Taiwan cram schools also commonly referred to as the Buxiban is an educational industry whereby supplement education is offered to students. The industry has a huge market owing to the fact that parents would like their children long-term so in a view to augment study time, they send their kids to after-school programs. The name “cram” develops from what the industry does, attempting to cram a vast number of learners and also fill or cram very large chunks of information into the minds of the students as much as they can. The problem thus arises from here in the fact that the value of education is lost since the industry is a commercial one, it seeks to make money at the expense of impacting important educational information on the students. This paper analyses the cram school problems; with a focus on parents, teachers, and students based on pre-collected data from Wan Shen cram school in Taipei.
The current problem in the cram school system is inferred from the survey that was done on the teaching staff. Students who attend these schools are required to pay high amounts of fees. On the other hand, teachers are also paid huge remunerations by the school owners, an amount surpassing the other teachers in other schools by over three times (Taiwan, 2015). Apart from the high amounts of money that parents are required to pay for their children to access these programs, the overall universal educational tenets advocate for pedagogical practices which help shape the social lives of learners with an emphasis on behaviour and a clear definition of what education should do are violated in cram schools. Students are subjected to vast amounts of information, at the same time they are many and thus they only read to pass their tests.
Students tend to have uncontrolled behaviour and some rancour towards their teachers. Furthermore, since these schools are commercialized, when teachers complain about student behaviour, the administration is rather lousy at acting on these students. Faced with such difficulties, these teachers get discouraged and many resign (Kang, 2018). Despite the huge salaries, their morale in their work diminishes and they also lose job satisfaction which portends high turnover rates in this industry. High turnover rates are costly to the organization. Obviously, the problem in these cram schools from the teachers’ perspective is far from compensation and needs unequivocal attention on the other aspects of their kind of education.
To demystify these issues, surveys involving interviewing employees at Wen Shen cram school to gain an insight into the satisfaction and morale of the teachers formed the primary data. Further, information on the rest of the industry, competitors, the parents and students formed the secondary data for this paper. In addition, questionnaires were used to get the response of the stakeholders of cram schools and the results were analyzed to form the general hypothesis about cram schools. Similarly, data were collected from across the cram school industry to access the issues and the identified competitors were the International Mind Research Institute which also offers the same kind of education program (Chen, n.d.). The results showed a common trend in the whole industry, pertaining to teachers’ morale and satisfaction.
Focus groups that involved clientele and the varied stakeholders including parents and students were engaged in discourses on various aspects surrounding the cram school industry, including but not limited to student behaviour vis a vis teacher morale and satisfaction. The involvement of parents in student pedagogy was also one of the issues assessed (Kang, 2018). The results from this data collection divulged a great deal of information on cram school issues. Of course, the leading issue was teacher morale and satisfaction and the role these programs played in the education system, given the fact that many of the respondents perceived cram schools as exam-oriented. Parents who were engaged explained that cram schools did quite a lot in advertising themselves amongst them and in their quest to enable their children to attain good grades, they easily registered their kids at cram schools (“Taiwan cram schools,” n.d.) With this kind of advertisement, it was noted that there is a rise in the number of cram schools cropping up.
Short and Long Term Profits of Solving the Issue
If the issues of cram school were solved, short and long term profitability would be improved. First, teacher morale and job satisfaction need to be sedulously considered and improved since it would reduce teacher turnover hence teachers will be able to stay longer in a school. Secondly, since the turnover rate would reduce, the financial burden on the schools’ administration will have been lifted (Bowles, 2014). When teachers have good morale and are satisfied with their work, it will result in higher productivity since their working environment will be conducive and they will be always positive about their jobs (Evans, n.d). With increased productivity, the organizational goals of the school will be realized thus upholding and improving the repute of not only the school but of the entire industry. In addition, the funds that would have been used to recruit more teachers because of the turnover will be used for other purposes such as improving the school amenities and getting more teachers to reduce the student to teacher ratio.
Finally, when teacher morale and satisfaction are improved, teachers will be friendlier to both parents and students (Bowles, 2014). This is one way of advertising the school hence more parents will be coaxed into bringing their children to the school. Furthermore, parent engagement in the students’ lives was noted to be of great importance in shaping the student behaviour, increasing their fervency in the learning process, and increasing their respect towards their teachers (Chou & Yuan, n.d.). All of these point to the fact that increasing teacher motivation and morale improve both short and long-term profitability of the school and thus the whole cram school industry in general.
Even though the contribution of cram schools to student learning cannot be downplayed, the industry needs to take serious steps in order to mitigate and avert the problems that currently bedevil it. There should be a clear cut on the amounts payable to these schools by developing a proper general managing body (Chen, n.d.). Parents and other educational stakeholders in the community need to be more involved in student learning to improve student discipline. The experience that teachers have had in the industry needs a lot of attention to increase productivity. Market competitive intelligence analysis indicates intense growth of the industry which then requires a policy in order to give it some order in operations through mergers or acquisitions by local authorities.
In addition, the general pedagogical processes in cram schools need to be redefined to make them as effective as possible since the purpose of school goes way beyond exam scores, high grades, and commercialization of the cram schools (Hsieh, n.d.). Changes need to be made in their curricula to engage parents, and students and develop a system where teachers are respected as this will go a long way in shaping the students’ behaviours both at home and in school. Thus these steps will prove profitable to the students and the community at large.