Administration of high school accreditation in ho chi minh city

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1 MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING HO CHI MINH CITY UNIVERSITY OF EDUCATION -------------------------- ĐẶNG THỊ THÙY LINH ADMINISTRATION OF HIGH SCHOOL ACCREDITATION IN HO CHI MINH CITY Major: EDUCATION ADMINISTRATION Code: 62140114 SUMMARY OF DOCTORATE DISSERTATION This dissertation was completed in : Ho Chi Minh City Supervisors:1. Prof. Dr. Nguyễn Lộc ; Ho Chi Minh City - 2014 2 Research completed at: Ho Chi Minh City University of Education Supervisor 1. Prof. Dr. Nguyễn Lộc 2. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Trần Tuấn Lộ 1st counter-argument by: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Trần Khánh Đức 2nd counter-argument by: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Trần Thị Hương 3th counter-argument by: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyễn Văn Đệ The dissertation will be defended in the presence of the School’s Dissertation Assessing Board, meeting at Ho Chi Minh City University of Education on …………., ……..……am/pm This dissertation can be found at the libraries: 1.Ho Chi Minh City University of Education 2.Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology and Education. 3.Ho Chi Minh City University of Social Sciences 3 INTRODUCTION 1. Rationale for the study Accreditation in education in general and in secondary education in particular plays a vital role in enhancing educational quality. Hence, education accreditation is considered one of the most important means of quality assurance, quality improvement, enhancing the explanatory responsibility of the institutions to the authority and society concerning the effectiveness, transparency of the resources which are used by these institutions to provide their educational services. However, there are still several drawbacks in the administration of education accreditation in general and high school accreditation in particular regarding accreditation policy, mechanism, reviewer training, the agreement of institutions and society with education accreditation. With this situation, the statement number 51-KL/TW on 29 Oct 2012 evaluated “The education and training quality has not met the socio-economic development demand, and has not kept up with the increase in size. (the relationship between the increase in size and quality improvement in education has not been solved properly). Appreciating the role of administration in the improvement of education quality, about basic and intensive innovation had a solution “evaluate the education and training quality at national, local, institutional levels and in accordance with international programs/standards and then, based on these evaluations, proposals of policies and solutions to enhance quality can be put forward. Improve education accreditation system. Accredit institutions and programs periodically. Announce accreditation results publicly”. Since 2009, Ministry of Education and Training has promulgated and implemented regulations on high school accreditation. In Ho Chi Minh City, high school accreditation has been carried out in compliance with the regulations of Ministry of Education and Training and has achieved great success. However, this activity has still faced many difficulties. Up to April 2013, there are 186 high schools in Ho Chi Minh City and 102 of them are public ones. According to the preliminary summing-up report of accreditation of Ho Chi Minh City Department of Education and Training, only 50% of public high schools completed self-study and 3,2% of them accomplished peer review. This was quite a modest 4 result compared to the designated goals. Conducting a research to help improve the quality of education in general and secondary education in particular has become an essential task. In the past years, there have been many research into education quality administration and education quality assurance, but most of them focused on tertiary education and there were no intensive research into high school accreditation as well as accreditation administration in Ho Chi Minh City. This was the reason why the researcher decided to choose to study “The administration of high school accreditation in Ho Chi Minh City” in her dissertation in Education Administration. 2. Purpose of the study: On the basis of studying the theories and practical assessment of high school accreditation administration, administrative solutions will be built to enhance the quality of high school accreditation in Ho Chi Minh City. 3. Research hypotheses: There are several drawbacks in the administration of high school accreditation in Ho Chi Minh City, for instance, the planning, organizing, directing, implementing, as well as assessing high school accreditation have not been carrying out frequently and comprehensively, reviewers have not been professionally trained. If solutions to administer this activity are built appropriately based on scientific theories and practices of education quality management, the quality of high school accreditation in Ho Chi Minh City will be improved. 