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Mauritius, presently a rapid developing and diversified income country in this communication and technological world where the government is consolidating the constant support of people through the liberation and diversification of the economy even though recently hit by the effect and impact of the brewing global financial crisis. The government is playing its full role to highlight the importance of transparency in all organisations together with greater attention on customer support for building and ensuring better services. Concurrently, the government is fulfilling its responsibilities with new trends and new development in the programme of education at all levels with special consideration in the secondary schools through the dependent and ministry directing body of the Private Secondary Schools Association (PSSA).
The Mauritian government introduced Performance Management System (PMS) on a pilot basis in its 3 different administrative departments in the year (2006) after several years of formulated planning and strategy as devised in the beginning of (2001) after having been followed by an apprehensive introduction in the mid-1990s.At present, PMS has been launched in all 25 ministries as of 23 June (2010) and all close concerned establishment as means indicated by positive feedbacks obtained from the pilot projects that was extended to other departments in January (2007).The idea behind was to improve the public sector in Mauritius for better economy and for responsively acting as an integral part in the fast-moving and modernised global management.
In the year (1987), the pay Research Bureau (PRB) which governs the general pay review of public sector in Mauritius with reference to private educational schools came with the trend for alignment of conditions of service, salaries, qualifications and competencies of both private secondary schools with state schools. The main aim for this homogenous approach was that education to be dispensed in a uniform manner for the benefits of standards and the society at large
The subsequent report of the Bureau in (2003) came in the direction of reforms with specific conditions of service for core purpose to improve and attain objectives in the educational sector. From recommendations in the PRB report (2008), strategies of performance appraisal and performance related pay reward would take into effect as from 1 August (2008) to achieve optimisation of resources.
This research paper attempts to investigate into the needs, effects/impacts and the outcomes of the provision of the two new issues in arriving at the remuneration package in relationship with PA and performance related reward systems in the private secondary schools as recommended by the PRB (2008). The study should thus aim to answer the following questions:
How is performance appraisal perceived among offices and the contributing factors in the incremental system in schools? Is it truly applicable?
Give us your opinion about the rating of PA methods with the type of PMS being introduced.
Do you find the specified conditions used for calculating the teaching duties appropriate?
Are the present incumbents of educators justified?
What do you think on the assessment of the strengths and the weaknesses of the actual PA system on the work environment and evaluate your overall satisfaction; what is your intention about the system?
The objectives of the research are to:
1. Find out whether private secondary educators in Mauritian schools understand the importance of PA in analyzing what these indicators are.
2. Outline the use of appraisal and performance pay mechanisms to motivate the private secondary educational sectors and raise the private management.
3. Explore the potential benefits and shortcomings associated with performance appraising the private sector and discuss ways to redress the pervasive weaknesses of the pay structure.
4. Evaluate the current functioning of performance appraisal and steps in the designing systems and to ensure consistency and transparency when assessing performance of staffs.
Some examples of the hypothesis formulated for the purpose of this HR research are
H0: An overall knowledge and understanding of P.A systems/will not help private secondary offices in meeting the objectives of the modernised management.
H1: An overall knowledge and understanding of P.A standards will help Private Secondary Officers in meeting the objectives of the modernised management.
H0: An identification of the specific purposes and uses will not help private secondary schools satisfy the potential impact of P.A as perceived by administrative members.
Hi: An identification of the specific purposes and uses will help private secondary schools satisfy the potential impact of P.A as perceived by administrative members.
PSSA, also known as Private Secondary Schools Association was set up in (1976) after the advent of free education both at primary and secondary levels, granted by the then Labour government and started its activities on 20th September of the same year. The head office although initially stationed at Royal Road, Rose Hill, later moved to Beau Bassin and still operates from the premises formerly occupied by the Teachers' Training College.
Although at the beginning the PSSA was meant mainly to be simply a <paying agent> it soon blossomed into a full-fledged organisation and set up its divers sectors viz- Inspectorate, Establishment, Discipline, Finance, all under the responsibility of a Director who is appointed by the Ministry of Education and Human Resource (MoE) so that the Authority can always be under the supervision of the Government of Mauritius through the Ministry of Education.
