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Factors affecting academic performances of girls

This study had clearly indicated that the factors affecting the academic performances of the girls at grades nine and ten in the Hamaresa Senior Secondary School were similar to that of factors affecting the performances of girls in schools of rural Ethiopia. Hence, the hypothesis that schools that were close to big cities like Harar may have different impacts on the academic performance of the girl students was not proved. The followings are the conclusions that are formulated based on the interpretation of both primary secondary data gathered for this project.
The overall academic performance of girls in grades nine and ten lacked luster due to socio-cultural, demographic, economic and situational factors in association with the low self esteem and self belief of the girls.
The traditionally and economically motivated girl-students’ heavy participation in household chorus had negatively affected their academic performance immensely.
Age of the household heads had a positive influence with regard to girl-students’ academic performance. This might be due to the fact that when the parents/household heads grew in age, they got better maturity and understood the demand and needs of the larger world with particular reference to female education.
The educational levels of household heads had a tremendous influence on girl-students’ academic performance (vide table 6). It is natural that a better educated parents/household heads would realize the importance of female education better and act accordingly.
Household size had influenced girl-students’ academic performance. The larger the household the grimmer the chance for girls to get education as many households traditionally believed that spending on boys’ education was an asset whereas spending for girls’ education was a liability as one day she would get married and leave the household. Moreover, the economic standard was at stake in of large sized families, thus, the household heads became choosy between boys and girls with regard to facilitating education.
It was obvious from the data collected that the average annual household income was very low in any standards. Even the high income group households had an average monthly income of slightly above Birr 625/=. At the time of constant price increase even the so called high income group could not afford the cost towards education of their children, Hence, the axe fell, more often than not, on the girls’ chance for education.
The livestock ownership was indeed one of the lowest in comparison to other studied carried out elsewhere in the country although the study area is close by the regional capital city Harar where large animal marked existed. Livestock became handy in times of need and household crises. Hence, they could not dispose livestock to educate their children especially their daughters influenced by traditional and cultural believes.
When it came to landholding, 70 households out the total 80 (87.5%) held less than one or less than one hectare of farm land. This factor had a direct reflection on household income. When quantity of food grains produced could not sustain even their daily food needs, spending on girls’ education was a far fetched phenomenon.
Due to very low income, from land, livestock and other sources majority of the households (76.36% of MHHs and 100% of FHHs) felt that the educational costs around Birr 500/= per student per year were unaffordable. However, the school authorities begged to differ in this regard. Hence, the households were ready to stop their daughters in particular from going to school or leave it to their fate.
Interestingly, there was paradigm shift with regard to perception of female education in the study area particularly among the MHHs. This might have been due to efforts taken by the government to make the public realize the importance of female education for the development of the nation. This change had not reflected yet in the academic performance of the girls. It might do so in the near future.
It was heartening to note that early marriage had no much affect on the girls’ education in the study area. The school going girls were not married at the tender age here. The proximity of the study area to Harar city might have positively influenced the practice of early marriage. The household heads might have gathered information on the negative impact of child marriage on social well being from established sources in the city that was nearby.
The absence of role models and employment opportunities for girls who graduated form secondary school had its own effect on the girl-students’ academic performance. The girls were hopeless and they seldom believed that they could succeed in their lives for the simple reason that they were born girls.
The self esteem of the girls at school could not be termed as high. The traditional and cultural influences were very much present in them. They felt that it was difficult for them to attend school and they would marry sooner than later and started serving their respective households. Hence, the importance of education had vanished form their outlook. Thus, low esteem of the girls prevented them form faring well in their studies.
The teachers and the school administration were quite positive on female education. They were quite genders sensitive. They were doing what all they could to arrest any gender based discrimination on campus.
The current infrastructure of the school was indeed poor. There were no class rooms that could be even termed ‘it is Ok’. The classrooms were in fact dwindling and the toilet facilities for both boys and girls were awful as illustrated in chapter one. The poor infrastructure of the school might have affected the girl-students’ academic performance to some extent as it disturbed their psyche
The school administration did not have direct powers to repairs or modify the infrastructure on the campus. They had no powers to sanction funds towards improving infrastructure and other facilities at the school. They had to wait for a considerable amount of time to get the ‘go ahead’ signal form the higher authorities. The school management had the will to improve the standard of school life; nevertheless, they had no way to attain it.