4. Research responsibilities: Review theoretical framework of high school accreditation and high school accreditation administration; Investigate and assess high school accreditation and high school accreditation administration in Ho Chi Minh City; Develop solutions to administer high school accreditation in Ho Chi Minh City; Conduct experiment for one solution and test the necessity and feasibility of suggested solutions to administer high school accreditation in Ho Chi Minh City. 5. Delimitations About the types of high schools: According to Ho Chi Minh City’s Department of Education and Training’s statistics in 2012, there are 186 high schools in Ho Chi Minh City in which 102 are public high schools and 84 are private ones. This study only focused on the accreditation, accreditation administration and solutions to 5 administer accreditation among public high schools which are under the administration of Ho Chi Minh City’s Department of Education and Training. Private high schools or high schools which have foreign factors (teaching, studying, testing based on foreign programs) were excluded from this study. About the solutions: this research only studied the administrative solutions for high school accreditation at the city/local level (Department of Education and Training, high schools) and not at national levels (Ministry of Education and Training, Central). About the scope of experiment: Experiment the feasibility and necessity of solutions to develop the training programs and organize reviewer training topics for high schools’ self-study and peer review. About timing: from 2010 to 2014 7. Methodology The system approach was chosen to study high school accreditation and high school accreditation administration. Accreditation is a factor of education administration in general and secondary education administration in particular. Accreditation has a close relationship with other educational activities and contributes to the quality management of high schools. The practical approach was also chosen to investigate high school accreditation and high school accreditation administration. Practical needs in social and cultural life as well as in other activities are all related to education. Education quality should meet learners’ needs, hence accreditation should base on learners’ needs to develop quality evaluation standards/criteria. The historical-logical approach was used as well. All activities in high school accreditation continuously change and develop in the historical condition and circumstances of our country and our education system. Hence, the development of administrative solutions to manage high school accreditation activities should be placed in the general development orientation of Ho Chi Minh City and the educational development of the whole country. This study used the targeting approach, too. All activities in this research aimed at studying high school accreditation theories and practices, then solutions to administer and improve high school accreditation quality in Ho Chi Minh City were developed accordingly. 6 Research instrumentation Theoretical methodology: Analyzing, synthesizing research on quality management, quality evaluation, education accreditation in general and high school accreditation in particular. Studying, analyzing theories of education administration and high school accreditation administration. Analyzing the current set of standards on high school quality evaluation. Studying theoretical framework by systematizing, analyzing and synthesizing research relating to the topic. Questionnaire: The purpose of questionnaire was to collect subjective, precise, reliable statistics and opinions about accreditation and high school accreditation administration in Ho Chi Minh City. The contents of questionnaire were: Investigating self-study and peer review activities of high schools. Investigating the administration of self-study and peer review activities through the planning, implementing, directing and inspecting self-study and peer review activities of high schools of Ho Chi Minh City Department of Education and Training. Investigating the needs for professional training in accreditation and assessing the effect of accreditation on high school quality improvement. Examining the necessity and feasibility of the content of high school reviewer training topics, and at the same time, studying the solutions’ necessity and feasibility. Population: Administrators of the Department, high schools’ administrators and teachers; Instrument: questionnaires on high school accreditation and high school accreditation administration in Ho Chi Minh City. Interviews Purpose: The interviews aimed at gather further information about high school accreditation and high school accreditation administration. The contents of interviews: Interviews of high school principals were about the direction, implementation, inspection of high school accreditation activities of the schools and Ho Chi Minh City’s Department of Education and Training. The interviews were also about the advantages and disadvantages they had during the process of implementing high school accreditation. 7 Population and instruments: Population: administrators at Department level, together with high school’s leaders and teachers. Instruments: interviewing forms for high school’s principals. Purpose: The aim of method was to investigate the administration activities of high school accreditation at ministerial level, departmental level and at school level through their directing documents. Contents: analyzing, synthesizing all legal documents of direction from administration offices about accreditation. Studying, analyzing, evaluating, synthesizing all the records of self-study, peer review, recognition of high school quality in Ho Chi Minh City. Studying, analyzing, synthesizing all high schools’ year-end reports, reports on teaching and learning activities, financial activities, extracurricular activities… Expert method Purpose: This method aimed at collecting opinions’ of experts in education administration, education quality management, especially experts in high school accreditation. Contents: Talking and asking for their opinions on high school accreditation’s set of standards and process of organization, organization of self-study and peer review activities of high school accreditation… Population: 3 experts in education accreditation and 5 experts in education administration. Instruments: talking directly to ask for opinions using expert’s interviewing forms. Brain Stormming Method Purpose: this method aimed at studying experiences of