Table of contents
1.0 Chapter One
1.2 Statement of the problem
1.3 Purpose of the study
1.4 Significance of the study
1.5 Hypothesis and research questions
1.6 Limitations of the study
1.7 Chapter Summary
2.0 Chapter Two: Literature Review
2.2 Education management
2.3 School-based management effects on educational outcomes
2.3.1 Failure of school based management
2.4 School effectiveness and improvement
2.5 Teacher management
2.6 Education for sustainable development
2.7 Information and communication technologies in education
2.8 Theoretical framework
2.9 Chapter summary
3.0 Chapter Three: Methodology
3.1 Research approach
3.2 Research design
3.3 Data gathering
3.4 Validity of data
3.5 Data analysis
3.6 Limitations of the study
3.7 Chapter summary
4.0 Chapter Four: Study findings
5.0 Chapter Five: Conclusion and recommendations
I would like to express my greatest appreciation to Mr. Gordon Esses whom first I contacted to start my research study. His wonderful approaches and kind treatment makes me to achieve my intended goal. Many thanks, too, to Madam Elena Klimenko a tutor of the first phase in my study who provided an appreciable guidance at the beginning of my research work.
My gratitude goes to my Academic Adviser Dr. Franklin Valcin, to Linda Collazo from student services and Administration and to all other stuff members of Atlantic International University (USA) for their kind and fast replies, unfailing moral and encouragement during my research study.
In closing I would like to thank my family and friends for the many ways they have helped in the progress of my study and been” enthusiastically with me in sprit”.
Education management and school improvement in any country have been considered as very imperative as far as improvement of students’ achievements at schools is concerned. Education management involves the management of all processes of education and technologies which are used in the process of learning in order to improve the learning conditions of students. School improvement is ensuring that students are provided with conducive learning conditions. The main objective of this study is to explore the importance of managing education in a country in order to provide students with adequate and high quality education. The hypothesis of the study is when education is effectively managed and schools are improved in a country, the performance level of students increase and the education provided is of relevant and of high quality. In order to effectively study this topic, case study method was used where developed, developing, and emerging economies were studied in order to make the study an international standard. The results of the study indicates that essential aspects that are required in educational management and school improvement include; parental involvement, curriculum delivery, improvement of school environment, effective leadership, and development of teacher.
Education management and school improvement
Developments in a country are partly brought about by high levels of literacy. This is because when people are educated they are in a better position to seek for a job and hence satisfy their financial needs. This aspect therefore makes education a very essential aspect in the whole world. Many governments try as much as possible to ensure that citizens are provided with high quality and adequate education. It is solely the responsibility of the government to provide education that is very competitive in the whole globe. Education needs to be well managed in order to meet the satisfactions of students and to make them equally competitive in the job searching endeavors internationally. As it has been reported by Allison and Canadian Education Association (2004, p. 27), the concept of educational management should be well considered by policy makers and providers of education in a country. In this respect, all the resources that are required in the process of providing education should be made available in order to satisfy education.
Education, which is also referred to as schooling or learning is any act of gaining experience, knowledge, or skills that has a formative effect on the physical ability, mind, or character of a person. In this respect, education can be termed as a way through which society transmits its values, skills, and knowledge from generations to generations (Baldwin, 2008, p. 37). Teachers are mostly involved in providing students in educational institutions with skills from different subjects. Education has evolved significantly and hence what was termed as education traditionally has changed drastically (Bolam, 1999, p. 22). As technology advances, education evolves and good evidence is the case of distant learning. Traditionally, students used to learn while in their school compounds but today there are distant learning systems where students can take courses from universities all over the world (Bransford, 2009, p. 19). Education in most countries of the world is well planned in such a way that students in different levels acquire education that is appropriate to their level. That is primary school students cannot be provided with education meant for secondary school (Bush & Bell, 2002, p. 39).
Education management requires that students are provided with conducive learning environment in order to help them perform better. This therefore requires that school improvement be done. When schools are improved, resources required in learning are adequately provided to students and teachers (Bransford, 2009, p. 19). The aspect of improving schools is a process whereby parents, teachers, students, and school directors need to be involved. It is the role of the government to ensure that appropriate educational policies are formulated but the aspect of implementing these policies is the responsibility of school directors and teachers (Bush & Coleman, 2000, p. 47). Technology, as indicated by Bush (2003, p. 34), is increasingly influencing education sector. Mobile phones and computers are used in developed countries as a complement of already establish education practices and a developer of newer ways of learning such as e-learning (Center for Educational Research and Innovation, 2001, p. 26). Through this method, students are given a chance or opportunity to select what interests them most. In this respect, school improvement by providing computers and other technological devices provide a very powerful schooling and teaching tools that require new skills and understanding of students (Davies, 2003, p. 23). Additionally, students are provided with new ways of engagement such as virtual learning environments.
