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Can Schools in Cameroon adopt a 360 Assessment Tool to Boost their Effectiveness?





It is hard to argue that the standards of education is falling, and will continue to fall if no definitive measures are objectively implemented to hold school leaders and teachers accountable. As a means of quality control, school evaluation and inspections are critical to ensuring that schools are accountable to their various stakeholders. Yet, for the most part, research continues to show that teachers have a negative attitude about inspections and inspectors. Again, it is evident that most of the inspections and supervisory activities are geared towards assessing the performance of a teacher (how well s/he is doing), with little or no information to guide and energise their improvement efforts.


Although education in Cameroon has undergone a number of developmental stages since the 1995 reforms, public concerns and debates about the declining quality of education and poor accountability mechanism continue to permeate public discourse. It is plausible to argue that with existing trends, the country’s lofty 2035 vision would drag if the education sector continues to operate without a harmonised performance management system that can objectively enable education stakeholders distinguish effective schools from an ineffective ones. The fact that education is central to any nation’s potential economic development and growth would suffice that efforts are made at the national level for all stakeholders to understand how schools define, measure and manage their performance to ease the collective achievement of national education goals. Yet, till date, apart from one-off pedagogic inspections, students’ tests scores and percentage of successful candidates from national examinations (FSLC, GEC O and A Levels) , there is little or no evidence on how schools in Cameroon efficiently track, monitor and manage their performance (institutional level, departmental, individual staff and student), and how it aligns with the national development aspirations. Also, the absence of a standardized framework for capacity development and performance measurement to hold teachers and school administrator’s accountable for students’ learning and the overall school effectiveness compounds the issues regarding poor schooling experiences and learning.



Research shows that performing schools are committed to implementing performance management systems that allows them measure their performance and improve their effectiveness and productivity (Booyse 2013). With intention of empowering self-managing school actors to own their improvement and development efforts with in-house performance review structures, Teach Connect has developed the TC Effective School index, which is a holistic framework to asses a school’s performance against 5 domains (Leadership and management, Teaching and Learning, Student Experience, Community Engagement and Faculty and Environment). The primary aim is to provide an assessment tool to guide school and staff development that informs efforts towards creating enabling learning environments. It is anticipated that a carefully established performance indicator (KPI) and standard are important to guide school-based improvement endeavours, with positive effects to schools and their actors (teachers, leaders and students).


Shifting from public exams as a means of determining whether a school is performing or not, which might be a very subjective and narrow approach of school evaluation, the TC Effective School Index offers a diagnostic tool (performance framework) that can provide reliable data on how well a school (entire school, the teachers and leaders) is functioning against the standards and its stated strategic goals and development targets.


In summary, school adopting the TC Effective School Index would need to establish a starting point from a baseline assessment, from which they would identify and define their key strategic objective and chose the appropriate metrics to measure their evolution. This will follow a series of periodical assessment sessions (informal and formal) where data from the various stakeholders (teachers, students, leaders and parents) will be collected to determine the progress made. At the end of each assessment session, the data collected will be analyzed against the baseline reports and standards, from which follow up discussion will occur to share and examine the school’s performance and new developmental priorities. The TC Effective School Index also offers scope for professional learning and development for teachers and leaders through the EXCELLENT TEACHER LEADUP Projects.


For more about the TC Effective Index (a tool designed to help school identify their strengths and areas of improvement) contact Teach Connect at info@teachconnect.org





Footnote:

Our research interest in schools is to understand how school leaders contribute to

A: Students’ learning experience (academics, intelligences development and achievement grades)

B-Staff experience (engagement, morale, motivation, satisfaction, development etc)

D-The social standing of the school

E- Financial Performance



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