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According to the UNESCO EFA Global monitoring report, 2005 quality education should be contributing to the development of a child in terms of creativeness, emotional and cognitive capacities. Quality education does not imply students filling up seats at school just for the sake of attaining better grades. In fact it must demonstrate how the children adapt to education, how much they learn and the speed at which they learn. In addition to the developing of creativity and emotion, the children should become a responsible citizen that is they should be instilled citizenship values. Even though UNESCO has set up goals to accomplish "Education For All", it fails to take into account the poor nations or countries which are not capable of executing these recommendations as they do not have the resources (UNESCO, 2000). Much research has been carried out upon quality education by theorists and that has demonstrated an improvement in the system of education. Likewise the concept of content driven education and hidden curriculum should be taken into account when scrutinizing quality education.
2.1 Quality learning
Gravett (2001) argues that there are two aspects of learning which are rote and meaningful learning. Rote learning is to memorise information that is filling up the brain with information and meaningful learning is to understand the subjects learnt. According to Ramsden (1988) rote learning is to simply remember quantities of information and replicate it without understanding the topic. In contrast, meaningful learning is to understand the subject in a way that the learner can detain and determine the facts relating to the subject.
2.1.1 Content driven education
Education must not only concentrate on the content of subjects taught at school rather it should divert its attention to the development of the emotional and creative aspect of the students. As such Zachariah (1970) makes use of the term academic education to lay emphasis on a content driven education whereby the educator will follow the curriculum and teach the students the subjects they just need to know and to assimilate. This is so only for the students to obtain results in the final examinations which will ensure them an entrance to the next level of schooling. This type of education does not cater for the development of creativity and emotional behavior of the student. In fact such education applies pressure on the students to get better results which creates a hectic life for the students.
The definition of quality education resumes the system of education in Mauritius. In fact the Ministry of Education and Scientific Research (2001a) in Mauritius has the belief that quality education can be attained through the School Certificate and Highest School Certificate examinations. The government has even removed the ranking system of the Certificate of Primary education to end the 'rat race' in primary education which exerted great psychological pressure on the students, distorting the function of school within society in order to achieve better grades and to secure a seat in star secondary schools. In addition, the average age of grade six students is much higher than expected and this can be explained about the fact that some grade six students had at least repeated one grade. This is either because of poor school performance or for improvement of results. This is because better results in grade six is required for a student to access star secondary schools. The government has improved primary schools by providing better equipment and has built more secondary schools for accommodating the increasing number of secondary students. This is so to provide an Education For All.
Furthermore, Zachariah (1970) believes that a content driven education resorts to rote learning. As a matter of fact rote learning is an outdated method of teaching as according to Cohen (2006) the education system must allow for the students to develop their aptitudes.
Likewise, Freire (1970) argues that the students are passive listeners and ignorant. They can be described as a listening object whereby the teacher, who is knowledgeable, is the narrating subject which is filling up the students' brain with information. The students only have to memorise and repeat the information without having the knowledge of its significance. According to Freire, this is rote learning where he uses the concept of banking, describing the teacher as the depositor and the students as the depositories whereby they receive, file and store in their deposits. Freire (1970) argues that this concept does not develop the students' capabilities to make them become critical thinkers. This concept poses a problem to the listeners.
Thus, in an attempt to solve this problem, Freire (1970) puts forward the libertarian education. In the libertarian education, the concept of banking does not exist. Under this paradigm, the students are no more depositories, the teacher works in hand with the students in order to develop their critical consciousness. This implies the teacher does not simply teach but is also taught in dialogue alongside the students who also teach. Here, the teacher is not teaching the student but they are teaching each other. This method is the problem-posing education which gives importance to the students' aptitudes.
2.2 Quality teaching
Teacher quality refers to the set of inputs like certification and test scores is an indicator of successful teaching in classrooms (Goe, 2007). However, quality teaching is different from teacher quality. It is the process of giving information to the students to learn. The student should be able to understand what has been taught. In other words, the learner should assimilate as much as possible. Quality teaching hinges upon what is being taught and how it is being taught in order for the learner to comprehend the subject matter. The subject content has to be taught in a proper, suitable as well as be pointed at a well-meaning subject matter. The ways and means applied by the educator should be reasonable and appropriate rather than what qualifications and training teachers have (Goe, 2007).