other provinces and cities in the administration of high school accreditation as well as experiences of some countries about accreditation and accreditation administration. Contents: Exchanging managing experience in high school accreditation administration with other provinces and cities’ Departments of Education and Training. Studying international experiences in accreditation through the participation of international conferences in Vietnam and in other countries. Population: some managing experiences in high school accreditation from Hà Nội, Sóc Trăng Province, Tây Ninh Province. Instruments: observing and exchanging information directly. Experiment method 8 Purpose: this study used experiment method to prove that the solutions developed were theoretically and practically suitable for high school accreditation in Ho Chi Minh City. The experiment also confirmed the scientific hypothesis that if feasible solutions were developed and carried out appropriately, the quality of high school accreditation in Ho Chi Minh City would be improved. Contents: Conducting an experiment on the solution “Developing reviewer training programs and organizing peer reviewer training topics for self-study and peer review activities Population: some administrators and high school teachers in Ho Chi Minh City. Instruments: developing the content of the training topics and organizing the training topics. Measuring and assessing learners’ achievements in terms of knowledge, skills, attitude before, during and after the training based on assessment criteria in Appendix 5 and Appendix 6. Moreover, an experiment on the necessity and feasibility of the contents of the high school reviewer training topics was also conducted through obtaining experts, administrators, high school teachers’ opinions. Using mathematics for data analysis: This research used mathematical statistics techinique to calculate and analyze data from questionnaires and data and information collected from other research methods 8. Scientific and practical significance of the research 8.1. Theoretical significance The research has contributed to the development of theories of education accreditation, in general, and high school accreditation, in particular. The research has formed some core concepts such as quality, education quality, secondary education quality, accreditation, education accreditation, high school accreditation, administration, education administration, quality management, high school accreditation management/administration. These concepts closely relate to each other, affect each other mutually and create the basic theoretical background on which the researcher based to intensively analyze the features of high school accreditation of which the fivestep process plays the most important role, including1. self-study, 2.peer review registration,3.peer review, 4. quality accreditation and 5. Maintaining, overcoming, improving quality after peer review. The steps of the process must be carried out in accordance with a set 9 of standards of high school accreditation. On the basis of administration aim and administration function’s approach, the researcher has profoundly analyzed the aims and administration functions of high school accreditation through the stages of planning, implementing, directing, inspecting the accreditation activity of high schools. 8.2. Practical significance: Applying the above-mentioned theories to evaluate the basic issues of the situation: the accreditation of high schools through stages of self-study and peer review according to standards and the administration of high school accreditation through the stages of planning – organizing – directing – inspecting in which the accreditation professional training is the most important factor of the organization. The research also analyzed in-depth the contents of accreditor training programs as well as high school reviewers’ ability at present. The research identified views on high school accreditation administration through factors such as decentralized administration, awareness, reviewers, standards, policies… In order to overcome the drawbacks of high school accreditation administration in Ho Chi Minh City, at the same time, based on theoretical framework, the researcher has recommended 4 groups of solutions: 1. Developing reviewer training programs and organizing peer reviewer training topics for self-study and peer review activities; 2. Managing self-study activity; 3. Managing peer review activity; 4. Applying information technology and creating policies to support high school accreditation. The self-study and peer review can only be successful as expected when reviewers are able to overcome the difficulties he/she has during his/her work. Obviously, reviewers play a vital role in enhancing the effectiveness of self-study and peer review activities. Reviewers who are trained professionally and appropriately can participate in self-study activities at his/her own school and peer review activities, thus, the solution of reviewers will serve both purposes: self-study and peer review. The three above-mentioned significances will enrich the theories and practices of high school accreditation in particular and accreditation of education system in Vietnam in general. 