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Self-Management in Education

Dr. Fathia Muhammed

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In the early eighties of the last century, self-management emerged as one of the modern decentralized administrative methods of educational reform, which faces many challenges that impede achieving its goals in the schools.


The concept of self-management is based on the participation, freedom, independence and accountability through the involvement of the parties to the educational process and the concerned in the decision-making process to improve education in schools. Self-management has emerged to be one of the decentralized administrative orientations to confront the difficulties that face schools and limit their ability to achieve their goals effectively. Among these difficulties are: weak efficiency of the educational systems, excessive bureaucracy in everything concerning the decisions related to the educational process within schools, weak educational outcomes and community participation, difficulty in evaluating the performance of schools, increased competitive pressures between educational institutions and the need to improve performance and the quality of educational outputs, and other difficulties.


Self-management is defined as a strategy based on the principle of decentralization, which aims to improve and develop the education. In fact, the members of the school administration are given authority and independence in making decisions, thus the educational institution becomes more responsible, independent and able to run and facilitate its affairs in a manner commensurate with its needs and available capabilities.


Self-management is based on making the educational institution a major unit in decision-making by giving it more authority and independence, and allocating appropriate funding far from the control of the central educational authorities. It is also based on the effective reform by providing the opportunity for all concerned to participate in the decision-making.


Self-management aims to enable all the parties concerned with the education to effectively participate in the decision-making process, improve the quality of the operations and planning through the continuous assessment and identifying the needs to develop plans that reflect the latter of the educational institution, in addition to improving the performance of the employees to enhance students’ achievements and work to raise their scientific levels.


The process of implementing self-management requires providing adequate and sufficient funding, community participation from those interested in the educational process, working on the professional development of school workers, whether for administrators or teachers, and providing information about the school community for those involved in self-management so that they can participate in the decision-making related to the school and add a sense of responsibility.


The education sector in Yemen has witnessed, since the promulgation of the Local Authority Law in 2000, a direction towards the decentralization at the level of the education offices in the governorates, thus the unclear roles in the basic and secondary education systems, the lack of the legal details of the decentralization, the poor level of transparency in the operations, and the compliance for the principles of traditional centralization, the poor training of human cadres, and the limited education sector. All of this did not support the success of the law in practice.

At the school level, and within the framework of external funding, pilot initiatives emerged to achieve a kind of decentralization, including the Girls' Education Initiative (UNGEI), which was funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and the Basic Education Project (IBEDPI) supported by UNICEF. The result of these initiatives was fruitful as the school community has taken advantage of them, especially when the local community participated and formed parent-teacher committees and others concerned with the educational process in making decisions within the school. In fact, the level of quality of education in those schools increased, and there was a high sense of satisfaction among the teachers, as their skills were developed, and they were given opportunities to participate in the school planning according to the needs of their schools, and work according to scientific plans to achieve the goals of the educational process.


The direction towards the decentralization (self-management) finds success in light of an appropriate legislative environment, and in the presence of supportive funding for training operations, provision of school needs, effective participation of teachers, parents' committees and the local community surrounding schools in order to improve the educational process and raise its educational and scientific levels for the students.

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