The current changing educational environment has placed not only public schools and institutions but also a large number of non-public and international educational institutions into a competition with which in order to gain a competitive and effective advantage, each educational institution must find ways to innovate themselves, make a difference, facilitate effectiveness for learners, and provide courses of quality.
An educational organization / institution chosen by many people is often considered a reputable institution, or an institution of quality. According to Edward Deming (1950), “”Good quality means a predictable degree of uniformity and dependability with a quality standard suited to the customer “. In this view, an educational institution of quality does not only suit learners’ needs of the course/training purpose, but also makes them satisfied about the course. Thus, it can be said that working towards customer satisfaction is also an important target in the quality management of an educational institution.
In order to manage the quality of educational services in private primary schools, there are many stakeholders involved such as the board of directors, the school board, etc. However, this article only mentions the principal’s management of service quality aimed at the satisfaction of customers of X – Hanoi private primary school, in particular. Because the research case requires that the identity shouldn’t be reveal the identity, the author uses X to replace the real name of the school.
- Problem solving
- a) Introduction of the case study
X Primary School belongs to the X-education system – a multi-level school with foreign elements. The school was founded in 2017 on the basis of school restructuring and changing the owner from a private Y primary school. By the school year 2018-2019, 158 students enrolled in X Primany school.
Regarding the program, students study Vietnam’s Ministry of Education’s program in parallel with the English program according to Australia’s competence framework to achieve SACE (South Australia Certificate of Education) upon graduating from High School. With an annual tuition of 80 to 120 million, the school identifies its target market as high – income parents who want their children to study abroad.
In terms of organizational structure, the school has a board of directors and an education board, in addition to departments responsible for each specific task such as the program board, administration department, health care, kitchen, finance … all these departments are responsible for directing / coordinating the whole system. The professional director for each level of education is the principal. Ms. Nguyen Thi A is the principal of the Primary School.
- b) Research Methods
The author uses a combination of qualitative research and quantitative research.
For the principal’s management, the author uses the observation method (directly and indirectly through workplace – a social networking tool provided by Facebook exclusively for businesses – the main channel of school information) and direct interview method.
Regarding the satisfaction of customers, from the viewpoints of primary school students, for 94 students from grade 2 to grade 5, the author uses the questionnaire and students fill out directly in the computer room of the school. For 64 first graders, the homeroom teacher and author collaborate to ask students and fill out the questionnaire according to the students’ answers. Questions for primary students are built on three main question groups: educational environment, curriculum and administration. From the viewpoints of students’ parents, the author conducts a survey using an online questionnaire sent to the workplace account of the students’ parents, collecting 90 votes. In order to specify the contents of parents’ satisfaction / dissatisfaction, the author also uses the year-end parent meetings of the school to interview parents, the meetings are held directly with each student’s parent. 38 parents agree to answer questions. Questions for parents are designed on 5 main areas of students’ education, educational environment, curriculum and education, family and school coordination, administrative work and administration.
The following is a summary of research results.
- c) Research results:
With her experience working in the education sector at many different positions at many schools from public to private ones, Ms. A, the principal of the X Primary School, said, “Actually, both public and private schools are now geared towards building high quality; the social development trends also set the demand for high quality educational services. But compared to public schools, private schools are ahead because they are more facilitated, they have more autonomy in almost everything, public schools are still constrained by the mechanism.”
She also cast her views on the quality management of a principal including “quality management of teaching, daycare, overtime activities…”. Currently, the work Ms. A is doing at X Primary School is implementing the tasks assigned by the Board of Directors such as managing the quality of teaching and learning activities, ensuring the safety of students in the time at school, managing boarding activities, managing activities of the clubs, coordinating in building and implementing programs for students’ experience activities… Ms. A mainly works with related authorities, relevant departments and parents through the workplace, observes classes as scheduled and attends briefings once a week. With such views and assigned activities, the principal of X School said that the management of the quality of educational services at X School was more favorable than that of the public school she had worked for some following reasons:
– She does not have to coordinate with the authorities to do many other jobs that are not related to teaching and learning as in public schools, X School is an autonomous school so it only needs to focus on improving the quality of teaching and services.
– The number of students are small
– Facilities and teaching equipment are good.
However, the difficulties she encounters are as follows:
– She is not allowed to make as many decisions as in public schools. She has to not only follow the regulations of the ministry, department, education office but also be under to the direction of the board of management.This sometimes leads to failure to implement individual and professional perspectives as well as service quality management practices.
– Parents of students at X School require higher quality of the school’s educational services than the public schools she had worked for because they pay a high tuition fee and the main person responsible to the parents is the principal so the pressure is huge.
– The school adopts the administrative working method through Workplace, many jobs require to be solved immediately, causing her to spend more time working at the office by computer so the direct communication activities are limited.
According to the principal, the factors that make parents happy about the quality of the school’s education are as follows “Output quality is number 1, parents must see their child’s progress in knowledge, competence, and ethics”,”their children like to go to school, teachers must not scare students into learning”,”educational environment must be friendly, the classroom must be like a family”. She said that X Primary School had done a good job of managing the quality of service because in her view: “The enrollment rate is still 100%, maintained from the beginning of the year, parents are satisfied, that is the most evident proof,” “the parents’ complaint has dropped a lot compared to the beginning of the year, this is a positive sign.” She said that she was doing well the work of management of education services at X School, parents and students were satisfied, the reason was because “the job is similar to what has been done in my former public school and it is even easier because there are not many students and no other errands. I have worked for many years, so it is very simple.”