9. Structure of the dissertation 10 Introduction; Chapter 1. Theoretical background of high school accreditation administration; Chapter 2. The education accreditation and high school accreditation administration in Ho Chi Minh City in the period of 2010-2014; Chapter 3. Solutions for high school accreditation administration in Ho Chi Minh City; Conclusion, Recommendations; Researcher’s other studies relating to the dissertation; References; Appendices Chapter 1: THEORETICAL BACKGROUND OF HIGH SCHOOL ACCREDITATION ADMINISTRATION 1.1. Overview Research on high school accreditation process. Elain El Khawas (2001) - Accreditation in the USA:origin, developments and future prospect. LazrVLSCEANU, Laura GRÜNBERG, and DanPÂRLEA (UNESCO 2007) - Quality Assurance and Accreditation: A Glossary of Basic Terms and Definition. Janet Fairman, Brendra Peirce và Walter Harris of Center for Education and Human Development, University of Maine, the USA (2009) - High school accreditation in Maine: Perception of cost and benefits. Judith S. Eaton (2011) - U.S.Accreditation: Meeting the Challenges of Accountability and Student Achievement. Research on the implementation of self-study and writing self-study reports based on educational accreditation standards. ASEAN University Network – Quality Assurance Guidelines -2009: Manual for the implementation of the guidelines of ASEAN. Nguyễn Thị Thanh Phượng with her doctoral dissertation in Higher Education Administration “Reaffirmation of accreditation and quality improvement as a journey: A case study” at University of Texas, the USA. Research on external review and quality recognition based on accreditation standards. Nguyễn Thị Thanh Phượng (2005) conducted a profound study of external review in a particular accreditation process at United States Sigma University. Janet Fairman, Brendra Peirce, and Walter Harris (2009) also described the external review techniques very carefully. According to this group of authors, members of the Off-Site Review Committee had at least five-year experience in education and they were also from other secondary institutions/ high schools 11 Educational accreditation administration in some countries. Accreditation of an institution in general and accreditation of a high school in particular is a new activity, not only in Vietnam but in countries which have a highly developed education system as well. The foundation and administration of accrediting agencies depend on each country. High school accreditation administration in the USA High school accreditation administration in Canada Accreditation administration according to Asean University Network Domestic research Research on high school accreditation process. Trần Khánh Đức (2010) with his study “Education and Human Resources Development in the 21st century”. Nguyễn Việt Hùng (2000) with his ministerial research “Studying and developing accreditation process for higher education institutions”, hosted by the Institute for Research on Educational Development. Research on self-study’s organization and implementation and writing self-study reports based on accreditation standards. Trần Khánh Đức (1995), headed the scientific research of Institute for Research on Educational Development (now: The Vietnam Institute of Educational Sciences) “ Conducting a trial on technical and vocational educational accreditation along with other countries in Greater Mekong Subregion”. Ministerial scientific research code B2004-80-06 “Developing criteria system to evaluate education quality of high schools and implementing testing in several provinces and cities” (hosted by The Vietnam Institute of Educational Sciences) headed by Nguyễn An Ninh introduced a methodology overview of high school quality evaluation , and developed a criteria system for high school quality evaluation. Lê Đức Ngọc (2009) “ Overview of accreditation and secondary education quality assurance”. Nguyễn Mạnh Cường (2009) with his doctoral dissertation “Developing high schools according to effective school views” at University of Education, Vietnam National University, Hà nội. Research on peer review and recognition of quality according to accreditation standards. Phạm Thành Nghị (2000) in his research “Higher education quality management” mentioned the concept of 12 “accreditation” or quality recognition. Nguyễn Đức Chính (2002) in his work “ Accreditation in education” presented clearly concepts relating to “Quality accreditation”. 1.2. Basic concepts Quality, education quality, secondary education quality This research has approached secondary education quality concepts in accordance with UNESCO’s points of view. Accordingly, education system is usually described through basic factors such as : Socio-economic condition; Education’s principles and goals; Priorities and concerns; Laws and policies; Learners and educators. These four factors are combined to form a framework consisting of four basic factors which is called CIPO model (Context – Input – Process – Output). Accreditation, education quality accreditation, secondary education quality accreditation. According to UNESCO (2007), the concept of education quality accreditation is defined as a process consisting of self-study, peer review and recognition of a quality level of an institution based on standards set by an educational administration agency./office The Ministry of Education and Training (2012) defines secondary education quality accreditation as an evaluation activity (including self-study and peer review) to identify the level of which a high school meets the education evaluation criteria and accredit one which conforms to the education quality standards of a government administrative agency. The concept of the Ministry of Education and Training is relatively similar to UNESCO’s concept and this is also the concept which was chosen for the research. Administration, educational administration, education quality management Educational accreditation administration High school accreditation administration is a process in which the administrators deliberately affects high school accreditation activity through the planning, organizing, directing, inspecting, supervising the self-study, peer review, accreditation, granting of accreditation certificates according to standards set by educational administrative agencies in order to improve secondary education quality. 