EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This report provides an assessment of the current service concept at the North Ridge Lyceum Ltd. It is consists the findings of an analytical assessment of the school using the Flower of Service Concept. Supplementary services, which are the petals, rally around the core of the service which is used to augment the core service or business and also it adds extra appeal to the core. These supplementary service are grouped into two (2) * Facilitating supplementary service element * Enhancing supplementary service element.
The report also discusses a brief history of education in Ghana and changes that have taken place in this sector in the last ten years as a result of globalization, increase in population, government policies and other factors. We also looked at the current trends in the industry today with a rise in private sector participation and high demand for private education. A brief preface of the school is that it is a private educational facility which is well positioned in the country as one of the best primary and junior high school in Ghana.
The assessment of the school, using the flower of service concept saw that information, a supplementary element is inadequately addressed. Whiles order taking and billing and payments facilitating supplementary service element can greatly be enhanced to improve the service gap in the school. Recommendations are discussed in this report to help correct some service gaps we identified during the assessment. Some of them are using Information Technology to correct information and order taking service gaps.
Also discussing with parents on how to take proper care of pupils who are not picked up early from school. INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND Brief context of the Industry Due to growing population increase, politics, globalization and continues lack of governmental investment in education, the educational industry has gone through tremendous change over the last fifty (50) years of the history of this country. The main goal of Ghana’s educational system is to produce the needed resource manpower for the country.
After Ghana gained Independence in 1957, the educational system was modelled to that of the British system until the 1980’s reforms which starts at the age of six (6) years, consisting of six years primary education, three years junior education, three years senior secondary education and four years university or other tertiary institutions like Polytechnic and teacher training colleges. The educational system can be categorised into the public and private sectors. With the public sector saddled with lots of problems. Problems, such as lack of classrooms, weather affecting infrastructure.
Recently, the Ghana News Agency reported a troubling phenomenon in the Bunkpurugu /Yunyoo District where the roofs of 32 school buildings in the area were ripped off by rainstorm, making learning difficult for the pupils. The headmaster of one of the schools indicated that classes were closed when the rains threatened to fall and also when the sun got too hot claiming this could not have happened in urban areas. The ratio of students per teacher is huge, especially in the rural communities. Overpopulation in classrooms is also another problem.
According to the Ghana News agency report of the district, one of the classrooms even had 134 pupils creating overcrowding and making teaching quite difficult and stressful for a single teacher. This is about quadruple the average pupil teacher ratio in Ghana which is supposed to be 35 pupils per class. He also complained that since the inception of the JHS system in 2007, “We have never seen a textbook on Religious and Moral Education yet students are made to write it at their final exams. ” Besides this challenging situation, Mathematics, Science and English textbooks have been in short supply in schools in that district.
Most of the reforms that were introduced had suffered political patronage rendering them ineffective. When the NPP came to power in 2000, they made some reforms that changed secondary education from three years to four years but shortly after the NDC returned to power in 2008; it reversed the system to the initial three years. This has created a lot of ongoing debate in the country. Additionally, labour strikes by the teachers also affect the success of the institution. Some of these problems are not so predominant in the private schools. CURRENT TRENDS IN THE EDUCATION INDUSTRY
Currently, this industry has seen a rise in the establishment of private educational facilities. Increased demand by the people and the limited resources available to the government has made it difficult for the government alone to finance education provision in the country. It has therefore become increasingly necessary for the private sector to get involved in the provision of educational facilities in the country. Examples are, the current private universities established by churches like the Central and Methodist Universities and some individually established like Ashesi University.
Furthermore kindergartens and primary schools being the most populous. Also most of these private institutions have introduced additional packages to the core service they offer. Some of these being, exchange programmes, provision of food or canteen services, school bus service, after school waiting service, extra classes and vacation school being the new trend. This is not so in the public schools. Information technology has currently being introduced in the educational curriculum as this was not so before. Most Private Schools now have branches in other localities and regions in the country.
Typical examples are The Seven Great Princess Academy which branches in Dansoman and Mataheko in Accra and The Lutheran School with branches in Accra, Kumasi and Tema. Additionally, most of these private schools have started making their establishment as a one-stop shop educational facility. Sone schools provide education from Nursery up to Senior High. Some examples are Alpha Beta School, Dansoman and Merton International School and recently Morning Star School. Branding has become very important in running these private institutions due to competition.
