Developing a sound HR strategy

Challenges faced are:

  1. Disciplinary issues
  2. Children from broken families
  3. Peer pressure
  4. Struggling readers
  5. Lack of learning materials and resources
  6. Teachers lacking subject knowledge
  7. Lack of parental support

Some challenges that I face in my organization are as follows
• Limited Resources
• Overcrowded Classrooms
• Infrastructure and Facilities
• Curriculum Challenges
• Discipline issues
• Parental Involvement: Encouraging parental involvement in a child’s education is a challenge in some cases.
• Cultural Sensitivity: It’s essential for teachers to be culturally sensitive and aware of the local customs and traditions, especially in a diverse country like Fiji
• Introduction to new curriculum- new subjects are introduced whereby other subjects teaching time are shortened to accommodate new subject. Curriculum is overcrowded. Teaching more than 10 subjects to Year 4 level is just too much. Teachers are just rushing up to complete the syllabus for these subjects. Year 4 Subjects MATHEMATICS, ENGLISH, VERNACULAR, ELEMENTARY SCIENCE, HEALTHY LIVING, SOCIAL STUDIES, MCE, MORAL VALUES, PE, ART AND CRAFT, MUSIC, CONVERSATIONAL

Challenged Faced in the organization

  • Disciplinary Issues (students)
  • Increasing in early school leavers
  • Poor academic planner
  • Drop in academic performance

Strategies can be implemented by Organization

Teachers can implement means and ways to address students’ behavior and their attitude in school. For example, by giving them tasks in school like say they times table. Also managing students’ behavior can be done by taking them to counsellors for counselling or giving them responsibilities so that they can be busy all the time rather than making mistakes example be a prefect, blackboard cleaner.

A lot of young people dropped out from school because of lack of support from home and in school. Open school it can be a good choice for them, where they can be enrolled and get back in the school system. Also, well trained staff need to be recruited so that to assists our learners well and enhanced learning.

Term planner is well discussed and distributed but are not followed, the organization can overlook on this and managers or leaders need to stressed this out to be done as according to what we plan.

Furthermore, the dropped in academic performance where students and parents are not to be blamed. Teachers need to be more vigilant on the teaching strategies you using must be workable to students. For example, mathematics used all the teaching strategies because students learning is different.

Listed below are main HR challengers faced:
Staff development - easy access to this will help to upgrade specific skills which will help staffs research endeavors.
Staff retention - poor salary incentives given to retain staff or high workload for mere salary.
Recruitment strategy - over emphasize on international talent. Local talent is overlooked.
Unfair staff review - local and international staff are treated differently.

The HR issue can be fixed easily. Creating a positive and open environment where everyone’s opinion is heard and considered will boost staff trust. Fun environment will motivate staff and they will performance. Timely salary rise and workload reduction will help as well. recruitment should be well thought.

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The most challenging issue faced within my school is definitely student to teacher ratio. It is doubling the required ratio of 1 to 25/30. In this case the HR has to create a strategy that allows for effective learning for all the students despite the over crowdedness within a class room.

Another challenge is staff working space. HR must consider that staff require a comfortable working space to boost their motivation and maintain their interest in delivering quality teaching and learning for their students.

The third challenge would have to be students with learning difficulties. There has to be a strategy in place to consider how to deal with them rather than neglecting this group and allowing them to keep moving on with the rest of the group.

  1. Recruitment and Retention: Finding and retaining qualified teaching staff can be a challenge. High turnover rates can affect the continuity and quality of education.
  2. Workload and Burnout: Teachers often face heavy workloads, including lesson planning, grading, and extracurricular activities. This can lead to burnout and impact the overall well-being of educators.

Challenges faced includes:

  1. Slow learners
  2. Discipline
    3.Attracting and retaining qualified teachers

To address the challenges

  1. Slow Learners -The organization can allocate teacher aids or extra support staff for weaker learners.
  2. Discipline - To address discipline issues, counselors can be arranged for schools. These counselors
    can move to schools for assistance.
  3. Attracting and Retaining Staff - To address this, the organisation can offer competitive salaries, professional development opportunities and supportive work environment.

