Monday, November 1, 2010


Organisations, be it commercial or non-commercial, are facing changes driven by globalization, increasing competition, diversity among consumers, and availability to new forms of technology. Creativity and innovation are often keys to the success of an organisation.

To embrace change we need to accept that today’s problems cannot be solved with yesterday's solutions. What worked yesterday might not work today. Therefore, creative and innovative ideas are pertinent in realizing positive changes. Change doesn't have to be massively different, but does require a shift in thinking and beliefs.

School as an organization requires school leaders who are creative and innovative. Effective school management involves among others, good team work between school leaders and teachers as well as getting community support.

Creativity can be defined as problem identification and idea generation whereas innovation can be defined as idea selection, development and commercialisation.

Creative school requires partnership and collaborative effort between the community and the school administration. However, there are differences in the form of community involvement in school activities between urban and rural/remote areas. In urban areas the community is ever willing to provide monitory contribution as well as expertise in areas that need extra support from the public. Some parents in urban areas are professionals and corporate leaders who are able to contribute ideas and consultation to schools for the betterment of their children. Such involvement from the community opens the opportunity to a more effective school. On the other hand, the community in rural and remote areas is not strong in their social economic status and not many are professionals. Hence, the contribution from the members of such community is in the form of providing workforce as well as committed in giving moral support to school activities.

Keeping the school compound clean and tidy in creating conducive school environment for the pupils is always a challenge to school leaders. In rural and remote areas, the parents are ever willing to contribute by helping to clean and beautify the school. Some even help in preparing meals for the school community.

Collaboration among school leaders and the community also involves providing guidance in parenting skills. Other activities include involving parents to assist the pupils to produce creative and decorative notice boards. Besides collaboration towards creating conducive school environment, school leaders also provide rooms for entertainment by organising karaoke sessions and traditional dance performances involving the community’s participation.

High turn over rate of teachers is common in schools in rural/remote areas. School leaders need to motivate the teachers to provide effective teaching and motivate students to retain schooling. New teachers in these schools can adopt team teaching and lesson study to achieve effective teaching. This can also be achieved by collaboration among schools leaders that include the sharing of best practices as well as knowledge and experience transfer between senior teachers and novice teachers.

Innovation in the curriculum results in more meaningful and fun learning for pupils in rural and remote areas. Teachers need to improvise and contextualise to provide environmentally situated learning. This encourages children not only to love schooling but also to retain schooling.

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