Title

Understanding how AKES, P head teachers respond to the increasing demands of their role in the context of Northern Areas of Pakistan

Date of Award

8-1-2009

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)

Department

Institute for Educational Development, Karachi

Abstract

The quality of any school largely depends on its leadership. The notions of education keeps changing with the passage of time, hence, requires and demands experienced, competent and skillful head teachers to manage schools effectively. One of the changing trends in the educational arena is to introduce school based management. In the context of the Northern Areas (NA) of Pakistan, the Aga Khan Education Service, Pakistan (AKES, P) has initiated the shifting of power from its central offices to schools which has made the head teacher's role more challenging and demanding. This study aimed at understanding how AKES, P head teachers respond to the increasing demands of their roles in the context of the Northern Areas of Pakistan, a territory having many contextual challenges in terms of education, economy, social aspects and geographical conditions. The central question that guided the study was how head teachers in this school system respond to the increasing demands of their role in the context of the Northern Areas of Pakistan. The study carried out in a qualitative research design paradigm in which a case study approach was used. Three head teachers selected as primary participants of the study whereas focus group discussions with some of the teachers (male, female) of the sample schools were conducted. Additionally, some of the documents were analyzed and some observations relating to the head teachers' working styles were also made to understand the holistic picture of how these head teachers work in these schools. The study shares some of the crucial challenges such as, increasing responsibilities and the role demands of the head teachers, enhancing parents and teachers' motivation, lack of resources (human, financial and material), coping with harsh weather conditions, and maintaining quality learning with crowded classes. Some strategies which are exercised by the head teachers to respond to their challenges were also discussed. It was evident through data that the head teachers frequently use motivational, problem solving, decision making, management and communication skills to cope with their role demands. The study is likely to contribute to the work of the head teachers of other organizations in the Northern Areas as they may implement the findings of the study in their schools. It also informs the school system to prepare their head teachers in ways best suited to face the contextual challenges.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library

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