DISTANCE EDUCATION PROJECT
TOPIC : 4
MANAGEMENT OF EXTENSION
Id. No. 38306
TOPIC : 4
MANAGEMENT OF EXTENSION UNIT
Management of a Distance education unit includes:1. Financial management
2. Personnel management
3. Institutional management
The principles of management apply to the general function of planning, organizing,
directing and controlling any activity in any organization. There are a few aspects of
management, which we shall take up for further study because they have a special
relevance to the work of an educational planner or administrator.
In educational planning we address our minds to the nature of an education plan as
a financial statement. We emphasize the practical uses of financial analysis and costing
techniques. Similarly, our attention is directed to the role of the budget and the
significance of budgeting as a link activity between planning and plan implementation.
Most organizations have financial specialists (i.e. accountants, cashiers, book-keepers
etc.) to handle this work, the educational planner or administrator should know the basic
principles of their operations, the major stumbling blocks and opportunities for
collaboration in the solution of implementation problems.
Elements of financial management
All the functions constituting financial management may be grouped under three
sequential categories as follows:
(1) Financial Analysis
(2) Compilation of Cost Data, including Trends and Fluctuations in Cost.
(3) Costing Projects/Targets
(5) Incurring Expenditure
(6) Acquisition of Property, Supplies and Services
(7) Payment and Handling of Cash and Negotiable Articles
(8) Accounting or Book-Keeping
The last four functions are fairly routine and are usually handled by specialist
The real problem areas in financial management, as evident in educational
administrative organizations are in the first five functions. They are problem areas
due to the following main reasons :
Main reasons for being a problem area
a) not yet recognized as essential operational functions ;
hence relegated as purely historical research of only
b) Past data are either not available or are recorded in a
form not conducive to analysis.
c) not enough trained personnel.
a) not yet fully recognized as the determinant of the entire
process of financial management
b) inadequately co-ordinated with planning.
c) recognized only as a formal (legal) document and not
adequately developed or used as a management tool.
d)the tendency in some countries of changing budget
provisions often and not regarding them as firm
commitment, has taken away the sense of seriousness in
a) remains in most places a "grey zone" in which roles of
policymakers, administrators and accounting specialists
are undefined, and consequentially, authority is over
b) procedures tend to be too rigid resulting in "red-tape"
c) decision-making time is overly long with difficulties in
fixing responsibility for delay
a) lack of reliable cost data.
b) reliance on rule-of-thumb methods.
c) resource allocation is governed
more by availability of funds or
political pressure than by careful
project formulation or refinement in costing.
How does one cost the targets or the projects of an education plan is consist of
following two steps:
First, the usual direction in which prices move is UP. But all elements constituting
a price do not go up at the same rate. Hence Unit Costs should be analyzed into as
many details as possible, so as to identify the different rates at which different
elements go up in price.
Second, the projection of Unit Costs into the future must be realistic. For this
purpose, it is important to consider(a) The behavior of the cost of each item into which the Unit Cost is analyzed
(b) The known or possible causes for such behavior
(c) The possibility or otherwise of such causes to persist into the projected time
(d) Alternative solutions to check spiraling cost through import-substitution, use
efficiency, innovative methodologies etc.
(e) Repercussions of installing such solutions
STRUCTURAL CHANGES IN THE ACCOUNTING SYSTEM
It is important that the educational planner or administrator develops a fair
understanding of the accounting system of his organization. The usual tendency is
to leave accounting or, more specifically book-keeping, as a routine operation to be
handled by accountants. In fact, most educational administrators tend to regard it
as a tedious activity with little management value — conceived and designed to
satisfy prying auditors! This attitude to accounting has a number of repercussions,
detrimental to educational development;viz.
(a) the educational administrator throws away unwittingly all the opportunities he
has for getting the maximum benefits of the financial allocations made to his
organization or institution;
(b) he becomes over dependent on his accounting colleagues whose objective
could be very different from what he wants to achieve for his organization;
(c) he loses the chance he has to use the accounting system as the generator of vital
financial and cost data which he needs for his planning and management functions
(d) he fails to use effectively a very useful control mechanism by which the rate of
progress of his organization or institution could be watched, regulated and
Personnel Management is a specialized field demanding from the manager several
important qualities of both mind and heart. Whether you are specifically
designated as a personnel manager or not, you have to perform some functions in
personnel management. The purpose of the lesson unit is to give a broad overview
of various types of action that constitute personnel management. We will also
discuss some of the management principles which contribute towards greater
efficiency in personnel management.