The work and conduct of each and every employee both teaching and non-teaching is monitored closely and recorded in his personal file which is stored at the head office. Generally, all policy decisions are taken by the Government in close collaboration of Ministry and the PSSA operating in parallel with the Ministry of Education has the responsibility of implementing same. In other words, its fundamental aim is to provide education conductive to learning and where every student would excel in order to be perceived as a light of the universe in order to meet the challenges and standards of life. The duties of being dedicated to the cause of education are assigned to educators formerly teachers and subsequently Education officers respectively. Their teaching and non teaching staffs are recruited by the managers of the respective schools. At present, the establishment size of working personnel with teachers and non teaching members stands at around 3923 and 1575 respectively. Today there are a total of 110 registered schools in Mauritius and Rodrigues. Classes up to Cambridge Higher School certificate are run in 47 of the fully grant aided schools while 48 of them provide education up to the Cambridge School Certificate.
Generally, the fundamental aim of private sector is profit oriented rather than welfare or service as for public service but given the number of advocacy groups strengthened with the growing level of education accompanied by the effect of globalisation which promote a strong need to succeed, and to protect Mauritian citizens from the traditional process where performance was no longer enhanced. Since the ambitious approach to drive improvement for knowledgeable career which would emerge in aiming to share capacity, resources and people, it was essential for a straightforward framework action for performance outcomes which reflected none other than PMS.
In fact, the PRB report , prepared by a Mauritian body in charge for determining remuneration and guiding reforms in the public sector as far back as in (2003), highlighted that the public sector must use 'performance management' as one of the pointers for various levels of productivity as practiced abroad, especially in European countries.
It is worthwhile noting in this context that Armstrong (2000) defines performance management as a "strategic and integrated process that delivers sustained success to organizations by improving the performance of people who work in them and by developing the capabilities of individual contributors and teams".
It initially started through the use of the confidential report. This was being highly criticized because it had not shown effectiveness in improving performance for in service people. Consequently, the agenda changed for PMS where officeholders were given ample training to understand the concept for proper implementation.
DEFINITIONS of PMS& PA
Performance Management is an ongoing process that involves both the manager and the employee in identifying and describing the job duties and functions relating to organization's mission and strategic goals through appropriate performance standards on the purpose of giving and receiving feedback for development and improving employee work.
Performance Appraisal is a process of measuring, summarizing and development the work performance of an employee to assess if he is effectively in line with the objectives set.
Performance Management and Performance Appraisal
However, many people get confused with performance management and performance
Appraisal .It should indeed be clear that these are two different terms with same functional purpose. Performance appraisal is also identified as performance review which is the process of essentially reviewing the performance of employees. Alternatively, performance management has a larger meaning and embraces performance appraisal.
Performance management translates the overall organizational goals into individual
employees' objectives, preceded by a meeting with the employee, to provide opportunity for mutual agreement based on the performance indicators for the assessment which provides feedback for measures such as training, compensation, promotion, amongst others, to sustain performance over the long term.
Fig 1 PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT AND PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL.
Conformity of performance
Continuous Performance Management
Performance related pay: 1) Compensation
Preparation for review
Development and career:
The above diagram can be simplified as the following:
Management team design scheme of work and provides planning opportunities for staffs to take responsibility for their own to facilitate in contributing to the professional development of the other staff including the induction and assessment of new and probationary members.
Mission objectives and Goals
To be fully committed to the cause of education, to impart quality education in an atmosphere contributing to conducive learning where every student outshine to be recognized as an enlightened and ever shining lamp and to boost the education service that would help to meet up with the challengers of the upcoming time.
Conformity of performance
In order to uphold the values and vision of the institution, it is imperative to implement the strategy as laid down in the recommendation of PRB report .Besides; it can also be achieved through convincing and assertive discussion between executives and officers.
Continuous Performance Management
To work both at quantitative and qualitative abilities that would contribute to updated job description based on continuous feedback overcoming barrier, if any, towards meeting the objectives, irrespective of coaching.
Preparation for Review
Both manager and employee, with much attention in the educational sector where the appraiser should chiefly be of two hierarchy grades above the appraise so as to meet together with the fundamental aim for assessment based on competencies performance to look principally at behaviour and attitude in a job like lateness, punctuality.
At the end of the practice or preferably after each appraisal conducted separately between regular timeframe, normally twice or at most once a year, based on reflective processes commonly contributing towards strengths and weaknesses of the officers. PA is then put to performance rating and individual performance that can easily link to pay.
