Why schools need a student quality circle?


The quality of life depends entirely on one’s perception towards it. Building up right perception is the work of parents, schools and society at large. Here, we discuss the role and importance of student quality circle.

From spiritualism to consumerism, we have travelled a long journey and probably lost the very essence of education, i.e. to build right attitude and perception. But, it can be changed through the effective use of Quality Circle.

Why quality circle in schools?

Quality circle, although a word common in industries and more focussing on materialistic approach of improving products, when applied in educating young minds, metamorphosis the very cognitive processes of progressive individuals.

It helps shun negativity and takes you to an altogether new approach of looking at issues, which at one point of time appear to be problems, but which can be solved with a right bent and measure of mind. It also encompasses a collaborative approach of team work and participatory discussions and deliberations.

The question which might arise is how Quality circle, the concept in industries, is relevant to schools? Well, schools are the light house of the society. The learning experiences carved by the school helps the child grow as a complete human being which is a blend of one’s physical, emotional, spiritual, social, creative and intellectual self. It is, therefore, imperative that the schools should design their curriculum and learning experiences which caters and fulfils all the above needs and makes a child grow to be a Total Quality Person with IQ (intelligence quotient) + EQ (emotional quotient) + SQ (social quotient)) and all the positive Q’s.

Now coming down to the role of Quality circles in today’s ever changing scenario; let us understand the What, Why and How of Quality Circles.

What are Student Quality Circles?

Gulshan Kaur
Gulshan Kaur

Student Quality Circles are small voluntary group of students (three to fifteen) in number who under the facilitator voluntarily meet regularly for about an hour every week to identify, analyse and resolve problems related to their class or school by applying tools and techniques of Total Quality Management. The objective is to improve and enrich quality of education and enhance student life with varied and invigorating experiences.

However, it is pertinent to note here that Quality Circles are not for Quality related problems alone. They are not a panacea for all the ills, rather it is a way to approach any issue amicably with a resolve to sort it out collaboratively through teamwork and consensus building after thorough micro analysing and a 360 degree study of the same.

Why Student Quality Circle?

“Catch them young” is the phrase which very appropriately defines and outlines the need for Student Quality Circles as schools are cradle of human race. It is here that the young minds are groomed, inspired and made. If we really want to create a difference in the mindset and develop right attitude, it is the student life, preferably the early growing years that matter. To catalyse attitudinal changes and promote leadership development by enhancing problem solving capabilities, Student Quality Circle sets the right tempo and environment. They provide opportunities for collaborative learning, promote team building exercise, help realise potentials and focuses on solutions rather than only cribbing about problems or issues.

How to effectively raise the Student Quality Circle?

  • Each member, leader and deputy leader students and monitors, must voluntarily attend the weekly meeting, maintain regularity and effectiveness for self-development.
  • Make it a practice to inform the facilitator (supervisor) or leader (Monitor) of the Quality Circle in case of a possibility of absenteeism.
  • Each and every student must try to offer atleast one idea in every meeting for better participation and team work.
  • Do not be only the listener, but present your ideas / thoughts without fear.
  • If you have any difficulty in getting the data, time for collecting data or any other problem, make it a practice to approach the facilitators.
  • Please remember that most effective use of time (Contact time) is the responsibility of each person.
  • Discipline, decorum, politeness and maintenance of code of conduct are the base of Quality Circle.
  • Ensure no antagonism with potential members or non-members because without their cooperation quality circles cannot function effectively.
  • Regular field work is essential for success of Quality Circle.
  • Maintain regular minutes book and project book.

Modus Operandi

A system approach not only helps in studying the problem in the proper perspective but also to make use of problem solving techniques at the appropriate places.

Step -1
Identification of work

Method: It involves following steps:

a. Generate a list of problems using “Brainstorming.”
b. Prioritize problems using A,B,C analysis given below.
A. Category Problem: Minimum involvement of other departments in solving them.
B. Category Problem: Involvement of other department is a necessity.
C. Category Problem: Management sanction may be needed in implementing the solution.

Step – 2
Selection of problem and activity planning through Milestone chart (First from ‘A’ Category)

Method: It involves following steps:

a. Pareto Analysis or rating based on past data or system.
b. Register the selected problem with coordinating agency.

Step – 3
Define the problem.

Method: By using Flow Diagram and brainstorming on why did the Quality Circle select the problem?

Step – 4
Analyse the problem.
Method: Use of 4W and 1H (What, When, Where, Who and How) and ‘Data Collection’ on the problem on all possible aspects.

Step – 5
Identification of causes.
Method: Brainstorming and make Causes and Effect Diagram, and validate the probable causes.

Step – 6
Finding out the root cause.
Method: Identifying the main causes in “Cause and Effect Diagram by Brainstorming , Data collection, Why – why technique and discussion.

Step -7
Data Analysis.
Method: Using techniques like Pareto, Line Graph, Bar Graph, Pie Graph, Area Graph, Histogram, Stratification, Scatter Diagram etc.

Step – 8
Developing Solution.
Method: Brainstorming for time bound and responsibilities shared action plan.

Step – 9
Foreseeing probable resistance.
Method: It involves following steps:

  • Brainstorming.
  • Identifying the probable constraints before they actually take place and finding ways to overcome them.
  • Make a presentation to all involved with the solution i.e. Department Head, Facilitator, other officials and non-members involved with the implementation. Discuss and evaluate a system for implementation.

Step – 10
Trial implementation and check performance on the basis of data of trials.
Method: Data collection after implementation compared with the data collected before solving the problem. Collect fresh data using control chart and watch process trends. Analyse the result, discuss and incorporate the changes needed.

Step -11
Regular implementation.
Method: Once validity of trials is checked and improvement observed with data, regular implementation can be effected.

Step – 12
Follow Up / Review.
Method: Implement evaluation procedure, use Control chart and have monthly reports for evaluation. Make modifications if necessary.
Student years are formative years. They should be nourished well with love, care and right blend of knowledge skills and values. Equipping them at this stage with total quality management tools and techniques via Student Quality Circle will actually empower them further and help in their overall transition.

Gulshan Kaur, MCom, MBA (finance), BEd, in education for 20 long years. Initially she started the career as PGT – Commerce in Kolkata at St. Thomas Church School, Howrah. Later, she joined GPS, MGG and then as Principal A.S. Modern Senior Secondary School, Khanna which is one of the oldest and the most prestigious school of the area. Presently, she is Principal at Bhavan Vidyalaya, Panchkula. As Principal, her focus had been to promote academic excellence through holistic growth by creating a nourishing environment which caters to all the multi dimensional needs of the children by celebrating their uniqueness.

She is also the Regional Director for Student Quality Circle and is a member of WCTQEE (World Council for Total Quality Excellence in Education). As facilitator for SQC, she had presented various case studies through her student QC groups.
Besides, she had been honoured with the Best Teacher Award for her subject expertise. She was also been given acknowledgement by Dr. G.S. Grewal himself in his book and for the contribution to SQC movement, she was honoured at CMS Lucknow by WCTQEE. She is presently been conferred National Education Excellence Award 2017 by the Confederation of Indian Universities (CIU), International Association of Educators for World Peace (Affiliated to United Nations, ECOSOC, DPI) and the National Institute of Cleanliness Education and Research (NICER), Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan National Academy of Educational Planning and Administration.

She believes Real Education as one which prepares you for all the struggle of life, expands your intellect and helps you achieve self realisation.