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Navigating Quality: A reflection on total quality management in education

By Cherry Love B. Montales

Reflecting on the principles of Total Quality Management (TQM) and its application in educational institutions, particularly in the context of our state university, it's evident that TQM isn't just a management approach; it's a philosophy that permeates every aspect of our institution. As an educator, I've witnessed firsthand the profound impact that TQM principles have had on the quality of education and the overall functioning of our university.

The accreditation of our university by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), which aligns with the TQM framework, has been a significant milestone in our journey towards excellence. This accreditation serves as an external validation of our commitment to quality and provides a structured framework for continuous improvement. By adhering to ISO standards, we've streamlined our processes, strengthened accountability mechanisms, and fostered a culture of excellence across all facets of our institution.

These are some of my learnings from being part of an organization that is constantly being monitored by ISO. First, on total employee involvement. As educators, we're not just tasked with imparting knowledge; we're integral components of a larger system dedicated to the holistic development of our students. TQM underscores the importance of empowering employees and fostering a culture of continuous improvement. This empowerment encourages us to take ownership of our roles, understand how our contributions fit into the broader organizational framework, and strive for excellence in all endeavors. In doing the roles as a teacher, researcher, and extensionist, TQM guides us in aiming for continuous improvement.

Second, ISO which is based on TQM places a strong emphasis on customer focus, wherein students is recognized as the ultimate beneficiaries of our services. This is one of the principles of TQM that challenges us to constantly evaluate our teaching pedagogies. This will help us meet the evolving needs and expectations of our students. By prioritizing student satisfaction and engagement, we enhanced their learning experience.

Third, the continual improvement and process approach are also integral to our university's integrated management system. Through systematic analysis and evaluation of our processes, we identify areas for enhancement. Whether it's refining curriculum structures and administrative procedures or optimizing teaching methodologies, the commitment to continuous improvement ensures that we remain responsive to the dynamic demands of the educational landscape.

Reflecting on the improvements brought by ISO accreditation in our university, it's evident that our university has undergone a transformative journey. It was not an overnight success, but with the series of training, monitoring, and continuous improvement on quality management systems in instruction, research, extension, and production, the impact of ISO accreditation reverberates throughout our institution.

In conclusion, the importance of TQM in the quality management of our university cannot be overstated. It's not just a set of principles; it's a mindset that shapes our collective approach to education, innovation, and continuous improvement. TQM serves as our guiding framework as we go through the challenges and changes in the educational landscape.


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