Hence some names in the private schools carry lots of weight than others making them charge higher prices for the service they offer. Also most of these schools perform better in examinations than the public schools. Notwithstanding, private schools, like public schools, have their own problems which include inadequate funds, poor infrastructure and high number of untrained teachers in some of the schools. ASSESSMENT OF NORTH RIDGE LYCEUM. Having being approached by the school to conduct an assessment of its service concept we at Brainstorm Consults did a little background of the school.
Located at No. 1 Tabon Street in the North Ridge residential area of Accra, the school according to its administrator was founded in September 1971 by Mrs. Comfort Engmann an educationist as a private non-denominational Christian school, catering for children of ages between six (6) to fourteen (14) years of all nationalities. Its mission is to nurture pupils to attain top leadership positions in any field of their choice in the future. The motto of the school is “Be the light, wherever you find yourself” and “Ntetee Pa” meaning good upbringing.
The school is managed by a board of directors responsible for the general policy direction of the school and the day to day administration is in the hands of the chief executive officer, Headmistress, two Assistant heads and four Heads of Departments. Apart from the normal classroom teaching the school offers training in sewing, cookery, boys Scout and Girls Guides. The school also has a Choir, Drama and Debating Clubs, Photography Club, etc. where the pupils get the opportunity to develop other talents. Attached is a brochure of the school which provides more information of the school.
The school has a canteen where pupils who do not bring food to school can buy food during break. OUTCOME OF THE ASSESSMENT/AUDIT OF THE SCHOOL USING THE FLOWER OF SERVICE CONCEPT. Our firm Brainstorm Consults is using the flower of service concept to audit our client’s service. We believe that this concept will help assess the client’s service process well to give them the best recommendation to improve their service and position themselves well to compete better. Likewise, the flower of service concept has the core businesses of the firm with its supplementary services.
According to Christopher Lovelock and Jochen Wirtz, the core products often share a range of similar supplementary service elements which has two (2) kinds. The facilitating and enhancing supplementary services which can be classified into one eight clusters as the petals surrounding the centre of a flower called the flower of service. Facilitating supplementary service include information, order-taking, billing and payment. Consultation, hospitality, safekeeping and exceptions are what make up the enhancing supplementary services. CORE SERVICE AT NORTH RIDGE LYCEUM
According to the headmistress of the school we interviewed, teaching pupils or students to prepare for high academic performance in the future ahead and to prepare them for senior high school are the core service the school offers. This is delivered or created by employing qualified graduate teachers to teach the various subjects and creating the right environment for learning to achieve this objective. Again the school has adopted a small class size of maximum thirty (30) pupils per class to ensure effective class control and good supervision.
Teacher give pupils home work, project work and holiday assignments to reinforce the classroom teaching. Excursions and field trips are also constantly organised to give the pupils first information on what we treat in the classroom. The school has a library with good books to help both teachers and pupils for research. There is also a well stoked modern computer laboratory. The school has a science lab for practical lessons but according to the Science teacher we spoke to, he cannot hold science practicals with the pupils because there are few old equipment and chemicals in the science laboratory.
This we identified as a service gap. FACILITATING SUPPLEMENTARY SERVICES AT NORTH RIDGE LYCEUM Information The school has a brochure, which serves as a source of information about the school. A glance through the brochure gives us broad and vivid information about the school. Telephone enquiry also gives information to prospective clients and its current clients during school hours. The school also gives terminal reports to its clients about their wards academic and letters to also invite parents for meetings and discussions about their children’s or wards welfare.
These sources of information by our assessment are not enough and can be improved upon. We realised information technology has not been taken advantage of. Order Taking Order-taking by the school in terms of admissions is done by current and prospective clients personally coming to the school. This must be done a year before the intended date of admission. This reservation does not guarantee admission but based on the wards passing an entrance examination and an interview. Information Technology is not being taken advantage of. Billing The third element of a facilitating service in the school which is billing
has student statement given to parents at the end of every term. This informs them on how much they owe and how to do the payments. Parents have to come to the school to collect this bill which we believe is a gap that can be improved upon. Also a copy of the schools’ bill we looked at has just two items on it, the PTA dues and tuition fees. Questioning this, we were informed that the tuition includes Text books, Exercise books and other services the school provides such as toiletry. This creates a problem for clients who would want a clear and accurate bill informing them on what exactly they are paying for.
