Parents and students alike, have a temptation to think that all schools with good looking or ‘new’ buildings are the best. That may not be true.
Good buildings provide a good learning environment. But not all schools with new buildings are great. Three things tell the quality of a good school;
- The alumni community
- The school culture
- The intellectual fire-power
The quality of former students is a direct reflection of the quality of the school. What did the students who went through the school’s gate become? What kind of positions do they hold? Are their names mentioned in the commissions of enquiry or move with their heads high?
How consistent has the school been in terms of turning out great people?
With increasing monetization of education, many first grades may give a school media publicity, but can’t guarantee the students’ future success. The school’s culture is critical to the discipline and programming of students who go through it. The culture provides basic values and guiding principles that define the lives of its students. Does the school make time keeping key?
Does the school formulate and communicate school rules to all students and parents? Are the rules implemented to the latter or rules are relaxed for some parents and students?
Does the school continue admitting students even when it is clear space is inadequate or it upholds good business practice of admitting students?
It is from such practices that students get to understand that it is ok to over load a car, ok to promise a lot that you can’t deliver etc.
And finally, we go to school for intellectual fire power. Are students in your school intellectually curious and very innovative? Does your school encourage innovation and free thinking? To achieve this, you need a great strategy.
Unfortunately, most schools have a document called strategic plan. But when you ask most teachers and other key stakeholders, they don’t know about it.
Anyone can have a document and call it a strategy, but few can execute it. And that happens to be the some of the issues schools in Uganda must invest in if they are to become great schools.
But that is not all. Automation is changing learning and the way lessons are delivered. School management systems have removed inefficiency. Is your school automated? Does it have an up-to date website?