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Title: A study of the cluster schools policy in the Maldives
Author: Ali, Aamaal
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: UCL Institute of Education (IOE)
Date of Award: 2006
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In the Maldives, despite everyone having access to primary education, there are wide disparities in the quality of education provided by schools in the capital and schools on the rural islands. In an attempt to address the ongoing concern of the rural communities to improve their schools, the Ministry of Education introduced a new policy in July 1999. This policy led to the formation of clusters of schools which consisted of a 'lead' government school intended to serve as a resource and support to a number of nearby community schools. Each cluster is usually made up of 6 to 11 schools. The cluster policy has not been studied since its introduction six years ago. This research study aims to investigate the cluster policy - its rationale, processes of implementation and impact on the schools, through the perceptions of key stakeholders, with a broader view to improve schools in the Maldives. For the research, I travelled to four regions to carry out four case studies. Each case study is based on a full cluster of schools of an atoll and a selection of schools in neighbouring clusters within the same atoll. Fifty schools were targeted in fourteen clusters. Data were collected from interviews with key stakeholders - the cluster heads, lead teachers, island chiefs and officials of Ministry of Education. The conceptual framework of antecedents, processes and impact, developed by Lunt et al. (1988) in their study of clusters in the UK, was used to structure the inquiry. The interview data were analysed thematically. This study found that the cluster policy was not sufficiently resourced and comprehensively conceptualised to engender the intended school improvement. Set within a context of small developing islands, the policy lacked the essential ingredients for a collaborative venture of this kind to succeed. However, among the stakeholders there is an acceptance of the potential good such a policy can bring about. The problems identified in this research go some way to explain why the cluster policy was short-lived and has now effectively ceased to exist.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available