4.2 Recommendations Based on the conclusions cited above, the following recommendations are forwarded to concerned bodies for implementation so that the performance of the girls would improve soon.
As income of the households was very much low, the government and non government organization may think of formulating interventions in the study area that would provide opportunities to the households to enhance their income. The study area had potential for terracotta and any project implementation in this regard would immensely help the households.
Hassle- free credit facilities should made available to households so that they can improve their farming practices and livestock purchase and management
The government should waive the school fee for those households who were in the low and middle range annual income so that the girls would continue their education and fare well in their studies.
Road shows and road side dramas might be conducted on the importance of female education so that the households would come forward to send their daughters to school and follow up their school activities with great care and interest. These activities would help change the culture and tradition influenced attitude towards female education.
The school or the regional educational bureau should arrange the visits of most successful Ethiopian women to the study area so that the girls would be motivated. There are several successful Ethiopian women ranging from Parliament Speaker to Modern Jet pilots.
Although there were no serious cases reported, any one who commits gender based crimes should meet stringent punishment both on and off campus. The law and order enforcement agencies of the area should ensure the safety of the school-going girls.
The regional educational bureau should employ better qualified teachers for all subjects to teach at grades nine and ten so that uniformity in efficiency of teachers could be established.
The regional educational bureau should take steps to renovate the infrastructure on the campus at the earliest.
The school might be provided with decision making powers with regard to actions that are to be done in short span of time like building toilets and washroom for girls and so on.
Moreover, it would be appropriate to put forward the recommendations of the World Bank (1996) with regard to improving girl-students’ academic performance. The following is the list of activities in this regard
Summary of Promising Interventions to Promote Female Education DEMAND-SIDE FACTORS POSSIBLE INTERVENTIONS Household and community factors High direct costs of schooling
High opportunity costs of schooling
Low private economic returns to girls education
Chastity and sexual safety
Low demand for female education
Lower the cost of school materials. Provide transportation and uniforms.
Introduce bursary, scholarship and fee waiver programs, school lunches, medical and health support such as de-worming.
Adjust the school calendar to accommodate household child labor requirements.
Reduce the distance between school and home. Use satellite schools.
Provide child care and pre-school facilities Promote labor- saving technologies.
Improve the legal and regulatory systems to enhance women’s status.
Make education curricula more responsive and relevant to livelihood and market demand.
Increase community participation in schools. Construct culturally appropriate facilities. Promote more female teachers.
Launch information campaigns that engage community, religious and civic leaders.
Promote adult literacy programs.
SUPPLY-SIDE FACTORS School level factors Enrollment and promotion policy Management: calendar and safety Curricula Materials, Methods
Increase enrollments by lowering the enrollment age.
Reduce drop -out rates; review repetition and expulsion policies.
Provide child care facilities.
Institute flexible hours.
Improve achievement: review learning materials for gender bias, improve science and math teaching.
Promote female teachers in the sciences.
Establish science laboratories and school libraries. Institute tutoring and mentoring programs.
Promote gender sensitivity training in all pre and in-service training courses and for educational managers.
Political and institutional factors Policy on schoolgirl pregnancy, promotion of female educators, training of staff Attitude, will and commitment to empowering women and the poor
Legal status of women
Create a favorable environment to support women and the poor through policy review.
Invest in the necessary structures; schools, facilities for girls, toilets, dormitories, walls.
Launch information campaigns.
Enhance the status of women through the regulatory process. Adopt poverty-alleviating strategies that release women and girls from the tasks of water and fuel collection for more productive activities.
Improve women’s access to the formal labor market.

Quick Response Manufacturing

Quick Response Manufacturing (QRM) is a companywide strategy that pursues the reduction of lead-time in all aspects of a company’s operations while simultaneously reducing costs and improving quality.
Externally, as perceived by customers, QRM means responding to those customers’ needs by rapidly designing and manufacturing products customized to those needs.
