Education: Dr Tobgyal middle secondary school (MSS) has been ranked first in three of four categories of this year’s annual school rankings, while Ugyen Academy repeats as the top performer for the higher secondary school (HSS) category
Dr Tobgyal MSS is ranked first for the PP-III, IV-VI, and VII-X categories.
Druk MSS came in second for the IV-VI and VII-X categories and third for the PP-III category.
Melongkhar primary school ranked second for the PP-III category while Jigme Sherubling HSS took the same spot for the XI-XII category.
The performance of the schools are calculated based on three areas: academic learning, quality enabling practises and GNH.
The academic learning scorecard measures a school’s performance against student academic outcomes such as percentage of students performing above 45 percent, 60 percent and 70 percent. It also stresses on authentic learning rather than rote learning.
The quality enabling practises scorecard measures effectiveness of critical processes and practises of school management, quality and impact of teaching and training, infrastructure, and effectiveness of school planning processes.
The GNH scorecard measures achievement on GNH values and practises in schools as measured through the GNH indicators developed by the Education Monitoring Division (EMD).
The measurement system also results in a school self assessment report and an annual school improvement plan. The self assessment report helps schools identify areas of improvement while the improvement plan is designed as an action plan to achieve objectives towards improvement.
While top performing schools are recognised with certificates, the rankings also identify schools that have performed poorly.
However, the names of these schools were not revealed.
“We don’t have that many schools that are doing poorly,” Education Monitoring Division (EMD) chief Phuntsho Lhamo said.
She pointed out that for schools that underperform, the EMD analyses the situation and provides immediate intervention and support.
The main problems being faced by underperforming schools are a lack of continuous professional development, monitoring and a mismatch in the requirements of a school and teachers being deployed, said Phuntsho Lhamo.
For instance, teachers trained for higher secondary schools have been found teaching in primary schools, she explained. The challenge, she said is finding how best to utilise such teachers and enhance their skills and methodology to teach the younger children.
Phuntsho Lhamo acknowledged that there are limitations to the system. For instance, education officers from dzongkhags and thromdes are required to visit the schools twice a year to monitor, measure and verify schools progress. However, some education officers are not able to completely focus on these responsibilities given other commitments, explained Phuntsho Lhamo “We would like to have the DEOs (dzongkhag education officers) and TEOs (thromde education officers) take the lead role,” she said, adding that the way forward is decentralization and that their first commitment should be taking care of academic responsibility to support the schools.
The school performance management system may have limitations but it is also a mechanism that helps schools to identify areas of strengths and improvement and set targets for every academic year, she said.
Gyalsten K Dorji