STUDY OF THE OPERATIONAL CONDITIONS UNDER THE PROJECT “ONE FOR NINE”: CASE STUDY OF THE INSTITUTIONS IN THE AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY OF THE NETWORK CENTER OF THE ONESQA /NARESUAN UNIVERSITY
The project “One for Nine” is an innovation of the public organization, the Office for National Education Standards and Quality Assessment (ONESQA). Under this project one institution is assigned to serve as a core institution to assist a further 9 institutions in raising their standards of educational quality. These institutions participate in the project on a voluntary basis without funding from ONESQA (Zero Budget Project). 207 core institutions and 1,863 member institutions have participated in the project. Within the area of responsibility of the Network Center for ONESQA Naresuan University there are 7 core institutions at the basic education level.
The role of ONESQA comprises the development of the criteria and methods for external quality assessment and evaluation of national educational management at all levels. ONESQA collaborates with 8 regional institutions of higher education located nationwide. This is in order to enable cooperation and to form a “Chain of Educational Quality” at every educational level within the responsibility area of the ONESQA Network Center. Naresuan University signed a collaboration agreement with ONESQA to serve as the Network Center Office (ONESQA/NU). Its area of responsibility covers 8 provinces located in the lower part of the Northern Region of the country and includes 10 core voluntary educational institutions comprising: 1 higher education institution, 2 vocational education institutions and 7 basic education institutions.
The research team, formed by an ONESQA/NU committee, is interested in studying the operational conditions of those institutions located in the area of responsibility and which have participated in the project “One for Nine”.
The aims of this research are to:
1) study the motivation of the institutions in participating in the project,
2) study the operations of basic education institutions within the area of responsibility and
3) study the results of the projects operations.
Data was collected via a questionnaire and discussions with focus groups, core institutions and members of the network institutions within the area of responsibility between April and September 2013. The study results demonstrated that: 1) the most significant motivation for the core institutions in participating in the project was the need for the sharing of standards of good practice and the desire to collaborate with all sectors in order to improve and enhance national educational standards.
The motivation for member institutions in participation was the need to pass the external assessment with improved results and an exchange of knowledge with those institutions in receipt of “excellent” assessment results;
2) The core institutions, in the main, carried out the project by arranging a seminar to disseminate knowledge, arranging site visits for other member institutions, offering consultation, providing work samples and generally assisting the other member institutions on any matters with which they required help;
3) The outcome of participation in the project was that the institutions involved were pleased because they were able to seek and obtain assistance and that they were provided with the resolution to garner innovations in educational management in various fields in order to better enable the sharing and exchange of knowledge between the members of the network. Moreover, the institutions which participated in the project were better prepared to receive assessment.