10 February, 2009

Total Quality Management in Education (Second Edition) – By Marmar Mukhopadhyay

Reviewed by C. Radhakrishnan

Today quality in education is a matter of global quest. High levels of knowledge, competencies and skills are considered to be the basic conditions for active citizenship, employment and social cohesion. Lifelong learning is an important means of shaping one’s future on a professional and personal level, and high-quality education is essential in the light of labour market policies, and the free movement of professionals throughout the world. For India quality quest is all the more important for it to become a global player. In order to succeed in this and to attain global standards in local settings, it is necessary for Indian educational institutions to both improve and sustain quality.

In this context, Marmar Mukhopadhyay’s ‘Total Quality Management in Education’ (second Edition) offers a unique and reliable method to design and implement quality in educational institutions. He has succeeded in beautifully covering the philosophical underpinnings of total quality management, its instrumentalities as well as methods of strategic planning and implementation in educational institutions.

Summary of the book: The book has been divided into eleven chapters followed by six appendix titles covering all aspects of MIPQ. Chapter one and two analyses the concept and dimensions of quality management in education in the Indian and western perspective. Chapter three gives a clear picture of system thinking and organisational micro-analysis. Micro-analysis will help us to understand the unique personality of our institution. Author points out that plans for quality management may vary from institution to institution depending on its unique personality.

Customer focus and the need and techniques of involving every one in the planning and management process have received much attention in chapter four. According to the author the purpose of education is “the optimisation of students’ physical, mental, emotional, intellectual and moral potential”. Customers focus means developing an educational programme that can simultaneously facilitate development in all five facets of human living.

In chapter five he explains in a vivid manner how assessment of the institution should be conducted, what should be the criteria and different tools for assessment such as SWOT. For the proper implementation of TQM sound understanding of the institution is very essential. I am sure that this chapter will help the readers in assessing their institutions.

Next two chapters are devoted for new style of management and HRD for quality institutions. These chapters help us in building awareness for quality as a culture in our educational institutions. In the beginning of chapter eight author states “it is the quality of decisions that either make or break organisations”. And the author has very clearly succeeded in convincing the various phases involved in quality decision making.

Chapter nine is very special for present educational leaders and also for people who aspire for future educational leadership. According to the author ‘leadership is all about influencing – motivating and inspiring people to create vision and achieve it’.

Chapter ten presents various strategic plan models for TQM. Every process involved in strategic planning is explicitly explained with illustrations and examples. The table on sample questions for developing planning for implementation (page 177) will be of great use for a true TQM leader.

The last chapter gives us a clear road map for implementing TQM. Here the author makes it clear that implementation of TQM takes time and reaches a stage where quality becomes culture.

Appendix given at the end of the book will be of great help for educational institutions for assessing and preparing their institutional profile. Institutional profile questionnaire undoubtedly tells us the deep insight of the author in this topic of study.

This book incorporates the author’s rich experience (at both the micro and macro levels) in the actual implementation of TQM in various educational institutions. In short he has skilfully adapted the TQM philosophy and methodology-which originated in industry-to suit education, and anchored it in the Indian context. A practical guide to the management of quality education through TQM, this book covers the philosophical underpinnings of TQM, its instrumentalities, as well as methods of strategic planning and implementation in educational institutions, promotes a human-intensive quality management approach, calls for long-term planning, as opposed to piecemeal efforts, emphasizes the optimization of the human resource potential in educational institutions, proposes a very practical and adaptable management model. Comprehensive and lucid, this book will help educational planners to build on their beliefs, fine-tune their mission and work towards the goal of providing quality education. An indispensable resource for educational administrators, teacher and heads of universities, colleges and schools, this book will also be of interest to researchers in quality management and education. In all sense it’s a great work and Prof. Mukhopadhyay deserves our congratulations and gratitude for making such a pioneering effort in this vital field.

Book Courtesy - High Range School Library, TTL, Mattupatti

Wish you a happy reading!