A look at an evaluation proposal for an income generating project.
An Evaluation Proposal for an Income Generating Project.
One of the institutions in which the writer works part-time, has experienced one of the most recent innovations of the Ministry of Education since 1996. The institution has benefited from the introduction of the Income Generating Projects (IGP). The institution chose Information Technology as their project choice and as a result is one of the few schools that is moving closer to being self sufficient.
The school experienced a number of changes due to the introduction of IGP. The classrooms were modified and refurbished. The staff increased from 30 teachers, five office staff and three ancillary workers to 32 teachers, seven office staff and eight ancillary workers. The school received instructional media and gadgets which aided in the enrichment of instruction delivery. This project has been introduced and is in effect for three years, yet no assessment has been done of it.
This proposal is for the evaluation of IGP as implemented in the organization and how it is impacting on the school community.
The idea of introducing Income Generating Projects (IGP) in the school, originated when it became evident to members of the public and private sectors that it would be necessary for school to generate additional funds to supplement their budgets. In 1995/96 budget funds were approved in estimates of expenditure by the Government to implement Income Generating Projects in schools. The plan was to develop these projects by improving infrastructure that already existed in the schools, in order to generate funds as well as to enrich the curriculum.
Goals and Objectives of the Project
The goal of the project is to improve the educational, economic, and social well-being of the participants.
- To provide a source of income to enrich the budget of the schools.
- To enrich the curriculum.
- To provide the student with a more positive perception of the importance of acquiring skills in a particular vocation.
The project choice for IGP in the writer’s institution was Information Technology
(IT). The information technology project is viable. It should pay for itself because there is a high demand for such course among students. Day students pay a fee of $2 000 per year for computer classes and evening students pay $5 500 per term.
At the ministry level, the project is coordinated by the Project Management Division and the Technical and Vocational Unit. A management committee is in charge of the project at the school level. This committee consists of the Principal, I.T. teacher, the Bursar, The Project Manager, or Parents Teachers Association (PTA) Representative, a student Representative, and a Community Leader.
The persons who would be affected by the evaluation are the students, the teachers, staff, and administrator. Other stakeholders included the Ministry who funds the project and the Community which assist in fund raising events.
The primary concern of the students would be their performance. The teachers, administrator, and staff would give consideration to their level of productivity. The ministry’s concern would be whether or not the students and institution are benefiting from the project. The community’s concern would be how helpful the project is to the school community.
The evaluation would provide the stakeholders with information on the weakness and strength in the system, hence help them to revisit or continue with the project. Students’ level of self-concept would be identified and the correct work attitude addressed. Students’ desire for area specialization would also be identified. The evaluation would certainly assist the planners to assess the project merit and demerit, hence help them to incorporate or omit the strategies or methods that enhance or hinder growth and make recommendation for changes.
Evaluation Purpose and Model
The evaluation of IGP was mandated by the Ministry of Education Project Division (MOEPD) and the Ministry of Education Technical and Vocational Unit (MOETVU).
The purpose of the evaluation is to assess the current status and progress of IGP, to evaluate the effect the introduction of IGP to students and teachers and to make decisions for the funding and continuation of IGP. The project is now in its fourth year and no form of evaluation has been done to assess the impact of the project. It is usual for the Ministry of Education to evaluate a school through a Panel Inspection biannually so as to ascertain the progress made by students and teachers. The writer feels that an evaluation at this time is necessary in appraising the effectiveness of the IG Project.
According to Sorenson and Sweeney, (1997) the A E I O U model can be used for simple problems as well as complex ones and lends itself to both forms. It also lends itself to an easy to explain format. The accountability, effectiveness, impact organizational context and unanticipated outcomes would be easily identified. The model provides a structured approach to developing an evaluation plan, which is understood easily by the stakeholders. The model allows for one to determine achievement of goals
(accountability) how well the project is being carried out (effectiveness) the difference it is making to the institution (impact) as well as organizational factors (o) that might impede or enhance the project, and will help one to recognize any unanticipated outcomes (u) that may have occurred as a result of the project.
