Commitment based performance: a case of primary education Essay
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An emergency meeting was called by the CEO Mr. Khan. ZK, MK and HK immediately reported to the call by their father. Entering the board room all three children saw a tensed expression on their fathers face. On settling down in the board room all three children were presented a paper showing an increase in dropout rate of students, and two more resignation letters in the last one month of their well trained permanent staff.
Mr.Khan had just come out from an informal post resignation interview, which was his usual practice, and told his children that despite being the pioneers in school systems in their region they are losing their student body and trained staff that they had invested in for training upon inception.
Excellence teachers had no major reason to leave the job except for a Rs. 500-800 offered more at one of the major competitors, and that the workload was to much to handle for one teacher in a class. Mr. Khan transformed his vision onto a living reality on the ground- a living breathing functioning system- Excellence School System.
He had put two of his children in the education field so that they could help him out in his dream project of converting his school system into a university. But with decreasing student enrollments and increasing teacher turnover he couldn’t see his child drown away and he does nothing. Background Mr and Mrs majeed, founder members of The Excellence School Systems started the school on self owned premises in 1952 with 23 students at initial enrolling and since then it has grown in size of its building, student and teacher population.
In 1960 the school was up graded from primary level to middle level. The school was exempted from the nationalization reforms of 1972. And within a short time the administration was passed on into the hands of their daughter and son in law. Under their management the school expanded itself to incorporate the B. Ed and the M. Ed programs. At present the school has three branches in Bahawalpur, has three buildings in each compound. It also has grounds where children can play cricket, volley ball, football and basketball.
There are three computer laboratories which have fifty computers in all. There are four libraries with about 10,000 books in all, and two science laboratories. Besides the scholastic work, the school appears to take pride in a variety of co-curricular activities such as, early morning assembly, sports, arts and crafts, wood work, debates, speech competitions and poetry competitions, magazine work, quiz competitions, educational trips, a yearly school fair, science and art exhibitions, and project days. Excellence School System.
At the time of this research the school had a student population of 1000 boys and girls, with a total staff of 150 of which majority are female teachers. The students all belonged to a particular community and came from the locality in which the school was situated. The students entered school at age four to class Montessori and left at age 15 after completing class X. Recently with the increased competition being given to the school by the more schools added to the province catering to the increased population.
The school faced a decrease in student enrollments, increase in dropout rate and a high turnover rate prevailing in the region itself. Bahawalpur has in total 2234 registered schools of which majority are 70 % government schools and 30% private school systems that offer o-level facility and the number has increased from 2000-2013. The school enrollments during the last 6 years have deteriorated and a lot of drop outs during 2000-2012, from 1500-1000 students currently enrolled.
With increased competition the school was to change its matriculation system to O-levels. And for this it needed the infrastructure and funding (already available but left idle), curricula and above all trained teachers. What was lacking was the availability of permanent trained teacher, teachers’ workload, individual attention to each child and their teaching methodology. Teachers, relying on the textbook, normally gave lecture notes to students who are expected to memorize them with little or no attention given to understanding the content.
Thus teachers have become textbook dependent and are overwhelmingly concerned to complete the syllabus so their students have at the least ‘covered’ the course content. In a rural area like Bahawalpur where the gross income of family is on average 15000 and any additional contribution is valued. Majority of the females in Bahawalpur prefer to teach after completion of their basic education. Women participation is regarded as a family decision, in which entry to and exit from the job market is not related directly to her.
The importance of women participation in economic activities is evident from the fact that, there is a positive relationship between women productive work and the level of development achieved, the more they earn the more they are valued in the family, resulting in whenever they are offered a higher income from another school based in the same locality they shift immediately. The school earlier started Montessori to grade VI training facility to its existing teachers. The strategy used to train teachers was to involve them in workshops conducted during the annual vacation.
