Management Of Strategic Policy In Education Education Essay

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What is sport. According to the Concise Oxford Online Dictionary, sport is being described as an activity which involves the physical exertion and skill in which a person or team competes against one another. Sports should be included as part of a whole in a students' life. Sports can actually benefits in health and also train one to develop skills like teamwork as they can be the leaders among the students in the sport team. As such, Berry Berry Easy blog claimed that their readers have actually benefitted from their participation in various sports which they most voluntarily participated in the sports of their choice. But in the current era, students are not being active in sports and they need to be forced in order to get them into sports. They prefer playing online games where there is no much physical exertion involves. As so, taking this matter into the consideration, our Ministry of Education in Malaysia have come up with a policy.

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We would like to highlight the latest 1Student 1Sport policy which is being introduced by the Ministry of Education in Malaysia. This policy is being introduced in the hope that we can produce more students who are well balanced in both academic and sports.

Policy implementation, Dye (2002) indicates that implementation involves all of the activities designed to carry out the policies enacted by the legislative branch. These activities include the creation of new organizations like departments, agencies, bureaus, and so on, or the assignment of new responsibilities to existing organizations. These organizations must translate laws into operational rules and regulations. They must hire personnel, draw up contracts, spend money, and perform tasks. All of these activities involve decisions by bureaucrats - decisions that determine policy.

Definition

According the 1M1S Guidebook, it states that One Student One Sport Policy (1M1S) requires all the students to participate in at least one sport activity in schools. This policy's main aim is to support the implementation and in line with the National Education Philosophy that focuses to produce individuals who are physically, spiritually, intellectually and emotionally balanced.

This policy is in line with the National Sport Policy, which emphasized on the Sports for All and Sports for Excellence. 1M1S policy program requires every student from Standard 4 in primary schools up to Form 6 in secondary school to complete at least one sporting activity conducted in a planned and systematic way. 1S 1M policy is based on the basic principles of physical development of pupils. Hence, 1S 1M policy is created to provide access for all pupils to benefit from participation in sports in particular to those who were less active or not; develop a school sport towards increasing the participation rate of students in at least one sport in schools; and to provide opportunities for all students who are talented and have the potential to be polished to a higher level. (1M1S Guidebook, 2011)

According the 1M1S Guidebook, a sport is very important in building up the physical ability of pupils to support and in line with the phrase "Minda yang Cerdas terletak pada Tubuh yang Sihat" which means an intelligent mind lies within a healthy body. In this circumstance, sports play an important role in nurturing an active, productive and healthy human in order to be able to contribute to the economic development as well as to the social welfare. Thus, a variety of sports were introduced in order to attract the students practicing an active and healthy lifestyle.

Ministry of Education (MoE) implemented 1S1M policy so that every student benefits and gets to enjoy the sports in hope of forming the next generation of sports culture in line with the academic requirements (1M1S Guidebook, 2011).

Theory and Concept

In short, the elite theory is viewed as the preferences and values of governing elite. As said by Dye (2002), public officials and administrators merely carry out the policies decided on by the elite. Policies flow downward from elites to masses; the policy does not arise from mass demands. This elite theory instigates the top-down approach in the policy implementation process.

Educational development and policy in Malaysia have always been characterized by government's effort to adapt education to address to social, economic and political development needs of the country. The Malaysian education system is a highly centralized and bureaucratic system where most of the important policy decision making occurs outside the schools. The MoE decides on the allocation of funds to schools, prescribes and standardizes what should be taught in schools, transfers teachers in and out of schools and formulates top-down school reforms (Zabidi, 2012).

Approaches and Models

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According to Pülzl and Treib (2006), there are three generations of implementation research that can be categorized into three distinct theoretical approaches in order to study the implementation.

The first model described by Pülzl and Treib (2006) will be the top-down models in which their emphasis rely on the ability of the decision makers' to produce unambiguous policy objectives and on controlling the implementing stage. The second will be the bottom-up models in which it critiques and view the local bureaucrats as the main actors in the policy delivery and conceive of implementation as negotiation processes within networks among the implementers. And lastly the synthesizer theories in which it tries to overcome the divide between the two approaches by incorporating elements of top-down and bottom-up theoretical models.

In this case study, we are considering the Top-down theory as we believe that all policies implemented in Malaysia are based on the Top-down theory. It is always been that the policy makers who are the government will annouce the policy that they have planned and let the implementers who are the teachers to implement the policy accordingly.

