In the 2004 report of the National Task Force on Educational Reform, one of the recommendations was that a National Quality Assurance Authority (NQAA) be established, to address the issue of performance and accountability in the educational system. In line with this recommendation, the Government of Jamaica established an independent NEI to address the issues identified, and effect changes complementary to the transformation of the education sector.
Roles and Responsibilities
The mandate of the NEI is to make an assessment of the standards attained by the students in our primary and secondary schools at key points in their education, and to report on how well they perform or improve, as they progress through their school and learning life; and to make recommendations to support improvement in the quality of the provision and outcomes for all learners. The NEI will therefore contribute to raising the levels of student attainment by assessing and reporting on:
- The quality of leadership and management of the learning environment in the school or learning institution;
- The quality of teaching;
- The quality of student response;
- The extent to which students have access to the curriculum; and
- The quality of the provisions to support students’ safety, health and well-being
The NEI will also carry out whole-school, thematic and subject inspections, evaluate national and local initiatives, and assess the impact of the policies of the Ministry of Education on student attainment.
The cycle of inspecting schools and other service providers will be determined by the Chief Inspector and/or as requested, by the Minister of Education.
The NEI will also gather, analyse and interpret the data generated from all of its inspections, evaluation and survey work, and thus be in an informed position to provide policy advice to the Minister of Education, and will report directly to Parliament on the standards achieved and the quality of education provided in Jamaica.
It will, systematically, issue reports, guidance, advice and assistance to Principals, School Boards, school management teams, teachers and other education professionals about effective practice, based on the accumulation of evidence from the school inspections.
The NEI will publish all findings openly, in accordance with the Access to Information Act 2002, to support and aid the development of effective practice in schools and other education providers, as well as to ensure transparency in its work.
The National Education Inspectorate will work in pursuit of the vision of the Ministry of Education, which states that:
‘Each learner will maximise his or her potential in an excellent, equitable, accessible, self-sustaining education system that is accountable to the citizens of Jamaica’.