Challenges to the effective performance of the Angolan University teaching staff.
For institutions of higher learning such as universities, the performance evaluation teaching staff is profoundly significant in the realization of the institution’s goals and objectives. It is also the social responsibility of these universities to ensure that the quality of education offered at their facilities is contextual and relevant to the graduates careers and the professions, which they undertake upon successful completion of these studies. As a nation committed to human capacity development, Angola recognizes and is continuously seek means to uphold exceptionally high standards of teacher performance as well as the general quality of services offered by the Angolan public universities. This chapter offers a summary of a comprehensive investigation dealing with 360° and competency evaluation for teaching staff at universities. The objective of this study was to develop and implement a system of evaluation of the teacher and lecturer performance at the José Eduardo dos Santos University of the Republic of Angola. The methodology used for evaluation the strengths and weaknesses of 122 teachers, the strengths and weaknesses in their individual performance; it also presents an improvement plan based on their competences to enhance individual teacher performance.
- performance evaluation
- human capital
- teaching skills
The world is changing at a fast pace and institutions of higher learning are constantly faced with the challenge to be dynamic in their approach in shaping the skills of the students and graduates who ultimately complete their studies to join the work force. Ospina , aptly points out that universities need to rise up to this challenge in order to allow graduates to have skill sets that optimize their performance in their chosen career fields. In an attempt to overcome these challenges, a paradigm of competitiveness, relevancy and effectiveness of graduate professionals’ knowledge requirements is deemed necessary. The quality and effectiveness of the teachers, instructors and lecturers is fundamentally linked to the kind of interest and motivation for the subject matter; seeking other resources for further reading or knowledge development and the actual knowledge of the disciplines and actual competences the students and graduates attain that enable them to adapt in the workplace. The role and responsibility of the teaching staff is far reaching and it greatly contributes to the quality of graduates as they reach the workforce.
Undoubtedly, the role of the university teacher in the achievement of these goals is transcendental. The evaluation of the performance of university teacher has therefore become a very useful instrument for institutions of higher education that allows stakeholders to make decisions to improve and enhance the quality of the performance of the teachers and the teaching-learning process. In modern times, universities have a great challenge in developing performance evaluation systems, motivating a change in the daily duties and activities of teachers as they carry out their professional role of teaching .
Angola’s current status on evaluation of the performance of human resources and especially of teachers in public universities is an ongoing concern that is mainly motivated by the need to raise standards and quality of education in general.
The course content, the skills and knowledge offered, the mode of transmission, i.e., the teacher-learning process, the teachers conduct and methods of offering teaching services are all part of the considerations that need to be evaluated for tertiary learning institutions in Angola.
Previous studies carried out from 2005 to the present on the situation of the system of higher education in Angola [3, 4, 5, 6, 7] revealed a whole set of weaknesses that hamper the effective performance of university teachers as summarized in Table 1
|Inadequate preparation of the teaching staff from the pedagogical point of view|
|Low standards are accepted and accepted as a norm so, a general culture has evolved around this where poorly trained teachers enter the workforce|
|Teachers in general do not receive comprehensive practical knowledge about teaching and learning assessment techniques, therefore, deficiencies in performance assessment initiate right from the teacher training process|
|A defunct performance evaluation system used by institutional managers has generated the status of complacence amongst teachers, in terms of their pursuit of excellence in their profession. The systems of performance evaluation do not make a distinction between teachers with superior performance or professionally competent compared to the insufficient performance or the incompetent teachers.|
|Financial gain is the main motivation for the vast majority of teachers to aspire to work at institution of higher learning, as the remuneration packages at these institutions is rather higher than at lower level of learning. These institutions offer better income but show indifference and apathy as to the improvement of the quality of the teaching-learning processes.|
This unhealthy competition amongst professionals to join the teaching staff in institutions of higher learning with a defunct performance evaluation systems and by extension no professional code of performance of conduct severely affect the quality of education in Angola. The lack of pedagogical, instructive and research skills, sometimes leads to a situation where teaching staff do not act as facilitators of learning and therefore do not contribute to develop in the learners’ creativity—these competences are not evaluated in their performance.
In addition, research carried out by [7, 8, 9] uncovered shortcomings in the existing evaluation of performance, such as the instrument for the evaluation of the performance of university teachers is the same as that used to evaluate the other public works (technical and administrative staff). This entails that the indicators1 defined in this instrument are very general and do not apply for the assessment of the competencies that must be measured in the performance of a teacher, thus rendering very subjective results that cause dissatisfaction and performances that do not enhance the improvement of the skills of the teaching staff. This all culminates into a situation that negatively affects the quality of the process of teaching and learning in the Angolan public universities.
