeting. Ways in which the SPM Meeting will be communicated will be agreed upon depending on the discretion of the head teacher and the SMC chair, but the SMC chair needs to ensure that the community is well informed of the date and venue of the meeting.
During the SPMM the SMC chairperson will chair the meeting and ensure that:
1. All members understand the language that is spoken, so it is recommended that the local languages are used.
2. Community members are motivated and encouraged to participate meaningfully in deciding how to improve the academic performance of their schools during the discussions.
3. Everybody is in order and that the focus of the meeting should be improving the academic performance of students using the Community Record card to form the basis of the discussions.
4. All Members are using a copy of the community score card and understand what is been said.
5. Since recommendations made will be captured in the School Development Plan the chair needs to ensure that minutes are taken.
After the meeting has been conducted the SMC chair should follow up on the action points to make sure that those responsible works towards its implementation.
Role of the Head Teacher
The Head teacher together with the DHT, Community Participation chair will help the chair in the preparation, planning and coordination of the SPM Meeting. Together they will inform the community about the meeting, the head teacher will write and stamp letters that need to be given to prominent members of the community. Where ever the meeting will take place, whether in the school or the Bantaba, the Head teacher needs to make sure that all the necessary arrangements are made for community members to sit comfortably so that they can see and hear properly. The Chair needs to explain that the information on the Community Record Card has been prepared by PPARBD. Copies of the score card will then be made for all members present, so that they will see what is being discussed.
During the meeting the Head teacher or DHT will deliver the opening remarks. The Head teacher should allow the community members to ask questions for clarification; The head teacher should not be defensive when responding to questions or comments made. Remember the community are learning how to understand this new information.
The SPMM will be monitored by all stakeholders (regional office, NST and SQAD) it will be of important for the head teacher to have a PPM file in his office where minutes and PPM materials will be kept to prove that the meeting was held. The action points should be followed up by the head teacher and SMC chair to see that they have been implemented.
Role of Head Boy and Girl
The responsibility of students during the preparation is very important because they will help in disseminating the information about the SPPM and also encourage their parents/guardians to attend. The Head boy and Girl will not only be observers in the meeting but should participate actively, since they have an important perspective on what can help improve the school’s performance.
Role of the Community
The participation of the community in the monitoring of their schools is not a fault finding exercise but a means of providing support to the school, so they should endeavour to attend these meetings and contribute to whatever is needed to improve the performance of students. Contribution/support can either be in kind or cash but should be the priority for the community. At any given time community members need to know the performance of their school, therefore, they should do their best to understand and interpret the information on the community score card.
During the meeting community members need to ensure that;
1. Nobody is denied access to the meeting.
2. People’s opinions are valued and should be respected.
3. Consensus is achieved on all issues that are discussed.
Benefits of the meeting
The annual School Performance Monitoring Meeting is a very important activity in the life of the school. In the first place the meeting provides information that is of importance to the school and the Community can help in a school’s improvement. At a School Performance Monitoring Meeting (SPMM) in Ghana for example a school that was at the 65th position over a period of three years came up to the 10th position after holding three meetings. The same school won the District Best Teacher Award Primary Division for the year 1996. In another school there was a fund-raising drive and a lot of money was raised to purchase textbooks for the school and a teacher was also offered free accommodation by one of the villagers.
After a series of meetings a strong bond of collegiality will be established between the school heads, staff members and members of the community. This will further enhance a higher sense of ownership of the school and would result to a high level of commitment by all towards the schools’ development and progress.
COMMUNITY RECORD CARD (CRC)
The Community Record Card
The Community record card is a technical tool designed to report and compare performance of schools for the use of the community in the SPMM. The content of the Report Card is compiled by the Planning Directorate of MoBSE which collects information from Cluster Monitors. It is designed to show how well resourced the school is compared to other schools in the district, region and in the nation. It also shows school performance in National exams and compares them to the average of the district, the region and the nation. The Community Record Card reports on the school’s efficiency by showing how well the school is resourced (inputs) and how well the students perform in examinations (outputs).
In recognition that not all members of the community are literate or numerate, the Community Report Card is designed to have graphics/pictures for ease of understanding.
The rationale is to increase accountability through systematic disclosure of comparative information on key school performance indicators. It is designed to inform parents and the wider community about the performance and efficient use of resources at school. The community will have real information about their school to base their judgments on.
CONDUCTING SCHOOL PERFORMANCE MONITORING MEETING (SPMM)
Before the Meeting:
The SMC Chair and Head teacher are responsible for planning and preparing the meeting. They should start informing the community that the SPM meeting will be taking place at least one month in advance of the planned date. The following people should be informed by letter, by message or in person. Explain that information about the performance of the school will be discussed and actions will be identified to improve future performance.
