The Role Of A School Quality Manager In Assessment

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Resources are limited and finite, as such we have to do more with less. Schools are equally affected by the ‘shortage’ of resources. And they need to be creative on how they use their little resources to achieve their mandates. You will be surprised that by devising measures to utilise the ‘little resources’ could result in surplus.

For about 25-40% of resources goes to ‘waste’ if not prudently managed. This wastage can be prevented by establishing an internal quality department, of which part of its responsibility would be conducting assessment to improve learning. However, the role of the quality department is not to create quality, because quality is the responsibility of everyone in the organisation. Rather, its role is to create a policy (framework) within which employees can operate to promote quality.

The quality department should monitor the quality system and report the level of quality measured. It should be able to tell whether there is improvement in learning across the school. In particular, whether assessment tasks are of the same demand across subjects. The quality department should inter-alia, conduct research to give information about the quality of each subject in the school. Once performance gaps are identified, the quality department should close them by coordinating quality efforts and providing training in quality concepts.

When standards are established and religiously implemented in the school, high pass rate is guaranteed. Internal Audit has to be carried out to check for the adherence to standards and dealing with non-compliances that are found in the system. Auditing can be carried out as desired but for critical activities it has to be frequent.

Auditing is aimed at procedures not individuals, to identify areas where all is well and areas which need additional support, as such falsifying results to look good is not beneficial for the school.

Completion of the syllabus before examination time should not be in any way viewed as a quality standard. After the root causes have been identified, appropriate corrective actions should be put in place. It is practically possible to eliminate completely these from the system. I think this is the missing link in most of the schools. Thus, it is the duty of the quality department to safeguard outgoing quality.

The quality department should be headed by the quality manager who understands the importance of protecting the customers, with respect to the quality they receive. Satisfied customers unconsciously market your school.  They say one satisfied customer will tell only eight more other people about your products and services, while a dissatisfied customer will tell, on average, about twenty-two people Every school should be proud to be associated with quality candidates.

Quality managers should have strong personal commitment to quality and to the good name of the organisation. They should have clear vision of how quality can be achieved by recognizing the interaction of all the different stakeholders of the school. Furthermore, they should have integrity and independence, firmness and unwillingness to compromise quality standards which the school has set. They should be able to communicate clearly and persuasively, with diverse individuals and groups from the top management to the lower levels of the structure, and show each individual how s/he contributes to the success of the school.

Management has to show commitment to quality processes by holding regular management review meetings meant to evaluate its effectiveness. One aspect to be in the agenda of the school’s management review meeting should be the quality of staff in assessment techniques. Special emphasis on staff continuing development needs in assessment should be priority.

Yes, It’s Possible!

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