Upon arrival at the school the headmaster identified five development issues:
To address these development issues the headmaster prepared as strategic plan.
First, teachers needed to be supported. Teachers are like the tip of the iceberg when considering school development. Bringing them into the school development effort will have an effect on the rest of the school. Also, by considering teachers as friends in the development effort instead of employees would strengthen innovative efforts.
Secondly, administration and teachers can address school improvement only when teachers are involved in the discussions and assume decision-making responsibility.
Third, bring the students into the picture, by communicating to them on the status of the school, including: business matters, teachers, and school administration matters.
Fourth, another asset of the school is its community. Community is usually referred to as parents, but in this context the word represents parents and non-parents living in the vicinity of the school. Inviting them to meeting raises awareness of the issues the school is facing. By bringing their perspective into the discussions, schools could generate more support from the community.
The headmaster expressed concern about other development issues assumed. One of these general issues being that the majority of students leaving the school have had no preparation for employment. Though the desire is to increase the number of graduates continuing to the university is paramount, he was concerned about providing employable skills for those not pursing a higher education.
As noted above teachers were considered an important contribution to change in the school. To achieve goals for change, teachers are needed as partners for that change. He believes the partnership should go beyond just a working relationship, but one approaching that of a family. To support this approach it was necessary to address teacher welfare needs. BP3 contributions to teacher welfare were low. To show his commitment to supporting teachers, he asked BP3 to increase the contribution to them.
The attitude of the headmaster was explained as a reflection of Javanese culture. There is a belief that problems can be solved by humanistic approaches. That is through caring and concern for teachers, students, parents and community. Trying to understand the issues and problems that face the stakeholders and together solving these. Throughout his life experiences, the humanistic foundation has been his basis for organizational development.
Besides assuming a humanistic approach, the headmaster felt that a leader needs to set an example. Thus, he encourages the teachers to seek professional development, if they have chosen to continue their education, by pursuing a S2 degree in education administration. Setting an example does not have to be too dramatic a change. Coming to school early in the morning to greet teachers and students was another way to communicate that coming to school on time was important.
Facilities have improved. For example, a bridge and a new mushola were built and religious education has been improved.
The headmasterís leadership is perceived as the source of school improvement. He arrives at the school early in the morning and encourages students and teachers to do so. He encouraged teachers to propose teaching/learning process innovations. He attempts to support all teaching/learning funding matters. Furthermore, he takes an interest in all personnel. He has the ability to develop the potential of teachers and staff and uses this potential to develop the school. The school seems more open under the present headmaster.
He is committed to including teachers in assuming more responsibility for the school. This has created a situation where by the headmaster has increased his capacity to improve the school. He supports the continuing education of teachers and sets an example by pursuing a S2 degree on Saturday and Sunday. Through all of these endeavors, he is seen as a very caring person and humanist.
Teachers seem to be more motivated to teaching although they tend to commit themselves more to the EBTANAS subjects, and less to non-EBTANAS subjects. They have also improved relationships with parents by talking with the parents directly concerning studentsí progress. Every teacher is assigned extra work by the headmaster and receives extra salary. They, especially female teachers, feel happy because not only are they receiving an extra salary, but they feel honored by the extra responsibility. Communication with the teachers has improved due to regular teacher meetings held once a cawu. However, informal meetings seem more beneficial to the teachers.
The student attitudes seem to be more positive. They are more disciplined and more motivated to learn. Some EBTANAS subject results have improved although the result of Maths is still unsatisfactory. Less students are absent from school and there is an increase in the number of students going to a university. The school has introduced practical skills by incorporating local craftsman on an informal basis and computer skills taught at the SMU to prepare students for employment. Thus, students are expected to develop their knowledge to continue to a university and/or develop skills for work.
Community relations seem to be much better since the present headmaster arrived at the school. The school hires people from within the community for maintenance. Both the community and BP3 are interested in the development of the school. The community is involved in monitoring students who want to leave the school early. During religious holidays, both teachers and students contribute to the community. Sometimes, teachers are invited to participate in village development activities. The community anticipates that the quality of education will improve.
Village leaders are sometimes invited to the meetings held with headmaster, deputies, teachers, and students. This provides an opportunity for community leaders to present their ideas and concerns for school development. They feel they are more a part of the school. When the school brings a program to the BP3, the community participates in the discussions and the implementation. For example, the bridge in front of the school and the new mushola were contributed to by the community.
The headmaster, administrators, and teachers discuss development programs and make recommendations to the BP3. The head of BP3 directs meeting and introduces discussion on programs recommended by school. These are prioritized and based on funds available. Two programs are selected for implementation.
Parents feel more involved in decision-making at the school through the BP3. Here they have the opportunity to learn about the new programs, the actual costs and activities that need to be pursued. Based on this information, they can make better decisions regarding school development. As a result, parents are more actively involved and more supportive to changes that are being introduced.
Parents have been invited to the school to discuss studentsí progress every cawu. This open dialogue has increased parentsí desire to support extra instruction in Class 1 and 2. Previously, only Class 3 received additional training for preparation of EBTANAS. Through BP3 funds, all extra training is totally supported for Class 1, 2 and 3.
Major factors for change
The headmaster promotes good communication and a close relationship between teachers, parents and students, between the BP3 leader and members and between the BP3 and the school. Parents do not feel that they are being forced to donate to improve the school. All stakeholders have increased interest and participate more in school matters now.
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