BENCHMARKS FOR NATIONAL STRATEGIC PLANS
Fourth edition, revised November 2007
The Logical Framework Analysis annexed to the PRIDE Financing Agreement specifies under Result Area 1, Activity 1.1, that the
PRIDE Project will: “Establish minimum benchmarks, principles and criteria to apply to national strategic education sector plans”.
The PRIDE team therefore developed a draft set of benchmarks derived from the Forum Basic Education Action Plan. In order to
enhance the value of the benchmarks as a tool for planning, we sought clarity, brevity and simplicity.
The draft benchmarks were distributed prior to the first PRIDE Project Regional Workshop, held in Lautoka from 1 to 8 September
2004, and were fully discussed with participants. Meeting in small workgroups, participants reviewed the list, recommended
changes and additions, and listed the benchmarks in order of priority. They also developed a set of specific indicators for each
benchmark. The attached list of benchmarks, principles and indicators is the end result of their work, and was formally ratified at
the second meeting of the PRIDE Project Steering Committee on 25 October, 2004.
It is intended that this be a working document, with regular opportunities for review and revision. In this spirit the benchmarks were
revisited at the first regional workshops for PRIDE National Project Coordinators (NPCs) held in Suva from 12 to 16 September
2005, again at the second NPC workshop 2 to 6 October 2006 and finally at the third NPC Workshop 14 to 18 May 2007. On all
occasions participants reviewed the benchmarks and recommended a number of small but significant additions and amendments.
This document incorporates the recommendations arising out of the 2007 NPC workshop which were ratified at the meeting of the
PRIDE Project Steering Committee on 27 of November 2007 in Auckland, New Zealand.
The PRIDE team is committed to using the benchmarks as part of a constructive and collaborative review of each country’s
strategic plans. We seek to deliver the best possible support and training, thereby facilitating the development and implementation
of national education plans in each country.
Pride in cultural and
The Plan builds on a strong foundation of local cultures
A statement demonstrating development and implementation of
and languages, thus enabling students to develop a deep
a national language policy, including vernacular language(s).
pride in their own values, traditions and wisdoms, and a
clear sense of their own local cultural identity, as well as
A statement showing the development of policies and strategies
their identity as citizens of the nation.
for promoting and building character and citizenship.
A specific objective or strategy in the Plan promoting the
teaching and learning of local languages and the integration of
cultural activities in the school curriculum.
A strategy in the Plan promoting values (virtues), such as
Skills for life and work
The Plan contains strategies for the systematic teaching
Clear statements of curriculum outcomes in the teaching and
locally, regionally, and
and learning of literacy, numeracy, ICT, vernacular and
learning of literacy, numeracy, and vernacular and English
English languages, together with life and work
languages across all levels and integrated across all learning
preparation skills, within a balanced curriculum
framework, to equip all students to take their place, with
ease and confidence, in their local communities, regional
Clear statement on strategies for the development of life and
context, and global world.
work preparation skills, including TVET programs.
Clear statement of promotion and incorporation of information
literacy across the curriculum and supported by properly
equipped and resourced libraries and learning centres to ensure
access to and use of quality information.
Clear statement on the integration of ICT in teaching and
Alignment with National
The Plan is fully consistent with the goals and strategies
Evidence of dovetailing of objectives and strategies with the
Development Plan and
of the most recent National Development Plan, regional
most current National Development Plan
Regional & International
and international conventions.
The Plan contains a statement of commitment to regional
conventions and frameworks, such as FBEAP and the
UNESCO/UNICEF/SPBEA Literacy, Numeracy & Life Skills
Framework, and international commitments such as EFA,
Millennium Development Goals, Education for Sustainable
Development, Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC),
Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against
Women (CEDAW) and the Biwako Millenium Framework + 5
Access and equity for
In order to ensure access and equity, the Plan contains
A specific objective in the Plan referring to meeting the needs
students with special needs
strategies for the teaching and learning of vulnerable and
of vulnerable students, including the development of
special needs students, including those from low socio-
appropriate policies and/or legislation.
economic urban groups, those in remote and isolated
areas, those with disabilities and school drop-outs and
Clear statement on strategies for the development of initiatives
for marginalised communities and addressing gender
Specific strategies for improving retention through partnerships
with other sectors and agencies.
