Sunday, August 16, 2009

Top 10 tips for Parents

  1. A dedicated quiet space with good natural light or lighting is best for studying, with no distractions. If you have other children who are not studying for exams, make sure that they know the importance of revision time.
  2. Ensure that your son or daughter has one evening a week away from their studies. It’s also important that they take regular breaks during the study periods.
  3. Be around as a 'feeding station' – feed your child lots of healthy food and proper meals - not too many sugary snacks and junk food.
  4. Offer to help with testing or ask if there is something that you can do for them. Reassure them you are concerned about their welfare more than the results.
  5. Know your son or daughter's revision timetable. Encourage them to tell you about what they are studying. If you know that they are not at their best first thing in the morning, encourage them to rest then and work when they are more lively. They should choose their weakest/sleepiest time of day to be sociable and go out, or watch TV at those times.
  6. Know exactly the date, time and location for each exam and incorporate this into the revision plan. Make sure that they have the correct equipment they need for the exam (calculators, rulers etc). Know what they are not allowed to take in to the exam (mobile phones, pagers etc).
  7. If your son or daughter has a medical condition, for example diabetes or hayfever, make sure that the school knows about it. There are special considerations for some conditions.
  8. If there is a family crisis, for example divorce or bereavement, again ensure that your son or daughter's teacher knows about it, since the additional stress can affect your child's exam performance.
  9. Make sure that your child is using the internet to study and not as a resource to give the appearance of study!
  10. Tell them that they can only try their best and even if they don't do as well as you'd hoped, you still love them just as much and always try to -‘Be the best that you can be’.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Ten questions for school leaders ; Howard Green, Educational Consultant


The aim of these questions is to provide a focus for critical reflection by school leaders, and those who support them, on 10 key issues that could help to secure the link between leadership effectiveness and school improvement. They should be asked regularly by headteachers themselves, other senior staff and team leaders. Although the questions seem quite straightforward they have hidden depths, and would benefit from regular revisiting as a form of continuing self-evaluation. You can work through them sequentially or pick one or two that you find particularly relevant or interesting.

1. Are you leading as well as managing your school?
2. Is your leadership focused on school improvement?
3. Do you use evidence to help secure school improvement?
4. Does your leadership challenge others to improve?
5. Is your leadership creating a successful learning community?
6. Do you share your leadership?
7. Are you aiming to be a ‘good enough’ or a ‘perfect’ leader?
8. Are you using both sides of your brain and all three intelligences in leadership?
9. Are you a self-aware leader?
10. Are you a leader with an appetite for change?

Item-Data Review & Revision Workshop

In the course of developing national assessment tests for grades 4 and 7 in English and Mathematics ESQID is conducting a two-day Item-Data Review and Revision Workshop. The review committees are composed of Maldivian grade 4 and grade 7 teachers and educators who evaluate the technical quality of all the test questions that were written and piloted in September 2008. The workshop agenda is as follows:

Day 1 (Wednesday)

10:00 – 12:00 Introductory Presentation and Training:

Criteria for evaluating technical quality of test items.

12:00 – 13:00 Lunch break (lunch provided)

13:00 – 15:30 Work in groups:

a) Grade 4 Mathematics

b) Grade 7 Mathematics

c) Grade 4 English

d) Grade 7 English

15:30 – 16:00 Debriefing session: Questions and Answers

Day 2 (Thursday)

10:00 – 12:00 Work in groups (continued)

12:00 – 13:00 Lunch break (lunch provided)

13:00 – 15:30 Work in groups (continued)

15:30 – 16:00 Closing session: Questions/Answers and planning further work

During the sessions in grade/subject groups the participants reviewed and discussed the quality of each item (one by one) from two perspectives:

a) Content: How good is alignment of the item with national curriculum

b) Statistical: How good is technical quality of the item based on the statistical criteria (given during the training sessions)

The decisions about items are three-fold:

· Accept As Is,

· Accept With Revisions, or

· Reject.

The items that are evaluated as “Accept with revisions” will be immediately revised based on committee suggestions. The work of this committee will ensure high technical quality of items that will be used for assembling national assessments for English and Mathematics in grades 4 and 7.

Global School - Based Student Health Survey

Survey Administrator Training for Global - school based (GSHS) Student Health Survey has started on 10th August 2009 at Male' schools.
  • 10th August: Galholhu Madharusaa & Ghaazee School
  • 11th August: Aminiya School & Hiriya School
  • 12th August: Male' English International School , Billabong High EPS International School , Mafanu Madharusaa & Madharusathul Ahamdhiyya
  • 13th August: Almadharusathul Arabiyyathul Islamiyya

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

INTERSCHOOL SPELLING BEE COMPETITION (dates revised on 11th August 2009)

a) First Round2nd August, 2009.

b) MOE will prepare a 45 min written exercise and the schools will conduct and correct the exercise. It is advised that teachers include such types of exercises in other English lessons. All students will sit the second round.



