Quality begins in the classroom

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You are here: Home FEATURES Featured May/June 2014 Quality begins in the classroom

Quality begins in the classroom

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Quality begins in the classroomQuality schools help children to become quality citizens, who then go on to create a quality society. The South African Quality Institute (SAQI) believes that every South African school has the potential to be a place of educational excellence. SHEQ MANAGEMENT investigates.

Money is not essential to create a quality school. All that is needed is dedication, hard work and know-how. A team of quality practitioners and educationalists have designed a Quality in Education model for schools. Richard Hayward, a retired headmaster, discusses this model in his book: Making Quality Education Happen: a “how-to” guide for every teacher.

In his review of this book, Paul Harding says that Hayward has, through his insight into quality matters and his vast experience as an educator, put together a “must read” book for every teacher in South Africa who wants to develop a quality school. Harding says: “The author has managed to weave into the book lots of anecdotes, quotations and stories that cover education in our rainbow nation.

“He is able to compare the performance of schools that are geographically very close to each other, but in terms of access to finances and facilities, are miles apart. However, does this prevent the less privileged teachers and learners from achieving quality performance? According to Hayward: not at all.”

The book is published under the aegis of SAQI. The first chapter is dedicated to the question: “What is total quality education [TQE]?” In this chapter, he discusses two totally different Johannesburg schools. In one area – Dainfern – most of the children attend private, well-resourced schools. In the neighbouring informal settlement of Diepsloot, a school provides lessons in shipping containers, yet the dedicated teachers provide an outstanding quality of education to the learners.

The book then goes on to describe the SAQI Quality in Education model and its application. This model is based on five pillars – values, leadership, improvement plans, communication, and finally, tools and techniques.

Hayward first summarises each pillar in an easy-to-understand way, giving practical examples of their application in the classroom. He then sets the tone for the rest of the book by explaining the characteristics of a quality school and comparing them to those of an ordinary school, by means of a simple table.

Next, he expands on each pillar, giving many practical examples of how each one can be applied to support a quality school. The book concludes with a nine-step, easy-to-follow approach on how to implement TQE.

Harding highly recommends the book for any teacher wanting to make a positive difference. It is available free of charge to all educationalists. More information can be obtained on the SAQI website.

 
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