1.3. High school accreditation 13 1.3.1. Legal basis for high school accreditation Legal documents on high school accreditation; Other standards for high schools 1.3.2. Purposes and principle of high school accreditation. High school accreditation has two purposes: (1) accrediting/recognizing institutions or programs which meet required standards; (2) supporting, giving motivation for improving programs’ quality as well as the quality of the institutions. According to Educational Law 2009, principles of high school accreditation are independent, subjective, law-abiding, genuine, public and transparent. 1.3.3. Process of high school accreditation High school self-study and transparency in self-study; High school peer review; Recognition 1.3.4. Standards, criteria, indices in high school accreditation 1.3.5. Ministry of Education and Training’s Accrediting standards for high school Standard 1: Organizing, managing schools (10 criteria, 30 indices); Standard 1: Administrators, teachers, employees, students (5 criteria, 15 indices); Standard 3: Learning facilities and equipment ( 6 criteria, 18 indices); Standard 4: Relationship between schools, families and society (3 criteria, 9 indices); Standard 5: Educational activities and educational outcomes (12 criteria, 36 indices). Analyzing the standard set according to Circular 41 based on CIPO model, there are 10 input criteria, 6 process criteria, 3 output criteria, 12 context criteria. 1.3.6. Reviewers: are people who practice in domains relating to educational accreditation when qualified and meeting professional conditions according to Ministry of Education and Training’s regulations on reviewers. 1.4 High school accreditation administration 1.4.1. Educational administrative decentralization; 1.4.2 Administrative decentralization and administrative contents of high school accreditation; 1.4.3 Administrative functions of high school accreditation CONCLUSION FOR CHAPTER 1 Most researches were about higher education accreditation and few of them were researches into secondary education 14 accreditation, especially accreditation administration. On the basis of affirming the rightness of some concepts, definitions, quality management models, this research has proposed a high school accreditation process as well as a process to administer this activity. The research has also clearly stated concepts of quality, education quality, accreditation, education quality accreditation and on the basis of these concepts, has developed concepts of high school accreditation and high school accreditation administration.High school accreditation administration is a process in which the administrators deliberately affects high school accreditation activity through the planning, organizing, directing, inspecting, supervising the self-study, peer review, accreditation, granting of accreditation certificates according to standards established by educational administrative agencies in order to improve secondary education quality. The research has also developed a high school accreditation process and a process to administer this activity through its administrative functions. Research has shown that the process has had a positive effect on the improvement of education quality at high schools in Ho Chi Minh City. The research has also established a high school accreditation administration’s theoretical framework which can be used as a basis for the investigation and evaluation of this activity in the next chapters. High school accreditation administration is a completely new research in comparison to other previous researches in Vietnam as well as in other countries. CHAPTER 2. EDUCATIONAL ACCREDITATION AND HIGH SCHOOL ACCREDITATION ADMINISTRATION IN HO CHI MINH CITY 2.1. Overview of high schools in Ho Chi Minh City Ho Chi Minh City has proved that it is a high-quality center for education and training in Vietnam. Human resources education and training has developed greatly: the training size grows every year, there are various types of training, and facilities are invested heavily. The number of schools of different levels in Ho Chi Minh City has risen considerably along with the development of economy. However, quality of schools has not met the huge increase in number. Thus, schools need to be accredited in order to enhance their quality. 2.2.1 Survey sample and data analysis convention 15 Questionnaire Participants Number of Ratio questionnaire Administrators of Department of 20 3% Education and Training High school administrators 456 73% High school teachers 145 24% Total 621 100% The total numbers of participants in each school consisted of all members of institutional self-study committee (hội đồng tự đánh giá của nhà trường (principal, assistant principals, union’s president, committee’s secretary, youth association’s assistant, deans, some teachers). Below is the list of 51 high schools (making up 50% of the total number of public high schools at the time of studying) participating in the research. Interviews, collection of experts and educational administrators’ opinions + Collection of experts and educational administrators’ opinions: 9 experts in educational administration and educational accreditation were interviewed. Administrative experience in educational accreditation from other Departments of Education and Training in Sóc Trăng Province, Tây Ninh Province, Hà Nội was collected. + Interviews of high school administrators and teachers in Ho Chi Minh City: 16 principals of high schools which had participated in self-studies , peer reviews and were recognized according to set of standards were interviewed (making up 100% of the total number of principals of high schools participating in peer reviews at the time of studying). 16 secretaries of institutional selfstudy committees of high schools which carried out self-studies and peer reviews (making up 100% of the total number of committee’s secretaries of high schools participating in peer reviews at the time of studying) were interviewed. 