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Organization of American States (OAS)
Executive Secretariat for Integral Development (SEDI)
Department of Human Development, Education and Culture (DHDEC)


Title: Quality in Basic Education (4th. Special Caribbean Edition)

Study Venue:  The course will be delivered entirely online (Internet) through the Educational Portal of the Americas Virtual Classroom and requires a weekly dedication of 15 hours as well as basic computer skills. (To learn about the Rules of Procedure of the Portal Virtual Classroom please click here)

Start and End Dates: March 8th to May 31st, 2011

Registration Deadline: February 9th, 2011 at 11:59 PM (Washington D.C.)

Course Duration: Twelve (12) weeks

Language: This course will be offered in English

This course offers an introduction to the philosophy of total quality education. Its objective is to provide primary and secondary-level school teachers and administrators with the conceptual and methodological tools necessary to improve basic educational services using a team-based approach to organizational development.

Target Group:   
Primary or secondary level school teachers, principals or administrators, and teacher trainers, in any of the English-speaking Caribbean countries.

The Course Program:
The 12-week course is organized in modules that include selected readings and related activities accessed through an on-line teaching platform or "Virtual Classroom". The course is organized into ten content modules (one each week), as well as one week dedicated to the introduction of participants to the Virtual Classroom and its tools, and one week for the conclusion of studies and the final evaluations:

Week 1 Introduction to the Virtual Classroom
Week 2 Module 1: Introduction to the philosophy of total quality education
Explores the main objectives of education and offers ideas regarding the philosophy of quality as applied to education. It also provides an in-depth analysis of the concept of beneficiaries and educational services.
Week 3 Module 2: Resolving problems in the school
Presents a simple methodology for recognizing and resolving problems. It also analyzes the problems that may affect the quality of the educational services offered at primary and secondary level schools.
Week 4 Module 3: Quality in the school context
This module explains why the search for quality should be made within specific contexts and based on the needs of each school establishment.
Week 5 Module 4: Quality as a process
Analyzes the concept of quality as a process rather than a product. In particular, it looks at the processes for planning, teaching, school-community relationships, teacher-family relationships and professional development.
Week 6 Module 5: Quality depends on those who participate in the process
Analyzes the benefits of team work, presents the concept of “quality circles” and offers examples of how these circles can help to resolve problems.
Week 7 Module 6: Quality requires leadership
Is directed to the school principal. It explains the functions that he/she should assume and the responsibilities that should be taken on by the school leader.
Week 8 Module 7: Quality leads to the continuous improvement of the people involved
Is intended for the people. It explains how the search for improving quality in educational services also implies a search for improving each and every one of the people involved in the school’s activities.
Week 9 Module 8: Planning and evaluating for quality
Focuses on planning. It explains the characteristics of a plan, the components required of a plan, and the “plan-do-review-act” cycle.
Week 10 Module 9: Quality requires community participation
Is for families and communities. It explains why closer relationships between school, family and community are needed and offers ideas on how and why to create them.
Week 11 Module 10: Some implications about quality
Explains what is implied for the persons working to improve quality and why it is important to share both successes as well as the knowledge of how these successes were achieved.
Week 12 Final project

This online course is delivered under the academic and technical supervision of tutors. The tutors guide participants throughout the duration of course by:

  1. helping them to access course content;
  2. suggesting reading and reference materials;
  3. analyzing and evaluating assigned activities; and
  4. resolving technical problems and answering questions.

In addition, the tutors provide students with a weekly analysis of participant responses and make individual interventions when necessary.

Expected results:
At the conclusion of the course it is hoped that participants will have acquired knowledge of the conceptual and methodological tools necessary to improve basic educational services, as well as the ability to apply their newfound knowledge and cognitive skills to their institutional settings.

Requirements to Apply for Financial Aid:
Participants must meet the following requirements:

  1. Be citizens or permanent residents of any OAS member country.
  2. Be currently employed as a primary or secondary level school teacher or administrator, or teacher trainer, in any of the English-speaking Caribbean countries.
  3. Possess basic computer skills (use of email, Word documents, etc.)
  4. Be fluent in English
  5. Be able to dedicate approximately 15 hours per week for course activities.
  6. Have a functional personal e-mail account (e-mail accounts cannot be shared)
  7. Be a registered user in the Educational Portal of the Americas (www.educoas.org)
  8. Have unrestricted access to a computer with Internet with following minimum technical specifications:

  • Proccesor: 500 MHz Intel, Pentium II o superior
  • Operative System: Windows 98, NT, 2000,  XP, o Vista
  • 64Mb or better
  • Minimum resolution 1024x768
Internet Access
  • 56K modem or faster
  • JavaScript active, Cookies active
  • Internet Explorer 6 or newer
  • Adobe Reader 8 or superior
  • Flash 7.0
  • Multimedia (optional)
  • Antivirus

Access to technological hardware and connectivity (internet and email) costs are the responsibility of the participant.

Participants who successfully complete the course requirements will receive an OAS Certificate for the successful completion of the course.

Total tuition cost for the course is USD400 (four hundred dollars).

Financial Aid:
The SG/OAS will provide financial aid of USD275 (two hundred seventy five dollars) to participants who fulfill all the posted requirements. The final tuition cost for selected participants to financial aid will be  USD125 (one hundred twenty five dollars).

Method of Payment:
For this course, the only method of payment is with an international credit or debit card (Visa, MasterCard or American Express) and using an Internet secure page*

For optimal registration we recommend that you print the following instructions

1. Register as a user on the Educational Portal of the Americas:

2. Complete the Application Form before February 9th, 2011.  Participants will automatically receive an e-mail confirmation once their registration form has been received (see example). This notification means that your application has been successful, it doesn’t mean you have been selected to participate in the course. Selected participants will receive a communication beginning February 11th, 2010. In addition, the complete list of selected participants and enrollment/payment instructions will be published on the Educational Portal of the Americas Webpage on the same date.

3. Once the enrollment/payment period has been closed, instructions on how to access the course will be sent to participants by e-mail on March 8th, 2011, first day of course **

* Once payment has been received there is no reimbursement.

** Make sure you add the following e-mail address to your address book in order that communications sent from the Educational Portal of the Americas account  will not be blocked as  "spam": [email protected]

Any questions regarding this announcement should be sent to [email protected], and must include in the subject line:
“Quality of Basic Education - Ref: QLITY-E103.11”.

If you need more information about this course or if you are interested in requesting a closed edition for your institution, please emails us at: [email protected]