Improving the Quality of Basic Education
Education outcomes are relatively low in the Republic of the Marshall Island (RMI) due to several factors, most importantly teachers not possessing the minimally required qualifications. Low education outcomes start at a very young age and become harder to overcome as students grow. Therefore, quality of education is the most important issue that the Public School System (PSS) wants to address in the years to come through a six-year project called Improving the Quality of Basic Education in the North Pacific (IQBE).
IQBE started in 2017 and will last until 2023. The project outcome is to improve primary education learning outcomes in literacy and numeracy in grades K-6. Positive progress will be made if 50% of grade 3 and 6 students (of which 50% are male and 50% are female) meet or exceed proficient level on the MISAT Test for English reading and for Mathematics by 2023.
In order to achieve the outcome, four project outputs were developed; (i) better prepared teachers in primary education; (ii) strengthened capacity to use assessment to improve learning; (iii) expanded access and usage of teaching and learning resources and materials for literacy and numeracy and (iv) strengthened educational leadership and management of schools, including parent/community engagement.
Teaching quality will be strengthened with the help of the College of the Marshall Islands (CMI) and the University of the South Pacific – RMI (USP). Under the project, both institutions will provide quality training to pre-service and in-service teachers and train them in best practices using the Quality Pedagogy Framework (QPF). The QPF consists of six components that teachers will be taught to follow in order to direct teaching and learning in the classroom.
The Project Implementation Unit (PIU) for the whole project consists of a Project Director, a Technical Coordinator, a PIU Financial Management Specialist and a PIU Procurement Specialist that all sit within the PSS. They all fall under the guidance of a PACTAM adviser that is contracted until December 2019.
The Project Director coordinates with project institutions (CMI and USP RMI), the IQBE Project Implementation Unit (PIU) staff and other relevant departments within MOE to ensure the timely implementation of the IQBE. The Project Director reports regularly to the Minister of Education and is also responsible for a number of other duties such as monitoring progress of project activities; supervising and assessing the performance, outputs, and outcomes of international consultants; providing feedback, guidance and recommendations to the PIU operations every six months. The current Project Director is former Rita Elementary School (RES) principal Robert Baldwin.
The Technical Coordinator (TC) works under the guidance of the Project Director to ensure all relevant institutions taking part in the project – from international consultants to relevant MOE units – coordinate smoothly. The Coordinator ensures that deadlines, targets and outputs are met on a monthly basis. In addition, he/she submits quarterly reports on the progress of project activities in technical areas and acts as a focal point for international consultants. The Coordinator also prepares annual work in cooperation with project institutions, facilitates their work to ensure free flow of information and addresses issues in a timely manner. The current Technical Coordinator is Matthew Di Loreto.
PIU Financial Management Specialist
The PIU Finance Specialist is responsible for managing project expenses and implementing vigilant technical coordination across partner institutions, procurement, financial planning and management. Consultants, suppliers, the Technical Team and other MOE departments/divisions/units involved in the project are closely monitored by the PIU Finance Specialist and are to submit appropriate documentation to him/her for verification and certification. The Finance Management Specialist reports regularly to the Project Director. The current PIU Financial Management Specialist is Charita Rilometo.
PIU Procurement Specialist
The Procurement Specialist is responsible for managing procurement to support the implementation of activities in specified areas/functions and facilitate project implementation by partner institutions, teams and committees. He/she manages project procurement processes and supports the Project Director to monitor compliance with procurement project covenants. The Project Director prepares Requests for Quotation (RFQ), contributes to consultant recruitment reports and regular procurement monitoring reports. The current PIU Procurement Specialist is Bear Clanry Salomon.