Category Archives: Education

Inclusion as well as current issues in education institutions and learning in general

How to make decisions in a successful organization.

A group discussing before making a decision

Organization management as well as life in general is all about making decisions.To make rational decisions,we go through a process very similar to that suggested above for problem solving.We need to:

  • Be clear about the choices available and the criteria against which the choice should be made.
  • Obtain sufficient information in order to assess the choices.
  • Make a decision.

Mistakes people make while making decisions. Decision making rarely follows the process set out above as people tend to make decisions based on:

  • Claims and hearsay.
  • Past experience
  • Knowledge of other organizations
  • Recent training taken
  • Judgement and judgemental attitude
  • Creativity
  • Personal abilities

We make decisions under time constraints and often without comprehensive information.Therefore decision making is rarely rational.In fact we generally aim to make the best possible or most satisfactory decision under the circumstances.We try out solutions that have worked in the past or that have been successful for other organizations, colleagues, people or departments.Although this type of decision making is arguably less effective than the decision making set out above,it can at it’s very best only allow the decision maker to make the best of limited time and to decide on as many issues as possible.However,in order to make your decision making as effective as possible,be sure you know the following:

  • What exactly are you trying to decide?e.g
  • Which stage of problem solving are you in?
  • Whose decision is it exactly to make?(yours,a friend, colleague,a leader, organization, government, arbitrator or any other)
  • How will not taking this decision affect you particularly?
  • Do you have any interest in the issue you want to decide on?
  • Do you trust yourself to make a correct decision on such a matter?(what is your past record of making correct decisions?).In the opinion of the public can you be trusted to make a balanced and binding decision on the issue at hand? (where public is involved).
  • Does the issue you are trying to decide on involve another party/individual?
  • What rights or laws if any do you have or permits you to make a decision on such an issue?
  • Who needs to be involved in the decision making?(what authority and/or permissions is required?)
  • Is there need for an arbitrator?
  • How should they be involved?(directly,consulted, informed?)
  • When must you decide?

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How to make learners to attain good performance

Learners learning in a classroom

There is no doubt that learner performance in all class levels can be such a night mare to all stakeholders in education.From learners, teachers, parents, education organizations, education officials,scholars, governments on to the church have all had their fare share of headache in trying to make learners to have a good performance.The two most important stakeholders in the education of the learner are the teachers and the learners themselves.

Today we discuss learner good performance in the perspective of the teacher.

First things first, every teacher must know their role in as far as good performance of a learner is concerned.

Understanding the pupil,the parent,God and the teacher.

  • The pupil is an independent born/created human being who is capable of attaining knowledge as well as skills with or without a teacher, parent or even God.
  • The parent is an independent human being who gave birth to a learner.
  • God is the creator of the learner,the father and the teacher.
  • The teacher is a trained personnel who gives instruction to learners in an organized place called a class or school in general.
  • The teaching/learning process
  • The role of the teacher
  • The teacher prepares all the tools needed for teaching like schemes of work, lesson plans, lesson notes and teaching/learning aids.
  • Teaches lessons to learners entrusted to him/her.
  • To motivate learners as well as control discipline during learning.
  • To evaluate learners against the suggested objectives and give constructive as well as encouraging remarks.
  • To monitor attendance of learners and make appropriate guidance to learners who don’t attend regularly.
  • To provide guidance and counseling to learners who need guidance.
  • To assess learners according to recommended intervals .
  • To write reports of all learners entrusted to them indicating the skills,values, attitudes as well as knowledge gained within the indicated period.The teacher will also make recommendations to the learner, parent as well as school authorities.
  • The learner
  • Attends all lessons taught in his/her class and participates in the oral,tactile, visual as well as the written activities in the lessons.
  • Writes all notes as well as evaluation activities in all lessons of their course.
  • Participates in all sporting activities in their school and chooses their favorite sporting activity.
  • Carries out research on all topics of their course that they have no answers.
  • Abides by all the school rules and regulations and remains disciplined throughout their time of study.
  • Contests for a leadership position when learner prefect elections are held.
  • Maintains a proper hygiene of body and clothes.
  • Gives appropriate feedback during lessons attended.
  • Reports to school authorities any difficulties as well challenges experienced during their course of study.
  • Takes all assessments including examination when offered to their class.
  • Apply all learnt knowledge as well as skills in all applicable areas of life both within school and out of school.