Internally, in terms of a company’s own operations, QRM focuses on reducing the lead times for all tasks in a company, resulting in improved quality, lower cost, and of course, quick response.
QRM redefines the traditional definition of lead-time, the time between receiving an order from a customer and delivering the order to the customer, and renames the metric Manufacturing Critical-path Time (MCT). QRM can be implemented either with large breakthrough improvements or continuously, as it strives to stay proactive in an effort to minimize costly future operating expenses.
QRM finds its roots in a strategy used by Japanese enterprises in the 1980’s known as time-based competition or TBC. The basis of TBC is the use of speed to gain competitive advantage. Rajan Suri, the father of QRM, superseded TBC and improved on other continuous improvement programs by not only competing on speed, but by providing instruction to successfully integrate QRM methodology throughout every aspect of a company all in stride of a common goal. QRM was first introduced to the world in 1993 when the Center for Quick Response Manufacturing was founded at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.[2] QRM gained notable recognition when Dr. Rajan Suri published the article “Slaying the Beast” in 1995, commenting on bad policies in manufacturing companies and offering insightful explanations.1 Due to the positive response he got from the book, Suri continued to write on the subject and consulted businesses in implementing QRM. Since then, the Center for QRM has helped almost 180 companies apply QRM methodologies thus reducing their lead times.2 These companies utilizing QRM became successful in their markets as the implementation of speed is crucial to competition.
QRM Principles:
It’s not necessary to work harder, faster and longer hours to complete job earlier. One can focus on finding new ways to complete a job that takes lower time. Most of the time a job spends in a queue instead of in process and traditional approach only look to reduce processing time (touch time) and in QRM focus is on lead-time (total elapsed time) and not just processing time. Out of total lead-time 34 days only 19.5 hours is a touch time so it makes sense that we should focus on whole 34 days.
But generally organizations are not designed to focus on lead-time. Mainly because organizations don’t recognize the cost of waiting they mainly focus on processing time like one need to reduce batch sizes to reduce waiting time but it will increase number of setups that will increase their processing time which is mostly opposing to company goals.
So, Companies need to change their accounting systems and reward systems so that benefits of reduction in lead-time can be measured and rewarded appropriately.
There is one major problem with cost based systems that hinders QRM implementation that is functional structure of an organization. Looking the figure one can see how organizations fell into vicious circle by delaying regular jobs because of “hot jobs” and then again increase in “hot jobs” due to insertion of safety time due to delay in regular jobs. This is also called response time spiral. And so the spiral grows.
QRM focus on reducing system in time like we do in service industry but this will require substantial reorganization of most of the processes. Basically, we will end up with cellular organizations in shop floor and also in offices and each cell will focus on its customers. The POLCA material control system helps coordinate production across multiple cells. Also, new operating methods such as time slicing are described, to help cells share non-cell resources.
This principle is hard to digest as we believe that we should utilize capacity to its maximum possible value. Any reduction in the same would mean losing out on productive opportunities, resulting in increasing costs. However, by keeping all the machines busy at tall times does not necessarily transform into higher output or higher productivity. We frequently encounter the problems of growing queues due to the presence of a few bottleneck machines and jobs spending a lot of time waiting for resources due to mismanagement. All this ultimately results in increasing the lead time of the jobs which culminates in the increase of the organizational costs, which have been enlisted in the previous table. In the long run, these costs actually prove to be greater than the opportunity costs of not utilizing the spare capacity. Hence, the spare capacity should be considered as a strategic investment that will pay for itself many times over in increased sales, higher quality, and lower total costs.
This is again a measure which is very hard to digest. We always measure the usefulness of any process through its efficiency and utilization. However, the problem with the traditional belief is not the concept of efficiency, but that most measures of efficiency work counter to lead time reduction. Large batches are used in a lot of companies in a bid to reduce the setup costs. However this very measure results in increasing the lead time which can culminate in the same problems as enlisted in the previous principle. There are numerous examples to show the scope of reduction of lead time in organizations, a prominent one being the case study in Becker (2001) which showed how lead time for a line of spare parts for the oil drilling industry dropped from 40 days to 5 days using reduction of lead time as the main performance measure in a manufacturing cell.
