Author: Dr (CA) Sunny Kapoor
Quality is a by-product product of manifestation of a human nature that is deeply ingrained in the minds.
“The first and foremost ingredient to make a quality school is devoting time to the ideation process i.e. thinking, implementing, acting, correcting and refining the prototype until the desired corrections have taken place”
“Continous and consistent encouragement and motivation of the staff through professional training, positive reinforcements and rewards”
Today ‘Quality Schools’ seem an insurmountable problem in our schools. In this article, the emphasis has been laid upon to define and understand the meaning of word “Quality”. In simple words, quality is a Journey and not a destination. One cannot achieve complete quality because the trends and environment keep on changing. One has to strive to cope up with the changing requirements and delivers the best on grounds. The Article further explains about the main ingredients of phrase “Quality Schools”. Various school contextual characteristics which are needed to convert an ordinary school into a Quality School are elaborated upon.
Defining and Understanding ‘Quality’
“Quality Schools” contain an important adjective “Quality” that needs to be understood properly. Before discussing Quality Schools, an insight must be given on the term Quality.
We come across the term Quality quite frequently in our conversations. “A quality is something which is free from Drawbacks, limitations, Flaws and Inferiors”. As John Ruskin truly quoted once – “Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of an intelligent effort”. All these quotes recognise quality as a product that is a result of conscious and persistent effort. From the discovery of agriculture that builds civilisations to deciphering the genetic code paving way for advanced sciences, everything is a quest for quality. Evolution i.e. the progress of life forms itself focuses on quality by providing environmental advantages to quality species. Similar to any evolutionary process, the quest for quality is also continuous. Thus we must admit that “Total Quality Management is a Journey and not a Destination”, as enlightened by Berry.
Characteristics of Quality
While going through an introductory meaning of “Quality”, we may put some important characteristics of Quality as following: –
- Capable of Bringing Change: – One of the important characteristics of Quality is that is should bring about a favourable and desired change. If we say that we are moving on a better side what we desired of, then it could be rightly said we are gaining quality.
- Could be Measured: – The Change which is being brought upon could be capable of being measured wither numerically or emotionally. If the difference could not be measured then the element of “Quality” would be missing.
- Performance: – If the “Quality” is in existence then the performance is bound to be improved upon.
- Continuous Phenomena: – To strive for Quality is a continuous phenomenon. One cannot say that I had achieved Total Quality. There is always a Next Level Ready.
- Effectivity: – Quality will differentiate between the processes/systems less effective and more Effective ones.
Quality Schools: An Insight
Now after a comprehensive understanding of ‘Quality’, let us move to the part important to us as educators. The term, ‘Quality Schools’ is being widely used by schools for their publicity. To be called a quality school, one needs to have acted on these lines mentioned in the questions below:
- What is Quality in relation to schools?
- What ingredients are required to fill up an Adjective i.e. “Quality”
- Whether Quality supersedes Quantity?
- What is the Relationship between Intentions/ Expectations and Quality
- Who is responsible for Quality Management in Schools?
- What Causes Quality?
The main aim of writing this article is to share my opinions on these issues, answering which could bring a “Qualitative” change in education.
Quality Schools: – A by-product of Human Nature
Quality is a by-product product of manifestation of a human nature that is deeply ingrained in the minds. It is only an inner change in the minds and hearts of School stakeholders that can bring about “Quality Schools” and such a desire should be habitual for the continuity of the process. Quality Schools is the joined accountability of all the stakeholders as mentioned below: –
- Government and Legal Authorities: – To Frame effective Policies as per the educational environment, demography, literacy rates and other factors and along with effective measures to implement as well as monitor it.
- School Management: – The School Management must emphasise on procedures favouring quality over quantity. It is the Quality which will automatically lead to Quantity in the longer run. Management must also see at the same time that they are doing justice to the dedication and devotion of their team members. Leaders must keep in mind that Quality is remembered long even after the price is forgotten.
- Staff Members: -It includes both Teachers and Non-Teachers. The main aim of every staff member should be to bring out their best in the interest of organisation and students i.e. towards education as a whole. The added monetary benefits are only the by-products of the same.
- Parents – Parents more than consumers of educational service must be involved in decision-making processes of schools to get their perspective and address their concerns of providing quality education to their children.
- Students: – Students also should own their schools and their feedback taken on different aspects of scholastic and co-scholastic areas. Quality schools work on increasing the resilience of their students for their holistic development.
Ingredients of Quality School: School Contextual Characteristics
The first and foremost ingredient to make a quality school is devoting time to the ideation process i.e. thinking, implementing, acting, correcting and refining the prototype until the desired corrections have taken place. Some of the best techniques that I have come across in my educational journey are as follows:
- Involvement of parents as partners in school processes, procedures and parent-specific workshops
- Paying attention to individual differences without any discriminations with regards to any basis such as knowledge, result of students, performance, cultural strength, backgrounds and so on
- In-depth understanding, exploring and applying the power of technology
- Continous and consistent encouragement and motivation of the staff through professional training, positive reinforcements and rewards
- Assuring safety and discipline as the Performance factors in all operations
- Brings out the best attitude in teaching and non-teaching faculty by providing a cohesive environment for their growth
- Quality Schools have a proper Grievance Redressal System in Place.
- High emphasis on researching the root causes of problems before coming to the best alternative
- Developing a sense of ownership amongst all the stakeholders
- A well-defined mission and vision which everyone is acquainted with
- No communications gaps at any levels
- Proactive teachers who discuss the current social problems of our society with the students and their colleagues
- Encouraging participation of students at all levels whether district, state, national or even International as per the resources available
- Experimenting with creative and innovative teaching-learning pedagogy
- Inviting experts and social dignitaries as Guest Lecturers to move learning beyond curriculum
Before implementing the techniques the school should check the resources available at their disposal and plan on how to ensure their optimum utilization.
All schools are quality schools
I want to conclude by saying all schools have the potential and ability to become quality schools. All they need to do is acquire that innate desire to bring a change for better and then consciously and persistently act on it. Always remember, the best can also be improved upon.
About the author
Dr (CA) Sunny Kapoor
: Dr Sunny Kapoor, is an Educator working in the field since last 15 years. He has completed his Chartered Accountancy in 2002 but since then he finds his satisfaction in the field of Teaching. Belonging to a teaching family, Dr Kapoor is representing the third generation from the same field. Always a bright student from the childhood he has more than 14 degrees and diplomas in his Academic Career including CA, P.hD, B.Ed, NET, SET, MBA, M.com. Apart from a Founder Director in CBSE Affiliated Senior Secondary School at Jaipur, he is actively involved in teaching Accountancy Subjects at Senior Secondary levels as well as Taxation and Financial Management at Graduate and Post Graduate Levels. He has attended diverse workshops and has been an appreciated Speaker in a number of seminars on his subjects and topics of academic interests.