Challenges identify regarding my institution

  • There is a need for a strategic system of recruiting full-time and part-time staff.
  • There is a communication vacuum within the leaders and the rest of the human resources.
  • Some areas still need to develop policies to address certain issues.

An institution will always have challenges including schools. Challenges that I can identify are:

  1. Management issues- not being able to manage the school effectively;
  2. Teacher Qualification and performance- sometimes teachers who are not qualified are not able to think analytically and critically to respond to issues for the betterment of the school or vice versa, teachers who are qualified do not have the attitudes or characteristics to be patient or be approachable.
  3. Student to Teacher Ration - some classrooms are over crowded, there are a lot of students in the classroom which provide challenges to teachers to know all the students and teach them effectively.
  4. Lack of required facilities and resources - these are resources needed for learning especially with the technology, computers are sometimes lacking.
  5. Bullying - some students like to bully the smaller or the weak students.
  6. Workload/stress - sometimes workload can cause stress in teachers and they will not be able to perform or do their jobs well.
  7. Lack of knowledge in using new technologies - this is not knowing how to use online resources or new applications for accessing materials for teaching.

These are some recommendations that can help to address the challenges:

  1. Management issues - appoint a leader or Head teacher that has management skills or undergone management training.
  2. Teacher Qualification and Performance - employ qualified teachers and also provide training or opportunity for untrained or unqualified teachers to undergo further studies, or training to upgrade their qualifications.
  3. Student to Teacher Ration - make sure that the number of your intake of new students is manageable .
  4. Lack of required facilities and resources - need to source funding or fund raise to purchase materials and resources so the school is well equipped or furnished before the start of the term.
  5. Bullying - design effective rules and discipline those who have aggressive behaviours and attitudes. Make sure the School Board or Council is effective.
  6. Workload/stress - be mindful of teachers capacity and capability when allocating responsibilities and workload.
  7. Lack of knowledge in using new technologies - provide training or workshops to build or enhance staff’s capacity in using new technologies.
  8. Teamwork - it is important that there is team work between the staff and the school administration so there is effective and efficient operation of the school.
  9. Regular workshops or training for teachers’ capacity building is really important especially with new ideas and technologies emerging. Teachers will need to be up to date with current information and teaching approaches.
  10. The school (teachers, students and administration) need to establish a good relationship with the community (parents, workforce, organisations, government) and so on so there is support in many ways especially for the improvement of students’ academic performances.

Challenges faced in our school:

  1. Qualified and computer literate staff left school less than two years after joining workforce.
  2. Teachers owning businesses.
  3. Teachers taking on leave during school terms.
  4. Principal or Deputies have no education background.

To address these challenges, the causes or reasons behind these challenges should be carefully identified if not then the school will keep on loosing qualified teachers. However, in order to attract and retain qualified teachers, some of the suggestions that will help solve the problem are related to

i. Staff salary
Has to be considered, to match the teachers’ workload.

ii. Student-teacher ratio
Here the ratio is not considered with the lowest ratio is 21 students per teacher and the highest is 35 students per teacher. No fixed ratio used so if the student-teacher ratio followed then it might reduce teachers’ stress that cause them leaving.

iii. Workload
Teachers do not teach only in classrooms, they are also supervisors. They supervised students when having their meals(breakfast, lunch, supper), night study, Saturday night entertainment,.and many more. If these load given to other staff, not teachers, then I believe no qualified teacher will want to leave the school.

iv. Housing
Delay in doing maintenance make teachers leave their home in school so maintenance should be on time and planning ahead such as to know whose house, when to do maintenance and who will do the maintenance should be done.

v. Teaching and learning resources
Should be provided before school start.

vi. Leadership
Untrained leaders should not be given the position or have to be trained before taking the position. They should be well trained in leadership skills before given the opportunity.

vii. Professional Development trainings.
This should be regularly done to all teachers in order to help teachers and school leaders to see the importance of their role as teachers and leaders for the students and their nation.

