Classroom Observation Tool (COT)

Keeping up with its promise of improving the quality of education in Punjab , the School Education Department (SED) has strengthened the role of Assistant Education Officers (AEOs) by revising their Terms of Reference (TORs). The primary role of AEOs under the revised TORs is to help schools become more effective through providing continuous feedback, mentoring and support at the school level. This includes conducting regular classroom observation visits in primary grades to their assigned schools.

To gauge the quality of content knowledge and pedagogical skills of primary school teachers in the province, PESP-III in collaboration with QAED, developed a new Classroom Observation Tool (COT). This app-based tool is designed to collect data on 11 teaching practices that are closely associated with improved student learning. Each AEO observes at least 2 teachers per school every month and provides feedback based on his/her observation.

AEOs across all 36 districts were trained by QAED on the use of the new tool, and techniques of providing feedback. The tool Is currently being used by the AEOs and since its roll out in November 2019, lessons of more than 150,000 teachers have been observed. This data is consolidated and projected at different levels of School Education Department through an interactive dashboard.

Assessment Policy Framework

Punjab has lacked an overarching policy with which to govern the purpose, classification, nature, design and impact of assessment on educational achievement across its school education system, hence a need for a coherent Assessment Policy Framework that can guide and govern all aspects of implementation/decision-making regarding student assessments in the province, was realised. The Assessment Policy Framework (APF) 2019 is based on a key principle of reform efforts by the Government of Punjab for educational achievement in the Province: a shift from assessment as an end in itself towards assessments that support and encourage learning at all levels of the system. The framework proposes three types of assessments; Large Scale, School Based, and Formative assessments.

Starting this year, the grade 5 and grade 8 Punjab Examination Commission (PEC) exams will be discontinued and replaced with school-based exams. Student level reports of these exams will be generated to inform parents regarding the performance of their children.

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Expansion of Early Childhood Education (ECE) in Punjab

Under the Punjab ECE Policy (2017), School Education Department is committed to ensuring that “all children ages 3 – 5 achieve their cognitive, linguistic, socio-emotional and physical potential, and transition to primary school successfully”. Through World Bank PESP-III, SED has laid the groundwork for introducing Early Childhood Education in schools, and has established more than 11,000 dedicated ECE classrooms across Punjab till date.

ECE rooms are furnished with decorative wall paint, interactive ECE kits, and age-appropriate furniture to create a conducive learning environment. Furthermore, over 28,000 Head teachers and Teachers have been trained on the provincial ECE Curriculum and staffed in these classrooms across Punjab. PMIU regularly monitors ECE rooms to track quality and ensure that standards are met as prescribed by the ECE Policy. With the foundations of ECE established in the province, going forward the focus will be towards strengthening the quality of teaching practices and improving classroom experience at the pre-primary level.

Girls Stipend Program

PMIU continues to implement the Zewar-e-Taleem Programme, and successfully disbursed stipends to 614,396 beneficiaries in the 16 districts of Southern Punjab. This stipend is critical in enabling the girls from these districts to complete their middle and high school education, as it supports them to buy necessities like uniform, shoes, school books and transportation amongst others.

Going forward the focus is on improving the process of disbursement of the stipends and making the mechanism more streamlined. PMIU is working on the digitization of data collection and consolidation, which will enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the disbursements and add value to the overall impact of the girls stipends programme.

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