Thursday, 31 March 2016

Encourage, Enhance, Empower through Quality Concepts

“The quality of life is more important than mere presence of life itself”

The concepts formulated by Total Quality Management (TQM) founder, W. Edwards Deming, have long been suggested as a basis for achieving excellence in schools. It is an opportunity to conceptualize a systematic change for schools.  This is necessary because schools are the temples of young minds who will one day form the future of our nation and training them to solve problems is a priority.

Gwalior Glory High School located at Shivpuri-Link Road, Gwalior is an ISO 9001: 2008 certified school which has followed the path of TQM by applying various Quality Management Practices(QMS) which makes this school one of the most quality conscious schools in the entire city, state and even country.

Today, as it vies for the position of a SmartSchool, mere academics with computer education is simply not enough.  However, the various quality circles running in the school which take up problems in the school campus and try to find solutions for the same, show great promise to develop the overall personality of students by encouraging their problem solving abilities, enhancing their showcasing skills and empowering their creativity to make a positive impact on their peers.

What exactly is a quality circle? A Student Quality Circle (SQC) is a co-curricular activity in which small student/teacher groups form quality circles within the  regular co-curricular course in the school. A quality circle can be defined as :-

     a small group of students of same educational institute
     who meet regularly in their study place for a particular period
     to identify, analyze and solve problems
     occurring in their schools or at home
     using systematic problem solving tools and techniques
     for their personality development.

The objectives of Quality circles are multi-faceted:- 

   1.    Change in attitude              :  From “I don’t care” to “I do care”

   2.    Self development                :  Bring out ‘Hidden Potential’ of people

   3.   Development of team spirit:  Individual Vs Team spirit –“I could not do but we did it”                         

   4.    Total involvement of people at all levels    :Higher motivational levels

There are several reasons why we should have Quality Circles in schools.  Not only is it beneficial to the organization, it is also very beneficial to the participating individual. After all, the main goal of forming a Quality Circle is “Self and Mutual Development”. Quality circles help us to identify problems in the work place, improve work/study environment, eliminate overlap, increase efficiency, reduce completion time of tasks,  create a positive attitude and bring out hidden potential of members.  It also reduces overall costs.

Similarly it is very useful to every team member as he/she learns presentation skills, teamwork, has increased awareness about problems, learns the solution oriented approach, creates satisfaction at being involved in the decision making, increases self confidence, creativity, learns social responsibilities time management skills, scientific  and presentation skills.

Employees in Industrial QCs try to prioritize the problems on the process, working environment and products, whereas, students look for problems they are facing due to their own faults. The purpose of implementing Quality Circles is to develop the personality of students and not just solving problems. The nature of problems taken up by students may be very simple or having some level of difficulty, but always within their own domain, i.e. not entering the domains of teachers or management.

There are several local, national and international forums that help us showcase our problem solving skills to the world, as well as to gain implementable solutions from hundreds of such people showcasing theirs.  The National Convention of Quality Circles (NCQC), National Convention of School Quality Circle Concepts(NCSQCC), International Convention of Quality Circle Concepts (ICQCC) and International Convention of School Quality Circle Concepts (ICSQCC) are some such forums.  Gwalior Glory High School has been participating in many of these conventions since 2008 and has won several awards and appreciation for its case studies.

Quality Circles lead to a Quality Education and as Audrey Hepburn said:-

“A quality education has the power to transform societies in a single generation, provide children with the protection they need from the hazards of poverty, labor exploitation and disease, and given them the knowledge, skills, and confidence to reach their full potential.”

Chitra Viswanathan

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