QRM says that the quantities as calculated by EOQ are not appropriate and consistent with the goal of reducing lead time as EOQ doesn’t consider many costs of large lots like expediting of late orders, overtime cost for trying to speed up late jobs, WIP holding costs including space. Also quality problems are detected much later than with small lots and the amount of rework and scrap generated is also much larger. At the same time, another important point which is missed in EOQ is the lack of responsiveness which occurs when the process is carried out with large lots. Large lots and planning for the same makes it difficult for the organization to respond quickly to change in customer needs. Nor can good lot sizes for QRM be predicted by the MRP system, since it assumes fixed queue times regardless of workload.
Hence, in order to reduce the lead times throughout the organization, it is important for everyone in a manufacturing firm, and especially for senior managers, to understand the dynamics of factory operations. The senior managers need to have a broad outlook and decide on the policies of manufacturing and performance measures only after fully understanding the effects of capacity utilization, efficiency measures, and lot sizing policies on lead time.
The differences between the traditional and QRM views can be observed from the figure given above. Traditional performance measures of utilization and efficiency encourage managers to exploit their resources to the maximum possible value. Production is considered infeasible only when the capacity utilization exceeds their maximize resource utilization, and only think about their capacity limit as a boundary between feasible and infeasible production targets. Also the perception is that larger lot sizes lead to increase in efficiency. However, QRM’s focus is solely on reducing lead time, and hence the impact of utilization and lot size on the same is studied. Higher utilization leads to increase in lead time, whereas lead time first decreases and then increases with increase in lot size. It is essential to consider all such manufacturing dynamics in order to come up with a process that minimizes the lead time and thereby costs.
According to QRM on-time performance is an outcome not a performance measure. Because if on time is considered as performance measure departments will quote longer lead-time to match up with on-time delivery. Again this will result in Response time spiral and results in poor performance of organization. But with QRM, organization will focus on shortening lead-time as a performance measure. In QRM it’s called QRM Number (measure of lead time reduction). This will eliminates Response Time Spiral and performance of organization will improve. For example see Table 2.
MRP systems are of great help in managing material supply and ordering but lead-time cannot be reduced using MRP. MRP should be used on high level planning and coordination not on cell level in a cellular structure implemented by QRM. Whereas POLCO can be used to manage material between cells and inside cells. POLCO basically a hybrid of push and pull systems using benefits of both.
This phenomena can be again seen as entering in Response Time Spiral in which if company buys in large batches this makes supplier to have longer lead time and company to order even larger batches. Internal and external incentives like discounts motivate ordering in large batches. The results this can be verified in John Deere where implementation of QRM with suppliers reduced cost and also improved quality with shorter lead-time and batches.
Not only at the supply side, the small lot concept needs to be applied at the distribution end too. Normally it is the tendency of the sales force to get higher orders by offering quantity discounts. This will again lead to the spiral of increasing lot sizes, both during the process as well as on the procurement side, ultimately leading to lowering of delivery performance. By implementing QRM, a company can reduce its costs manifold which can then be passed on to the customers. There is a need to demonstrate to the customer that the company can deliver high quality at low prices even for small lots, which would be more beneficial both to the company as well as the customer. Thus, the idea of small lots percolates throughout the organization, from top to bottom, as well as throughout the supply chain, from supplier to customer.
The traditional approach might result in local quality improvements in the respective departments. However, QRM is more concerned with the overall organization than just one department. The requirement is to cut the overall lead time for manufacturing as well as office operations for which Q-ROCs are more appropriate. Such Q-ROCs result in significant reduction of lead times for jobs such as cost estimating, quoting, and order processing. Closed-loop implies that the team would be self-sufficient in dealing with all the problems related to reducing lead time. This implies cutting across functional boundaries and changing the reporting structures to ensure the success of the process. Needless to say, this team needs to be given power in order to make the decisions as reducing lead time is the primary goal of the organization. The best example would be that of Ingersoll Cutting Tool Company, in Rockford, which reduced its engineering and order processing time for customized cutters from 10 days to half a day after implementing QRM principles. However, QRM should not be considered as an application of Reengineering as by using principles of system dynamics in the design of Q-ROCs, providing specific engineering and management principles for manufacturing organizations, plus by changing management principles and performance measures and adopting a company-wide approach, QRM goes much deeper than Reengineering.