This model should be based on a rating scale of 1-5; five being the highest and it should include some space to write comments pertaining to the ratings that the appraiser gives to his subordinate. The description should give evidence of the true level of performance and not where lethargic people would be saying that he has achieved to get information and produced appropriate results, consequently needs to be associated to pay and development. Therefore, a dual rating system can be more accurately reflecting the actual input of the employee in question being rated. Performance rating has two branches that can either be associated with trust and mutual understanding resulting in related pay or secondly as evaluation for training or purely a sanction.
Performance Appraisal started long back as a simple concept of rating employee's work outcomes and has now evolved in a systematic process of assessing the work of an employee. It also looks at a series of causative factors in the vein of how to create togetherness with environmental friendly conditions, participative management teams and most importantly making staffs capable of developing greatest achievement in capacity building for successful career. Formerly, in the absence of the P.A (as structured today), the C.R (Confidential Report) was the only pointer towards the degree of efficiency of the employee. Rather than the important components of work results and increment aspect, it further provides foundations for good work conditions, determining competent management teams, training and development of existing staff successfully whereby motivating and maintaining a guaranteed quality of work force by properly rewarding the work performance of personnel which enable to guarantee great level of satisfaction. Carraher et al. (2006) state that the most important factors of work and compensation satisfaction are job tenure, structure and administration of the compensation system.
The actual report of P.A consists of two (2) primary purposes namely; performance related pay and development. The evaluation of pay purpose is carried out to inform staffs of their necessary ability rooted simply on collected performance data which are commonly intended to remunerate high performers and penalize low performance doers. The developmental intention is to use to categorize officers into different levels and hence identify uninterested and unsupportive employees who are always faced with trouble at work. However, increasingly based on the process of self evaluation and progressive planning, some employees firmly believe that many other factors are more important than pay. Therefore, modern management stresses not only on performance but on a set of assessments and self development based learning. On this basis, it is very important to work significantly for better retention of competent and hard working employees. It would be of much concern if an established custom in all private secondary schools in Mauritius could be applied irrespective of own and conservative management styles to justify substantial pay-reward consistent to the productivity, especially where
teaching staffs are constantly endorsed in magnetic interest of pupils which is a challenging and brain hitting task.
In addition, secondary schools are considered as exemplary bodies since they promote the general progress, well being of pupils and uphold socio economic change in the society. Further, they are viewed as sources in arranging and meeting cultural values and encouraging training, thus facilitating socialisation. So, good level of motivation is essential for staffs to be in line with the innovations in educations as it is necessary to respond to the changing career and reforming system for implementing efficiently quality education. Since the early 1990s, government interest in performance funding and budgeting for higher education has substantially increased in OECD nations (Burke & Serban, 1997; El-Khawas & Massey, 1996; Jongbloed & Koelman, 1996; Layzell, 1998; Peters, 1992; Piper & Issacs, 1992).
However, developed countries which have recently harnessed and witnessed the changes in the society with the adoption of latest digital technology besides being very trendy in periodic fashion with case in point, Mauritius currently immersed in this phase of influence, still lots of private educational institutions are bonded with old-fashioned style of management and one way imposing executive confined to merely top- bottom management. The relationship between the change in society and the change of education level needs to be better understood in order to be more efficiently managed ( Bjarnason and Brennan, 2003). It is risky to assume and much harder to guess that either on having the right equipment or people with adequate knowledge , necessary skills, abilities and the right kind of organisational framework , rapid changes need to be better understood with something else, say exact attitude and behaviour , unless you can read someone's mind.
Subsequently, for the appropriate result at a later stage, the employee must be ready and bring enthusiasm to do the work and most importantly he/she should be always motivated in some way to undertake the tasks which will contribute a great deal. Academic staffs should at all times have the resource ability to be motivated for achieving rapid changes in education in order to excel with the transformational performance in demand.
Reasonably, conventional management necessitate much reflection to understand what makes people do things so that they can persuade the employees to exert towards the objectives of the establishment. Management need to be aware that the things that motivate them may not automatically symbolize the same driving force of the employee's .As such, it is essential to put into effect specific motivation schemes with the intention of fulfilling a common and better performance appraisal in relation to a fair pay system. Performance appraisal is one of the most valuable instruments in the manager's toolbox, as no other management process has as much influence over individual's careers and work lives (Allen, 2003).