In an article taken from TheStar online dated 18th March 2010, The Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, said that sports will be introduced to school timetables in year 2011 as a new subject. He also mentioned that under the 1Student, 1Sport policy, secondary school students would get 90 minutes a week to play a game of their choice, while primary pupils would spend 60 minutes weekly. He emphasized that the Physical Education subject would still be taught as it had a specific syllabus. This shows that the Minister is giving the suggestion and also assurance of what the students will get out of the 1M1S policy when it is being implemented.

In an article taken from TheStar online dated 14th July 2010, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin mentioned "We have informed our officers on the appropriate ways to implement this at both primary and secondary school levels, as students of different ages have a different approach to sports," at a press conference after opening the Second Asean Schools Games at the Kuala Lumpur Football Stadium. This shows that the Malaysia uses the Top-down theory in implementing the 1M1S policy. This excerpt defines that the Ministers' cabinet was told on how to implement this policy in schools to cater the needs of different levels of students.

Above mentioned articles shows the scenario happening in Malaysia where the Deputy Prime Minister also the Education Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announces the 1M1S policy in public behalf of the Education Ministry board. This claim can be supported by the top-down theories started from the assumption that policy implementation starts with a decision made by central government as said by Pülzl and Treib (2006).

As Pülzl and Treib (2006) mentioned, the top downers essentially followed a prescriptive approach that interpreted policy as input and implementation as output factors. The author also mentioned due to their emphasis on decisions of central policy makers, deLeon (2001) describes top-down approaches as a "governing elite phenomenon".

Pülzl and Treib (2006) also claimed that Press and Wildavsky started from the assumption that policy objectives are set out by central policy makers in which it refers to the the Ministry of Education. The authors also underlined the linear relationship between agreed policy goals and their implementation. Implementation therefore implied the establishment of adequate bureaucratic procedures to ensure that policies are executed as accurately as possible. To this end, implementing agencies should have sufficient resources at their disposal, and there needs to be a system of clear responsibilities and hierarchical control to supervise the actions of implementers (Pülzl and Treib, 2006). This can be seen that the Malaysia Education Ministry assumes the 1M1S policy formation and execution as disticnt activities in which the 1M1S policy is set at the higher levels and then sent out the order of implementation to their lower level bureaucrats who are the implementing agencies; the education officers in all levels (state,district and school) which are then charged with the managerial, administrative and technical tasks of putting the 1M1S policy into practice. The MoE also gives the time to accomplish the implementation without considering the sufficient resources that needed to ensure the implementation to succeed.

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Some selected models of policymaking are taken into consideration before implementing the 1M1S policy via top-down approach. The first model that is taken into consideration is the institutionalism model where the model treats the policy as institutional output. According to Dye (2002), the relationship between the public policy and government institutions is very close in which the policy is authoritatively determined, implemented and enforced by government institutions, namely Parliament, Prime Minister, bureaucracies and so on. In accordance to this model, 1M1S policy is being authoritatively determined and enforced by the MoE.

The second model that counts is the rationalism model which treats the policy as maximum social gain. Dye (2002), stated that no policy should be adopted if its costs exceed its benefits. The policy is considered rational when the difference between the values it achieves and the values it sacrifices is positive and is greater than any other policy alternatives. Reflecting from this model's point of view in this 1M1S policy, the outcome in future will be beneficial to the country as this policy will produce more talented sports people in various sports activities, get participated in many international games and making our country proud by winning more medals in various games.

Implementation Techniques Utilized

In the case of 1 Student 1 Sport (1M1S) policy, information provision technique is highly utilized. The provision of information is an essential element of the functioning of any community. Providing information in a timely and targeted manner can be a huge benefit. Without a means to provide facts and data, policy implementers would not be able to make well-considered decisions about how the policy should be operated.

The 1M1S Policy Implementation Handbook was published in order to help policy implementers with the dispersion of the policy. Through the handbook, the states' education office, the districts' education office, the schools' sport development committee, the teachers, as well as the Parents Teachers Associations, are given guidelines on how to employ the policy.

School sports program implementation under 1M1S policy is to be conducted throughout the year. However, schools are encouraged to plan the implementation of sports programs in accordance with the availability, affordability and creativity and innovation the schools. There are a total of 42 different sports/games intended for the implementation of the 1M1S. The policy makers also proposed some sports activities to be carried out throughout the year. For example general sports programs which includes cross-country, and track and field.

In the handbook, 15 strategies in carrying out the 1M1S policy were also presented. Every school is recommended to follow the strategies presented depending on the facility and the existing infrastructure in schools. Schools are given the flexibility to choose, determine or modify the method of execution as appropriate, means and needs of the school. Schools may also plan other methods if deemed appropriate. Some examples of those strategies would be to undertake survey to identify student interest in certain sports, survey of sports facilities in and outside the school that can be used by students, and scheduling school sports program activities in accordance with the appropriate time based on the background and school facilities.