Teachers to take the average of both rounds and then select the best thirty from each grade.

c) Third Round – September 06th – 10th , 2009. Schools will conduct written and oral exercises of their own from their own lists. They will select the best five students from each grade and inform their names and particulars to the Ministry of Education, Male’ Zone.


d) FINAL ROUND - SECONDARY- September 29th, (Tue) 2009

e) FINAL ROUND - PRIMARY- October 01st,(Thu) 2009


The competition will be conducted for grades 3, 5, 7 and 9 of Male’ Government schools during the months of August to October 2009

a) Primary – (Iskandhar / Jamaluddin / Tajuddin / Kalaafaanu / Ghiyasuddin / Imaduddin / Muhyddin / Ghaazee / Arabiyya)

b) Secondary – (Aminiya / Majeediyya / Dharumavantha / Muhyddin / Ghaazee / Arabiyya,Hiriya School

Please contact: Niuma and Nilfa for more information (3341212, 3341208)

Monday, August 10, 2009

The role of the head in school: Michael Fullan, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education,

It has often been observed that the head of the school is a key factor in how effective the school is. But until recently we did not have a clear picture about what this role looks like in action. In this brief paper I will characterise the nature of school improvement in relation to the role of the head, and then raise questions about how we could produce more effective leadership. Newmann, King and Young’s (2000) recent paper provides an important framework for understanding continuous school improvement which focuses on student achievement. They claim, as we do, that the critical factor is school capacity – the collective competency of the school as an entity to bring about effective change. To understand school capacity is to understand the work of successful school heads. There are four core components of capacity according to Newmann et al:
• knowledge, skills and dispositions of individual staff members
• a professional learning community in which staff work collaboratively to set clear goals for student learning, assess how well students are doing, develop action plans to increase student achievement, all the while being engaged in inquiry and problemsolving
• programme coherence: “the extent to which the school’s programmes for student and staff learning are co-ordinated, focused on clear learning goals, and sustained over a period of time" ( 5)
• technical resources – high-quality curriculum, instructional material, assessment instruments, technology, workspace etc
This four-part definition of school capacity is crucial to understanding. It includes human capital, ie the skills of individuals, but concludes that no amount of professional development of individuals will have an impact if certain organisational features are not in place. One organisational feature relates to professional learning communities, which in effect is the ‘social capital’ aspect of capacity. In other words, the skills of individuals can only be realised if the relationships within the schools are continually developing.
The other component of organisational capacity is programme coherence. Since complex social systems have a tendency to produce overload and fragmentation in a non-linear evolving fashion, schools are constantly being bombarded by overwhelming and unconnected innovations (Fullan, 1999). In this sense, the most effective schools are not those which take on the sheer most number of innovations, but those which selectively take on, integrate and coordinate innovations into focused programmes. Finally, acquiring technical resources that support individual, collective and programme coherence is vital.
All the talk about the key role of the school head boils down to how principals foster school capacity building (in terms of the four components) in the service of student learning. We can take, as cases in point, recent findings in England, Canada and the United States. Day et al’s (2000) study of school leaders in England in 12 schools shows very clearly that these effective heads constantly work at helping individuals develop, continually work at enhancing relationships in the school and between the school and community, and maintain a focus on goal and programme coherence.
Similarly, Leithwood et al’s (1999) school leaders in Canada spend their time developing people, building commitment to change, creating the conditions for growth in teachers and relating to outside forces, while continually acquiring and targeting resources. In the same vein, Sebring and Bryk’s research into the Chicago reform shows that school leadership is a determining factor in school success. School heads lead the charge in focusing on instruction, school-wide mobilisation of resources and effort with respect to the long-term emphasis on instruction, and – above all – they ‘attack incoherence’.
There are many details within the school capacity work of school heads. Helping to develop individuals covers all the nuances of contending with the emotional vicissitudes of teaching, and dealing with persistently failing teachers. Similarly, working with a variety of teachers in establishing teamwork involves coping with the incredibly difficult matter of resistance to change.
It requires great insight and sophistication; to name one aspect, learning how to ‘respect those you wish to silence’ can pay great dividends both technically (improving ideas) and politically (with respect to improving relationships which affect implementation). Achieving programme coherence in the face of multiple disjointed policy demands and expectations demands outstanding leadership, as does the acquisition of technical resources.

If the above analysis is correct, there are two very powerful implications. The first concerns the preparation of school leaders, and the second involves the conditions under which they work.

Preparing school leaders
There is no doubt, as I have said, that effective schools virtually always have strong school leaders. The measure of a strong school leader is one who develops the school’s capacity to engage in reform – a capacity which is stronger at the end of the leader’s term than at the beginning. What is less certain is what proportion of school leaders are that good. I know of no study that can tell us the proportion of school leaders who are effective at enhancing school capacity. If I had to estimate, it would probably be in the two-in-five range.
Secondly, I know of no study that has both identified effective school leaders and traced their effectiveness to the preparation he or she received on the way to becoming a head. This, of course, is the mandate of the new National College for School Leadership (as well as the responsibility of schools and LEAs). The task, put explicitly, is to recruit, develop, nurture, support and hold the head accountable. The measure of effectiveness should be a dramatic increase in the proportion of school leaders who can develop greater school capacity -–moving from our hypothetical two in five to four in five.

