School-Based management and its influence on school improvement efforts: A case study of a community-based secondary school in Karachi, Pakistan

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


School-based management (SBM) has increasingly become an agreed-upon model for the operation of schools around the world. A critical element of the model is devolving enhanced levels of decision-making from the centre (head office) to the schools. SBM is usually acclaimed as a positive step for principals, teachers, parents, students, and the wider community to get involved in the decision-making processes and other school activities that affect students' learning outcomes. Therefore, it is essential to see what SBM is and how it works in a multi-layer school context. The ultimate purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of school-based management on school improvement efforts. This study was conducted in one of the cooperative schools of AKU-IED. The key stakeholders (principal, teachers, honorary secretary, parents and students) of the school were engaged in the study as research participants. The field work lasted for six weeks during which I used qualitative case study research instruments, such as; semi-structured interviews, non-participant observations, informal discussions and document analysis in order to collect the relevant data. The data was analyzed and discussed with my own interpretation. The analysis of the data examines the stakeholders' perceptions about SBM and its implementation in the context of a community-based school. The study further highlights the roles that the stakeholders play in the SBM School and their level of involvement in different decision-making processes and the overall school activities. The analyses of the data reveal that the implementation of SBM has helped the key stakeholders decide and manage different activities and programs in the school. For example, utilization of budget within a given scale, management of teaching and learning processes, and personnel in the school. Furthermore, teachers and students have been engaged and authorized in different management committees. There are mechanisms for capacity-building, rewards and communication in the school. As a result, students' learning outcomes and school's performance have enhanced. The analysis of the findings uncovers a number of issues such as role ambiguity, lack of workable mechanism for monitoring and evaluation, lack of resources and time constraints that may interest other reformers and research in education in general.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library