The above suggestions could minimize or eliminate such challenges faced in any school especially to retain qualified teachers.

Some constraints faced in my School regarding HR are:

  1. Teacher Recruitment and Retention:
    Teacher recruitment and retention goes hand in hand. Schools struggle to find attraching qualified educators especially when it comes to subject teaching (Vernacular). On the other hand it becomes difficult to find replacement of a teacher who have left to education system for betterment.

  2. Student to Teacher Ratio:
    Maintaining overcrowded classroom can be challenging most of the time. Updating information on Femis is time consuming and at times makes Teachers impatience. Again if there is a teacher absence then whole learning and teaching is affected. Less support is provided by the Team Admin as in this regards.

  3. PSC Code of Conduct/ Attitude:
    Teachers not adhering to Codes of Conduct which leads to unprofessional behaviors and insubordination.

  4. Managing Resources:
    Most of the times resources are not purchased on time time due to grants not provided on time to school.

  5. Channel of Communication:
    Teachers bypassing their grievance to higher authorities without approaching the HoS whether personal or professional.

Some recommendations that can help to address the challenges:

  1. Teacher Recruitment and Retention:
    Provide incentives to Teachers such as rural allowances [any distance] and better housing support.

  2. Student to Teacher Ratio:
    Zoning Policy to be implemented and followed strictly in order to maintain class roll especially in rural schools. Ensuring for fixed ratio to reduce teacher stress as well.

  3. PSC Code of Conduct/ Attitudes:
    Regular PD’s/ Workshops/ Staff Meetings and Staff briefing conducted to overcome such behaviors and attitudes of teachers. Also to seek help from Ministry of Education.

  4. Managing Resources:
    To combat this issue of using the resources wisely, the government of the day should grants before the school begins new academic year so that resources could be purchased well on time.

  5. Channel of Communication:
    Conduction of Professional development for Teachers frequently.

1.Shortage of teachers

Travelling to job fairs, expos and career events at schools and institutions has been a means to do recruit diverse pools of candidates. But since the COVID-19 pandemic, visits and job fairs have become virtual. HR in the education sector are left with no choice but to adapt, and it hasn’t been easy.

2.Student to Teacher Ratio:
Zoning Policy to be implemented and followed strictly in order to maintain class roll especially in rural schools. Ensuring for fixed ratio to reduce teacher stress as well.

3.Teacher Qualification and Performance - employ qualified teachers and also provide training or opportunity for untrained or unqualified teachers to undergo further studies, or training to upgrade their qualifications.

4.Workload and Stress:Excessive workloads and stress due to large class sizes, administrative duties, and a lack of support staff can lead to teacher burnout.

  1. Emerging Technologies: Keeping up with technology trends and integrating them into the learning environment while ensuring data security and student privacy can pose HR challenges.

It’s as simple as that. HR makes it easier to manage personnel. From recruiting to accepting applications, onboarding new workers, and supporting teachers until they retire, digital processes offer applicants, employees, managers, and HR staff a better, more intuitive, and more accurate solution.

The major challenges that are faced in my school are stated below.

  1. Students discipline
    Students have this behavior of mis bahave and forget to follow given school rules. Their dressing is poor and have no respect for their teachers. This can be improved if we strictly with the school conduct. Provide professional deans who can council those students who misbehave in school. Teach and direct them in a way they can improve and change. Because teachers have alot of work loads and does not have time with those kids.

  2. Teacher professionalism
    Trachers have the problem conducting themselves in school graound. Many dressed rugged without proper dressing and always clock in late for classes time. This can be improved by appointing someone or getting someone into the institution for monitoring purposes. He or she can make report to principal for warning and counseling. This will cause fear in teachers to improve better.