WHAT IS PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT?
This aspect of management deals with the people who constitute an organization.
All organizations are constituted of people who choose to work in it primarily
because it enables them to satisfy some at least of their personal needs. These
personal needs are not necessarily congruous with the needs and objectives of an
Sometimes, they can even be conflicting. But, ordinarily, a person works for an
organization as long as the balance between his own personal needs and those of
the organization is in his favour. Hence, one of the basic objectives of personnel
management is to ensure a fair balance between the personal needs of employees
and the needs of the organization.
Personnel Management deals with following elements relating to the personnel of
(a) Job Analysis and Description
(b) Wage and salary administration
(d) Placement and promotion
f) Training and professional growth
(g) Performance assessment and report
(i) Trade Union Relations
Job Analysis and Description
Whenever new functions are assigned to an organization, the first task is to
determine how many persons are needed, of what skills and qualifications and to
do what work. The criterion is organizational efficiency and effectiveness.
Efficiency demands that the least number of persons with the least operational
costs should do the work, while effectiveness necessitates that the objectives of the
organization are achieved fully with the highest consumer satisfaction.
“Job analysis and description is the process by which a personnel manager
determines the number as well as the kind and qualifications of employees to be
recruited to an organization.”
Job analysis results in identifying the posts that an organization needs
Job description is the phase when the qualifications Expected of a person to be
recruited to the post are worked out. Qualifications for a post range from age,
language skills, and educational level to experience in similar or related jobs. Some
qualifications are obligatory while some others may be specified as advantageous
or preferred. Job description begins with a statement of the functions which, on the
basis of job analysis, have been identified for the post concerned.
The net result of job analysis and description is a short document which is
generally called a "Job Description".
Job Description is referred to as a "Scheme of Recruitment". It contains the basic
information to(a) Enable a person interested in the post to assess himself as an eligible candidate;
(b) Enable the appointing authority to determine that the person it selects is the
most suitable to perform the functions of the post; and
(c) Provide a reference point for both the employer and employee as regards
expectations and obligations connected with the post.
A part of a Job Description relates to salaries, allowances, perquisites
("perks") and such other compensations attached to the post. Decisions relating to
these are taken on the basis of what is sometimes called Job Evaluation.
WAGE AND SALARY ADMINISTRATION
Job evaluation results in fixing salaries, allowances and perquisites for posts
in an organization. This is not a once-for-all affair. Posts keep on changing
according to growth and functional transformation of an organization. New jobs
are added. Old jobs are abolished or modified. New demands are made by the
market value of the skills required for such posts. This necessitates the continuing
function of Wage and Salary Administration.
The task of Personnel Management, in this respect, is to compensate the deserving
without upsetting the prevailing balance in salaries and allowances.
Recruitment is the process of employing the most suitable person to fill a
vacant post. This consists of (i) Labour market survey, to ensure that places where eligible candidates exist are
(ii) Scientific selection procedures, to ensure that a process of identifying the best
candidate is put in operation; and
(iii) Employee orientation which ensures that every new recruit is inducted into the
organization's working procedures.
PLACEMENT, TRANSFER, PROMOTION AND DISCHARGE
Following the recruitment is the function of placing the new recruit in his
working situation. This is often a formality if an individual is recruited to a
particular post. But where a batch of new recruits is selected for a number of
parallel posts, then placement calls for the settlement of criteria and assessment of
each recruit against such criteria.
A major concern of educational administrators has been to rationalize
procedures for transfer and promotion guarantee fair to guarantee fair play and to
minimize political interference and external pressures.
PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT AND REPORT
Connected with transfer, promotion and discharge is the function of
performance assessment and report. Every organization has some mechanism for
periodic evaluation of employees ' performance, which is recorded in the form of a
confidential personal report.