Attaining good performance

For any teacher to produce a good performance in learners,the teacher must effectively perform their duties as stipulated before.

The learner must also effectively carryout all their roles as stipulated before.

All the other roles that must be carried out by the other stakeholders must be left for such stakeholders to perform their roles.In a nutshell the role of God should be left to God, parents must perform their role, school administrators must do their role, education officials must do their role, governments must do their role and the churches must do their role.

It is clear that only the teacher can never contribute to the desired good performance in learners.

Any stakeholder who desires to have good performance in learners must first achieve 100% of their own roles and afterwards accept to work with all the other stakeholders who should in turn achieve 100% of their own roles.

Any person who understands education will know that even after achieving 100% from all the stakeholders there is no guarantee that the learner would achieve 100% good performance simply because of the other factors that influence or affect learning some of which are out of the control of all the known stakeholders and the way of the one who created is not the way of man.

However , it’s very important to know that every learner who is wonderfully made will attain a good performance worthy of their effort when other stakeholders perform their roles deligently.

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Key communication types in organization management

Someone communicating

Communication can occur in a number of ways:

  • One way communication-This is the giving of information or direction.Immediate feedback is not requested or required.Communication in this category includes announcements,news releases and program information.One way communication must be phrased in simple, clear language and should be understandable,easily interpreted ,of interest to the reader and pertinent.The disadvantage of one way communication is that there is no way of knowing if the information was received or interpreted in the intended manner.
  • Two-way communication-In this instance, information is given and immediate feedback is requested or required.Communication in this category includes face to face contact,such as meetings and conferences, and written communiques requesting opinions.One advantage of this type of communication is that misunderstood issues can be cleared up immediately.You can give as little or as much information as is required and can adjust this on an individual basis.Facial and body language may clarify or enhance the message.This same body language may serve to create misinterpretation and you must be careful and consistent with your body and oral or written communication.
  • Listening-The ability to listen is also an essential communication tool,since it’s important to hear and understand the information that is being passed on,rather than just focusing on the words that are being said.If you can show that you are interested in what is being said and have heard and understood the message, the people communicating with you will be more satisfied.There are a number of ways to do this:
    • Maintaining appropriate eye contact with the person who is talking.
    • Encouraging the person to continue talking nodding or agreeing with what is being said.
    • Showing that you understand what the person feels.
    • Summarizing what has been said before answering as this will allow you to check that you have understood.
    • Not interrupting.

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Key communication types in organization management

Someone communicating

Communication can occur in a number of ways:

  • One way communication-This is the giving of information or direction.Immediate feedback is not requested or required.Communication in this category includes announcements,news releases and program information.One way communication must be phrased in simple, clear language and should be understandable,easily interpreted ,of interest to the reader and pertinent.The disadvantage of one way communication is that there is no way of knowing if the information was received or interpreted in the intended manner.
  • Two-way communication-In this instance, information is given and immediate feedback is requested or required.Communication in this category includes face to face contact,such as meetings and conferences, and written communiques requesting opinions.One advantage of this type of communication is that misunderstood issues can be cleared up immediately.You can give as little or as much information as is required and can adjust this on an individual basis.Facial and body language may clarify or enhance the message.This same body language may serve to create misinterpretation and you must be careful and consistent with your body and oral or written communication.
  • Listening-The ability to listen is also an essential communication tool,since it’s important to hear and understand the information that is being passed on,rather than just focusing on the words that are being said.If you can show that you are interested in what is being said and have heard and understood the message, the people communicating with you will be more satisfied.There are a number of ways to do this:
    • Maintaining appropriate eye contact with the person who is talking.
    • Encouraging the person to continue talking nodding or agreeing with what is being said.
    • Showing that you understand what the person feels.
    • Summarizing what has been said before answering as this will allow you to check that you have understood.
    • Not interrupting.