Conditions of work
The conditions under which heads work greatly affects the quality of people attracted to the role, and their effectiveness once they are in the role. Currently, in most jurisdictions around the world there is a shortage of candidates to take on the position of head. It is not seen as an attractive position. Part of the problem relates to the neglect of leadership over the past 10 years. There was a hiatus during the 1990s, during which time there was a failure to cultivate leadership for the future. In doing this we have lost a generation of leadership training, resulting in shortages at all levels.
In addition, the job itself has become increasingly problematic. During the period of the past decade there has been less opportunity to learn on the job. The need, then, is to pay explicit attention to the cultivation of leadership.
Just as teaching is a lonely profession, school leadership is more so. There are numerous ways in which the isolation of principals should be overcome. At the most comprehensive level, the job of the school head will become more worthwhile when the overall infrastructure of reporting improves. Put differently, when states align policy and investments, integrating accountability and development, the position of school head will become more pivotable and more productive.
For an excellent example of co-ordinated policy at state level, see Barber (2000).
On the principalship itself, the opportunity to learn on the job through problem-based conferences, networking and linking to the big picture will make the position exciting and uplifting (see Elmore and Burney, 1999, for one example at school district level). In short, school leadership must be doable and rewarding. It must offer opportunities to learn on the job and to give heads the feeling that they are part and parcel of a larger effort to make a difference in society as a whole.
One last caution. As important as the principal is, quality teachers are obviously even more important. Thus, policy development must enhance the status, role and accountability of the teaching profession. First, quality teachers make quality heads. The stronger the pool of good teachers, the stronger that future heads will be as they come from the pool. In numbers, heads will be only as strong as the teaching force is in the first place. Secondly, because schools are organisations and because the principal is the head of the organisation, it falls to him or her to focus on school-wide capacity which is essential to bringing out the best in teachers.
Ironically, up to the present everyone acknowledges how crucial school heads are, but there has been little attention paid to making them more effective. This will have to change if we are to "go to scale" in seeing the majority of our schools do well.

Baker, M, 2000, High expectations and standards for all, no matter what, London, Department of
Education and Employment (now Department of Education and Skills)
Day, C, Harris, A, Hadfield, M, Tolley, H & Beresford, J, 2000, Leading Schools in Times of
Change, Buckingham, Open University Press
Elmore, R & Burney, D, 1999, Investing in teaching learning. In L Darling-Hammond and G
Sykes (eds), Teaching as a Learning Profession, San Francisco, Jossey-Bass, pp 236–91
Fullan, M, 1999, Change Forces: the Sequel, London, Falmer Press; Bristol, PA, Falmer Press
Leithwood, K, Jantzi, D & Steinbeck, R, 1999, Changing Leadership for Changing Times,
Buckingham, Open University Press
Newmann, F, King, B & Young, P, 2000, Professional development that addresses school
capacity: lessons from urban elementary schools. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the
American Educational Research Association
Sebring, P & Bryk, A, 2000, School leadership and the bottom line in Chicago, Kappan,
February, pp 440–43

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Professional development Programme

A Seminar for Leading Teachers, Academic Incharges and Budget Staff of HDH AEC was conducted on 04th August 2009. Sessions were:
  • Best Practices: Ahmed Fahmy Didi (ESQID)
  • CFS Indicators: Ahmed Fahmy Didi (ESQID)
  • Health Promoting Schools: Hussain Rasheed Moosa (School Health Unit)
  • Disaster preparedness: Hussain Rasheed Moosa (School Health Unit)

School Self Assessment Plan

Session on Introducing School Self Assessment Plan guideline for some principals and leading teachers of Male' schools was conducted by Myriam Blaser from Switzerland on 5th of August (Wednesday) at ESQID Seminar room

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

School Health Policy and Practice


This key area addresses the importance of schools having a school health policy or policies that promote the health of students and the whole school community. The policy/ policies will help guide schools in their health promoting practices such as nutrition education and creating a safe and healthy physical and psycho-social environment. The school health policy should be developed in consultation with the whole school community.
1.1 The school has a School Health Team, co-ordinated by a named person
1.2 The school has an overall policy on health promotion/ school health
1.3 School staff knows about the health promotion/school health policy
1.4 The school has appointed a School Health Assistant or a School Health Focal Point
1.5 Parents and students know about the health promotion policy
1.6 Opportunities are provided for students’ and parents’ views to inform
school policy and practice
  • GOLD
1.7 Health issues are seen as contributing to school improvement and this understanding informs discussions on policy and practice such as being regular items on staff meetings
1.8 The Healthy School Working Group has developed to include the wider

Parents participating in the schools

For more information on Maldives Health Promoting Schools Initiative, please log on to

Values of Great Leaders that make a Difference

Innovation- The creativity to see, be, and do things in a new way.
Integrity- The strength to fulfill commitments in the spirit as well as the latter.
Initiative- The ability to take action independently and lead.
Service- The compassion that sees other people's needs as important as your own.
Truth- The continual search for what is right; morally, intellectually, spiritually, socially, politically and economically.
Excellence- The commitment to the highest personal and professional standards.
Determination- The refusal to terminate dreams in the face of adversity.