Clear statements of strategies to improve educational
opportunities for vulnerable students through more effective
teacher training, improvement of infrastructure, resourcing and
The Plan shows clear evidence that it was developed
Strategies outlining the most appropriate and effective
using consultative and participatory processes within the
consultative processes with key community and stake-holder
sector and inter-sectorally, as well as in the broader
groups, and within the sector and inter-sectorally.
context of civil society, including parents, students,
private providers of education, NGOs, employers, donors
Strategies outlining participation of all sectors, stakeholders and
and other community and private sector groups.
the community in education policy development,
implementation and evaluation.
Strategies outlining resource sharing among key partners and
A holistic approach to basic
(i) The Plan addresses the challenges of effective
The written curriculum framework states the linkages between
articulation between each level of education; from pre-
early childhood and primary sectors, between the primary and
school/early childhood to elementary/ primary, from
secondary sectors and between the secondary and post-
elementary/primary to secondary, and from secondary to
secondary/tertiary sectors and employment.
TVET oriented programs are included as part of the school
(ii) The Plan addresses the challenges of articulation
between education and the world of work, not only in the
context of paid employment but also of self-sufficiency,
An adequate supply of appropriately qualified and trained
self reliance and self-employment.
teachers is available for different school levels
(iii) The Plan demonstrates effective articulation
Pathways between school and post-school are clearly articulated
between formal and non-formal education.
through programs and a quality communication strategy
National curriculum provides for education from early
childhood to secondary that can be used in the formal and non-
Recognition of the complementary nature of non-formal
education through identified activities and/or strategies.
Specific strategies developed to cater for appropriate
curriculum interventions, especially in the classroom context.
Realistic financial costing
The Plan has been carefully costed and is realistic in
Evidence of robust budget preparation, i.e., costings, cost-
terms of current and projected levels of national budgets
sharing, consultation, analysis.
and donor funding for the education sector.
Evidence of an efficient financial management system in place,
e.g., disbursement, accountability, monitoring, cost-sharing.
Evidence of cost saving and cost effectiveness strategies to
sustain educational development
Use of data and research
The plan is based on recent educational data and research
Evidence of a sufficient number of trained data management
information in educational
findings that have been systematically collected,
officers within the data unit to ensure its sustainability
analysed, managed and reported
Existence of an Education Management Information System
Evidence of research findings and educational data used in
Existence of a research unit/officer
Effective capacity building
The implications of the Plan for the training of education
Indication of levels and numbers of education personnel to be
for all education personnel
personnel are addressed and effective training strategies
developed, especially for:
Clear strategies for both pre- and in-service teacher training,
(i) the pre- and in-service education of teachers and other
including capacity building for librarians and other school
instructional staff, including librarians;
personnel associated with student learning.
(ii) education leaders from teachers to CEO level, with a
focus on ensuring that staff are conversant with and
Evidence of an HRD policy and capacity building programs in
committed to the Plan;
(iii) education planners; and
(iv) data managers.
Evidence of NPC capacity to manage and work on sub-projects
Clear statement on the use of ICT to enhance management
Framework for monitoring
The Plan contains a monitoring and evaluation
Evidence of a national assessment framework to assess student
framework that allows outcomes-based judgments to be
made about the effectiveness of education provisions at
all levels, and in all areas of the curriculum.
Evidence of achievement of the strategic objectives of the
Strategic Development Plan
Evidence of a performance based appraisal system for staff
Evidence of a reporting mechanism.
Integration of Health and
The plan recognises that health and physical education is
A specific objective in the plan of integrating health and
Physical Education in the
an essential element of growth, learning and education.
physical education into education as a whole
curriculum and school
Clear statement of promoting health in schools, including
prevention of HIV/AIDS and other lifestyle diseases
Strong emphasis on creating a supportive environment for diet,
physical activity and health
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