2.2.1 Teacher quality
2.2.2 ICT in education
In trying to enhance quality of school education in West Bengal, Paul P.K. and Mondal N.K. (2012) tried to analyse the role and performance of ICT. The study carried out covers 65 senior secondary schools including 100 respondents of West Bengal. It indicated that the use of ICT as a strategic management tool is a welcome sign. The result of the study has demonstrated that ICT was effective in predicting the future of new technology for the purpose of teaching-learning and transaction of curriculum, thus improving quality of education.
In addition, Roger's (1995) diffusion of innovations (DOI) theory is examined in modified form to analyse the role of ICT in school education. For this, variables were set and were selected for explaining the role of ICT in school education and these are relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, demonstrability, image and avoidance. As a matter of fact their explanations and the variables can be shown in the table no. 1.
Source: Research Journal of Management Sciences. Vol. 1(4), p.21-25, November (2012).
An assessment of ICT on quality of secondary education of Burdwan district in West Bengal on the basis of a set of selected indicators was carried out by Paul P.K. and Mondal N.K. (2012) by using Kendall's coefficient of concordance. In fact Kendall's Concordance measures if any substantial association exists between ICT and the level of quality of education. In the study of the assessment, they derived Kendall's coefficient statistic (W) and the value of non-parametric chi-square. It was observed with the support of the field perception of ranking of numerous selected indicators assigned by the respondents. The indicators are: Relative Advantage (RAD), Compatibility (COM), Complexity (COP), Image (IMG), Demonstrability (DEM), and Avoidance (AVOID). Table- 2 can explain the Concordance analysis. Such that the observed value of chi-square (X2) that is 16.9 is greater than the table value at 5 % and 1 % level of significance (i.e., X2.05, d.f. 5 = 9.236 and X2 .01, d.f. 9 = 15.086) for degrees of freedom 5, hence the null hypothesis is rejected and the alternative hypothesis is accepted. Consequently, it can be determined that there exists significant association between ICT and quality of secondary education of Burdwan district in West Bengal.
Mondal Naba Kumar and Roy Moupriya (2010) noted that gender disparity does not exist of effects of ICT on quality of education. Though, the level of quality of education lies in its ability to organize ICT through establishment of proper infrastructure in the school. This study also showed how ICT has received extensive recognition as a strategy for upgradation of quality of education through acquired relative advantage, compatibility, demonstrability and image by overcoming the factors avoidance and complexities of new technology.
2.3 Hidden curriculum
Hidden curriculum is recognised as being a form of the school socialisation. Drebeen (1968) argues that the students gain experience when attending school where they come across norms and customs of the institutions which will help them in their life. The author describes the norms as the accomplishment, autonomy, universalism and specificity. The norms are taught to the students for them to live in the society. According to Giroux (2001), hidden curriculum is the norms and principles taught in the school which are experienced in their whole educational life. Jackson and Marsden (2004) have the belief that Rules, Routines and Regulations, forms the hidden curriculum. This implies the hidden curriculum is made up of the school socialisation. The students will have to get along the hidden curriculum for them to be part of the school. In addition, the hidden curriculum includes a range of social realities. This study also considers the lack of meritocracy and the unequal opportunities as being vital negative factors which affect the education quality.
Parsons (1951) argues that a school is a small society which works in respect of meritocracy where merit is received according to status. As such every individual has the same opportunities to prosper in life but when they fail, they are to blame. Hence, the concept of differential reward for differential achievement specifies that high and lower achievers accept that the system is authentic because in various circumstances there is the same chance of accomplishment which is provided to every individual. Parsons (1951) maintains that the school offers students with the same chances of attainment then again they have to take as recognition the differentiation as judicious and right. Students doing better on cognitive side will be assumed technical roles as those achieving in moral are allocated social roles.
Moreover Turner (1997) has the belief that selection turns out to be vital when it is to preserve the fidelity of the masses for the elites. The disappearance of the fidelity would put the societal order at stake. As a result of Hopper (1971) gives response to four questions how, when, among who and why selection occurs? He concludes that society decides its form of selection. It is noted that inequalities is a part of the structure and they must not be challenged. Davies (1995) argues that the explanation of selection given by Hopper (1971) is simple. He does not take into account the education role in the society. Selection practices of school can be recognised to not transpire only according to merits and talents. Factors like social class, gender and ethnicity can really ruins the chances of educational attainment.