Performance Appraisal & Pay
P.A is an important process of the management which predominantly helps to determine the pay related aspects such as promotion, transfer and adequate reward. Based on this aspect, competent officers in a conducive climate at work enact a tendency towards the application of newly acquired skills and disseminate knowledge to their immediate classroom situation since employee reward provides a major opportunity to improve ones aptitude and thus be performance-centre oriented. The second activity is for development and training purpose that is formulated to make out problems facing by employees, known from collected performance data or collective feedback. The primary used appraisal criteria are founded on employees' work outcomes, traits and behaviours. Most commonly, P.A is designed to provide valid information of staff work results to pay merit compensation. Further, it is mandatory to allow the steady flow of the procedures for useful and assertive contributions that hold no other option for the employers to encourage and be bountiful enough to recognise the worth of the least effort of employees. In order to sustain desired level of pay in return of services offered, some organizations started keeping aloof from fixed financial pay, comparatively on the application of salary other than wages and revolutionize towards the implementation of flexible systems that finetune the compensation at individual level. In derivation of this guideline, some organisations found it necessary to continuously monitor all processes geared at both organisational and personal goals to be executed in the best possible ways. For useful and accurate P.A information, the procedures must be able to consistently produce reliable and valid results in shaping the culture of the running administration.
Besides, if we do not grant justified compensation on performance, the employees would develop a tendency of wrong kind of work behaviours that would result in frequent waste of their working time rather than improving on work outcomes.
PA has recently taken much consideration in European educational institutions where surveys and research development say that public institutions have undergone drastic reduction in the number of students. This is because of the fact that private institutions more and more common and competitive in the market are ensuring a better place which is concordant with learnability in all features causing market pressures. As a result of this threat, public institutions in United Kingdom (UK) started with grassroot changes in their functioning and emphasized on formalised staff appraisal systems in the 1980s with a vision to keep a sound pace on the innovations to meet the latest requirements of educational structure. The change was viewed taking place since if could it give staff to get involved deeply in self improvement in the exploration of area interest, study and hence promote potential performance. This change resulted in performance related pay in the UK university system as a whole, covering everyone from support staff to senior professors (Richbell and Wu, 2006).
Mauritius, endorsing significantly the valued steps of UK private learning institutions since apparently perceived for its quality in education, is determined to supply quality demands and services which are considered established by PA procedures to study the responsibility and to scrutinize competition. The exclusive reason for Mauritius behind this pacesetter is that PA is the key to find out whether staffs performance is in line with the objectives of the institute.
Gone are the days when employees especially teachers just kept on treading on beaten tracks with whatever limited competence or skill or wish and willingness to improve and keep abreast with updated teaching aids and updated skills.
The twenty-first century is the era of perfection in all fields. Not only research in all fields especially in pedagogy is undergoing leaps and bounds but all skills are being rationalized where limited knowledge is reviewed and even questioned. Every teacher is expected to arm himself just like the solder on Himalayan borders without the least pretext so as not only to be the best performer with unlimited knowledge but also be the highly reliable resource person. It is to be noted that in modern times the whole education sector is viewed from a perspective.
However, it is also to be highlighted that despite their roles as role-models and also facilitators in modern pedagogy, teachers have to be ever equipped with adequate knowledge of the subject matter in order to really command their "stand" vis-à-vis their students. The amateur or seasonal teacher has no place in today's schools for today teachers are not judged and accredited simply for their being < good> ( Bon Monsieur / Bon Madame ) but for their mastery of the subject taught, the techniques used or even exploited side by side with the teaching aids and follow up actions including assessments and remedial exercises.
On the other hand, the stakeholders too are in expectation of the best from them. Gone are days when the owners/ managers of private secondary schools were complacent with a situation with 'good' and 'less good' teachers.
Adieu amateurism! This is their common armour. 'We need the best and simply the best' is the modern outcry. This is how and to what extent the PA hails as the real lighthouse, for now through this device it is a trifling task or activity to identify the 'good' and 'bad performers'. Needless to say that there may, by bad luck be some 'unlucky' ones who are hit by mistake. But no system is 100 % perfect. So, in this case too there is some degree of possibility that the PA has certain "victims".
But we have to rest assured that no injustice is done to anyone for the truth is that although these schools owners/ managers do have high expected targets despite they themselves being of little or no academic qualification, by dint of learning from observation for several decades at a stretch they are today very much in a position to decide which is which for the enthusiastic youngster with good degree grades from a renowned university where he may be just having theoretical knowledge while these old and cunning jacks have acquired meaningful experience after learning through observation year after year.
