Educational Planning and Management in Small States: Concepts and Experiences 

edited by Godfrey Baldacchino & Charles J. Farrugia, London, Commonwealth Secretariat, 2002, ISBN: 0-85092-729-3.

The book launch 28.04.03

This publication is based on the critical reflections of 18 senior education officials working in 12 small states on the management and planning of education. These same officials have spent time as students  of a postgraduate diploma in educational planning and management at the University of Malta: a unique, scale-sensitive programme. The bulk of the arguments, examples and concepts presented in the essays that follow owe their origin to the dissertation that each student was expected to complete successfully as part fulfilment for the award of the postgraduate diploma.

This text seeks to fulfil the following five main objectives:
1. To provide educational policy makers, students and practitioners in the small states of the Commonwealth with a manual of case studies in educational management and planning, adopting a conceptual approach sensitive to, and inspired by, the ŽecologyŪ of small scale.
2. To add to the rich collection of publications by the Commonwealth Secretariat on this subject, and in particular to contribute to capacity building and institution strengthening in its specific field.
3. To bear tribute to the active involvement of small island nationals in diagnosing their own educational challenges, thus strengthening the relevance of the issues and the transfer potential of any lessons learnt.
4. To further enhance the visibility of case study material from small states which, because of the market limitations of its provenance, often does not make it to print, irrespective of its quality, appeal and transferability.
5. To share and disseminate such experiences and their analysis to wider audiences which may benefit from the similarity of the case being addressed to the particular educational challenges of their country or region, especially in micro-contexts - such as islands, or remote villages, or ethnic enclaves - where circumstances similar to the small state milieu may be in place.

Two Sections
The text is divided into two main sections. After this introductory essay and two papers on generic management and administration issues in small states, there is the first selection of papers dealing with issues in Educational Management. This means that the papers here basically address the education process from its internal organisational or operational perspectives. Papers here look at Ministries, Departments or schools as organisations; and the management thereof implies the effective and efficient use of human and material resources deployed in the execution of desirable goals. Total Quality Management, staff recruitment and appraisal, job satisfaction, stress management and the multi-functionality of incumbents are key considerations.

The second and final section deals with issues in Educational Planning. This section considers education as a tool for national development and looks at the rapport of the educational system with the external world and its various stakeholder interests. It considers the influence and role of educational planning generally, and then specifically at different developmental challenges: those of the teaching staff themselves, those of school-business linkages; those of primary, secondary, vocational and up to adult education.

GB/20.03.2003

Group photo of participants and presenters at the conference
'Schoool Evaluation Best Practices' in Small States
taken at the book launch held at the University of Malta 28.04.03

The Book Launch

The publication 'Educational Planning and Management in Small States: Concepts and Experiences' edited by Godfrey Baldacchino & Charles J. Farrugia was presented at a recent book launch held at the office of the Rector at the University of Malta. This book is based on the critical reflections of 18 senior education officials working in 12 small states on the management and planning of education. These same officials have spent time as students  of a postgraduate diploma in educational planning and management at the University of Malta: a unique, scale-sensitive programme. The bulk of the arguments, examples and concepts presented in the essays owe their origin to the dissertation that each student was expected to complete successfully as part fulfilment for the award of the postgraduate diploma.

The launch was attended by the two editors and by the presenters and participants at a conference held in Malta on School Evaluation Best Practices in Small States.  These included representatives from Commonwealth countries as diverse as Montserrat; The Seychelles; The Gambia; Tanzania and Papua New Guinea as well as from the Commonwealth structures in the U.K.  Roli Degazon-Johnson, Chief Programme Officer at the Commonwealth Secretariat in Jamaica responded on behalf of the group.  She emphasised the importance of the postgraduate diploma and said that those who attended were often to be found in the upper echelons of education in their different countries.  She also said that a publication of this nature was an extremely important resource for those in the field who could, thus, really understand the problems which they share and appreciate also the diversity of approaches.