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How to evaluate your volunteer strategy.

Volunteers rescuing endangered animals

Consider the following questions when evaluating your use of volunteers:

  • What tasks are performed by volunteers?
  • Is there a coordinator to whom all volunteers report and who assumes full responsibility for them?
  • Are the goals, purposes and policies of the volunteer program stated in writing (e.g job descriptions)?
  • Is the volunteer program regularly planned,organized and revised with participation from the Board,staff,user and community groups,as necessary?
  • Are volunteers given a formal introduction to the organization as well as to their own roles to volunteers?
  • On the basis of what criteria are volunteers recruited and placed?
  • What training is provided to volunteers?
  • Does the organization maintain records on each volunteer?
  • What expense does the organization cover for volunteers (e.g transportation, child care)?
  • Are volunteers given individual performance evaluations?By whom?, When?
  • Do volunteers receive clerical support?Are work space and equipment allotted to them?

Critical areas to look into:

  • How good is your organization’s recruitment process?
  • Do you know if people are doing the jobs best suited to their skills?
  • How can the way you manage your people resource be improved?

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How to plan for training in an organization

Training could be formal, such as an organized course carried out by an expert,or informal, which relies on practical experience such as on the job experience.We always think that formal training is more valuable as it is delivered by an expert.However this type of training tends to deliver information,but not practical skills.In order to get the most out of a training, you should try and make it as practical as possible.For example,an organization could hold briefing sessions on various topics led by different people working in the organization.

A set training venue

Preparation of a training plan should cover the following:

  • The objectives of the training-what is to be achieved.
  • The population to be trained-who is to be involved, such as the Executive Board.
  • The choice of training methods-How the training will be delivered, such as attending courses.
  • How the success of the training will be measured.
  • The evaluation of the training.

Evaluating the training plan

The training plan needs to be evaluated against the established objectives.Without this evaluation the effectiveness of the training cannot be assessed.There are three levels at which evaluation can be carried out:

  • Acquired skills and knowledge-Have the required skills been learnt?
  • Applied practice-Have the skills been put into practice?
  • Impact on the organization-Have the acquired skills made the organization to function more effectively?

The success of the training should be demonstrated by improvements in both individual and organizational performance.

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How to manage time

Managing time is one of the challenges of being a successful organization manager.If time is not managed properly you run the risk of being unable to work as well as you would like.

Every activity must be allocated time

Time wasting activities -In order to have the time to do the work required, you will require a time management strategy.First, however it is important to know what might lead you to waste time.This activities include:

  • Not spending enough time prioritising tasks or being clear about what has to be achieved.
  • Putting off tasks that have to be achieved because they are too difficult or boring.
  • Working on tasks that are simple rather than important.
  • Responding to the person who shouts the loudest rather than doing the most important tasks.
  • Trying to do everything, rather than getting someone to assist.
  • Giving out incorrect or poorly expressed information so that time is wasted by having to provide more information and correcting errors.
  • Unnecessarily lengthy phone calls, meetings or conversations.

Time management strategies -Once time wasting activities have been identified,a time management strategy should be formed based on five principles:

  • You need to record all commitments,including meetings,tasks to be completed and deadlines and carryout regular work planning.
  • You need to be clear about what it is you have to achieve.This will allow you to prioritize your work.
  • You need to structure your time.Divide your time into blocks and allocate these blocks to certain activities.Tasks requiring concentration and research should be allocated to the time when you feel most alert.
  • You need to identify time periods when you can and cannot be disturbed by those who work with you.
  • You need to learn to say “no”, Rather than making you appear lazy,the ability to turn down requests for work when overloaded will make you appear efficient and the work that you do will be better.

