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Teacher Empowerment for School Transformation (TEST)
How do we contribute to institutional reform?
Janice Chong, Co-Founder
ABOUT EDVOLUTION ENTERPRISE
Edvolution Enterprise is a social enterprise based in Penang, Malaysia focusing on leadership development and people empowerment for institutional reform. We apply business leadership and management principles in the various subsystems of the education system to drive institutional reform in order to improve schools holistically.
Our organisation is founded with a passion in "Building Transformative Leaders, Competent Educators and Effective Community Builders in Schools". In order to do so, we ensure our services contribute towards building capacity in state and district education offices, schools as well as organisations or individuals who are working with schools through their various programme.
ABOUT THE TEST PROGRAMME
We are currently piloting the Teacher Empowerment for School Transformation (TEST) programme, a three-year leadership development programme aimed at building the capacity of district education offices to empower school leaders in creating a collaborative and empowered work culture in schools.
The programme is a collaboration with a few private sectors and Malaysia's Ministry of Education (MoE). TEST supports the MoE's aspirations to develop its human capital to lead schools towards improvement through customised solutions based on school needs.
In 2018, 80% of the District Leaders we work with have not been exposed to leadership development and 77% of the District Leaders indicated they need support and training in increasing their efficiency to support schools.
71% of the schools we work with face challenges in improving teachers’ mindset and 47% of the schools face challenges in developing teachers as good instructional leaders.
As such, the TEST programme is designed to accelerate the District Leaders' leadership to empower School Leaders in creating a collaborative team and empowered work culture in schools to address the challenges faced.
TEST is currently implemented in 14 schools in the North-East District of Penang, Malaysia. These 14 schools are categorised as high-need schools, where majority of the students are from low socioeconomic background and have low educational outcomes.
At present, 54 District Leaders, 70 School Leaders and 200 teachers are undergoing leadership training and development activities in the programme, impacting the quality of education for 8918 students in the 14 schools.
The leadership training and development activities encompasses both the emotional and cognitive development of the District Leaders, School Leaders and teachers in turning around schools. These activities focus on promoting:
- Regular competency-based assessments using global tools to cultivate a high-performance work culture.
- Creation of Teacher Leaders to create a culture of empowerment and distributed leadership.
- Professional Learning Communities such as Learning Circles and Learning Walks to create a culture of collaboration, learning and change.
- Effective relationship building practices such as Personality Compass and Love Language to create a safe and nurturing environment for both teachers and students.
TEST is first implemented through workshops and personalised coaching sessions by the Programme Mentors for the District Leaders. The District Leaders then conduct workshops and coaching sessions for School Leaders and teachers in order to provide full support in ensuring the sustainability of the reformed institution.
Within one and a half year of implementation, the programme has created the following impact:
- Schools have been enabled to reduce teachers absenteeism by 6% in the span of five months.
- 73% of District Leaders have managed to help School Leaders to take on the leadership role of Teacher Leaders.
- 12 teachers in the programme were selected to represent Penang in an international conference held in Thaksin University, Thailand to share their teaching practices to 40 trainee teachers.
- 100 students from the 14 high-need schools underwent leadership training organised by the District Leaders and Teacher Leaders to motivate the students to make a difference in their school.
- 12 of the 14 schools are currently working to instil the rights values by developing videos and posters to educate their teachers and students.