Various local teacher training agencies and individual experts were invited to conducted workshops. Not surprisingly, it emerged that there was very little uptake of the training provided and no effect was evident in teachers’ classroom practices. Alongside the teacher development workshop program, school heads were required by the school management to guide teachers in the implementation of a number of changes in the teaching methodology, syllabus planning, conducting examinations, admission policy and communication strategies with management, colleagues, students, parents and community.
The School itself was continuing to pay the teacher’s salary during the vacation training therefore not only investing in the development of the teacher but to take cognizance of the pressures on teachers to financially support their families Also to improve education in the school was the development of an English language improvement program. The school had begun a drive to work in the medium of english soon after denationalization. Nationalized schools had been required to use the national language, Urdu, as the medium of instruction along with the provincial language.
Mathematics and science were the first to be taught in English. The English language improvement program was not sustained as teachers did not perceive its relevance to their teaching and the language workshops were considered an extra burden on teachers who were already overloaded with various tasks at school and had social and family responsibilities outside of the school. However, many challenges confront the school where most children come from poor and difficult family backgrounds. For example, in each class there are widely different ability groups.
Teachers continue to face the challenge of providing individual attention and equal learning opportunities for all students. There are several reasons that have been identified by the school that yields this high turnover rate: change of residence due to marriage; a heavy workload; use of holidays for teachers’ professional development activities; and better remuneration elsewhere. No doubt this has been disruptive to students, parents, and especially to the school who have had to keep training and inducting new teachers into the school’s improvement model.
The consequence has been that less attention is then given to teaching and learning improvements in the classroom and from ongoing development work, discontinuation of the training programs but with the inculcation of the O-level stream they had to train their teachers to a level equal to the competing schools in the same area. Many of the key structures necessary for sound, sustainable, and effective teacher training are in place. However, they are not working as planned, and are risking being too great in quantity.
The children were asked to leave their positions they were currently hired at and to join the school as head trainers and senior teachers. What was put forward to the CEO were a couple of options in order to start the O-level stream into the school system. A full in service training program to the existing teachers during the summer vacations conducted by their sons and daughter who are presently working in well reputed universities in Punjab. Pre-service training: The methodology of most of the trainings would be a lecture-based format, where teachers would observe a trainer teaching a class or showing techniques.
This would also include student-teachers teaching in large, crowded single-classroom. These teachers would therefore gain the exposure to the practical realities that they would have to deal with once they begin teaching on their own. Would work towards how to design lessons, conduct classroom lectures, conducting class assignments, working towards individual assistance on child buildup and knowledge of child cognitive development and how children learn is important In-service training: Teachers would actually spent 2 of 3 days working in groups designing lessons, conducting model lessons to the group, and then receive constructive criticism.
Content knowledge is important in order to teach subject matter to children well. Teachers need to have the opportunity for analysis and reflection on their teaching also peer networking would be are integral in addressing teacher motivation and improvement in teaching. Teachers would be sent to training institutions. They would be required to learn how to design class rooms. Alongside the training program offered pre-service and in-service, there has to be a way to retain the teachers to serve them after required training.
A revision of remuneration has to be considered which has been a major factor in high turnover rate in the region. The approval letter had been received from the british council to incorporate O-level into their educational system, but with the level of employee turnover it was difficult to decide whether to start it or not or just continue with matriculation, for which the demand was deteriorating fast. Mr. Khan had already worked on the funding of the school for increased facilities and incorporation of the O-level system with increased investment in curricula.
Competition raising on one end it was difficult to retain students and teachers in Excellence. He had to take a decision. |Alpina School | | |Government Girls High School | | |Dominican Convent High Secondary School | | |Government High School | | |Govt Girls High School | | |Govt Higher Seconday School | | |Islamic Model School | | |Jinnah Public School | | |New Pioneer High School | | |Noman Model School | | |Tameer-E-Nou Public School | | |SADIQ PUBLIC SCHOOL | | |Govt. Primary School 5-Marla Scheme | | |Govt. Masque School Aalam Rab Nawaz | | |Govt.
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