the most debated issues of education



quality of education has been one of the most debated issues in the world. For
example, in Bhutan the people have blamed towards the education system for
failing to provide a quality education for Bhutanese children. However, some
educationists argue that the quality of education is a subjective issue and
entails multi-dimentional references and an objective yardstick is needed to
determine what contributes to constructing a quality education. Nonetheless,
this research explores some indespensable indicators, which if observed would
address the problem of lack of quality in education. The paper succinctly
discusses, in sequence, factors such as a standardized curriculum, high quality
of teachers, efficient learners, appropriate resources, capable leaders and
supportive parents, which are all essential for a quality education. This is
elaborated in the form of a Teaching Learning Support (TLS) model of quality
which has been deduced in the course of carrying out this small scale research



Quality education has become one of the most talked about issues in many
parts of the world. This issue has recently been discussed by Bhutanese people
in social media (Facebook and Twitter) and in public places such as restaurants
and gatherings. In 2006, it was even deliberated at the highest levels of
Government - the legislative body in the National Assembly.  As a result, the Bhutanese have questioned the
performance of educators, thereby undermining confidence in the educational
practices and the overarching plans and policies which have been instituted in
recent times with the help of scholars from the renowned Universities of
Canada, America, and Australia, especially from the 1990s. In response to the
increasing interpretation and manipulation of the issue by the Bhutanese
people, a small scale research project was urgently required in order to test the
assumptions and opinions widely expressed in the public domain.


Characteristically, the term ‘Quality Education’ seems to be a
subjective concept and the understanding of it may differ from person to
person; however, a number of definitions regarding a quality education exist
which testifies the complexity and varied character of the concept. For
instance, UNICEF (2000) discusses five dimensions of quality education,
“healthy learners; conducive environments; relevant curricula; child-friendly
pedagogy; and useful outcomes” (p. 4). All these elements contribute to building
a quality education in a system, thereby enabling an
right to students for effective learning.
Therefore, this study seeks in particular to
discuss some of the core dimensions or elements of learning, namely the quality
of learners, teachers, curriculum, resources, parents and professional leaders.
The author has developed a similar model entitled a teaching learning support (TLS)


Quality Teaching


Figure1.  The First Part of TLS Model of Quality

Quality Teacher

Quality teacher is as important as quality curriculum. Osborne (1999)
says that curriculum is nothing more than pieces of paper unless the teacher
converts it to useful learning experiences. Importantly, Josephine &
Amukowa (2013) say that the root of quality education is a quality teacher. The
people may advocate child-centered education with elevated passion and zest;
however, they cannot deny the fact that it is largely ‘in the hands and minds’
of teachers that brings the best results (Dorji, 2007, p.68).  Thus, in the hands of a motivated, qualified and
well prepared teacher, even the least promising students are likely to do well
in their studies.


In addition, Crahay (2004) as cited in Sherub ( 2008) notes that even
when there are considerable variations in learners’ conditions, teachers can bring
a beneficial pressure on students, thereby increasing their good quality levels
of performance and success. At the heart of an education system lays the teachers
who play a very pertinent role in nurturing quality learning in students
(Sherub, 2008). Nothing is truer when some learned people in the world say that
the mistakes of teachers are reflected on the nation. Cole & Knowles (2000)
& Shulman (2003) in Pollard & Bourne claim that it is imperative the teachers
embody good academic knowledge to affect efficient teaching-learning processes
in the class. Therefore, teachers are the linchpins on which the quality
achievement of an education system hinges. The Figure 1 on page 2 shows that
teachers and curriculum are important elements for the quality teaching

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