The use of technology is in administration and instruction of students. In administration, records of students’ performance are kept in computers and can therefore be accessed at any point especially when they are kept in the cloud (Davies, 2011, p. 18). The current world requires some knowledge of modern technology like the internet and computers and hence when students are introduced into these aspects as early as possible, it becomes very easy for them to seek jobs (Durrant & Holden, 2005, p. 39). Well improved schools use technology in assessing their students like the case of Audience Response System (ARS) whereby immediate classroom discussions and feedbacks from students are allowed. In developing countries, the use of computer and internet technology is still young due to the high costs that are involved and limited infrastructure.
Acquiring education is very significant not only to the students but also to the society in general and the entire country. This is because a country that has high levels of literacy has its citizens having job security and hence improving the economic status (Everard et al, 2004, p. 48). It has become a challenge as to who is responsible for school improvement bearing in mind the increased costs of education funding and higher tuition fees (Fidler, 1996, p. 45). Many governments especially in developing countries use a lot of money in funding education and hence good management should be provided. Education management also refers to the process of making sure that what is meant for education is used I education and all students are satisfactorily provided with appropriate education (Fleming & Raptis, 2004, p. 6).
Education should be well managed because of its significances it has in the lives of individuals. This is because when education is well managed many citizens get chances of gaining skills and experiences that are very vital in their lives (Frase, 2002, p. 27). For instance education helps in making an individual a better citizen. Individuals become responsible citizens as people get to know the history of their culture through education and hence abide to the laws and values of a culture (Frost, 2000, p. 46). Management and leadership are very essential aspects that play a significant role in education. In this case, a good manager and leaders in the docket of education ensures that all citizens in a country are encouraged to learn for their own better (Great Britain. Department for Education and Skills, 2005, p. 12). Well set and specific objectives are required when considering the aspect of educational management. This is because management of education means maintaining effectively and efficiently educational arrangements in order to assist students to gain education (Harber & Davies, 2006, p. 37).
Educational theories are significantly essential for policy makers and practitioners but most of them tend to be dismissive of these theories in management of education and improvement of school (Harris, 2003, p. 12). The use of theories by practicing administrators may be problematic or difficult since theory is hardly used in the realm of practice. This therefore shows that the concepts of practice and theory are regarded as very separate in management of education and improvement of schools (Harris, 2004, p. 17). It is advisable for school administrators, teachers, and policy makers to consider using both practice and theory in order to improve the level of education in a country.
Many countries of the world have introduced the aspect of decentralization of educational management. This implies that the management of education that was traditionally provided by the government has changed and it is currently under the responsibility of school administrators and directors. According to a pilot study that was conducted by USAID in the year 2008 in Kenya, it was indicated that many countries that launch education decentralization as well as delegation of management and leadership duties do not have adequate knowledge and skills concerning the readiness of sub-national units that are provided with new responsibilities. In this respect, educational management and school improvement should not be taken for granted as they impact significantly to the quality of education received by students (Harris et al, 2004, p. 78). After this study in Kenya, the ministry of education (MoE) in this country decided to design professional development program especially for local education authorities as a way of building up skills and experiences that were found lacking in this sector.
The aspect of decentralization of educational management is the aspect of delegating some duties and powers to local school administrators and managers as they are closer to students and parents (Hopkins, 2001, p. 38). It may be very difficult for a government to manage all the activities that are performed in a school or to ensure that all citizens are provided with adequate and high quality education. In the current agitating marketplace, it is very essential to understand the fundamental connections between society, environment, and business (Hopkins, 2005, p. 18). In this case, this increased interdependence and complexity usually requires new approaches to be employed in the leadership and management practices of an organization or institution. Educational institutions therefore require integrative management tools that integrate societal, environmental, and governance concerns into their strategic thinking (Hoy & DiPaola, 2009, p. 56). In the process of managing education and improving schools, school administrators ensure that the capabilities of students are developed in order to be future generators of sustainable value for society and business (Huisman & Pausits, 2010, p. 7). This shows that management of education is not solely in the hands of school administrators but parents, teachers, and students are involved in order to come up with effective educational management procedures (Kangro, 2007, p. 27).
