MOE prepares for new school year

Island Times, Aug. 5, 2011 edition

Teachers, principals and other Ministry of Education employees gathered for three days this week during the 17th Education Convention to get ready in helping students succeed in the coming school year.

Raynold Mechol, Chief of Research and Evaluation and chairman of the convention this year, said in an interview Wednesday that the annual convention intends to update MOE employees of the ministry’s programs and to provide professional development activities such as workshops that cover different tactics and teaching methodologies.

Private schools staff were also invited and participated in the convention.

Mechol said that the school year 2011-2012 will open on Monday. He sees the convention as a way to prepare the teachers to perform better. A total of 52 workshops were offered during the convention.

Mechol disclosed that MOE has a total of 272 teachers. Expected number of enrollees for the upcoming school year is about 2,500.

The total number of teachers is reportedly enough to handle the number of students.

In public elementary schools in Babeldaob and Koror, Mechol disclosed that the teacher-student ratio is 1:22. In outlying schools, one teacher usually handles less than 10 students. In high school, the teacher-student ratio is 1:11.

But Mechol said that for the past three years, the number of enrollees is declining. He cited two factors causing the decline – low birth rate and migration off island.

Asked whether the quality of education here has also caused the transfer of students to schools off island, Mechol took pride in saying that MOE teachers continue to improve and provide quality teaching.

Mechol said that principals and program specialists conduct classroom observations also to see how teachers and students perform in class and then suggest improvements if necessary.

For the students, Mechol said there are extracurricular activities prepared by schools that in a way provide learning to students as well. However, parents or guardians are also asked to take part in monitoring their children.

The convention concluded yesterday. Aside from workshops, representatives from Personnel Office, Pension Plan, Social Security Administration and Ministry of Health also enlighten MOE employees about personnel issues, retirement benefits, SS and healthcare benefits, and non-communicable diseases.


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