4 January 2021
21 OCTOBER AND 18 NOVEMBER 2020
- The Education & Employment Committee held their monthly meetings on 21 October and 18 November 2020
- The Lifelong Learning End of Year Report was presented, and discussions were held on the Employment Rights Ordinance and a review of the Directorate Strategic Plan
- The ICT Policy and a Directorate Charging Policy was also discussed
Two meetings of the Education & Employment Committee took place on Wednesday, 21 October, and Wednesday, 18 November 2020.
Prince Andrew School (PAS) Maths Advisory Teacher, Kesh Naidoo, gave a brief overview of his professional background.
Assistant Director for Lifelong Learning, Angela Benjamin, presented the sectors End of Year Report for the period September 2019 to August 2020. The Committee noted that despite COVID-19, the Directorate continues to strive to increase the academic and vocational learning opportunities for upskilling the Island’s workforce. Statistics show that 949 members are enrolled within the St Helena Community College (SHCC) – an increase on the 765 registered members from the previous academic year – demonstrating that nearly one fifth of the Island’s adult population are continuing their education and upskilling.
The SHCC continues to offer adult education at all levels including core skills in Maths, English and ICT, access to higher education, professional studies, university-level courses and vocational education. During this period there has been a high demand for virtual conferencing, webinars, online learning programmes and materials which involved live streaming of videos, downloading of study guides and virtual proctoring for exam provisions.
It was noted that members of the public were registering themselves privately for courses and, during this process, did not liaise with the SHCC to enquire the possibility to have the examination administered through the online examination provision. The public are reminded that the Directorate will only entertain online examination courses that have been registered with the SHCC for which all requirements would be processed before the course is confirmed.
Discussions were held with the Chairman of the Labour Regulating Authority, Duncan Cooke, and Attorney General, Allen Cansick, about proposed amendments to the Employment Rights Ordinance. Guidelines on best practices and codes of practice for employers, employees and workers will be drafted and consulted. Various minor amendments were noted and it was stated that the Labour Market Strategy should be linked.
A review of the Directorate Strategic Plan was undertaken. Attainment levels were discussed thoroughly and inconsistent reporting for Primary, Secondary and the SHCC was noted as an area to address. Various queries were answered. It was noted that the total number of Year 6 students plays a big part in the interpretation of the percentages, therefore it was proposed to include the numbers of cohorts as they vary from year to year.
It was stated that through analysis of Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) required further information with regards to children who did not attain Age Related Expectations to ensure that their needs were addressed. It was noted by a member that students making good progress.
Other areas for improvement were to identify specific areas where children were based for Apprenticeships and to include more detail in relation to results from the SHCC (i.e. a chart to show what areas students are studying).
The targets for secondary education were queried and it was explained that these were based on predicted grades. Various queries were then made and were answered and explained by the Director. It was reiterated that the employment role needs to be included and flagged where there will be budget implications.
A Directorate Charging Policy was brought to the Committee for approval. It was noted that in 2012, the Directorate used to have an overarching charging policy but this was separated. It was proposed by the Director to combine all charges and place in one Directorate Charging Policy again. The Director explained the changes to the document. Some additions were made and points for clarification explained. The Directorate needed to undertake further work to ensure that all supporting forms be amended to relate to the revised Charging Policy and to review the charges for Invigilation and Administration Fees for examinations. Amendments to the Policy will be circulated via email. The Chairperson suggested that the Charging Policy be reviewed on an annual basis.
The Directorate then presented the ICT Policy for approval. This has been produced to also support the achievement of the milestones for the St Connected Project. Members questioned whether the ICT policy was in support of the St Helena Government ICT Policy. The Director advised that the St Helena Government IT Section has given feedback on the Policy. Various amendments and suggestions for improvements were made. Once amended, this Policy would be to members for approval.
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4 January 2021