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School-based Project Management

Introduction

School programs are normally designed to accommodate and content students as well as the teaching infrastructure. In the modern society teachers and school managers are under pressure to meet the requirement and expectations of the public that mainly include parents, students and the government. However the increasing cases of immorality and the decaying standards of ethics in our midst complicates the matter for the management of these institutions. (JISC Digital media, 2009)

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The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the required skills in project management taking a school as an example. In this scenario I take a school in North Carolina by the name Oasis High School. In this school I propose the introduction of a program dubbed Street success that entails rehabilitating street boys through academics to make them responsible people for the future generation. (Tom, 1996)

Preface

The word facilitate means to make easy, make smooth, help, aid or make possible. This is a proposal of a school based program to facilitate reading skills for students with learning and behavior problems. Learning problems could be as a result mental disorders, physical disability and etc. I have stated and given examples of the learning skills that this program tries to facilitate, I have also given the relevant materials necessary to aid the learning of physically disabled student’s e.g. The blind, the deaf and mentally ill. I have named it the street success. Please take your time to read this paper and understand the contents. Thank you.

Street success is an academic school based program that tries to uplift the education standard of street children. It is understood that these are people with learning disability and behavior. Most of them are orphans or ones who cannot be able to identify their parents due to social and psychological problems. With the increasing economic difficulties pressure is mounting on governments, non governmental organizations and the like minded people to take the initiatives of ensuring that basic education is available to every one. (Reh, 2009)

This idea came to my mind when I was travelling from Ohio to Marshall University to see a friend who was undertaking his undergraduate program in his teens. While in a bus to the main campus I saw a street boy standing on the opposite direction begging. I became so emotional and tears watered in my eyes. It was like a burial ceremony where the only reading material is autobiography. When I went back to North Carolina the decision quickly came into my mind. This is the proposal that is explained here. (JISC Digital media, 2009)

Skill Area

In this program I intend to develop new and improve little already acquired skills. Some of the skills that we are developing here include communication, interpersonal skills like, passiveness, assertiveness, intelligence and ethics. In any modern development these skills must be displayed at every stage. My main objective is to ensure that by the end of their studies students will be able to tackle the ever vexing issues and help define their roles in the modern society to better understand themselves and appreciate their well being and accept the fact that problems are stages of success. Instilling discipline in these forgotten children will ensure that the insecurity is reduced. Responsible people will see the need for development and participate in those programs, this will help steer economic growth. (Reh, 2009)

I plan to set an extra-ordinary example by producing the first twenty students with clean A and ten with A- as mean grades in their final examinations. I believe that this is highly possible and there are no questions about it. Given the necessary resources that I require then there is no doubt that this can succeed. But without vision and determination many people have tried many times and failed in life. I make this decision today knowing very well that it is not going to be an easy task. With unique inspiration that I have and passion for this program I predict a huge success a head. (Tom, 1996)

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In order for me to achieve the objectives of the program the following resources would be required. Education specialists to offer technical and professional advice to the teaching staffs. Three psychologists, twenty teaching staff and ten subordinates. I will be the chief principal. In addition to these the program will require $10,000 to finance the implementation. (Reh, 2009)

Context

The school will be located in North Carolina. At the start I intend to have four hundred street children as the first batch of which half the number will be girls. We intend to locate the school far away from the city to reduce the possibility of any civil unrest arising as a result of students being exposed to urban centers. We are working to get children out of town completely and reform them for the future generation.

Since this is a big number and that accommodating them will be difficult, staff attitude should be to work hard through teams and group round the clock to supervise and monitor movements of students since most of them will be mentally ill and require maximum attention and care. (Tom, 1996)

I will need five support staff members to help teachers whose duties will be to ensure that the daily activities are carried out as the school provision stipulates and that there are no lapses. The support team will work on a shift basis day and night and will be assessed within a specified period. Where promotions prove necessary it will be based on performance. Parents will play vital roles in providing important information about their children because at times it may be very difficult to know the behavior of children before you get to stay with them within a specific time frame. (Reh, 2009).

We will be meeting our parents two times in a term and they will be given opportunity to give their suggestions concerning the school management program and where possible give recommendations for change. We plan to have specific parents assigned to certain streams for advisory and counseling roles. My plan is to tailor the staff’s attitude to understanding the overall school programs and the value that we champion. Delegation has proved effective in most modern organizations and therefore is one of the items in my agenda. I envisage a situation where my staff is working at their full capacity, motivated and with little supervision. (JISC Digital media, 2009)

Flexibility is fundamental especially in a dynamic environment where things are ever changing and that turgidity and rigidity are blocks to innovation and creativity. My organizational structure is one that will allow staff to adopt appropriate measures to take advantage of the changing moments and to make them more innovative as we work to meet the target. (Reh, 2009)

Program

This program is dubbed Street success and is designed to provide education service to children with learning disability and behavior problems. The rationale behind this project is to rehabilitate the mentally ill, street children and orphans for a better future. Some of the street children that we see along the streets were by-products of drug addiction and it’s painful to watch as our children sink into the mire of immorality. We want to get these children out of these situations, reform them and counsel them about their personal experiences with life and explain to them the need to uphold high moral standards. (JISC Digital media, 2009)