• Teaching and Support Staff
• SMC/PTA members
• Head Boy and Girl
• Prominent members of the community
1. Identify two people to take minutes (notes) at the meeting. They must include the date and time, have an attendance list (with signatures or thumbprints) and include the topics of discussion and any actions agreed. The actions should note who has promised to do what, by when and for what reason.
2. Make sure there are enough copies of the Community Record Card for the meeting so that people can see what is being discussed. It would also be a good idea if a few copies were put up on the walls for people to refer to.
3. Make sure that the people sitting at the top table are introduced and the local languages are used so that people are able to understand the proceedings. It should be discussed in advance how translations are to be conducted.
4. Make sure the opening remarks are short and to the point and emphasise the fact that only the content of the Community Record Card is to be discussed and that no personal remarks should be allowed.
5. Make sure there is agreement as to how everyone will be involved. Make sure you get input from parents, Head boy or girl, teachers and support staff and any prominent people from the community.
During the Meeting:
Follow an agenda and agree a finishing time i.e.
1. Prayers, Introductions and opening remarks
2. Ground Rules
3. Reading the Community Record Card and answer questions for clarification
4. Interpreting the Community Record Card (explain what is good and what is worrying)
5. Discuss what the community can do to help and agree together what the three or four main priorities should be, who is responsible and how it will be monitored.
6. Any Other Business (here the Head or SMC chair might ask for more committee members, start a Mothers’club, ask for help with the garden)
7. Closing remarks and prayers
It is really important that the meeting closes with everyone feeling that information has been shared and some actions are going to take place to improve the performance of the school. The Chair is responsible for this aspect of the meeting as well as keeping order.
What to do if……………………………..
• One member of the group wants to keep asking the same question?
After a few attempts to answer the concern the Chair should offer to speak privately at the end of the meeting to discuss further and move on to the next speaker
• No-one speaks
Make sure the SMC members are ready to ask pertinent questions to get the meeting going. You could always prepare a couple of key questions (based on the CRC) before the meeting.
• Someone wants to point the finger at a member of staff in order to blame them
Explain that this is not the place for that comment. Invite the speaker to meet you or the Head after the meeting to discuss the concern raised.
• Someone wants to discuss details of their child’s experience
Explain that there is another forum for discussions about individual children and ask the person to meet the Head at a later date to discuss the issue.
• The minutes taken are not very good
Make sure that these are checked as soon as possible after the meeting so that changes can be made for accuracy. That is why it is good practice to have two minute takers.
• Hardly anyone turns up
The Head and SMC Chair should be sure that everything was done to publicise the meeting. The lack of attendance and the possible reasons must be noted in the minutes so that a better strategy can be adopted in future years.
• Some members do not understand the Community Record Card
Take your time with this document because it is in the interest of the usefulness of the meeting that the community understand the information they are given. If necessary, go through it two or three times. After that offer another date to meet with those people who are struggling to understand to explain it.
After the Meeting:
The SMC and SMT should meet the following day (or as soon as possible) to discuss the meeting. Agree what could be done better next year and keep a note in the PPM file. Look at the action points agreed in the minutes and decide how to make sure they are done. Decide which are the most urgent and prioritise them with dates. Transfer the actions into the School Development Plan, making sure that the names of those responsible and dates are also noted in the SDP.
The SPMM will be monitored by The National Steering Group, Regional Office Staff and SQAD. These people may attend the SPM meeting as non-participatory members or may ask to see your PPM file. Please make sure you have the minutes, the attendance list and evidence of actions being placed into the School Development Plan.
National Steering Group Members
|Sang Gomez ||SQAD ||
|Ida Njie ||SQAD||
|Lynn Sellwood ||VSO/SQAD||
|Kawsu A J Sama ||SQAD || || |
|Abdoulie Bondi ||RED 2 || ||3873973 |
|Fatou Jobe Cham ||RED 1 || ||7116790 |
|Sainabou Lowe ||RED 1 || ||9816224 |
|Matarr F Ndow ||RED 3 ||
|Ismaila Darboe ||RED 3 || |
|Karamba Sonko ||SIU ||
|Lamin Fatajo ||HR || || |
|Antouman Njie ||(Region 1 chair) ||
|Fatou Chow ||(retired) ||
|Mariama Chow ||BESPOR || || |
|Omar Jatta ||(SQAD Director) || || |
|Rachel Njie ||(M&E) || || |
|Amadou Jako ||SQAD ||
|Momodou A Jeng ||PS Office ||
|Mohamed Jallow ||(PPARBD Director) ||
|Lamin Darboe ||Webmaster ||
|Kebba Omar Jarjusey ||SIU ||