TRAINING AND PROFESSIONAL GROWTH
Another very important element in personnel management relates to Training and
Professional Growth. This involves several specific activities, namely:
1. Formal training activities
- pre-assignment (orientation)
- on-the-job in-service
2. Informal training activities
- study tours, lectures, seminars, workshops etc.
- correspondence programmes
- manuals and guides
- technical literature
3. Exchange of knowledge and experience
- forums/discussion groups
TRADE UNION RELATIONS
If the employees of an organization have organized themselves into trade unions or
staff associations, the function of maintaining relations with them is a
responsibility of personnel management. Employees have problems and
grievances, both individual and collective, for whose redress they make
representations through their trade unions.
Two aspects of trade union relations demand skills of negotiation and tact.
(1) Collective bargaining when terms and conditions of service are subjected to
negotiation with a view of evolving an agreed settlement and
(2) Arbitration when disputes are to be resolved through quasi -judicial procedures.
In both these, the qualities of the heart have a greater impact.
The last, but not the least, important element of personnel management is welfare.
This includes the provision and the administration of the following:
(i) Health and safety
(iii) Food and recreation
(iv) Mutual aid at times of distress
(v) Education of children
(vi) Credit services and
(vii) Pension and Provident Fund benefits.
A system of education comprises a variety of institutions: i.e. administrative (e.g.
- research and development (e.g. Curriculum Development Centres, Textbook
Production Services, Research Institutions etc.)
- teaching (e.g. Universities, Colleges, Polytechnics, Schools etc.)
- Supporting Services (School Building Services, Planning Offices etc.)
The fundamental aim of institutional planning is to optimize the utilization of all
available resources for the accomplishment of institutional objectives.
The process of matching objectives with resources at the institutional level has a
special dimension which is not as much pronounced in other areas of planning. The
intimate contact which the institutional administrator has with his resources
enables him to maximize the use of a particular item by exploiting every possible
The first step in institutional planning is to inventorize all these open and hidden
resources, category by category: viz.
(i) personnel –
-social activities etc.
(ii) physical facilities
-availability for extended use
-flexibility for modification
-possibility for extension
Such an inventory would also reveal ways and means of generating further
resources for the institution.
To ensure desirable interpersonal relations and to maintain a high level of
morale within an institution, a very promising strategy is to adopt the principles of
participatory management. By this is meant a process of collective decisionmaking in which the institutional administrator functions as the "first among
equals" and adopts such leadership styles as are conducive to free and frank
An institutional administrator could adopt several leadership styles. He
could be authoritarian and lay down the law for others to follow. He could also be
consultative and seek others ' views and suggestions, reserving the final decision to
himself. But the kind of leadership style which ensures the highest degree of
cooperation and goodwill among institutional members is the democratic style.
What we have so far discussed relates to a number of basic principles of
management which are of special advantages to the administrator of an educational
institution. We shall now direct our attention to a continuing operation which is of
vital importance. As we have already discussed under the topic of "What is
Organization? any institution which an administrator inherits from the past or sets
up by himself/, is an organization designed to provide the operational framework
for a given set of activities.
INSTITUTION IN RELATION TO THE REST OF THE SYSTEM LEGAL AND FUNCTIONAL LINKS
No institution exists in isolation. The administrator's first task, therefore, is to
understand the manner in which his institution is linked with the rest of the
educational system. His basic source of information would be the legal document
(e.g. charters, education laws, decrees or orders) by which the institution was
established. Such a document would invariably define
(a) the source from which the institution draws its authority, including the nature of
its accountability - to whom and in what manner;
(b) the management structure provided for the institution - i.e. the
advisory/executive bodies with their constitution and functions
and the officers of the institution with their functions and the mode of appointment;
(c) the lines of authority;
(d) the sources of finance and its accounting and auditing procedure; and
(e) the boundaries of its autonomy and procedures for the exercise of that
Besides the links relating to authority, accountability and resources, there are
functional Links which bind an institution with the rest of the educational system.
An institution like the Textbook Production Unit, the functional links may be with
the Curriculum Development Centre which provides the curricula, teams of
textbook writers and illustrators who produce the manuscripts, selected schools
where the texts are pretested, the printing agency which prints the books and a vast
number of commercial outlets through which the books are distributed.