The A E I O U model will allow for both formative and summative evaluation and for the use of qualitative and quantitative data. This model would also provide the framework for targeting the main questions for evaluating the Project. It would also ensure that the evaluation plan is designed to evaluate what it’s suppose to measure in keeping with the outcomes that are important to the stakeholders and a progress evaluation would be done.
Key Evaluation Questions
The evaluation will provide answers related to the following questions
(1) Are more students gaining access to Information Technology?
(2) Are students better equipped for the world of work?
(3) Is the Income Generating Project fulfilling the objective of providing a source of income to enrich the budget of the school?
(4) What are the advantages of having Income Generating Project in the school?
(5) What are the skills and attitudes that have been learnt by students as a result of having the Income Generating Project in the school?
The variables that will be considered are:
In question 1: accessibility.
The number of students who are placed in other specialized field will be compared to those who are placed in the IGP – Information Technology.
In question 2: The variable here would be skills, attitudes, and values. Present curricular offerings with Information Technology will be compared with former offerings to note if there is a difference.
In question 3: The budget of the school will be looked at. A comparison of the percentage of the budget that the IGP generates will be analyzed. Expenditure versus income from IGP will be compared.
For question 4: The advantages versus disadvantages for the introduction of IGP will be compared. The writer/evaluator will look at school development in terms of improvement of school facilities and students performance. This question will identify variables such as infrastructure, instructional media, human and financial resources. If 85% of the need is met then one could say that this is fairly adequate.
For question 5: This will allow for evaluation to look at students’ self-confidence as displayed by attitude towards their work, job, self, school, and others.
The Evaluation Plan, Design, and Method
The design of the evaluation will be a mixed method approach in which qualitative data will be triangulated with quantitative data in order to increase the credibility of the data. Triangulation of data will be employed among the respondents wherefore several individuals in the school will be required to comment on the same issues, and data from questionnaires will be compared with data from interviews. Documents generated by the project staff and by the Project Management division will be reviewed.
For questions one to five, the information could be obtained through interview and questionnaires. For question one the information required would be the number of students gaining access each year to do Information Technology. The data analysis used would be the T – test. Question two will sought information on good basic education, including a satisfactory level of literacy and interpersonal skills, analytic and problem-solving skills, initiative, self-esteem and capacity for group work. Data collection will be done from students' accumulative records and this should be collected within two days.
For questions three and four, this could be carried out by interviewing the principal and teachers. This interview could be conducted within two days. For question number five, the information requested could be analyzed using hard data from performance objectives from teachers’ record book. This data could be collected in one day.
Interview schedules will be developed for the principal, bursar/person in charge of the IGP accounts. (Appendix A, B, & C)
Questionnaires will be developed for the principal, bursar/person in charge of the IGP accounts, teachers, and students.
All instruments will be pilot-tested before being used to collect data.
(Appendix D, E, & F)
* Appendices are not included.
The interviews will be conducted by the evaluator and the questionnaires will be distributed by the evaluator. The data entry will be carried out by the evaluator and will be verified in order to minimize error.
The qualitative data will be analyzed by means of content analysis. Quantitative analysis will be carried out on a computer by means of the SPSS statistical package. Frequencies and percentages will be used to summarize the data, and tables will be used to present it.
The evaluation proposal will be presented on June 30, 2000.
Evaluation Instrument = $1 500
School's Implementation checklist = 500
Survey Instrument = 700
Data Entry (10 hrs.x $500 per hr.) = 5 000
Subsistence (20 days x $1 000) = 20 000
Miscellaneous (travel etc.) = 10 000
Wage (80 hrs. x $5 000) = 400 000
Total: $ 437 700
Sorensen, C. & Sweeney, J. (1997). Evaluation. Iowa Distance Education Alliance.