Last weekend, the heads of primary and secondary schools retreat that was held at Amahoro National Stadium was a stitch in time. The retreat was the first of its kind and focused on a pertinent theme, “School management for quality education.”
The Minister of Education must have been cognizant of the fact that quality leadership is the most crucial ingredient of a school’s success.
I have always wondered why schools where teachers seem to be very busy with their teaching role do not perform well at the end of the day. I took a bold step to have an informal interview with a teacher in such a school. She revealed that she lacked satisfaction and that she did what did not really come from her heart.
A demagogic school management has a brood of frustrated teaching staff that consequently translates into amateur learning. A frustrated teacher produces a bungled up child.
While following the proceedings of the last weekend retreat, the question, ‘what is quality education?’ lingered on my mind.
To some, quality education may mean attending a high cost school while to others it may mean obtaining quality grades in national examinations. A religious society believes that a school curriculum without a religious component is not quality education.
Whichever angle you may look at it, we should agree that the school is one of the most important formal agencies of education which play a major role in molding ideas, habits and attitudes of a child with a view to produce balanced personalities that are physically strong, mentally alert, emotionally stable, culturally sound and socially efficient.
Education that strikes a balance between the mind, the heart and the hand imparts quality.
Education that promotes creative and emotional development supports the objective of peace, citizenship and security, fosters quality and passes global and local cultural values down to future generations. It should enhance educational opportunity and quality both formally and informally in every discipline regardless of age, gender, opinion, social or economic status.
One of the goals of the Dakar Framework for Action (2000) was to improve the quality of education. However, there have been concerns from different quarters about the contemporary curricula being examination driven. Educating the whole child has been overlooked.
The Ministry of Education’s emphasis on good management practices is crucial to the success of the Rwandan education system. There cannot be quality education without good school management.
To begin with, schools ought to have sound policies that set the framework for decision making. Any school should also have clear plans. These are the blue prints for action that set out how aims and policies will be achieved. Policies need plans to turn them into realities.
In addition, step by step instructions on how to carry out tasks, how to carry out policies and implement plans are also needed. Good management develops procedures and ensures that they are followed.
To ensure that there is quality in schools, high standards of achievement should be set. Promotion of exceptional student education from the very beginning of a child’s school career is key to this.
While it is okay to create high standards for children to ensure quality education, it is important not to put pressure on the children while doing this.