Consequently, this problem, justified the need to develop a system of performance evaluation that stimulates a change in the daily activities of the Angolan University teaching. However, many of the Angolan public universities lack knowledge on how to evaluate the performance of their teachers because there are few relevant methodological instruments in use to evaluate them, much less plan of actions for the improvement of their skills which would contribute to the quality of the process of teaching-learning in educational institutions.
The application of the procedure in the University José Eduardo dos Santos, has been developed taking into account the proposed principles. Phase 1 was fulfilled satisfactorily; a panel of experts, consisting of 19 people for the analysis of strategies and policies of Human Resources in alignment with the specific procedure proposed for these purposes was clearly defined. In addition, three awareness workshops were developed successfully.
The documentary analysis conducted, concluded that the performance evaluation process has the following limitations: the evaluation is carried out by the immediate superior head without participation of other stakeholders (teachers, students, and academic peers) and if one performs an analysis of the functions which a faculty teacher should perform according to the established category in the statutes of the teaching career from 1995 to the present, can easily ascertain that the performance indicators established in Decree 25/94 do not qualify to evaluate the competences of university teachers in alignment with the functions that must perform, therefore, are very general indicators that do not reflect the actual performance of the teacher.
Surveys were also applied to a sample of 122 teachers and 18 managers of the University José Eduardo dos Santos, supporting the results obtained from the application of the documentary analysis.
Further, the implementation of phase 2 as planned, would facilitate the evaluation of the performance of 122 teaching staff of the Jose Eduardo dos Santos University.
The analysis of the results is shown in Table 2, followed by subsequent conclusions highlighted as follows; out of 122 teaching staff at UJES: 23% of teachers were assessed “Insufficient”, 64% “Good” and 12% “Very good”. Actually, these results, demonstrate an improvement in the quality of the performance assessment process, in the first instance because it enabled to assess all full-time teachers based on indicators or performance criteria associated with their role in the UJES and secondly because enabled identifying those competencies where the teacher should improve their performance to contribute effectively to the results of the institution.
|Total qualitative assessment performance|
|Scale||Frequency||%||% valid||% cumulative|
The ranges of the evaluation scale were defined taking into consideration the criteria of the experts, who assessed the scale in agreement with that defined in article 60 of the academic regime for the evaluation of students ranging from 0 to 20. However, the most conventional scale is the one ranging from 0 to 100, but, nevertheless, the previous scale (from 0 to 20) was correlated with the scale from 0 to 100, where each value of the scale multiplied by 5, as shown in Table 3 indicating the relationship between the two scales:
|Scale from 0 to 20||Scale from 0 to 100|
|Very good 17–18||81–90|
Generally, in Angola it is common to use the classifications of “Insufficient”, “Sufficient”, “Good”, “Very Good” and “Excellent” in regards to assessment. For such purposes, the numerical ranges and the ranges established for the evaluation scale (REES) area as follows:
Insufficient (1) if REES <50
Sufficient (2) yes 50 REES <65
Good (3) yes 65 REES <80
Very Good (4) yes 80 REES <90
Excellent (5) if REES 90
Subsequently, phase 3 was also successfully fulfilled and an analysis of the process of evaluation of performance in the UJES (see Table 4), identified the lack of internal coherence between the policies of HR considering that the indicators related to the level of use of assessments of performance for the training and promotion, respectively, yielded values that indicate that these results are not used for the staff training process either for their promotion i.e. do not use these results for the evaluation of performance or to make the diagnosis of the needs of learning and in relation to this, of the UJES capacity building plan. Further, it stresses that the 64% of teachers evaluated as “good” and 12% as “Very good”, show an improvement in the quality of this process. Based on the difficulties identified in the performance of the teachers in the UJES, was deemed necessary to design the programme of improvement actions listed in Table 5.
