Why ‘Total Quality Management’ matters in education

By Renu Shenoy

By Renu Shenoy

We should implement the concept of Total Quality Management (TQM) in our education sector 

Today we live in a competitive era where academic excellence and career success have become the end goal of life. Today’s corporate world demands highly qualified and skilled manpower to get the business going forward. But what is the right definition of qualification and skill in the present scenario? Is it the educational qualification or degree that you gain from a university, any certification program that qualifies you for any technical position.

We are part of a society where every other second family has an engineer, a doctor, a lawyer or a chartered accountant or any other so called “ high qualification” . Every year, thousands of doctors are certified and qualified to be in the industry. But if we take a list of good doctors in our locality, how many names does it show? Similarly is the case of any profession. So basically does the educational degree that you hold, makes you competitive in the market? How does one person or let’s say very few people stand up  in the crowd. What makes them better compared to other lot? I would say Quality of education is the key factor.

The phase of industrial revolution took a major leap after the implementation of TotalQualityManagement (TQM)  as to improve the quality of the product or the service offered. The components of TQM which are Quality planning, Quality assurance, Quality control and Quality improvement has helped the companies to come up with better products and services.

Then why not implement this same concept in Education which also gives out fresh graduates every year. Quality in education has become an inevitable part of anyone’s career growth. When companies are investing in quality management programs as to get the best result, why not do the same when it comes to the best resource which is the man power or the human labour.


Lets analyse the various stages of TQM as to improve the quality of education in the present system. There are umpteen number of schools in India which offer various curriculums including state syllabus, CBSE and ICSE. How why are only certain schools considered as the best and many others are neglected by the parents? Again as we mentioned earlier, Quality of Education provided is the major criteria. And there are so many factors that contribute to the quality, which includes the school management, infrastructure,expertise of teachers, course materials provided and so many other factors.

A detailed study has to be done at the school level to understand the factors that are to be considered to improve the quality of teaching, learning which in turn is evident on the quality of the students. Present education system which works on the marks or grade system forces and restricts the students to learn the knowledge that is shared in books and they end up in learning just to gain marks. So basically everyone just prepares themselves to be fit enough to move on to the next level of education or career. Where is the Quality of Educationin this? Everyone follows the same path as guided and the ones who dare to think different are always labelled as rebels and pulled back on the above mentioned track by the parents or the teachers.

There has to be a change in the present system where more importance is given to practical learning, aptitude based understanding and logical thinking. Let the students think out of box, away from the traditional practises and let them come up with creative and innovative ideas and solutions. There is a lot that the teachers can contribute in this. There is no doubt that the teachers play an important role in the students future and career. Many students develop an interest towards a subject sometimes even because of the teacher they had. I would say there are “ Good teachers “ and “ Efficient teachers”. The good teachers play the role of a guide and well the students to grow , where as the efficient teachers help to bring in the best out of the students, to help them to realise their strengths and capabilities.

The more we invest in the Quality improvement of the teaching mechanism and the course curriculum this will show impact on the quality of the students or let’s call them the future of the country. It’s high time we think about this fact and bring infrastructural changes as part of the Quality Planning and Assurance. A detailed study on the factors that contribute poor quality has to be done with a “Cause and effect principle” and a fish bone diagram to understand the underlying factors that affects the quality of education and students. Once the changes are made and the results have started showing, measures have to be taken to control the existing level of  excellence and further action plan for the improvement.

Identifying ones strengths and capabilities is the best way to bring out the real quality of anyone. The journey towards the success of life has to start from home and it’s the responsibility of the parents to identify the field of interest and the strength of their children and support them to achieve success in that.  I still remember the Motto of my school was “Shine where you are “ which implies to understand and know yourself, move ahead and enjoy the success. As parents we have to understand that each child is an individual and is different from the other one. Respect their value, understand their strengths, support them to identify their goal and wall with them towards the success. This will bring out the true quality in them.

Lets accept the Six Sigma approach, that a process must not produce 3.4 defects per million opportunities in the educational system. Failure to achieve this implies the failure of the system and the same has to be replaced. Likewise,the school management has to work on identifying each individual and make sure to help him or her succeed in life and career. As parents and teachers, Let’s work together towards the improvement of Quality of Education which will bring out true champions and Experts into the corporate world and also help in the betterment of the Quality of the life.

Education Post