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Showing posts from January, 2015

New year, same challenges in the education sector, Part 5

Performance of teachers The major challenge with which teachers continue to grapple in the education system is that of helping their students to raise their levels of performance. This is a daunting challenge which has to do with the nature of the students in many classrooms.

In many classrooms, teachers will discover that there are students of mixed abilities and temperaments. For example, in one classroom teachers may discover that they have students who are quite enthusiastic about learning. These students actively participate in class activities and they complete every homework assignment.

However, the teachers may also discover that they have students in their classrooms who seem to have decided that schooling is not for them. They come to school, they find their own space in the classroom and they conduct their own 'lessons' surrounding the things in which they have an interest - pop culture, relationships, games, their plans for that day or the weekend among their other…

New year, same challenges in the education sector, Part 4

Performance of principals What is the major challenge that principals of schools in the education system face in raising the levels of performance in their schools? The major challenge that many of them face is to motivate students, teachers, administrative and ancillary staff to raise their levels of performance. This is a major challenge for principals since they do not all have the same 'winning' personality and level of resources with which to work.

Students, teachers and other workers take their places in schools knowing quite well the reputation of these schools in terms of their performance and the perception that society has of these schools. For example,  some schools enjoy a good reputation based on any or all of the following: their location in the society, their histories, the reputation of their principals,  the performance of their students on examinations which, in turn, cast the teachers' performance in either a good or a bad light, the support that the sch…

New year, same challenges in the education sector, Part 3

Performance of workers in the Ministry of Education
The performance of any system depends on the 'proper' functioning of all of its parts. In the case of the education system, its 'proper' functioning depends on the effort that all of its members - the 'parts' of the education system - are willing to exert in completing the tasks to which they are assigned.

In two previous posts, I have examined the major challenge faced by the education system and the specific challenges faced by the Minister. In this post, I will turn my attention to the workers in the Ministry of education, briefly examining one of the major challenges that they face in being a part of the policy process to improve the performance of the education system, a challenge that will in turn impact the achievement of the desired outcomes from the system.

One of the major challenges that these workers face is that of getting out of the game of 'passing the buck'. For many workers in governme…

New year, same challenges in the education sector, Part 2

The Minister of Education



The major challenge that education systems throughout the world face is that of improving the performance of these systems. The Minister under whose portfolio education falls is tasked with improving this performance. As such she/he has the responsibility to lead the policy development initiatives for this sector, initiatives that they (believe?) will cause improvement in these systems.

The Minister has a slew of policy experts from within and outside of the governmental system from whom to get policy advice. She/he draws on these resources, and let us assume that the Minister seeks the advice of experts who have or have had an intimate relationship with the education system as former or current school managers, teachers, education researchers, education officers, among other such experts.

Having got this critical bit of policy advice for which she/he has searched and found, she/he authorizes the creation of specific policies for the different areas in the …

New year, same challenges in the education sector, Part 1

It is the beginning of a new school year. However, education systems around the world are faced with the same set of challenges that have been dogging them for many years. While, some systems have been making much progress in coping with the challenges that beset them, other systems have been stymied by them.

In this post, I will examine the overarching pervasive challenge with which education systems the world over have been grappling for much of their existence. That is, improving the performance of the education system, a system made up of a number of parts which need to be functioning well to yield the performance that government craves.

Therefore, in a number of subsequent posts I will examine the performance of the Minister of Education, performance of workers in the Ministry of Education, performance of principals, performance of teachers and the performance of the administrative staff.

Improving the performance of the education system
One challenge, and probably the most sign…