The Initiative: Cluster Programmes

Private Schools Cluster

Section of the audience

Phase - I

A programme spread over a period of 20 months was launched on 30th October 2004 and was conducted applying the model for education excellence developed by CII-Institute of Quality (CII-IQ), Bangalore, based on a study of internationally recognized educational and management models. It was designed to improve the effectiveness and performance of heads and senior teachers of schools in Chennai, by applying the TQM concepts, suitably modified for education.

This project included orientation, awareness and training programmes and cluster meetings to facilitate sharing of best practices amongst the schools. Applying the concepts and criteria, a questionnaire was sent to all the participating schools and based on the replies received an appraisal and gap assessment was carried out. The feedback was sent to each school confidentially to enable it to initiate action necessary to enhance the quality of education in their school.

The first phase of the project concluded with the schools identifying certain areas for improvement and putting down an action plan to address the gaps. Twenty-four Chennai city schools from all streams of education joined in the initiative during the first phase.

Phase II (Post assessment programme)
Ten schools were part of the post-assessment programme. The programme focused on process improvement in schools specifically in the fields of administration, resource management, knowledge management, staff recruitment, training and appraisal. It also adopted cluster approach along with training and awareness programmes and counselling visits.

School excellence clusters –Corporation Schools

The schools in these clusters are affiliated to Tamilnadu board but geographically located in Chennai city only. To make a difference in the State run schools, the trust initiated its TQM programme with 9 schools managed by Corporation of Chennai on June 5, 2005 in Chennai .Some of the objectives set for these schools were: to develop stakeholder participation, to encourage schools adopt holistic concept of education, to improve school performance and to help cluster member schools to achieve their objective with process approach.

Encouraged by the positive results of the first cluster two more clusters were initiated by the Trust on 29th of July 2006 and 25th of August 2008. Each cluster consists of 10 Chennai City Corporation schools involving 30 senior teachers including 10 headmasters. The cluster schools are working for higher goals and show improvement in their performance. The main focus area chosen by the Corporation schools cluster was Result Improvement. They have also undergone training in TQM and 5S. The Kuruvila Jacob Initiative also assists the cluster schools in process improvement.

In addition to individual counselling at the respective campuses, the counsellor who is in-charge of the cluster facilitates cluster meetings, conducted periodically (usually once a month), to encourage sharing amongst the participating institutions. The principal and two teachers attend all training programmes, thereby remaining in constant touch with the counsellor. These school resource persons (SRPs), transfer the learning to the whole school to seek involvement of all in the school for effective implementation and improvement in results – the approach promotes the participation of the school, parents and society to work together to meet the changing demands of all the stakeholders. The objectives of the training sessions are to help institutions understand and imbibe the concepts of quality and its applicability in the education sector.

Model School Programme on QCI Framework

As per the request of the Corporation of Chennai, the Initiative launched a programme on 17th November 2008 for providing training Support for Chennai City Schools run by Corporation of Chennai for accreditation by Quality Council of India based on Quality School Governance Frame work . This accreditation standard aims at providing a framework for the effective management and delivery of a holistic education programme for overall development of students. It also encourages schools to pursue continual excellence.

All the Corporation school programmes have been conducted on a free-of-cost basis by the Trust with training assistance from CII-IQ, Bangalore. Support from the Corporation Officials right from the very top helped in sustaining the programmes

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