This service area has as its mandate the setting of educational standards and supporting schools in attaining them. This will be accomplished primarily through a Quality Assurance System that comprises of polices and learning opportunities for achieving quality schools, school supervision and inspection, schools’ self evaluation and an overall school improvement system. The service area is driven by two key elements: School Quality and its Curriculum. QADS focuses on pre, primary and secondary education levels of the system.
The setting of national educational standards is articulated through a Quality Schools framework. The framework describes the expectations of schools, schools self assessment system based on national standards, and allows for the development of school improvement plans with a wide array of interventions for schools to implement and continuously improve. While QADS is responsible for ensuring quality educational opportunities, it does not have a direct role in its provision. It is the responsibility of schools and their Managements along with the District Education Centers to determine and provide for the improvement needed for meeting those standards.
QADS is responsible for the design and development of the curriculum at the national level, ensuring its relevance and response to the national needs through continuous assessment. It supports and monitors the delivery of the curriculum in schools at the district level with the support of DECs, Managing Authorities, Schools and other central service areas. QADS is also responsible for assisting schools in their self-evaluation and school development planning to improve the delivery of quality education and to sensitize key stakeholders and the general public on issues related to the delivery of quality education in schools.
Early Childhood and Education Unit:
The Early Childhood and Education Unit (Preschool Unit) is responsible for functions relating to the administration, promotion of staffing and material resources for Pre-Schools. This unit monitors the processes for the establishment and licensing of preschools to ensure compliance with the Education Act and subsidiary regulations. The purpose of the unit is to promote early childhood education through rigorous monitoring and supervision of services, implementation of curricula and the provision of support through curriculum and teacher training.
The Literacy Unit:
The Literacy Unit is mandated to address inherent weaknesses in literacy at the pre and primary levels. Its ultimate goal is to increase academic performance at the primary level by ensuring children’s sound development of their literacy skills. The unit primarily coordinates and provides training to teachers in new and effective methodology to improve literacy within their classrooms. Other relating activities include monitoring and evaluating literacy in schools. The unit collects data on student performance and responds as the need is identified. These activities are currently being done in select primary schools in the Belize and Stann Creek District.