1.2 Statement of the problem
Students in many countries in the world have failed to acquire adequate and high quality education because of poor management of education and lack of appropriate school improvement. In the pursuit of providing high quality education, many governments have focused greatly in managing education properly and improving schools in order to create a conducive environment for students to study (Kelly & Downey, 2011, p. 49). According to Leask and Terrell (1997, p. 10), countries whose education is well managed are able to produce experts and professionals who compete stiffly in the global market. This is because countries which do not have experts use a lot of their money in hiring experts from other countries (Li & Williams, 2006, p. 3). Managing education, in this concept, is ensuring that students are imparted with the appropriate skills and knowledge and the resources that facilitate this aspect are utilized properly and adequately (Luhanga, 2003, p. 38).
The current advancement of technology is posing a challenge to almost all aspects of life and education is not an exception. In this case, countries like the United States of America, China, Australia, United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Japan among others are increasing advertising for quality education. This is because education in these countries is well managed and hence it is of high quality. The concept of internet and computer challenges government to properly manage their education in order to satisfy their citizens (Preedy et al, 2003, p. 34). It should be noted that with the introduction of advanced technology, all aspects of life should be in line with this technology and education is not an exception (Davies, 2011, p. 18). The other aspect of education management and school improvement is provision of equal education to all genders. In this respect, both male and female students should be provided with equal education without discriminating against any gender (Durrant & Holden, 2005, p. 39).
Teachers are unable to provide students with relevant and adequate skills and experiences because they are not properly trained. This implies that one of the challenges that are facing education management is employing training tutors (Mooney & Mausbach, 2008, p. 48). In developing and less developed countries, for instance, the level of education is not comparable to that of developed countries (Naidu, 2008, p. 56). This has been brought about by lack of well trained teachers who are well motivated in their jobs. Staff development is a very essential aspect that is considered in education management (Marais, 2007, p. 67). It is of great significance to create for each and every student in a school a very individualized educational program that welcomes and encourages students’ motives and values (Nolan et al, 2001, p. 22). In this respect, students should be well motivated to partake in school activities as a way of developing important components of competency in them (Fleming & Raptis, 2004, p. 6). It should be noted that the need of nurturing varied qualities in different students usually conflicts with the idea that the public should be provided with equal and uniform education by specifying well in advance what should be learned by students (Frase, 2002, p. 27). In most countries, those involved in managing education make sure that students are required to learn certain courses or subjects at a certain level. This shows that the education provided to students has been planned earlier (Frost, 2000, p. 46).
All school administrators, teachers, and parents want their students to succeed. Successfulness of schools can be brought about by focusing on specific goals and strategies for change. In this case, schools set goals for improvement and make decisions on how and when these goals will be achieved (Ramsay & Clark, 1990, p. 195). The major objective of school improvement is to ensure that there is improvement in student achievement levels by improving the ways in which curriculum is delivered, by increasing the degree of parental involvement in their children’s learning at school, and by creating a conducive environment for learning (Raub, 2009, p. 56). When education is well managed and schools improved, it becomes easy for students to capture and comprehend what is being explained by their teachers. In order to have effective school improvements, a school improvement plan is required (Sallis, 2002, p. 23). This is a road map that displays the changes that are needed in a school in order to improve the level of students’ performance and clearly indicates how and when these changes will be made. This plan helps school administrators, teachers, students, and parents in determining their major focus (Shuttleworth, 2003, 87).
School improvement is indicated by Sagor (2000, p. 28), as a process that helps parents and teachers to monitor the performances of students at different levels of education. It should be noted that when teacher and parents are able to monitor the performance of their students, it becomes very easy and faster to address to their needs (Sood, 2004, p. 1). In some cases, parents and teachers have problems that may hinder high performance levels for students and hence these problems should be considered in school improvement plan. The performance of students in a school usually improves when their needs are addressed by the curriculum delivery strategies (Symlie, 2009, p. 59). Parents play a very essential part in ensuring that their children perform better by motivating them and ensuring that their learning environments are conducive. In this respect, planning for improvements need establishment of priority.
