Promotion of Basic Education in Punjab
Title: Promotion of Basic Education in Punjab
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Punjab School Education Department
Overall term: 2006 to 2015
The education sector in Punjab faces many challenges. Prime among them are shortfalls in quality that derive from a shortage of trained and motivated teachers, inadequate learning materials and poor support systems. Access to education is also an issue, with enrolment levels remaining low because of the shortage of schools, poor school environment and the uneven distribution of teaching staff. There is also a lack of demand in general, as children are expected, for example, to help their parents rather than attend school. For girls, cultural constraints represent an added barrier to enrolment.
Girls and boys in Punjab receive a basic education of improved quality, and oriented to the provision of life skills
At the provincial level, the programme is assisting local authorities in improving the institutional framework for, and governance of education, while also building up their capacities. The main focus is on introducing strategic planning and implementation mechanisms in order to improve the overall quality of service delivery in education. The Punjab School Education Sector Plan (PSESP), developed with the support of the programme, provides a systematic analysis of problems facing the school education sector. Based on this assessment, it suggests ways of improving the access to, as well as the quality, relevance, equity and management of education. It also encourages synergies within the existing policy framework, in support of the reforms.
The programme is also working in the field of textbook reform for the implementation of the new curriculum. It is assisting stakeholders such as the Punjab Textbook Board to better understand their roles and responsibilities in the extensive reform of the curriculum. As such, it is supporting the development of a curriculum implementation framework for Punjab. This requires that textbook development, teacher training, and examination and assessment are aligned with the curriculum. Through its guidelines for textbook authors, reviewers and designers, the programme is expanding the stakeholders’ know-how, as well as their understanding of the need for quality textbooks.
A third area of activity is support for an integrated system of in-service training and supervision for teachers, based on sustainable institutional mechanisms. A pilot project in this area has already been completed.
The Punjab School Education Department also receives support for the production of training modules for teachers and trainers. The strategy developed for teacher training integrates pre-service and in-service professional development for teachers.
The consulting firm ABU Consult Berlin GmbH supports the implementation of the project.
The PSESP was developed with the support of the programme and has now been adopted by the school education department. All the stakeholders and development partners have endorsed the PSESP as a systemic and holistic plan. It assimilates the functions and resources of all the related departments, in order to improve the quality of basic education. The amount of data included in the EMIS has been expanded by incorporating information from a census of private schools as well as the geographical coordinates of schools. The School Education Department has used such geographical data in its efforts to move, merge or open new schools.
An impact study of the pilot project on teacher training and supervision indicated that teaching practices were 95 per cent more student-centred in the pilot schools. A self-reflection component for teachers, as well as professional development days held on a quarterly basis, have been scaled up for use throughout the province. They have become part of the continuous professional development framework. The use of reflective teaching practices is also now covered in the monitoring system.
The guidelines for textbook authors, reviewers and designers have improved the level of know-how and understanding among all the stakeholders regarding quality textbook development. Criteria have been developed for the review of textbooks, which the partner is now using in its approval process. Nearly 70 new books have so far been introduced covering the new curriculum for grades 1 to 10. These books address emerging themes such as gender, peace, and disaster reduction. The guidelines for authors, reviewers and editors are available from the website of Punjab Textbook Board PTB.
The School Education Department has developed a School Council Activation Strategy. This has enhanced its understanding of community mobilisation processes. The strategy has not yet been introduced on a large scale, but elements of it have been incorporated into the revised roadmaps of the Department for International Development (DFID, United Kingdom) and World Bank.