Why every school should develop academic action plans

Victor Ochieng'

Academic Action Plans (AAPs) are formal documents with scheduled actions, timelines and people responsible for the impressive implementation. It is significant for schools to develop yearly action plans, broken down into Term 1, 2 and 3. For this is line with Best Academic Practices.

There are two types of Academic Action Plans: School-wide Action Plans and Departmental Action Plans. All forms of plans should spell out the right route to take. In order to come up with the best AAPs, it behooves schools to form formidable Form 4 dream teams, develop timetables and set realistic targets. It is imperative to do the budgeting bit, bond and mobilise all relevant stakeholders. There must be a robust programme for the candidate class.

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Secondly, AAPs are important because they help schools to set clear expectations, define the pace of academic engagements, and work out on comprehensive academic timelines. Actually, through formulation of AAPs institutions find means to schedule and monitor their academic progress. Then, the powers-that-be find wonderful ways to check on accountability.

As they audit and evaluate academic programmes. By wending that way, schools establish the academic standing of every class. Somehow, schools perform poorly because they do not operate with clear roadmaps. Such schools lack what Dr. Steve Covey in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People christened ‘the-end-in-mind.’ It is sad to state that some schools operate on the event-and-reaction approach. Or we shall cross the bridge when we get there. They wait for something to happen before they convene a strategic meeting. In such instances, it is when they think about the next cause of action.

Consequently, schools do not have AAPs due to umpteen reasons. There is a myth that every teacher knows what should happen. In that laisses faire approach to leadership, people will just catch up with the timelines. There are false expectations of excellent results using old and outdated ways. Some schools use old maps to trace new routes, and keep on employing ‘expired’ strategies that do not work. There is the deep-seated assumption that with the palpable presence of timetables, and everyone adhering to them, action plans are not of any essence.

Then, there are schools that lack AAPs because the process of generating them looks tedious and tiresome. It is a daunting task, which requires plenty of effort and energy. The worst thing is that some people in the education sector believe that AAPs can only work in certain schools. Schools must focus on timely syllabus coverage and completion. Administer Random Assessment Tests (RATs) and Continuous Assessment Tests (CATs). As a stupendous strategy of propping up performance of struggling students. Schools should run examination systems by focusing on monthly exams.

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In addition, to enhance content mastery and retention, AAPs should enshrine all forms of consultation, group discussions, group exams, and making of marking schemes. It is important to give Science practical special attention. Good AAPs should spell out the teaching programme, revision programme and remedial lessons. It should give a clear roadmap on matters contests and symposiums, subject-based seminars, academic clinics, class conferences, ability grouping and exam preparation.

After developing Strategic Plans (SPs) and Academic Action Plans (AAPs), they should not rest on shelves gathering gust of dust. It is right to implement strategies cited in the documents.

By Victor Ochieng’

The writer assists schools to develop Strategic Plans (SPs) and Academic Action Plans (AAPs). vochieng.90@gmail.com. 0704420232

 

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