23 principals of high schools which had not completed self-study reports (making up 50% of the total number of principals of high schools which had not completed self-study reports at the time of studying) 16 High schools’ documents about self-study and peer review activities: there were 57 self-study documents (making up 100% of the total number of high schools’ self-study documents at the time of studying), 16 external review documents from 16 high schools’ external review committees (constituting 100% of the total number of external review documents at the time of studying). Ministry and Department’s administrative documents about high school accreditation: 31 State, Ministry and Department’s directing documents. 17 directing documents of Ho Chi Minh City Department of Education and Training about high school accreditation (making up 100% of documents at them time of studying). All self-study and peer review’s professional training documents from the Ministry of Education and Training and Department of Education and Training about high school accreditation. 2.2.2. Data analysis convention 2.3. High school accreditation in Ho Chi Minh City 2.3.1. Self-study activity at high schools according to standards: The implementation of self-studies at high schools according to set of standards; Reporting high school self-studies according to standards; 2.3.2. External review activity at high schools according to standards; Human resources for external review committees; External review activity; External review committees’ competence; 2.3.3. Maintaining and improving quality after external reviews 2.4. The administration of high school accreditation of Ho Chi Minh City’s Department of Education and Training. 2.4.1. Planning high schools’ self-studies and external reviews of the Department of Education and Training; 2.4.2 Organizing and implementing high schools’ self-studies and external reviews of the Department of Education and Training; 2.4.3 Directing the implementation of high schools’ self-studies and external reviews of the Department of Education and Training; 2.4.4 Inspecting and Evaluating self-studies and external reviews of the Department of Education and Training 2.5. Professional training about high school accreditation 2.6. Evaluating the effects of accreditation on quality improvement 17 2.7. General assessment of strengths and weaknesses of the administration of high school accreditation in Ho Chi Minh City 2.7.1. Strengths The Ministry of Education and Training and Ho Chi Minh City’s Department of Education and Training have issued sufficient legal documents as well as professional documents to direct the implementation of high school accreditation in Ho Chi Minh City. The ministerial and departmental directing documents are quite comparable/appropriate to the theories as well as the reality of high school accreditation in Ho Chi Minh City and in Vietnam. High school accreditation has become an educational quality management activity as regulated in the Educational Law. Preliminary results of accreditation have confirmed the rightness of accreditation as well as proving that it is a measure to improve high school’s quality. High school accreditation has supported the Department of Education and Training administer high schools closely and comprehensively. Accreditation has also pushed high schools to improve their conditions in order to assure their quality. Accreditation has helped to develop quality culture in schools, showing their effort for quality and avoiding formalism in which schools run for quantity and try to deal with (cover everything from) their supervisors. It is easier for schools which have good conditions to assure quality to participate in self-studies and then register for external reviews. The decentralization to the City’s People’s Committee or Head of Department of Education and Training to sign accreditation certificates has shown the decentralization in administration from the central to the local governments. High school accreditation has aided schools to evaluate their situation exactly through the set of standards. Participating in external reviews has also helped schools look back themselves objectively with the consultancy and support of external review committees who are always willing to assist their colleagues. External review committees have also learned countless experience from schools regarding management and professional knowledge. Through accreditation, schools’ members as well as external reviews committees have had chances to practice their skills for assessment and evaluation of educational quality. 2.7.2. Weaknesses 18 + About reviewers: In order to perform the administrative mechanism of accreditation, reviewers who are professionally trained to conduct accreditation reviews are needed. At present, reviewers are school members who work as administrators at their schools. Therefore, it is usually difficult to appoint them as reviewers. Reviewers’ competence (for self-studies or peer reviews) has not met the requirements. Particularly, their ability to argue and write selfstudy reports as well as external review reports is not good enough. Thus, it is necessary to have intensive training programs for reviewers. + About high school accreditation administration: High schools’ awareness of accreditation: some high schools have not yet realized the importance of quality to their survival. Public schools have still depended completely on the control of their authority such as 10th grade enrollment, budget, teacher recruitment, facility development, equipment purchases… so they are still passive. Some principals do not want to conduct accreditation because it requires a lot of hard work and efforts. Procedures and techniques for writing self-study reports: lack of procedures and advanced techniques to organize and implement