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Title: Perceptions of the effectiveness of Kuwait's strategic education planning policy and processes
Author: Alkandari, Eisa M. A. M.
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2013
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Education planning is considered a vital factor in the success of any education system. For educational organisations such as the Ministry of Education (MoE) in Kuwait, strategic planning is very crucial for the achievement of the educational goals that reflect the aspirations of Kuwait’s community, such as preparing graduates to help develop their countries. However, there is a need to build a strategic education plan that integrates the goals and objectives from the educational field, as well as from society. The main purpose of this research is to explore the current strategic education plan in Kuwait in terms of the issues that may arise from the policies that control the strategic education plan’s formulation and implementation. This research adopted a mixed methods approach for data collection, which was conducted in three phases. The first phase depended on exploratory interviews to investigate the nature of the current policy that controls the education system in Kuwait. In addition, the exploratory study aimed to identify issues (if any) result from policies that control strategic education plan’s formulation and implementation. The second phase employed a questionnaire that explored research participants’ perceptions regarding the issues that were identified by the exploratory study. The third phase depended on in-depth interviews to investigate the characteristics of the centralisation policy in the education system. This phase aimed to further investigate the interviewees’ perceptions regarding the issues that had been identified in the first phase. The third phase also sought to investigate how the MoE’s policies might underlie these issues, and they may act strengths or weaknesses in the strategic education plan. The research sample of the three phases consisted of leaders from the three managerial tiers of the Kuwaiti education system (MoE officials, district leaders, and school leaders). The MoE leaders are those who chair different departments within the ministry. The district leaders are those who chair different departments within six education districts in Kuwait. The school leaders consist of head teachers, deputy heads, and department heads. The first phase involved 12 interviewees, the second phase involved 188 participants, and the third phase involved 22 interviewees. The research findings identified the current policy that controls the education system in Kuwait. The findings indicated that the centralisation in education system is extreme, and that the MoE is the ultimate decision maker. The MoE adopts the tenets of centralisation in order to control resource allocation, curriculum planning, in-service programmes for teachers and staff, pupils’ assessments, and educational planning. My research identified seven issues associated with strategic education planning in Kuwait, which are all affected by the centralisation policy, as follows: 1. Efficiency and effectiveness of the strategic plan 2. Comprehensiveness of the strategic plan 3. Implementability 4. Collaborativeness and participativeness 5. Communicative capacity 6. Bureaucratisation 7. Work environment These seven issues are seen as the problems that have resulted from the centralised nature of the strategic plan that affected the education system’s outcome. For each issue, the research results identified a number of reasons as to why these issues can be viewed as weaknesses of the centralised strategic plan. Thus, the research found that the centralisation policy, which is embedded in both the formulation and the implementation of the strategic plan, is an obstacle to the strategic plan’s effectiveness. Additionally, the research identified a relationship between the weaknesses of the strategic plan itself, and the MoE officials’ practices as the ultimate decision makers. Finally, the research concluded that the implementers of the strategic plan tend to participate in decision-making; however, they should exercise a certain degree of autonomy within their workplace in order to identify the best ways through which to achieve the goals of the strategic plan.
Supervisor: Evans, Linda ; Hayward, Geoff Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available