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Our main population targets are street children, orphans, destitute, drug addicts, mentally ill and the handicapped. Dealing with this category of persons is not easy and therefore we are planning to set up a primary centre from where these children will be taken for orientation before they join the main program. We are almost securing a partnership with Juan which is the largest children orphanage center. Our strategy is to link up with already established children rehabilitation centers and carry out our interviews to determine children legible for admission to our program. This was seen as a bright Idea and is likely to help us cut cost by 20% a move that might attract many investors and sponsors. (Free management library, 1997)

Program implementation

As we have highlighted, this program cannot be implemented without adequate resources. The human effort, good structure and financial assistance are necessary here. (JISC Digital media, 2009)

Staff: this is a unique program requiring unique skills and experience. I plan to introduce a culture of professionalism and specialization. To ensure that this is done, appointment and recruitment of personnel will be done through rigorous and rigid process to ensure that those who join our staff are thoroughly screened and that no window of canvassing for the positions will be available. Staff appraisals will be conducted regularly to help identify the training needs and remedies taken immediately. (Reh, 2009). Staff appraisals will also help in rewarding performance and identify those personnel needing promotions. The emphasis will be on key competencies such as the ability to handle and instill discipline in mentally ill students. (JISC Digital media, 2009)

Resources

The most important resource that we will need here is money. We have three psychologists each paid $ 500 and five education specialists each paid $ 400, twenty teaching staff $ 250 each, ten subordinates at $100, and five additional support staff at $ 50 each. This cost together with maintenance total to $ 10,000 a month. We had sent our proposal to donor agencies and we are predicting a positive response though they had expressed concern of their inability to finance the whole project. A donor agency by the name Harvest International had shown their interest to sponsor 10% of the project and we are now appealing to well wishers to support us in order to ensure that the destitute, orphans, mentally ill, and street children also get access to basic education. We will highly appreciate your contribution. (Free management library, 1997)

Parents’ involvement

Just like we had proposed early we intend to encourage maximum parent involvement. This is because parents are better placed to understand the needs of their children than the teaching staff and will help in solving situational problems as they arise. Our board meeting had proposed a meeting between parents and teachers to be twice a term. This is instrumental is providing information and recommending changes where necessary. (JISC Digital media, 2009)

The school psychologist: The role of school psychologist will be to perform psychometric diagnosis on the children and to counsel both the teaching staff and children. In certain circumstances the role becomes oversight and includes quality assurance in such institutions since psychologists have what it takes to do such jobs. (Tom, 1996)

The likely pitfalls in the implementation

Pitfalls are simply problems that we are likely to encounter in the process of implementing this program. It is a common phenomenon in any project implementation program that if it is not successful then it fails. These pitfalls may include inadequate finance, incompetent personnel, government interference, inappropriate planning and etc. all these enlisted factors can adversely affect the success of this program and therefore before we implement it a feasibility study is important. This will help us evaluate the overall success of the program in terms financial, operational, technical, and legal feasibility. If we find that the feasibility study has yielded a positive feedback then we go a head to implement the project. (JISC Digital media, 2009)

The likely benefits to the school

This program is of immense importance to the school as well as the country at large. The public will develop a positive perception about the school and is likely to benefit from various agencies. Again the school will be seen as meeting its corporate social responsibility as would be expected by the, members of the public. Most institutions are cost oriented and would always want to maximize their profits at the expense of the public. This idea is a bright one and if this culture could be maintained anywhere in the world then even slums would never exist. (Tom, 1996)

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If this program becomes successful then it will be a big hallmark on the management and help advance their career in readiness for tough moments and challenges in life. Managing such projects require people to sharpen their talents and skills. So by successfully turning this dream into a reality it forms a big achievement.

The school will have reduced the crime rate by about 75% since children who would have perpetrated such characters have been transformed and made aware of their ambitions. (Reh, 2009)

It is the responsibility of the school staff to observe whether their impact is felt on the environment by contributing to effective rehabilitation and transforming the lives of the less fortunate, orphans and the mentally ill. By the end of every year the school should be asking whether they have made some achievements or not and if then to what extent? The management should be cautious about any inconsistencies and record performance for benchmarking overtime to be able to evaluate themselves in the organization. (Free management library, 1997)

Conclusion

This project is unique and may require specialized skills and talents. Before any decision is undertaken to manage a project there are crucial questions that should be asked to determine the viability and feasibility of such projects. If managers fail to carry out a feasibility study then it may be very difficult to determine the success or failure of the project. In the contemporary business situation conditions have become so difficult accessioning tight internal control systems, proper accountability and financial planning. All these are done to ensure the organization cuts its operational costs in order to position itself well in an industry.

The personnel required should also possess relevant skills to perform the duty assigned to them. If an organizations work force consists mainly of incompetent personnel then it may be very difficult to achieve the desired objectives. Effective and competent work is the reason behind spectacular performance. If an organization feels that it has the entire relevant technicality to handle any type of work then it provides confidence in the public as well as the organization itself.

List of References

Free management library, (1997). Project management. Web.

JISC Digital media. (2009).still images: Managing a project. Web.

Reh, J. (2009).How to manage a project. Web.

Tom, K. (1996).Identifying and managing project risks. Web.

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