The programme comes as part of a comprehensive plan prepared by the ministry in 2003 and approved by Dr Ali Abdul Aziz Al Sharhan, Minister of Education and Youth, to guarantee quality management in the educational system.
Dr Jamal Al Muhairi, Under-Secretary of the ministry, told Khaleej Times that the ministry's QA programme falls in line with the ministry's decentralisation strategy, which aims at giving more authority to the educational zones in the best interests of the educational process in the country.
He said that the programme would enhance coordination between the ministry, educational zones and schools.
Under the programme, each school has to prepare and submit a report about its performance to the educational zone concerned.
"The programme mainly depends on self-assessment techniques to empower the school to detect its backlogs, so as to improve its performance and develop the vocational expertise of its staff," said Dr Al Muhairi.
For her part, Dr Fouza Ahmed Al Naimi, educational expert at the ministry, who is in charge of the QA programme, said that the programme will focus on developing certain aspects of the students such as the academic work, their behaviour and other activities provided by schools.
The major functions of the school in keeping excellent records of each student as he/she moves from one grade to another are among the top concerns of the QA programme, said Dr Naimi.
The programme stresses the need for schools to have systematic records of student behaviour so that students who need help and guidance can easily be identified before psychological disturbance might arise, she said.
"Implementing QA programme means that schools should have excellent activities that encourage students' participation not only in just sports or music, but in a comprehensive set of activities," added Dr Naimi.
She said that following implementation of the programme, a two-year development plan to assure quality management in schools will be conducted throughout the 10 educational zones in the country.
The ministry QA programme will be introduced at primary level in 2005, said Dr Naimi.
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