self-studies as well as writing self-study reports at high schools. + About high schools’ external reviews: Procedures and criteria for inspecting external peer reviews: lack of inspecting procedures and assessment criteria for external reviews. Results of external reviews from external reviews committee are submitted directly to the Director of Department of Education and Training but not through inspecting units. Chairs of external review committees: lack of criteria to train and select chairs of external review committees, particularly, criteria for knowledge, skills, attitude of chairs of external review committees. Chairs of external review committees have not been trained for external review team management. + About financial mechanism: lack of proper policies for high school which have conducted accreditation or been accredited, hence, lack of encouragement. There is no solution and sanction for high schools which have not carried out self-studies. Expenses for accreditation are mainly from state budget rather than from other resources, so they are really limited. 19 +About organization and decentralization: independent accrediting agencies have not been established, the decentralization for the Department of Education and Training to organize, administer and implement high school accreditation is just the start of the introduction of accreditation to schools. In the future, accrediting agencies independent from the Department of Education and Training will have to be founded (separating professional administration from state administration offices for education). At present, the Director of the Department of Education and Training is assigned to administer high school accreditation, from organizing self-studies, external reviews and recognizing high schools that meet established standards. The Director of the Department of Education and Training signs and grants accrediting certificates and this leads to the situation of being both a “footballer and a referee” , thus, it is not independent and not objective. + About the standards for evaluation of high school quality: The standards for evaluation of high school quality are illogical and impractical. Specifically, the set of standards for evaluation of high school quality, which has been adjusted 3 times, is still being modified greatly. However, it needs more changing to fit Ho Chi Minh City’s situation. Because this set of standards is used for all high schools in Vietnam, it is necessary to have flexible criteria for each area and region. This set of standards does not have criteria for missions and visions of high schools. That is why there are some schools which have met accreditation standards but have still not but their specific characteristics have not been assessed. Since the set of standards mainly evaluates the schools, there are only few criteria for evaluating curriculum and textbooks and because curriculum and textbooks will need reforming after 2015, high schools which meet accreditation standards will not meet educational quality. According to Circular 42 “Educational accreditation aims at helping institutions to identify the level at which they meet the educational goals in each stage/period…”. However, this is just theoretical (rather than practical) because it is difficult to identify school’s goals according to school’s regulations due to the fact that it is impossible to measure the goals/the level. Secondary education’s curricula are too theoretical, high school students spend much of 20 their time dealing with exams and tests, especially the university entrance examination. Schools which have more students passing the university entrance examination are considered to be ‘good-quality’ by students, students’ families and society. Therefore, if a school which is accredited but the number of students who has passed the entrance examination is low will not be chosen by students and their parents. In recent years, high school accreditation has been implemented widely all over the country. The Department of Education and Training of Ho Chi Minh City has also carried out this mission according to the Ministry of Education and Training’s direction and made this activity a common tasks of education. Through practical implementation, high school accreditation has proved that it is a solution to enhance high schools’ quality. The research has investigated and evaluated high school accreditation through activities such as self-studies, external reviews, maintaining and improving quality after external reviews. The research has also analyzed in-depth and evaluated the administration of the Department of Education and Training through its administrative functions. Moreover, the research has analyzed and evaluated reviewer training activity at present. The research has especially evaluated the effect of accreditation on quality improvement. The strength of high school accreditation administration in Ho Chi Minh City is that the planning, organizing, implementing, directing and inspecting of self-studies and external reviews have been carried out exactly in accordance with the accreditation process. 50% of high schools have carried out self-studies and 10% of high schools have conducted external reviews. The weakness of high school accreditation administration in Ho Chi Minh City is that there are no programs and organizations that train reviewers to meet practical needs. There is also a lack of process and advanced techniques to conduct self-studies and external reviews. Information technology has not been applied to the administration of high school accreditation. High schools which are accredited have not received any special treatment and have had no international cooperation in this field. CHAPTER 3: SOLUTIONS TO ADMINISTER HIGH SCHOOL ACCREDITATION IN HO CHI MINH CITY
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