i) Curriculum delivery
Curriculum is a set of procedures and processes that are followed in providing education. In this case, curriculum indicates what students are required to know at particular levels of education (Tomlinson, 2004, p. 56). Primary school students can not be introduced with courses that are studied at secondary school level (Thrupp, 2005, p. 67). Additionally, curriculum indicates which subjects are supposed to be taught in order to provide relevant and adequate education. Education management describes the skills and experiences as well as knowledge that are supposed to be developed in students and to be demonstrated in their class works in terms of tests and various assessments (Townsend, 2007, p. 167). School improvement involves the process of setting goals for improving the methods through which curriculum is delivered. In this process, parties involved need to have a clear understanding of the expectations set by the ministry and how students should achieve these expectations (Wankel & DeFillippi, 2006, p. 49).
ii) School environment
The learning environment should foster student achievements. Goals are set in order to improve this environment where parties involved make decisions on how to make their schools effective (Wilkinson, 2010, p. 67). Schools that are highly effective usually have some of the following characteristics; clear and focused vision and missions, high expectations for students’ success climate, orderly and safe learning environment, principals who provide instructional leadership, students who are frequently monitored, and high parental involvement (Willie et al, 2002, p. 3). Students are usually capable of performing well when in a good learning environment. Teachers and principals provide instructional leadership to students in order to empower them intellectually and academically. A school where vision and mission statements are clearly stated, students have goals and objectives to achieve and hence they work very hard to achieve them (World Bank, 2008, 27).
iii) Parental involvement
Involving parents in the learning of students is one of the crucial aspects that significantly contribute to the success of students in schools. It should be noted that the level of success of students increases when their parents are involved in their education since they motivate and encourage their children to perform well (Zepeda, 2004, p. 28). Parents help children to complete their home works and attend schools consistently and hence display more positive attitudes towards education and school.
There is a need to study on education management and school improvement since the educational system has failed in a number of ways to achieve its main goals. The major objective of education as presented by Department of Education: Province of the Eastern Cape (2003, p. 48), is nurturing individual qualities such as the capability of working with others, initiative, and the capability of understanding and influencing social processes. Education management makes sure that the high level competencies are nurtured by creating for each student individualized educational programs that facilitate tapping the students’ motives or values and lead them to practice (Eastern Cape Department of Education, 2001, p. 34). This is the reason as to why it was stated by Duignan and Macpherson (1992, p. 59) that leadership is very essential in ensuring that students capabilities and talents are nurtured and developed. A point worth noting is that the effective management of education requires comprehension of the roles played by each and every party involved in the management and leadership (Evertson, 1989, p. 82). In this case, the public service should be held responsible for the welfare of the public and hence students require adequate and high quality education.
In education management, the aspect of decentralization of leadership and delegation of duties is a way of ensuring that different people are involved in the management of education at district level. This is because the needs of students in one district may be totally different from another district (Evans, 1997, p. 831). It should be noted that education has been poorly managed in many countries of the world because management is held by a single party or individual (Farrell & Oliveira, 1993, p. 58). For instance, the government under the ministry of education is held responsible for the management of education and school improvement despite the fact that government representatives at a national level may not be precisely aware of parents and students’ problems (Fontana, 1992, p. 27). Additionally, teachers need motivation in order to be encouraged to provide quality services to their students. In this respect, management at district level and school based management provide good information on the work of teachers (Gallie & Sayed, 1997, p. 460).
1.3 Purpose of the study
The study on the educational management and school improvement is significant to the ministries of education in different countries of the world especially in facilitating designing a professional development program that may be used local authorities in building up skills that may be lacking (Glantz, 1995, p. 65). This means that education administrators and other representatives that are involved in the management of school may get adequate information of how education should be managed and the various ways of improving schools (Gounden & Dayaram, 1990, p. 310). It should be noted that there are some countries and universities in the world that are attracting more students than others in e- learning. The information that is provided in the study helps governments and donors in planning, budgeting, as well as allocating capacity building in a more scientific manner than before (Gounden, 1991, p. 54).
Educational management requires both theoretical and practical skills in order to adequately provide students with relevant and high quality education. All parties that are involved in management of education and school improvement may use information on decentralization of management and leadership in schools in improving their capacity building and the quality of education provided (Gray & Wilcox, 1995, p. 45). As indicated earlier in this study, students are in a position to perform better when the school learning environment is conducive. This implies that the rationale of this study is to cast more light on the way students should be provided with conducive learning conditions in order to improve their performances (Green, 1995, p. 38). The aspect of educational decentralization hides more than it reveals and hence some people do not understand it clearly. The devolution of powers and authority to the community and local level may have problems and hence it may be very difficult for school administrators to effectively manage education (Harber & Trafford, 1999, p. 45).