Charging more for speedy response is sustainable only in the short-term. In the long run, it is quality which differentiates a product from its competitors, and the same purpose is served by QRM. Searching for ways of squeezing time out uncovers quality problems and wasted efforts. Changing policies and adopting measures to rectify the same results in higher quality, lower WIP, less overhead, lower operating costs, and greater sales. The QRM Approach yields even better results than Lean Manufacturing as it ignores the wastes caused by long lead times. QRM takes the goal of waste reduction to the next level, creating an even leaner enterprise that will remain a formidable competitor for years to come.
As we have seen in many quality improving methodologies like Six Sigma, House of Quality the most important factor in the success of these initiatives is their acceptance by all the members of the organization; and QRM is no different. Realigning of all employees, from the shop floor to the boardroom, from desk workers to senior managers, to the QRM principles is a pre-requisite for the success of QRM, and hence training gains significance. Normally, performance measurement is tied to the cost accounting system which is an impediment to the successful implementation of QRM. Performance measurement must be aligned with the principles of QRM if the company has to benefit from the same.
In a nutshell, the following points can be summarized about Quick Response Manufacturing:
It requires measurement and efforts to minimize the metric, Manufacturing Critical-path Time (MCT), which is defined as the typical amount of calendar time from when a customer creates an order, through the critical-path, until the first piece of that order is delivered to the customer.
QRM requires four fundamental structural changes to transform a company organized around cost-based management strategies to a time-based focus]
Functional to Cellular:Cellular manufacturing is a pre-requisite of QRM as the cells yield greater flexibility in manufacturing
Top-down Control to Team Ownership:QRM requires the formation of closed-loop, cross-functional teams which need to be given complete power for monitoring the processes.
Specialized Workers to a Cross-trained Workforce:Since the success of the process requires reduction in lead times across all the departments, workers need to be trained to perform multiple tasks and have a broader outlook.
Efficiency/Utilization Goals to Lead Time Reduction:The evaluation parameters, performance measures have to shift from the traditional accounting measures to the goal of lead time reduction.
QRM theory recommends following four common steps when implementing QRM:
Creating a QRM mindset:

The most important part is to make people realise the advantages of QRM over the previous measures i.e. the wastes created due to long lead time which are even ignored in Lean Manufacturing. Thereafter, a high-level QRM Steering Committee needs to be formed and entrusted with the task of overseeing all QRM efforts, while a QRM Champion – an experienced employee with sound QRM training – is charged with driving and overseeing projects on a day-to-day basis.
Changing of organizational structure:

Cross-functional planning team are formed to study feasible projects to which QRM can be applied. This would require a detailed analysis of the MCT, product volumes, strategic needs and other factors. Thereafter, QRM cells are formed and training and cross-training is provided to the operators in these cells by an implementation team, consisting of members in the new cell and members of the planning team. Measurement of MCT is done to monitor lead time.
Inclusion of system dynamics:

During both design of the cell and its operation, the implementation team should reexamine policies on utilization to properly plan the loading of the cells, maintain spare capacity and reduce batch sizes.
Enterprisewide expansion of QRM:

The process would typically begin with a single project. If the project is a success, its results need to be conveyed to all the members of the organization and more projects need to be undertaken based on QRM principles. QRM should then be applied not only throughout the organization but also throughout the supply chain. E.g. the suppliers should also be motivated to inculcate and apply the principles of QRM which would have mutual benefits for both parties.

The Material Control System for QRM.
POLCO is Paired-cell Overlapping Loops of Cards. To implement this system the company need to create cells of the production process focusing on subsets for similar parts and then it processes a given customer order through differing cells depending on the needs of that order.
High Level MRP is used to provide high level planning and coordination of materials from external suppliers and across these internal cells. But cells are managed individually.
Assume P1 focuses on color printing and P2 on black