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How to make decisions in a successful organization.

A group discussing before making a decision

Organization management as well as life in general is all about making decisions.To make rational decisions,we go through a process very similar to that suggested above for problem solving.We need to:

  • Be clear about the choices available and the criteria against which the choice should be made.
  • Obtain sufficient information in order to assess the choices.
  • Make a decision.

Mistakes people make while making decisions. Decision making rarely follows the process set out above as people tend to make decisions based on:

  • Claims and hearsay.
  • Past experience
  • Knowledge of other organizations
  • Recent training taken
  • Judgement and judgemental attitude
  • Creativity
  • Personal abilities

We make decisions under time constraints and often without comprehensive information.Therefore decision making is rarely rational.In fact we generally aim to make the best possible or most satisfactory decision under the circumstances.We try out solutions that have worked in the past or that have been successful for other organizations, colleagues, people or departments.Although this type of decision making is arguably less effective than the decision making set out above,it can at it’s very best only allow the decision maker to make the best of limited time and to decide on as many issues as possible.However,in order to make your decision making as effective as possible,be sure you know the following:

  • What exactly are you trying to decide?e.g
  • Which stage of problem solving are you in?
  • Whose decision is it exactly to make?(yours,a friend, colleague,a leader, organization, government, arbitrator or any other)
  • How will not taking this decision affect you particularly?
  • Do you have any interest in the issue you want to decide on?
  • Do you trust yourself to make a correct decision on such a matter?(what is your past record of making correct decisions?).In the opinion of the public can you be trusted to make a balanced and binding decision on the issue at hand? (where public is involved).
  • Does the issue you are trying to decide on involve another party/individual?
  • What rights or laws if any do you have or permits you to make a decision on such an issue?
  • Who needs to be involved in the decision making?(what authority and/or permissions is required?)
  • Is there need for an arbitrator?
  • How should they be involved?(directly,consulted, informed?)
  • When must you decide?

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How to develop organization strategic plan

Members of the organization planning

The purpose of planning should be led by you,in consultation with your board and other stakeholders such as funding sources, the government and sponsors.You will be responsible for drafting plans that enable the expectations and desires of your stakeholders to be met.The following process may help:

  • Set timelines for completion of the plan.
  • Consult stakeholders about what they think the organization should do and what they want from it.
  • Draft the vision, values and mission statement in light of this information.
  • Carry out environment audits.
  • Draft organization profile, identifying strategic issues and questions related to:
    • Who we are
    • Where we are now
    • What we are currently doing
    • Why we are doing it
    • Where we want to be
    • Why we want to be there
    • How we get there and when
    • What we change and who does it
    • What it will take ,next steps
  • Establish strategic objectives
  • Establish a draft initial strategic plan (vision, values,mission, objectives) and proposed priorities for future action.
  • Undertake a second round of consultation with stakeholders and determine their input on priorities, resource allocation and criteria for evaluation.
  • Develop a final strategic plan.
  • Develop a 1-2 year operational plan that allows the strategic plan to be delivered.
  • Submit strategic and operational plans to the board for approval.

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How to tell whether you are managing the finances of your organization in a prudent manner

Managing money

The following questions can help you understand whether you are managing the finances of your organization in a prudent and sensible manner.

  • Where is your organization money kept?
  • What interest are you earning on it?
  • Is this the best place for your money?
  • Who has authority to withdraw money, how much and for what reasons?
  • What policy statements exist to guide levels and items of expenditure?
  • How do you report what was spent?
  • Who keeps the records?
  • Who checks the records?who audits your accounts?
  • What financial controls are in place in your organization?
  • How do you save on projected expenditure?For example:
  • Travel-look for accounts, group rates.
  • Accommodation-seek volume discounts,make arrangements with one hotel and use it whenever needed.
  • Seek donations of resources-e.g office space, office equipment, vehicles,fuel, insurance and clothing.Are there others?
  • How successful have your money management practices been in the past?
  • What do you need to improve?

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