The education in Suriname has a number of strong elements but also some elements that require attention. According to the figures of the World Bank the percentage of students that finish primary school is only 68%. The percentages of repeaters and drop-outs are high. In the past, schools were mainly approached directly to tackle the problem. From this, we learnt that changes in schools could only be made sustainable when service providers and service providing processes to schools (like ministerial departments, inspection, guidance, teacher training centres) can permanently support the changes.
Ministerial departments and teacher training centres are important service providers that are involved in Progress. The Ministry of Education and Community Development (MINOV) and moreover its departments of Inspection and Guidance, are inadequately equipped to provide good quality within their service provision. Also the training supply within the teacher training centres is inadequate, both within the teacher training as well as within the supply of additional training.
The specific objective of Progress is to build the capacity of service providers to schools in order for the schools to improve the quality of their education. This is why the programme wants to realise the following objectives:
- The departments of Inspection and Guidance within the MINOV are better trained and equipped to qualitatively support the primary schools. The department of Research and Planning timely provides the MINOV policy and the education sector with accurate data on education in Suriname. And, in broader terms, the management capacity of the MINOV is strengthened.
- The teacher training centres give meaning to and shape quality education for teachers in the primary schools. Also a sustainable professionalisation of teaching staff is developed and applied.
- The “Nucleus Centres” function as strong knowledge and training institutions for teachers and school counsellors in the inland region of Suriname that is difficult to access. The objective is to support them better so they are, in turn, able to provide quality support to the education in the region.
To achieve these objectives we work together with the MINOV. This is our strategic partner. Our operational partners are the departments of the MINOV, the Institute for the Training of Teachers (IOL) and the training institutions for educational staff in primary schools.
We work in collaboration with the departments of Inspection and Guidance of the MINOV. We strengthen their capability of policy development to enhance the quality of their service provision. Together we published the book 'I believe in you!' This book explains the vision on primary education in Suriname, both verbally and visually: a primary school in which student centred and child friendly education are key issues. Besides, a media library for staff of the MINOV was opened.
Training of teachers in primary schools
We are working on the renewal of the training of teachers in primary schools. We promote the communications, both between the teacher training centres themselves and their external communication. In collaboration with university colleges in Flanders, we work on internal quality and development of curricula. Besides, we establish a sustainable system for professionalisation. For this, we plan to establish a Surinamese centre for Continuing Professional Development. A think tank already exists. It has elaborated on a couple of themes, like the positioning of the centre for Continuing Professional Development and the professionalisation policy.
Education Management Information system
The programme supports the Surinamese Education Management Information System (EMIS) that informs the different partners in the sector on efficiency, quality, needs,… of education. Besides, the system supports the educational policy.
In conclusion, we strengthen the capacity of the Nucleus Centres through training. We also create packages that the centres can use in activities to promote reading in their schools.