The term ‘management’ itself, derives from the verb ‘to manage’, which can mean: 1) to handle 2) to control 3) to make and keep submissive 4) to organize 5) to alter by manipulation 6) to carry out for a purpose.
Some people talk of management as an art, a science, an organization, a person, a discipline, or a process. Let us consider each of these in turn.
Management as an art
As an art, management is about carrying out organizational functions and tasks through people. This art involves the application of techniques in:1) human and public relations 2) the delegation of an authority: assigning and sharing responsibilities and duties 3) communication: including decision making and problem solving 4) managing change.
Management as a science
Management here is concerned with establishing a philosophy, laws, theories, principles, processes and practices which can be applied in various situations, including schools.
Management as an organization
As an organization, management is about creating formal structures and an establishment based on a mission (or goals), objectives, targets, functions and tasks.
Management as a person
Managements may be seen as a person or a group of people. For example, a teacher could say ‘The school management has changed the time-table in the middle of the term’. This could be referring to the Principal, or to Heads of Department, Supervisors or school committee.
Management as a discipline
In this sense, management is a field of study with various subjects and topics. Knowledge, skills and attitudes in management can be acquired through learning, from experience and from certificated courses.
Management as a process
Management is a collection of processes, including such things as decision making, problem solving, action planning and evaluating. These processes involve the management of resources including human, material, financial and time. These processes are also known as the functions of managers.
The functions of managers
We will briefly examine five main functions of managers, namely: planning, organising, directing, supervising and evaluating. These may be seen to form a management cycle as shown in below.
Principles of educational management
A principle is a generally accepted truth, which is based on experience and the available information. The following are principles which are generally used to describe management:
Everyone in the organization takes a share of the work.
Authority is given to groups and individuals to carry out tasks.
Individuals and groups will take responsibility for their actions.
Individuals and groups will be held accountable for their actions.
There will be individuals who will take responsibility for command and direction.
Organizations will have a chain of command and direction.
Staffs are paid for their efforts.
Individual interest gives in to general interest.
There will be equity within the organization.
Tenure of personnel will be stable.
Efforts will be coordinated and planned.
Everyone should be aware of the goals and objectives
A manager works for and is part of an organization. Educational institutions are organizations. Your school is an organization.
The word organization comes from the word organ, and organs are living things. Your eye is an organ; so is your ear, mouth, heart, kidney, liver and many others. All these organs have specific work to do. A healthy living body has all its organs working properly. A healthy society has all its organizations working well in relation to one another. Societies set up organizations to do specific work. An organization is thus the result of the grouping of work and the allocation of duties, responsibilities and authority to achieve specific goals In the management of education, it is important that the school head understands that a school as an organization has a specific purpose.
Key Organizational Concepts
1. Mission and objectives of the organization
2. Functions of the organization: What the organization is supposed to do in order to achieve the goals.
3. Responsibilities and duties: People in various positions in the organization have to carry these out. These responsibilities and duties are worked out from the functions: responsibilities would include broad statements of the job; whereas duties are the day-to-day jobs arising from the responsibilities.
4. Tasks: These are specific activities within a duty.
5. Standards: These describe the amount and the quality of products from the organization.
6. Targets: These are the amount and quality of products which an organization wishes to give out over a given time. Targets are now becoming much more focused on educational outputs e.g. the number of children achieving a certain predetermined standard at a particular age.
Factors that determine the effective organization, administration and management of a school are:
Clear and Shared Focus
High Standards and Expectations
Effective School Leadership
Supportive Learning Environment
High Level of Parent Involvement
High Levels of Collaboration & Communication
Frequent Monitoring of Teaching & Learning
Curriculum, Instruction, & Assessment Aligned With Standards
Excellent achievement by many pupils in examinations
Excellent progress by all pupils judged against the baseline assessment and based ability
Excellent performance in games, sports, athletics, drama, debates, music festivals, etc.
Well behaved pupils
The success of past pupils.
Excellent relationship among teachers, parents and pupils
Parents’ readiness to participate in school activities
A cycle of management functions
1. Planning. Through proper planning, the Principal aims to manage an efficient and an effective school. Efficient means using minimum resources to get maximum results on time. Effective means to achieve the set of objectives.
2. Organizing. Organizing involves putting in the order of priority the resources which are available – human, non-human and financial. Proper organization is required to achieve the goals, objectives and targets set at the planning stage.
3. Staffing. Managing the human resources available at a school is probably one of the most important tasks of a school head. When any appointment is to be made, it is crucial to ensure that the right person with the most appropriate skills is appointed.
4. Directing. The manager needs to direct the implementation of the plan. He or she should provide leadership by delegating duties and responsibilities to staff, and by motivating them.
5. Coordinating. Coordination is the alignment and harmonization of the group’s effort.
6. Controlling. Control means that the above activities are performed according to the appropriate rules and procedures.
7. Supervising. The manager will need to supervise the work which is being done, ensuring that activities are carried out in line with agreed standards, and taking steps to correct problems.
8. Evaluating. The final part of the management cycle is to assess the results and compare them with the set targets and objectives. The performance of all the staff including the managers should be assessed. The feedback is needed in the adjustment of future plans.
Conclusion. A school may be compared to a hospital that they are both service organizations, albeit with different client groups. Schools serve healthy people to change their behavior. Hospitals serve unhealthy people to become healthy. Other organizations like banks aim to make a profit as they serve people. Some private and commercial schools also operate like banks. While fulfilling many important roles, the ultimate role of Principal is to change the behavior and attitude of each pupil. This job has to be done with the help of other people and that is his management role.