Traditionally, the government had the responsibilities of recruiting, hiring, training, developing, and firing teachers but in the current world especially with educational decentralization, all these activities and planned and managed at the local or community level (Herman, 1993, p. 56). This study therefore provides information on how school based management should be carried out effectively for the benefits of students (Heysteck & Louw, 1999, p. 21). Teacher’s development is one of the most crucial aspects that need to be addressed in ensuring that students are provided with a conducive learning environment. This is because when teachers are satisfactorily developed they are motivated and encouraged to perform better in the process of achieving the organizational goals and objectives (Hoberg, 1994, p. 43).
1.4 Significance of the Study
Education management and school improvement is a subject of great importance to managers and directors of schools. Governing of education in a country is very imperative. This is because the goal and objective of any government is to provide its citizens with high quality education that satisfies all citizens. In this case therefore, this study is very helpful to school administrators and managers in providing relevant and quality education. The government has the role of making policies in education but implementation of these policies is the role of teachers, principals, and school administrators among others. Casting light on the importance of effective educational management and school improvement is very essential in ensuring that school administrators effectively improve their schools with an aim of improving the performances of students. This study provides a case analysis of how school improvement and education management has drastically improved student achievement in developing, developed, and emerging economies. When education of a country is of high quality and well managed, it attracts students from all over the world. Parents and the entire community have a role to play in school improvement and hence this study can be very helpful by enlightening them the appropriate management methods that can be used in improving students’ achievements in schools (Bolam, 1999, p. 25).
This study provides theoretical and practical information on improvement of students’ achievement and how this can be facilitated by well management of education and school improvement. The needs of managing education effectively and improving schools and their impacts on students’ performances are well indicated in this research hence assisting schools to take responsibilities in improving students’ achievements. Governments all over the world can use information in this research in formulating educational policies (Baldwin, 2008, p. 40). This is because the process of recruiting, hiring, and developing teachers is the role of the government. Teachers are adequately motivated when they teach students following a curriculum that helps students in their future life (Allison, P. & Canadian Education Association, 2004, p. 33).
Students need to be involved in the process of school improvement and therefore this research may provide fundamental information on the impacts of school improvement in students’ performances. Educational management is inclusive of managing information and communication technologies in schools. This implies that when technology is used in teaching students they get the most current and relevant information concerning their courses (Bransford, 2009, p. 22). In universities for instance, this study can be of great importance to students pursuing teaching courses as they get to know how education should be well managed in order to achieve the goals of improving students’ achievements. It is increasingly becoming very hard for governments to manage all local schools and hence decentralization of educational management is practiced. School based managers, need adequate training and information concerning school management and improvement in order to satisfy students, parents, communities, and teachers among others. A research is required in managing education in order to provide the best management skills that meet the needs of the subordinates (Bush & Bell, 2002, p. 41).
1.5 Hypothesis and Research Questions
1.5.1 Research Hypothesis
The study on educational management and school improvement is guided by a hypothesis that is stated as: “When education is effectively managed and schools are improved in a country, the performance level of students increase and the education provided is of relevant and of high quality.” This is an alternative hypothesis that tests the information of whether education management and school improvement in any one given country positively impacts the performance of students and the quality of education provided (Hopkins & Stern, 1996, p. 501). Effective management of education helps in ensuring that students are adequately provided with relevant education by well qualified teachers. It is believed by some people that only the teachers have a role to play in improving the performance of their students but it may be noted that students usually improve their performance as a result of interplay of a number of factors (Hoy & Miskel, 1996, p. 30). One of these factors is educational management and school improvement in general.
1.5.2 Research objectives
The main objectives of this study are;
i) To explore the importance of managing education in a country in order to provide students with adequate and high quality education
ii) To establish the need for school improvement and how it impacts the performance of students in a school
iii) To explore the relationship between the education management and school improvement
iv) To establish the role of government, educators, school administrators, teachers, students, and the entire community in the process of school improvement and education management in a country.