Payment The last element under facilitating supplementary service is payment. Payment of bills is done by payment order/bankers draft which is not convenient according to some parents we interviewed. Due to the busy life style and the nature of work of modern parents, going to the bank to do a payment order/bankers draft poses difficulty for them. This creates a service problem. As a parent narrated, “I sent my driver to the bank to purchase a draft which turned out to have mistakes and was subsequently refused by the school, so i had to leave my work at the office to go to the bank to have the mistake corrected”.
ENHANCING SUPPLEMENTARY SERVICE AT NORTH RIDGE LYCEUM Consultation The elements of their enhancing service analysis begins with consultation, under this service, the school has a counselling facility which counsels children and parents on issues concerning them, such as conflicts between parents and wards. They are also counselled and guided as to the school and subject choices they pursue in senior high school. The school also has a psychologist who is called upon to help pupils identify with strange psychological problems and behaviours.
Additionally, the school invites officials from the West African Examination Council to educate students on the do’s and dont’s of their BECE examination. This tends to add value to the service the school offers. Hospitality Hospitality which is the second element that the school scored high marks for during our assessment. The reception or waiting area of the school is very spacious with comfortable seats, air condition, daily newspapers and magazines, also a water dispenser for its clients. Periodic training is also given to staff and teachers to improve their customer service and how to treat their clients well.
Safekeeping Another enhancing service the school has is safekeeping. Safekeeping in the school is adequate but can also be improved upon. The school has trained security personnel who direct traffic and protect properties of clients such as cars. The school’s wall also serves as protection for clients who pack in the school. The parking area is quite small thus some clients have to park outside where the school wall which is not safe since there is no security for such clients. Also the school closes at 3:30 pm and the teachers on duty are to take care of the pupils who are not picked on time up to 4:00 pm.
The pupils who are not picked on time do not have any kind of care and so they are exposed to a lot of danger. These we identified as a gaps. Exceptions Lastly, the exceptions element is another service area where the school addresses. When clients have problems in the payment of their wards fees, flexible payment schedules are given to them depending on each situation. Recommendation and introductory letters are also given to clients for their wards visa and other applications free of charge. Additionally, the school provides medical facility for the wards when they become sick and other emergencies during school hours.
The school has an agreement with North Ridge Clinic, which is very close to the school, where such pupils are given medical attention, the school pays for the medical bills and parents settle the bill at a later date. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMPROVING GAPS IDENTIFIED IN NORTH RIDGE LYCUEM CURRENT SERVICE CONCEPT. After a careful assessment of the current service concept of North Ridge Lyceum using the flower of service concept, we members of the Brainstorm Consult recommend the following to help the school improve upon the gaps identified: * The school should invest in Information Technology (IT).
The use of a brochure and telephone in giving information to its clients is not enough. Due to today’s use and access to IT, North Ridge Lyceum Ltd needs to use IT in its service delivery by creating a Web Site where clients and prospective clients can have access to the school’s information any time. * Emails can also be used to communicate to clients instead of giving letters to pupil who sometimes misplace them and thus do not receive important information and notices. * As noticed, the school does not have a proper sign posts giving directions to prospective clients to the school.
Thus we recommend that the school provides directions to the school in the form of sign post. * Also, in terms of order taking, prospective and current clients can use the school’s web site to book appointments and make reservations online instead of being present at the school. * Bills can also be sent to clients / parents via mail as well and this will tend to reduce stationary cost. * Furthermore, items on the bills should be broken down to give clients/parents a fair idea of what they are actually paying for. * Paying bills by direct debit from clients can prevent some inconveniences being faced by them.
* In the enhancing elements, safekeeping can be improved upon by having security personnel outside to ensure the safety of clients’ vehicles when they are packed outside the school walls. * Additionally ensuring the safety of the pupils while on the school compound is the duty of the school. The school should put in place a special arrangement so that there will be someone who will take care of the kids until the last pupil is picked up. We suggest that an extra fee is charged to pay teachers on duty to stay a bit longer to take care of pupils who are picked up late.
* Improving staff welfare is also important to the firm’s service concept. This can be done by giving additional benefits to staff apart from salary as during interactions with some of the teachers in the school revealed that no benefits are paid to the staff in addition to their monthly salaries, a situation most members of staff are not happy about. REFERENCES; 1. Lovelock and Wirtz, ( 2011), Service Marketing: People, Technology, Strategy 7th Edition, Pearson. 2. www. google scholar. com APENDIX. 1.
Cite this Service Concept at the North Ridge Lyceum Ltd
Service Concept at the North Ridge Lyceum Ltd. (2016, Sep 03). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/service-concept-at-the-north-ridge-lyceum-ltd/