Measure it to manage it

In his recent weekly column – ‘Right & Wrong’ (Times of India, 5th May 2013), Swapan Das Gupta suggested on how to resolve conflict between providing quality education and providing education to masses. He indicated that currently our system is transferring the problem of providing quality education to the higher education instead of addressing it at the school level. I agree with Mr Gupta’s view whole-heartedly.

There have been reports abound that our graduates are not employable enough. The percentage of un-employability is as high as 85% for some professional education segments. Now the graduate schools are expected to turn the students from the schools into professionals. We cannot expect graduate schools to imbibe conceptual, critical, or abstract thinking – not when the students are about to enter into the professional lives. This must be inculcated at the schools. With this fact, the question is – do we want to pass on the blame to the graduate schools or we want to know the root cause of this problem.

Let us try to find the root cause of lack of quality education. Let us think how it is possible for a school to provide quality education. Consider these questions:

  • Are all schools at the same level? Can all schools provide education of the same quality standards?
  • How many schools know what parameters, apart from academic performance, constitute to quality
  • Even if they know these parameters, how many schools have expertise to measure these parameters and get the meaningful trends from that measurement matrix? 
  • Moreover, how many schools gather such trends over a period and create their quality road map based on them?
If we try to get answers for the above-mentioned questions, we will understand why it is challenging for schools to provide quality education. We will realize that as a school the challenge is to understand – where we are, what to measure for quality, how to measure it, and if we measure how to use it to improve
Since schools are at different level, they individually have different capacity to impart same standard of quality education. Therefore it is important for schools to know where they stand on the quality matrix and
look beyond conventional set of measurements to address quality issues. No single method will suit to all schools and each school needs to devise its own plan of action. For this to happen, we as a system need to shift our focus from perceived notion of quality to a measurable base for quality. Until we measure, we cannot manage it.

I believe that if we provide schools a tool to identify and measure quality-related parameters, schools will be highly equipped to do what they are expected to do – impart quality education.

About myNalanda:

myNalanda is a professionally run organization which provides assessment solutions to schools. We  understand that each school is unique in its own way and therefore needs to address its challenges uniquely. We help schools identify their strengths and weaknesses by conducting a 3600 assessment. myNalanda’s assessment provides comprehensive insights into each student’s holistic performance.
We help schools to identify and plan the best and cost-effective approaches to addresses their challenges.

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