Letter: Problematic educational management

| Readers Forum | Fri, 06/29/2012 11:53 AM

Educational management as a field of study and practice was derived from management principles first applied to industry and commerce, mainly in the US. Theory development largely involved the application of industrial and business models to educational settings.

Educational management has progressed from being a new field dependent upon ideas developed in other settings to become an established field with its own theories and research.

In Indonesia, the term “educational management” replaced “educational administration” and it began to be taught around two decades ago as a new subject within the teachers’ education institute (IKIP). However, to some extent, we find that the terms educational management and educational administration can be used interchangeably.

Researchers prefer to use educational management to imply the broader meaning, and as such, educational management consists of instructional management, personnel management, financial management, school and public relations, curriculum management and student management.

The instructional management as a component of educational management includes four key areas of management — planning, organizing, actuating and controlling. As the owner of instructional management, a teacher should be competent in dealing with each of these activities in order to maximize the learning achievements of his or her students.

In educational management, the role of leadership is very important because management always deals with different kinds of people. As managers, school principals should be equipped with appropriate soft skills. Other educators should be also furnished with good soft skills and work together to improve the soft skills of their students.

Unfortunately, students in Indonesia are not encouraged to improve such soft skills as they actually do not need to for the purposes of the national examinations (UN), which only require true-false and or multiple choice answers.

The government’s national exam is mostly aimed at measuring the intellectual aspect of students. In fact, education not only covers intellectuality but imperative aspects of education such as personality development, communication, initiative and creativity.

The public assumes that the best school is a school that boasts outstanding intellectual achievements of students. The principal and teachers, as central figures of successful educational management implementation, seem busiest in pursuing academic targets. Their efforts to prepare for the national exam only focuses on the cognitive side of learning while, affective and emotional aspects of students are not effectively measured.

The national exam is not a proper tool to be used in evaluating students’ learning achievements, because it is not a test fit for all. How can the national exam evaluate students’ emotional development or motor skills?

Admittedly, the national exam cannot be done away with drastically, but we need to slowly but surely reduce the role the national exam plays in evaluating learning achievement. We should create an evaluation to measure all of a student’s skills and abilities.

Aries Musnandar

Malang, East Java