The role of supervisors in implementing educational policies at school level

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


This thesis attempts to identify the role of supervisors in policy implementation at the school level in government education system in Karachi, Pakistan. Policies and decisions are made in the center and supervisors carry them out to schools to implement and ensure enactment. Also, they report and inform the center about the realities in schools. Being one of the developing countries, we assume that policies are made but not implemented. Policy implementation, in short, is cumbersome in the education system because of the continuous changing scene of education. So, this research explores different channels through which the policies and decisions are communicated to supervisors and by supervisors to teachers. Also, it discusses the channels used by supervisors to report back to their superiors. This will tell us about the processes of policy implementation and about the successes and reasons of failure of policy implementation. Within the qualitative research paradigm an exploratory case study approach was used to carry out this study. Semi-structured interview guide, observation and document analysis as tools were used for data collection. The supervisory system is based on inspecting and controlling teachers through supervisors in the public education system in primary schools in Karachi. They visit schools and usually check school buildings, teachers' attendance, students' enrolment, and the teaching and learning process to find out deficiencies in teachers and head teachers, rather to support them in bringing a positive change. Moreover, the findings of the study reveal that some supervisors lack an understanding of policies, do not participate in making policies, nor consider themselves as policy implementers. In the light of findings, it is explored that there are no legal codes or set of regulations about their functions and duties, but they work in the way they have observed their seniors. Therefore, they work as they find suitable for them. The synthesis helps us to analytically view the processes, challenges and hindrances in implementing policies by supervisors. The discussions also describe the ways of communication in the public education system and the ways supervisors report back to higher authorities. Finally, I conclude the discussion by offering some recommendations for improvement in making and implementing policies.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library