When these objectives are adequately achieved, they would be of great importance to policy makers and school administrators in improving their management skills in education and ensuring that schools are well improved (Johnson &Christensen, 2000, p. 76). The government, under the ministry of education has the responsibility of making sure that education either at national or local level is well managed in order to avoid wasting of resources (Jones & Jones, 1995, p. 39). A lot of money is provided by the government in funding education in a country and therefore good management of education would ensure that these funds are not misappropriated or used in corruption deals (De Grauwe et al, 2005, p. 4).
1.5.3 Research Questions
The main research questions that will facilitate the process data collection include;
i) What is the importance of managing education in a country in order to provide students with adequate and high quality education?
ii) What is the need for school improvement and how it impacts the performance of students in a school?
iii) What is the relationship between the education management and school improvement?
iv) What role do government, educators, school administrators, teachers, students, and the entire community play in the process of school improvement and education management in a country?
1.6 Limitations of Study
The limitations of the study on educational management and school improvement include: The aspect of problem statement is not well stated as the concept of educational management is not well known by many people. The problem would be gathering enough facts to make this a problem. This is because when inadequate facts are gathered it becomes a challenge in the whole study. In this respect, many people especially students do not clearly understand the management failures their schools or education systems experience. The governmental role of managing education is gradually diminishing as most of the activities are carried out at local or community level. Poor management of education and lack of school improvement hinders students from performing well. The other limitation is formulating of objectives and research questions. In this respect, the process that was used in formulating questions may be biased to the method of data collection used. These questions may be well used in primary data collection method rather than secondary method. The concept of time is another limitation that might challenge the process of researching since time may not be enough for completing the whole research.
1.7 Chapter Summary
A country’s developments are contributed to by the level of literacy in that country. High levels of literacy are as a result of improvement of education and schools since when schools are well improved and education is effectively managed, there is high coverage and increased accessibility of education (Bush & Coleman, 2000, p. 48). This shows that many people in an area are in a position to access education. The provision of free and compulsory primary education in most countries has contributed largely to economic improvement and developments since large numbers of people are able to secure employment as they are educated (Bush, 2003, p. 36). Additionally, governments do not use a lot of their finances in hiring experts from other countries. Education management and school improvement is as a result of interplay of many factors and parties. In this respect, parents and the entire community need to be involved in decision making process concerning school improvements (Center for Educational Research and Innovation, 2001, p. 30).
Education management and school improvement has been identified as a problem since when education is poorly managed and failure of school improvement, students are not provided a conducive learning environment and hence this may contribute adversely to students’ performances (Davies, 2003, p. 23). All aspects of life are affected by advancement of technology and since education sector is not an exception, information and communication technology should be introduced in a school to facilitate education (Davies, 2011, p. 31). Effective school management means that teachers are well developed and more schools are built in order ensure that as many students as possible get access of education. There are certain aspects that are considered essential in school improvement; curriculum delivery, school improvement, and parental involvement (Durrant & Holden, 2005, p. 39). Parents significantly contribute to students’ achievements in schools by encouraging them to complete home works and work hard in order to achieve their goals and objectives.
The main purpose of this study is to enlighten school administrators, parents, students, teachers, and the general community on the importance of educational management and school improvement (Everard et al, 2004, p. 50). This shows that adequate information is provided on how students’ achievements could be improved. The aspect of online learning is increasingly gaining momentum as a result of its popularity in the whole world. Importantly, students and parents as well as teachers select schools which are well improved and education is effectively managed (Fidler, 1996, p. 46). This is because in these schools institutional goals and objectives are achieved. Provision of relevant, adequate, and high quality education to all citizens in a country is government’s very important role. This role is not complete until education is well managed and schools are improved (Fleming & Raptis, 2004, p. 10). The limitations of study in this case include stating the problem and how it has affected students’ performance. Education management may seem to many people as a simple aspect but its effects are very significant. The management failures of schools are not understood by many students and hence this study may be of great significance to them.
Chapter Two: Literature Review
The improvement of students’ performances in schools is as a result of effective management of education and improvement of schools. The government has a responsibility of controlling and managing education in the whole country despite the fact that education may be managed at local or community levels (Levacic, 1995, p. 49). This implies that success of educational management and school improvement lies in the hands on the government, school administrators, managers, board of governors, parents, and students (Lomax, 1996, p. 48). Traditionally, schools were managed solely by the government as it had the ultimate authority of recruiting, hiring, and developing of teachers as well as determining the number of students and their grades to be admitted in a particular school (Mabeba & Prinsloo, 2000, p. 34). In developing countries, schools perform lower as opposed to developed countries because of good management skills and experiences as well as technological resources that are used. It is therefore a challenge to developing countries to improve their educational management skills and experiences in order to improve the quality of education and students’ performances (Maeroff, 998, p. 425).
