Educational policies therefore, are statements articulated by the relevant educational authority to guide the thinking and action within the sector (SOCIO, 2013, p. 4).
Policy making describes a “political activity characterizes by self-interest, political bargaining, value judgment and multiple rationalities, and within the education sector, this entails harmonistic differing demands, and petitioning the support and or tolerance from takeovers who are interested in education (Haddam, 1995, p. 23). Education planning is the ability to convert policy statements Into actions that can be accomplished, assessable and accountable (SOCIO, 2013, p. 9). With the apparent broadening scope of educational planning to Include both formal and Informal settings, there is emphasis on growth and expansion which Is complemented by concerns for the quality of the educational process and the control of Its results (Haddam, 1995, p. 5). Consequently, the concern for capacity becomes Imperative. According to the UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning, “without capacity, there Is no development” (2013).
This essay will report on the capacity for education policy and planning within the Ministry of Education In Grenade by analyzing the technical skills, managerial skills, existing data system and their quality, technology that Is available, fiscal resources that are available and the Institutional experiences, and will also state the conclusion and some recommendations. The Information gathered was through a face to face Interview with an education officer, ho has been employed with the ministry for over twenty years.
Technical Skills Technical skills “are performance objectives and competencies required by a specific occupation (Centre for Remediation Design, 1991, cited In Stone, 2009, p. 21) and describe the responsibilities needed for competent performance and a description of the knowledge and skills necessary to carry out those responsibilities (Stone, 2009, p. 21 Wealth the Ministry of Education, the relevant personnel who are most likely to be Involved In the education planning process and suitably qualified for their roles. Many of them possess degrees In management, early childhood, general education, counseling and so on.
The Minister of Education Is trained In the area of economics and planning. They are all aware of their roles In terms of being able to Influence policy decisions, monitoring and evaluating. Officers are employed based on their possession of the required skills and competence. Managerial Skills The managerial aspect of policy capacity Is an area that Is constantly analyses tongue ten support AT u ) Managerial Skills rater to ten skills that the hierarchy of any organization use in order to accomplish the goals of the organization and will include abilities, knowledge base, experiences and perspectives (Education Portal, 2013).
According to the PIE (2013), sustainable development is dependent on “internal capacity and leadership”. The Ministry of Education is headed by the Minister, followed Permanent Secretary who is the administrative head and is responsibility for the over overall functioning of the ministry. The education section of the ministry is headed by the Chief Education Officer who leads a technical team consisting of the senior education officers.
They spearhead planning ND development, school administration and management and curriculum development. There are several other unites such as material production, school support services, testing and measurement and so on, with each one having a designated head. Senior management team is made up of all heads of department. The various personnel within the ministry perform different roles as it relates to its capacity for policy development.
Chief Education Officer possessing the responsibility for certain level of policy directive, but the entire senior management team will advise on the direction of the education system. The Minister of Education however, presents policies of the Ministry of Education to the government. There are other personnel such as the statistician, planning officer and information manager who are part of the process. All officers must be and are suitably qualified. These various components confirm the capacity of the Ministry of Education for policy and planning.
The managerial level of the ministry is responsible for making projections and developing initiatives within the education system, coordinate research and studies and ensure that the results are reflected in policies, strategies and aerogramme, spearhead periodic reviews of the education policy framework and related strategies, plans and programmer and render professional advice to relevant authorities accordingly, participate in the development of position papers and policies based on educational needs of the country, among many others.
On the other hand, there are some challenges which include policies not been legally binding, the need to get Cabinet approval before becoming law, the lack of research officers at the unit, insufficient office space for officers, inadequate office computers ND printers, insufficient financial resources and a lack of formal coordination among other units. However, the managerial positions do have the capacity to impact policy. They do so through a variety of strategies which include consultations, group discussions, meeting, one to one dialogues, and video conferencing and so on.
Existing Data Systems and Their Quality The data system refers to “a system that provides a cohesive, integrated source of data for the purpose of manipulating and analyzing data and enable user to distill and compile information to support decision making, answer accountability questions and to assist in problem solving, as well as to evaluate the effectiveness of programs (Callahan & Moon, 2007). At the Ministry of Education, there is the use of an online SQL database that uses web services to collect and disseminate data. That division is headed by an CIT expert.
It uses a real time data processing system. This is a “dynamic data processing ability which allows instant updates of database records due to transaction being performed on a record”. Real time data processing should Keep data oases updated Walt Immediate access to ten latest changes AT records wrought query, inquiry or exception report. However, this has been an area of deficiency within the ministry. Sometimes, records are not update in a timely manner. Additionally, Microsoft Excel is also used for storing and retrieving necessary information.
Technology available Technology is described as “the know-how and creative processes that may assist people to utilize tools, resources and systems to solve problems and to enhance control over the natural and made environment in an endeavourer to improve human condition (UNESCO, 1985, cited in Keeping, ND, Para. 3). There is an information genealogy unit in the ministry which has the responsibility, among several others, to provide technical support to the staff of the ministry. This will assist them with building their capacity.
There are various forms of technologies available to enhance the capacity for education policy and planning. These include internet, computer and accessories, trained technical human resources and experienced personnel. Additionally, different means of technologies are available for the dissemination of information, which will be instrument when planning. These include the internet, annually or by hand, via electronic media and text messaging among others. However, there are several different challenges that debilitate the use of those technologies.
These include slow and unstable internet connections at times, insufficient vehicles to transport mails and inefficient man power (Government of Grenade, 2009). Fiscal Resources Available Fiscal resources are embedded in the fiscal policy which deals with the adjusting of revenue and spending levels within an organization, and in particular, the education sector. In the Grenade National Budget for 2013, a total of $110. 6 million, representing 10. % of the national expenditure was allocated for the Ministry of Education (Government of Grenade, 2013, p. 0). Of that amount, approximately 7% has been set aside for policy planning. However, the World Bank and UNESCO are international organizations who have funds allocated for small islands like Grenade to assist with policies and planning. Institutional experience The institutional experiences of the personnel from the Ministry of Education are able to enhance its capacity for education policy and planning. First, there has been intense training in data analyzing and processing using current technology.
There have been persons involved in the development of the education sector plan and the formulation and implementation of different standards for the education sector. Additionally, there were persons who have been involved in monitoring and evaluation of different programmer in the sector. Finally, the mission and the vision statements of the Ministry of Education highlight the significance of the training of personnel for the enhancement of education and skills for the attainment of capacity to deal with the challenges of development. Conclusion and Recommendation
The Grenade Ministry of Education is relatively equipped with the capacity for educational policy and planning. Personnel within the ministry possess the required technical skills which include being suitable qualified as well as knowledgeable about ten requirements AT tenet Sods ace o an ten managerial skills, mean managerial positions are suitable since there is a clear distinction in roles, responsibilities and chains of commands. Despite the draw backs such as the lack of a research unit or limited legality for some policies, the managerial skill is suited for educational policy and planning.
The use of modern technology such as the computer, internet and so on, is quite beneficial and useful for policy and planning. Despite the limited fiscal resources, there is usually funding available through the World Bank and UNESCO for the development of policies and for planning. However, provisions are made from the internal budget. Finally, the institutional experience is quite proficient with persons being involved in various administrative roles and well as monitoring and evaluation which will enhance their capacity for development of educational policies. The mission and vision statements are also indicative of opacity development.