The Ministry of Education also provided sports training modules for school sports club advisory teachers. Currently there are 20 training modules for 10 different sports are made available for both primary and secondary schools through the MoE's website. These modules are helpful as guidelines for sports club advisory teachers and trainers, and are also useful as visual aids for students in the course of their training. The management guideline for track and field (athletics) championships in school is also made available in the MoE's website. This is useful as it will aid teachers - especially novice teachers - in managing athletics championships in school, as it provides proper guidance.

Professional circulars, and sports and co-curriculum press letters are also given out by the MoE from time to time, in order to steer policy implementers towards achieving the goal of the policy. Thus it is evident that, in the implementation of 1M1S, the policy makers rely heavily on information provision as an instrument of policy implementation.

Implementers Involved

There are many implementers involved in the diffusion of 1 Student 1 Sport. As the students are the target group for the policy, the school itself is the main implementer of the policy. The school must hold competitions between levels, classes, sports houses, dorms, and sports clubs of schools. The students' participation in the District School Sports Council (Majlis Sukan Sekolah-Sekolah Daerah [MSSD]) or State School Sports Council (MSSM) competitions as well as on international level are counted as 1Student 1Sport activities.

But who is the school? Who is responsible for all those competition? Every school has a School Sports Development Committee. Teachers are a big part of the implementers involved. Teachers are appointed as heads of smaller managing committees, sports/club advisors, and also trainers. This is indeed a great challenge for teachers, as they are already laden with other school tasks.

The Co-curricular Senior Assistant Teacher is also an important implementer figure. The Co-curricular Senior Assistant Teacher is responsible for the smooth administration of the co-curricular activities, enhancing student performance as well as the involvement and participation of teachers in extra-curricular activities. Moreover, they are also responsible to work with the Parents Teachers Association (PTA) of the schools regarding co-curriculum matters, who are the implementers involved as well.

Parents Teachers Associations are also integral to the implementation of the policy. With support and provisions by the PTA, it can provide insights and lessen the burden of the teachers in the diffusion of the policy.

The Chairman of the School Sports Development Committee is the principal/headmaster of the schools. The District Education Office acts as the advisor, while the State Education Office is the Patron of the School Sports Development Committee. The Principal monitors the operation of the policy at the school level. They then report to the District Education Office, and then the District Education Office reports to the State Education Office.

These policy implementers face the reality of promoting the learning of sports to groups of students, with all their diversity and complexity. Moreover each context creates a set of variable with which policy implementers must contend, and policy initiators are often unaware or unimpressed. Policy makers and policy implementers want the same things - the best possible educational sports experience for students. These implementers are important in assuring the success of the 1M1S policy diffusion.

Monitoring

Monitoring helps to access degrees of compliance, discover unintended consequences of policies and programs, identify implementational obstacles and constraints, and locate sources of responsibility for departures from policy. (Dunn, 1994). According to Dunn, there are 2 levels of monitoring: Macroimplementation Monitoring and Microimplementation Monitoring.

Macroimplementation monitoring consists of tracing the process by which a policy progresses from legislation to action in order to determine: (i) what is being implemented, (ii) why is it taking a particular form, and (iii) what actions can be taken to influence implementation.

Microimplementation monitoring consists of collecting information to describe the a policy has taken in various implementing jurisdictions in order to determine: (i) the extent of compliance, (ii) the adaptation a policy has undergone, (iii) reasons for noncompliance and adaptation, and (iv) manipulatable aspects of implementation.

Monitoring of the implementation of the management of 1M1S by the school management is part of the strategy to evaluate and ensure the success and effectiveness of sporting activities undertaken. This aims to examine aspects of management and use of equipment, regulatory compliance, health, safety and welfare and student participation in school sports program. The monitoring process shall be conducted by the school management throughout the year. Improvements are to be carried out by the school from time to time to ensure the implementation of the 1M1S.

Policy Problems

Policy problems are unrealized needs, values, or opportunities for improvement that may be pursued through public action, as defined by David Dery. According to Russell A. Ackoff, policy problems are products of thought acting on environments; they are elements of problems situation. William N. Dunn also stated that policy problems are the products of subjective human judgment.

There are three questions to be considered about the nature of policy problems, as suggested by William N. Dunn. How well do we understand the problem? Have we identified the right objectives? Are we solving the wrong formulation of problem when we should be solving the right one?