The challenge of every private secondary educator not only lies in meeting the teaching and learning aspect but rests on the list of main duties which are as follows: plan of work to adhere to, teaching followed by constant advice to students for improvement, correction and recording of assignments, conduct audiovisuals, integral use of teaching aids, remedial action for the benefit of the students, form master's work, staff management, teachers morale, parent's conference with accountability and cognate duties.
In the exercise of the above mentioned duties with work tasks to be regular, there are unlikely lots of much concern to be aroused although achieving high quality of work in conservative private secondary schools in Mauritius. On this basis, it is not always possible to determine the individual work results and compare them. Thus, the management should constantly motivate staff members more efficiently rather than refraining from granting some staffs' increments, based on petty shortcomings like a few latenesses, in certain private institutions. Then again, management sustaining others to climb the stairs especially to those have given rise to favouritism or to those with greater consideration.
P.A is actually attracting much attention in affiliated educational institutions, such as Ecole Du Nord et al although majorly funded by students themselves where the number of students has rapidly increased due to low market pressure and cost effective facilities resulting in improvement on quality of education as well as overall staff performance. Consequently exposing new branch school system as a whole with the construction of Northfields in the north of the island.
P.A is useful as it enables us to obtain review and identify faults on whether worker's performance is clearly aligned with the objectives set.
Formulating a research design
This research is the study of the difficulty of emerging performance appraisal system in a private education sector where the workloads continually change due to the swinging attitudes of students and rotational nature of the work. It will go through the dangers and opportunities to establish the personal work results and compare them to reach management sight. From this information, the study will understand the available way to be followed and the alternate protection it will need.
The Research Question
Considering the above problem area and research objectives, the research question would be formulated as follows.
"Is performance appraisal system making use of the proper tools and processes to be comprehensive and to the purpose so as to position itself on a balance which should be homogeneously linked to direct remuneration?"
The Research Design
To proceed, a systematic method is adopted. After defining the problem, formulating and developing hypothesis, a research design must be established.
Our research design will consist of the measures necessary for obtaining the information needed to solve the research problem:
The entire private secondary schools in the north of Mauritius are our sample universe. The common characteristic of this population being that every institution is governed by the same rules and regulations of PSSA but each employer with his own style of functioning.
The sampling unit will classify the schools into separate bodies, i.e. each school with the actual population along the workload of each and every staff.
For the purpose of our research, we can either make use of simple probability sample which gives every individual an equal opportunity of being selected in the sample or non-probability convenience sample which is helpful. But I strongly fear of if there is a time constraint.
We are taking a representative sample of 50 staffs to be questioned for the purpose of the research.
The Research Approach
A combination of both qualitative and quantitative dominated research methods to assess PA system will be worked on.
The Qualitative Research Method
In order to understand the essence of the system and devise possible solutions, five semi-structured interviews inclusive of individual interviews and group interviews will be carried out.
The Quantitative Research Method
To support the quantitative research method, questionnaire survey will be used to obtain both descriptive and analytical information. It will study officers' actual perception and flexibility with regards to aptitudes.
The Questionnaire Structure
The questionnaires will be composed of three types of question design:
Simple closed ended questions (Yes & No answers)
Multiple Choice questions ( Choose any 1 answer from following options)
Simple open-ended questions, which will provide a qualitative insight into our research.
The Pilot Survey
A first draft will be pre-tested with five persons - that would not form part of the sample - so as to estimate the population's ability to understand the questionnaire and hence enable to make any necessary modifications beforehand.
Diagrams, graphs, charts and statistical methods from SPSS would be used for data analysis.
Limitation of study
While working on the research, there might be some limitations which will influence our research, such as:
The research will be carried out in a limited area.
Time will be a major impeding factor.
Sample may not be exact representative of the whole population and as such not yield better results.
The possibility of bias responses can't be ruled out.
Lack of availability of full information.
Respondents might not be willing to fill in the questionnaires.
The research instrument is a self-administered questionnaire which included open ended, dichotomous and offered multiple choices questions.
Data is the representation of basic information. The main source of data is as follows:
Primary data can be obtained by interviews or simply by communication or by observation, whereas secondary data are readily available to the school as they may have been collected previously for other purposes.
For the sake of the study, primary data shall consist of information gathered from the survey and interviews performed. The data collected would be based on respondents' answers and feedbacks with the help of structured questionnaires and focus interviews.
Following the completion of data collection, the data will then be tabulated prior to analysis.