5.5.1 State of autonomy
5.5.3 Can autonomy hurt?
It is not the question of positive effects of autonomy in higher capacity contexts vs. negative effects of autonomy in lower capacity contexts but it is about higher autonomy vs. lower autonomy for a given context. In other words, for a given state capacity, lower autonomy can be worse compared to the higher autonomy yet ineffective situations. This brings us to the question, what to decentralize?
5.5.4 What to decentralize?
1. Selecting teachers for hire
2. Firing teachers
4. Determining teachers’ salary increases
5. Formulating the school budget
6. Deciding on budget allocations within the school
7. Establishing student disciplinary policies
8. Establishing student assessment policies
9. Approving students for admission to the school
10. Choosing which textbooks are used
11. Determining course content
12. Deciding which courses are offered
18.104.22.168 District level
22.214.171.124 School level
- Headmaster and coordinators training.
- Teacher training.
- Assessments design, evaluation and feedback.
- Curriculum design.
- Parents’ orientation.
- Students’ orientation.
- Physical education, Arts.
- Building systems for schools - data capture and management system, building automatic report generation systems.
- Organizational structure of school.
- Outreach, Marketing, publicity and PR.
Each school may be facing constraints in different aspects, of varying proportions. Thus, one needs to have a school transformation plan considering all these aspects with autonomy to execute it, and not to get into long procedures of approvals. In aspects where certain amount of centralization is necessary and economies of scale are involved, they can be done accordingly but ensuring that school specific concerns are addressed and the required services aren’t delayed.
5.5.5 Challenges in decentralization
A similar initiative in Africa, where information was dissipated through community based assessments also showed similar results. Uwezo is a large scale citizen led assessments initiative in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. It was expected that assessing children and giving this information to parents will lead to activism, more efforts to make teachers accountable and thereby will lead to increase in learning outcomes of children. The results of the evaluation of this initiative suggest that this isn’t the case. It is suggested that some of the possible barriers to action are
- Widespread norms against unofficial collective action
- Actors at local level say they have little influence over many of the key inputs into education
- Lack of information about government officials’ responsibilities
- People tend to look to elites for ideas and action