The process of streaming must be taken into account when considering the matter of selection practices at school. Ball (1987) argues that in low achieving classes there could be found working class students which weaken to a greater degree the concept of equal opportunity. Streaming has been perceived as a manner that causes social inequalities and weakens meritocracy at school according to Haralambos & Holborn (2004). Even though UNESCO (2005) considers the need to diminish the development of streaming in lower classes, it is however certain it should be indispensible in higher levels of secondary education. UNESCO (2005) describes that streaming will not be founded merely on academic potentials of students but on their aptitudes in a number of fields to prepare them for their forthcoming professional careers.
2.3.2 Equality of opportunity
Equality of opportunity in education is seen to be important in UNESCO (2000) whereby Education For All is one of the main. UNESCO (2000) argues that everyone in the society should be given the opportunity to acquire knowledge to be able to develop their values, attitudes and skills which will allow them to develop their aptitudes to work and for their full participation in the society, to manage their life and to continue learning. According to Burden (1999), Education For All has been devised at the Jomtien Conference to deal with the differing needs of many countries. It is further mentioned by Burden (1999) that education must consider the concept of diversity and inclusivity. Education is a must; it must be made accessible to all people, irrespective of their race, gender, language, culture and disability. Such aspects consider diversity that exists in a multiracial society and eventually it favours the equality of opportunity.
2.3.3 Use of the learners' first language in schools for better understanding and learning.
According to UNESCO (2000), the first language of the learner should be its mother tongue to utilise it for instruction to enable students' underprivileged backgrounds to gain from the equality of opportunity in education.
2.4.4 Gender inequality
According to Bunwaree (1999), even though Mauritius has succeeded in attaining universal primary education, the equality of opportunity in education remains a myth. It is not necessary for equal access to imply equal outcomes. Bunwaree (1999) argues that normally it is among the Creole population that there are dropouts at an early age and they represent the poorest section of the Mauritian society.
According to UNESCO (2000), gender disparities in primary and secondary education should be eradicated by 2005 and gender equality in education should be achieved by 2015, with an emphasis on ensuring that girls gain full and equal access to and achievement in basic education of good quality. This is so because Gender-based discrimination is one of the most problematic restraints in the realising of the right to education. If this is not overcome, then Education For All is not possible.
Hence, the education of girls is a vital aspect for a country because it stimulates a drop in fertility rates and makes sure of an improvement in children's health. In the colonial period of Mauritius, people from African and Indian origin and the coloured people had no access to education. The white children were the only ones who were educated. Then again the education given to the girls of white origin was deeply sex-stereotyped whereby they were only taught of how to develop their feminine personalities and to be potential housewives (Bunwaree 1999). In the 1950s the government took seriously the totality of education of all ethnic groups, and thus the education of girls started.
Nevertheless, education was not free and only those who could pay were given access to education. Boys were given the privilege as they were to be the future breadwinners. In the late 1970s, an increase in the enrolment of girls at school was noted because education had become free. Bunwaree (1999) argues that the proposition of free education was political bait offered by the Labour Party to win the election at that time. Consequently, the government had to face many difficulties with the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP), because it did not agree with the abolishment of free education. Education was proclaimed free in 1976 for everyone in the country. This government decision brought unintended desirable benefits for girls' education. Nowadays, though there is equality for both sexes in accessing education, only few women hold important positions in either the private or the public sector.
Bunwaree (1999) argues that sex discrimination in regards with education is still prevalent in the working population. Even today dropouts of girls from school are a reality. The qualitative analysis of Bunwaree (1999) emphasises the difference in resource allocation within the home itself, where the education of the daughter is not given importance since she will leave the home when she will be married and the son will become a future breadwinner.
To conclude this chapter has drawn to the attention the theory of different authors regarding the subject matter that will be useful in the construction of the questionnaire and the development of the hypothesis. The next chapter will explain the methodology aspect where it will provide an overview of the different method and the steps that has to be adopted in doing this research.