Teachers face a variety of challenges in school settings. Some of the common challenges include:

  1. Diverse Student Needs: Teachers have to address the diverse learning styles, abilities, and backgrounds of their students. This can be particularly challenging in classrooms with a wide range of academic levels or students with special needs.
  2. Classroom Management: Maintaining a positive and productive classroom environment can be difficult, especially when dealing with large class sizes or students with behavioral issues.
  3. Limited Resources: Many schools have limited budgets for supplies, technology, and extracurricular activities, which can make it challenging for teachers to provide the best possible education for their students.

Few challenges faced in schools are:
Firstly, Disciplinary Issues of students;
Secondly, school drop outs have increased vast in numbers;
Thirdly, workload of teachers due to shortage in specific subject teachers, And
Finally, poor leadership qualities that leads to resignation of teachers.

Challenges faced in my organisation are:

  • Teachers lacking content knowledge specially when Secondary School graduates are posted in Primary schools.

  • Poor class management.

  • Inefficient teachers- not submitting work on time.

  • Teachers taking too many leaves.

  • Disciplinary issues of children.

  • Students not showing interest in school work.

  • Frequent absenteeism of children.

Recommendations to address these problems.
-Teachers should be posted according to their qualification. secondary graduates should be posted to secondary school and primary graduates to primary school.
-Teachers should take PDs or lessons on class management.

  • Teachers should be given incentives for efficiency to motivate inefficient teachers.
    -Teachers should be counselled and encouraged not to misuse leaves.
    -Students should be referred to a counsellor for professional counselling.
    -Interesting lessons should be developed to capture students interest in class.
  • Parents should be interviewed on their Childs absenteeism and they should be asked to monitor their children’s absenteeism.
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In ODL Study centres in PNG the challenges will be similar when the NDOE policy of establishing FODE programs are to be fully introduced into secondary schools in 2024. These are some suggestions to help address the challenges that will arise as the FODE Concept will be new to all stakeholders.
1.FODE HQ has to establish good relations by doing school visits to conduct in-services and PD activities on how the FODE programs will be offered with clear guidelines on the policies and expectations from the school administration.
2.Assist school administration to strengthen the HR policy on staff recruitment for ODL operations with clear job descriptions.
3. Clarify the TOR for the remunerations for the FODE teachers’ engagement and sustenance
4. Outline the students enrolments expectations/guidelines for the the FODE This awareness to include Parents information of the partnership between FODE and the school FODE centre.
5.The Tuition Free Subsidy component for FODE students be directed to the host school to accommodate for the program and student/teachers teaching and learning needs.
6.The mainstream teachers be supported with Inclusive teaching and learning strategies to assist the diverse learners as these group of students are not the eligible students for the Grade 9 into the mainstream schools. These group of students are sometimes labelled as second chance students whose learning were affected due to learning difficulties or discipline issues that affected their learning.

The feedback shared on the currents challenges faced in many ODL schools in are also similar in many of our mainstream schools which requires further strengthening by school administrations. Hence with this study on HR sound strategies will greatly assist me to closely observe the challenges and recommendations provided to assist the FODE HQ as the programs begins it’s implementation.

I face alot of challenges like learning disability, children with poor supportive background, using of technology for teaching and learning and of course discipline issues. These challenges can be addressed through working collaboratively with the stakeholders,parents and ministry of education to help tackle these challenges and find ways and means to address these challenges. Also conducting professional development especially for teachers to be trained and adapt to the new changes and using of new technology for teaching and learning.

I agree with the above

The challenges that I took note of for SWOT analysis are poor performance of students, limited time for extra curricular and student behaviour. The above challenges can be re looked at. Some ways in which the organisation can address the challenges are poor performance of students. Teachers need to diagnose the problems students face and provide intervention as per child’s needs .
Secondly, limited time for extra curricular activities. The timetable can be relooked at and extra minutes added to the extra curricular activities. Lunch time can also be shortened and extra curricular accommodated at least twice a week.
Thirdly, student behaviour is one of the major issues that needs to be reviewed everytime. Students behaviour can be controlled through counselling, involvement of parents, social welfare and MOE. Schools also need to have Behaviour management policy. Students need to be made aware of the misbehaviours and the consequences.