|Degree of satisfaction with the results of the assessment of performance||85|
|Degree of compliance with the process of evaluation of performance||100|
|Evaluated teachers of insufficient||1|
|Evaluated teachers of sufficient||23|
|Evaluated teachers of good||64|
|Evaluated teachers of very good||12|
|Evaluated teachers of excellence||0|
|Degree of use of the performance assessment for training||24|
|Degree of use of the performance assessment for promotion||76|
|Actions||Determine the needs of training according to the results of the performance assessment||Develop and provide teacher training plan||Develop the process of promotion according to the results of the performance assessment||Design and implement scientific research projects.||Develop and implement a strategy for doctoral training|
|Who is responsible for||Head of the scientific Department and the Head of the Department of HR||Head of the scientific Department and the Head of the Department of HR||Scientific Council of the organic unit and Department of HR||Teachers and Scientific Council of the organic units||Scientific Council of the organic units|
|What should you do||Identify the training needs of teachers from the accusations made in the performance assessment||Develop the training plan||Promote teachers based on their performance||Design projects according with the research lines||The doctoral training strategy|
|When it needs to do||February month||March month||May–November month||Annual||Annual|
|Where is||Department or faculty||Department or faculty||Department or faculty||Faculties||Faculties|
|Why does||To promote the training and development plan||To promote the continuous training of their teachers||To promote teachers’ category||To encourage research and the introduction of scientific results||To promote the training of doctors|
|How is it made||From the accusations made in the performance assessment and the results of questionnaires to diagnose the needs of training||According to the diagnose the needs of training planned actions, manager’s compliance date, the budget and the place where the training will take place||Based on the results of the performance of the teachers it invites public tenders of promotion||In accordance with the lines of research and the funding available to develop research projects||Doctoral training strategy is elaborated in accordance with the lines of research|
It is equally important at all stages to identify the necessary resources (staff, technological resources, financial resources, etc.).
Table 6 portrays a summary the different evaluated criteria, as well as the descriptive statistical estimator’s employees results in a Linker scale of category (5). The expert opinions expressed a level of consistency higher than 0.83 according to the coefficient of concordance of Kendall W.
|Transferability to other contexts||19||3||4||3.37||0.496||0.246|
The generality of criteria concerning novelty and utility, as well as to the actuality, reliability and feasibility of these research proposals, have yielded values averaging between four (4) and five (5) for all items of the questionnaire, leading to scores higher than 4.47 points in all cases, except for the relevance and transferability. These results indicate that the procedures proposed in the framework of this research are:
Feasible and applicable to the universities under study thus contributing to demonstrate its relevance, capacity description, explanation and prediction, in relation to the performance assessment;
Which corresponds to the latest trends on the performance assessment that provides strong evidence to show the theoretical and practical context;
They were understandable and comparable amongst staff involved, in frames, which sets its inherent complexity, which speaks in favor of its parsimony; and in the opinion of this author, and even the experts, it is possible to extend/extrapolate to other Angolan public universities, with their corresponding adjustments, thus demonstrating its transferability.
The implementation process of the system teacher evaluation were developed based on the regulation elaborated wherein the standards for the evaluation of performance were clearly defined and applied to the 122 full-time professors of the faculties, polytechnic colleges that constitute UJES. The regulation was mandatory and backed in the official regulations in the Republic of Angola.
Through the general procedure for the performance assessment of the teachers at Angolan public universities were able to evaluate 122 teachers in UJES, representing the universe of the targeted institution, as well as identify the main strengths and weaknesses in the performance of its teachers in the context of Angolan public higher education, particularly characterized at the subject of study.
The chapter concludes that lack of coherence between the policies and practices of Human Resources in relation to the performance assessment results, as well as by the fact that the performance assessment results are measured erroneously based on very general indicators and not on the basis of the competences of teachers that influence the results of the University, which speaks in favor of its relevance.
The evaluation control system of performance evaluation indicators allowed to identify and deploy a feasible and relevant set of policies and programs of action in the UJES, all of which, ultimately, properly managed, particularly the studied University. In general, it will gradually result in improvement of the level of performance of its teachers, which rendered the ability to draw policies and programs of action, consistent with the need of improving the quality of the teaching-learning process.
With the full implementation of the proposed procedure in the UJES, it were found out that it is feasible, suitable and effective methodological tool to gradually improve the performance evaluation process of the Angolan public universities and that proving, with its coherent application to the specific subject or case studies. In particular, its capacity of description, explanation and the prediction, logical consistency, flexibility, moderation, perspective and relevance in the framework of the research, which, together with those derived from their adoption and implementation, ascertained the verification of the general hypothesis of the proposed research field.
- The indicators defined for the evaluation of the performance are: professional competence, dynamism and initiative, the fulfillment of tasks, human relations at work, the professional adaptation, regularity, punctuality, and discipline, the appropriate use of the means of work, presentation and individual posture.