Knowledge does not start as a complete aspect but as unrelated facts and data that do not have a lot of value on their own. In effective educational management, a university works in collaboration with principals, current students’ representatives, university staffs, and other involved parties in designing curricula in ensuring that the needs of stakeholders are met (McMillan & Schumacher, 1997, p. 27). A university is regarded in many countries and educational systems as the highest level of education and service provider (Mosoge, 1991, p. 31). The advancement in the modern technology has improved the movement towards online education. In this respect, students from developing and developed countries are meeting in similar educational courses through online education (Allison, P. & Canadian Education Association, 2004, p. 27).
School improvement is a way of enhancing and facilitating the learning conditions of students with an aim of improving their performance levels. In this respect, an effective school promotes the development of its students in terms of social, emotional, and intellectual outcomes (Baldwin, 2008, p. 38). This therefore makes students to progress further than it might be expected from their backgrounds. Well improved schools ensure that teachers are well developed through training and motivation in order to improve their capabilities and performances (Bolam, 1999, p. 24). In this case, an effective school might be expected to have some of the following aspects in order to achieve their objectives. Strong leadership from the head is very crucial since without effective leadership it becomes very hard to implement policies that benefit a school (Bransford, 2009, p. 21). The leadership and management of a school should pervasively and broadly understand the focus on learning and teaching. This shows that the management and leadership should primarily focus on improvement of students’ performances and the motivation of teachers (Bush & Bell, 2002, p. 42). The learning environment has to be made orderly and safe in order to facilitate teaching and learning. A good leadership and management ensure that there are high expectations for achievements for all students and teachers as a way of making a school globally competitive (Bush & Coleman, 2000, p. 50).
Well managed education and improved schools usually involve the participation of parents in making decisions and formulating developmental policies (Bush, 2003, p. 36). This is because parents play a very vital role in improving the performance of students and hence should be significantly considered. Students who are regularly tested indicatively show their level of performance and hence it becomes very easy for teachers to coach them carefully (Center for Educational Research and Innovation, 2001, p. 26). The participation of students in school improvement is very essential as they become much aware of what they are expected to do and about the goals and objectives of a school. In classroom situations, the way students responds to questions asked by teachers indicates whether they understand the explained concept or not (Davies, 2003, p. 23). Leadership plays an important role in both educational management and school improvement and hence school based management should have a very strong leadership. Students and teachers feel motivated when the leadership of a school is participatory (Davies, 2011, p. 18). Taking an example of primary and secondary schools, students feel that’s they are not involved in any discussions or decision making when managing and improving schools. It is always the expectations of all people in a school that students perform excellently but this may not be always the outcome (Durrant & Holden, 2005, p. 39).
As indicated in the objectives, a country that has well managed education and well improved schools usually provides its citizens with adequate and relevant education. This is because the level of education is clearly planned before it is provided to students (Naidu, 2008, p. 56 and Nolan et al, 2001, p. 22). When considering improving schools, the improvement process should include individuals who represent the interests of the entire school as well as the surrounding community. The implementation process may take the school dimension or the district dimension (Preedy et al, 2003, p. 34, Ramsay & Clark, 1990, p. 195, and Raub, 2009, p. 56). In school dimension, the board of governors in a school, teachers, parents, and the community members should be involved in order to make sure that the interests of all people are represented.
As indicated by Sagor (2000, p. 28) and Sallis (2002, p. 23), at the district level the following individuals would be involved; union representatives, teachers, school counselors, parents, community members, students, school board members, and school administrators among others (Shuttleworth, 2003, p. 87, Sood, 2004, p. 1, and Symlie, 2009, p. 59). Education management involves the process of making sure that education is smooth and of high quality. The amount of education that should be provided to students at different levels is well managed by the appropriate individuals and bodies (Thrupp, 2005, p. 67 and Tomlinson, 2004, p. 56). Leadership skills and management skills are required in order to be a good educational manager (Townsend, 2007, p. 167 and Wankel & DeFillippi, 2006, p. 69).