According to results collected from students, with all survey items, the proportion of students who like school, like going to school, teachers, educational and learning activities, play activities, food, pickup activities … is all over 90%. Students who do not like the school mainly state the following reasons: “Friends tease me”, “I do not like that teachers scold me and my friends”, “I do not like my friends’ fighting”… . The most reasons students cite when talking about their likes about schools are “I like to play with my friends”, “I like my school because of its many interesting activities”, “I like to go for experience activities”, “I like teachers”, “I like food at school “, “I like my school library”, “I like it because there is no homework “…
For the parents, the satisfaction is shown in the table:
|The level of parents’ satisfaction with the quality of educational services
|Frequency||Percent||Valid Percent||Cumulative Percent|
It can be seen that the overall percentage of parents satisfied with the quality of general educational services of the school is quite high (over 70%), but in each component, there are also many unsatisfied opinions. However, the scope of this article does not mention the influence of these factors on the satisfaction of students’ parents. When interviewed more specifically about what makes parents unsatisfied, parents have the comments on a number of issues as follows:
– The quality of English teaching is not as committed.
– The quality of the Ministry’s curriculum is the same as that of other public schools, there is not much difference.
– Teachers pamper students too much, discipline is not strict.
– Attitude of school officials (not teachers) when receiving or recording feedback from parents is not good.
– The major communication channel – workplace is unpopular and ineffective.
– Comments and feedbacks are received but responded slowly, changes are not in accordance with parents’ opinions.
– Students’ parents are not satisfied with the principal’s thought, attitude and working style, the parents who were of this opinion thought that Ms. A was not suitable for the private education environment because she still had rigid and inflexible thinking and bureaucratic ways of doing things.
- d) Discussion
It can be seen that Principal A’s viewpoint of service quality management is the striving for customer satisfaction. She also has certain experience and achievements in her work as a principal – an educational quality service manager. However, she has not really adapted to the requirements of “customers”, leading to many unsatisfied opinions. A few of the principal’s mistakes may be pointed out as follows:
The first mistake in managing the quality of the school’s educational services by Principal A of the X School is being unable to guarantee the quality of education – the most important task in her opinion.
The second mistake is that loose management of discipline stems from the principal’s point of view – focusing on making the child happy and interested, but not stressing the importance of school discipline. Children like to go to school but that the quality of education is not good, the children are not well trained, do not have good discipline and attitude will also make their parents unhappy.
Ms. A’s third mistake is that she considered parents’ decreased feedbacks as satisfaction, not knowing that it is the slow or no-response feedback that makes students’ parents no longer want to respond, and that again is a serious cause for their dissatisfaction.
The principal’s fourth mistake is that she assumed that the quality management services for private school were similar to what was in the public school that she had been in charge of. The work was more leisurely because of fewer tasks, but she could not fully assess the parents’ expectations. As parents have to pay 10 times higher tuition fee compared to that of public schools, they have more complex expectation with greater demand for knowledge and skills to manage service quality, which made her receive a lot of opposition from the students’ parents.
The fifth mistake of the principal of X School is that her behavior and working style are still bureaucratic and conservative, typical of the old mechanism and not suitable for the “service” environment.
The principal’s opinion and knowledge of the quality of educational service management will influence her attitude and the way of quality management, and it directly affects students’ parents’ satisfaction in the principal’s work. The parents are “indirect customers” but the deciding factor in school choice.
For a private primary school, one of the most important issues is how to get the best admission, but to be able to get the enrollment, its quality of the educational services is required to satisfy “customers”. And the principal, the representative of the school in terms of image and professionalism, should have the right knowledge, skills and the most appropriate attitude about the quality management of educational services. That can help the principal perform his/her role well – pleasing customers and contributing to improving the brand value of the school ./.
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- Donthu, Naveen & Boonghee y. (1998), “Cultural Influences on Service Quality Expectations”, Journal of Service Research, 1, 2, p. 178-186.
- Drucker P. F. (1985), “Innovation and entrepreneurship”, HarperBusiness Publisher; Reprint edition (May 9, 2006)
- Deming, W.E., 1950. “Elementary Principles of the Statistical Control of Quality”, JUSE.
- Elliot, K.M. & Healy, M.A. (2001), “Key factors influencing student satisfaction related to recruitment and retention”, Journal of Marketing for Higher Education, 10,4, p. 1-11.
- Robert C. Fort, Michael C.Sturman &Cherrill P.Heatton (20181, “Quản lý chất lượng ngành dịch vụ khách hàng”, Nhà xuất bản đại học bách khoa Hà Nội
Quản lý chất lượng dịch vụ giáo dục của hiệu trưởng trường tiểu học hướng tới sự hài lòng của khách hàng – Trường hợp tiểu học X – Hà Nội
Tóm tắt: Nếu trước đây, giáo dục được coi là 1 hoạt động sự nghiệp giáo dục con người, thì ngày nay dưới sự tác động cuả nhiều yếu tố, đặc biệt là sự xuất hiện của rất nhiều các trường dân lập và quốc tế, đã nảy sinh ra một khái niệm mới là “dịch vụ giáo dục” mà ở đó người học hoặc cha mẹ người học có thể lựa chọn “nhà cung cấp dịch vụ”- các cơ sở giáo dục/trường học mà họ cho là phù hợp nhất. Chính vì vậy mà các cơ sở giáo dục/trường học muốn tồn tại và phát triển phải không ngừng nâng cao chất lượng của mình nhằm nâng cao sự hài lòng của người học. Và hiệu trưởng đóng vai trò không nhỏ trong việc quản lý chất lượng dịch vụ giáo dục của nhà trường. Bài viết này tập trung vào nghiên cứu công tác quản lý chất lượng dịch vụ nhằm hướng tới sự hài lòng của khách hàng của hiệu trưởng trường tiểu học X – một trường tiểu học dân lập tại Hà Nội.
Từ khoá: quản lý chất lượng dịch vụ giáo dục, sự hài lòng của khách hang, trường tiểu học, công tác quản lý của hiệu trưởng.