Problems Encountered in One Student One Sport

The availability of school infrastructure

School infrastructure is the prior fundamental requirement for the success implementation of the policy One Student One Sport. Schools should have provided adequate sports facilities and equipment to maximize the opportunities of physical activities. Lacking of space, playing fields, sports equipment will cause the deficiency of the policy. Moreover, the variation of sports and its equipment is much limited in schools. Schools in Malaysia which have already established for years inevitably needed an upgrading.

The readiness of teachers as sports trainers

Teachers are undoubtedly the implementers of the policy, which is to be the sports trainers in schools. Their readiness in terms of physically, mentally or technically is dubious indeed. Most teachers who are involved are assigned by the management of schools. They do not have relevant qualification in sports coaching or physical education. It is a setback for them to coach students instructionally appropriate. The implementation of this policy should not be just 'letting students to play any sport they wish' as usual.

The choices of sports in schools

The choices of sports in schools are limited as the sports facilities and equipment are not adequate. For those existing sports facilities and equipment in schools, some of them are not well maintained too. As the policy One Student One Sport focuses on students, it is crucial to take in students' personal interest of the particular sports into consideration. Hence, the choices of sports in schools are most probably in short supply to cater for students' need in their selected physical activities.

The different abilities of students

Students' physical ability is one essential factor to be reflected in the policy of One Student One Sport. Students with strong physical ability or competence will be motivated to participate actively in sports and thus bringing this policy a success. Nevertheless, students who have low physical competence will be marginalized as they are not able to enjoy the sports activities in schools. As a result, they lose interest in sports and this policy becomes an extra burden in their schooling days.

The ratio between the number of students and teachers

The ratio between students and teachers is an influence factor towards the policy attainment. In most schools, the number of teachers is far more exceeding the number of students. The number of students as participants is not meeting the expected amount. Students tend to defend their absence or nonparticipation by giving all sorts of excuses.

The lack of support from parents

Parents' support directly impacts on the policy of One Student One Sport; either it is a bane or boon. Parents' support helps students in developing their interest in sports. However, parents nowadays place a strong emphasis on academic excellence of their children. Students who are examination oriented failed to be beneficial from the policy.

Solutions of the policy problems

Solution of the policy problems produce information about the likelihood that future courses of action will result in consequences that are valuable to some individual, group or society as a whole, as stated by William N. Dunn. He added that this process engages between the transformations of information about policy futures to action which will then come in valued results. Any solution to the policy problems must be actionable, that is going beyond the fact and involving actions that aim to 'satisfy need, values and opportunities for improvement', (Alexander George, 1980).

Solutions to the Problems Encountered in One Student One Sport

Increase the allocation of sports fund in schools

Allocation of sports funds in schools should be increased in order to improve on the schools infrastructure. Sports facilities and equipment have to be expanded in terms of quantity, whereas the existing facilities and equipment should be upgraded, especially in their quality. Variation of sports activities should be added in as well as introduced in schools for students. By having a variety of choices, students can have better chance to develop their interest in sports. As a result, the number of students who participate in sports will be raised.

Select the right teachers as sports trainers

Teachers have to be equipped with high quality coaching skills for the particular sports that they are in charged with. Students need to master the basic skills in their chosen sports as a kick start for their development of interest in sports through teachers' coaching. Therefore, teachers as sports trainers have to be instructionally skilled in certain sports. Expertise and technical skills of sports trainers make a difference in students' life. Schools management can provide sufficient supports to teachers as a mean to enhance their enthusiasm of being sports trainers in schools.

Incorporate sports as part of academic

Sports can be incorporated as part of academic as a way to encourage students to be more actively engaged in it. Sports can be integrated in schooling hours, but not to be in the extension of schooling hours. This is hopefully to re-gather the support of parents to encourage their children's participation. It is intended to minimize the inconvenience of sending their children back to school after schooling hours. Furthermore, sports activities can be accountable for higher percentage in students' academic as to counter the problem of examination oriented mindset, either of the students or the parents.

Conclusion

Every policy started off with a noble purpose. However, the process of implementing it in reality is what it really matters after all. It is not to say that the noble purposes are there to defend any deficiency of the outcomes. Hence, policy in action is what to be the main focus. Undeniably, the evaluation of policy comes after the implementation over a period of time. Problems are identified and then followed by recommended solution. It is a process, a cycle which keeps going on.

Sport is an integral part in one's life. One Student One Sport is a policy with the vision of creating a balance and healthy lifestyle among students. It is indeed a well plan policy which seen to be a complete one for the society, schools, teachers and students. Nevertheless, to implement any policy in Malaysia, it has to be confronted with all aspects considering the fact of every school where it will be the setting of the policy implementation. One policy is not to be able to fulfil every one's need.