Monthly Archive: July 2013

Criteria of Total Quality Management of Faculty Teaching Skills: Perceptions of University Students

The quality of education is one of the controversial topics and vital issues that need more emphasis from researchers due to the current challenges in education at the university level. The focus of some studies in this area covers studying the concept of total quality management, its objectives, basics, standards, ways of achieving it and the constraints of applying it. Hertzier (1994) presented a comprehensive account of the literature on implementing TQM in higher education. She reported and discussed historical development in TQM, implementation of TQM in educational settings and barriers to implementation. She suggested that the only barriers to TQM were lack of leadership in college and the reluctance of faculty members to treat students “customers”.

However, it seems that there is a need to focus on teaching skills such as communication, planning, implementation and evaluation more than providing students with knowledge and information. This is one of the main concerns and fundamental objectives of the teaching staff at the universities and higher institutes that include a set of factors; the scholars, students, university curricula, and university management. These factors overlap together to affect the quality of university teaching, positively or negatively; and this depends on the availability of quality requirements in all of these factors and to the high level of the quality of university teaching.

Moreover, Political, technological, economic and social changes are other factors that have forced the higher educational systems to respond to these challenges so as to meet the needs of university students. University education is one of the most important pillars of human development since it is a primary factor in the preparation of specialized skills in various areas of life.

The criteria of Total Quality Management require developing the competencies of the teaching staff. A great number of universities have established centers for developing the staff’s teaching skills and competences. Morsi (2002) indicates that the emergence of the need to prepare a well-qualified academic teaching staff started in the nineteenth century. Alwan (2006) points out that it has become necessary for the universities to work on introducing modern systems and typical standards in each administrative level in universities in order to ensure survival and compete with universities at the local, regional and global levels. The trend towards developing teaching skills for university professors achieved more attention as they are directly responsible for achieving the quality of higher education. It is assumed that university professors should keep up with all the current challenges so as to minimize the gap between them and the prospects of this digital generation of students since the concerns of this generation are completely different from those of their teaching staff. Moreover, Williams (1999) claims that the educational curricula give students no chance to show their initiatives and creation. Alsirr (2004) assures that as far as the quality of university education is guaranteed, as far as ensuring the quality of the teaching staff competencies. Hence, there is an urgent need to apply the total quality management criteria for faculty members through developing their teaching skills.

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(Author: Awatif M. Abu-Al-Sha’r, Mohammad Aboud AL-Harahsheh

Published by Macrothink Institute)

The School Health Approach in Quebec: Perceptions of Students’ Parents

With the adoption of the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion in 1986, the World Health Organization (WHO) recognized that the competencies enabling choices conducive to health must be acquired at the start of schooling. More specifically, numerous authors agree that the school plays a decisive role in developing healthy lifestyles in children, since the habits acquired at a young age often dictate their conduct as adults (Hopper, Munoz, Gruber, & Nguyen, 2005; Rivard & Trudeau, 2006; Virgilio, 1996). Accordingly, the revision of school curricula begun in many countries during the 1990s led to a component that targeted health (Puhse & Gerber, 2005). In 2004, WHO reaffirmed the importance of health in the school setting, with particular emphasis on the promotion of healthy lifestyles:

[...] schools influence the lives of most children. They should protect the health of children by informing them, by teaching them the basics of health and by promoting a healthy diet and exercise along with other healthy behaviours. (p. 18).

1.1 Health education

The guidelines issued by the International Union for Health Promotion and Education [IUHPE] (2008) indicate what is expected of the school in terms of health education. Of these, the following are particularly worth noting: 1) promotes students’ health and well-being; 2) integrates health into the school’s ongoing activities, curriculum, and assessment standards; 3) addresses the health and well-being of the school staff as a whole, and 4) collaborates with parents and the local community. Many researchers concur, since they maintain that health education is not up to the school alone, but is a responsibility that must be shared equally with the families and community. As a result, various stakeholders are being increasingly called upon to participate in school health education activities (Bizzoni-Prévieux, Mérini, Otis, Jourdan, & Grenier, 2011; Deschenes, Trudeau, & Kébé, 2009). The recent work by Bizzoni-Prévieux et al. (2011), conducted in France and Quebec, examines partnership from the angle of teachers’ collective work in health education. The school may be the first to motivate collective action, but there are outside participants as well, in this case, the parents, who now find themselves increasingly petitioned in Quebec. Parents are considered key actors – front-line partners even – in the school success of children and teens (Deslandes, 2005; Martin & Arcand, 2005) as well as in health education (Beaudoin, 2010; Ma & Zhang, 2002; Mérini, 2010).

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(Author: Marie-Claude Rivard, Sylvain Turcotte

Published by Macrothink Institute)

The Rehabilitation of the Widows in Pattani Province, Thailand

In the past nine years, the violence situation has spiked in the Deep South (Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat Provinces) and parts of Songkla Province (Nathawi, Sabayoi. Chana and Thepa districts). Since January, 2004, the violence situation is occurred in these provinces, more than 3,000 people have died and more than 5,000 have been injured. More than 7,000 children in the area have been orphaned by the conflict. It is higher than tsunami orphans, Watanayagornkorn Panitan said and Jitpiromsri Srisompob views that November is always the month that violent peak (Jagan, 2008).

The government has the policy for rehabilitating the people affected the violence situation and in 2012, the government supports the Southern Border Province Administrative Center for rehabilitating them 2,080 baht (Prime Minister Secretariat, 2012).

Ministry Social Development and Human Security found that the ongoing violence in the last eight years, since January 2004 – March 2012. The widows are affected by the violence situation 2,450 people. There were classified as Narathiwat 787, Yala 689 and Pattani 898 and Songkla 76 (The Mental Health Center, District 15). In the Deep South, the loan mother faced the economic hardship psychological and mental health and the quality of life get worst and some of them never have worked. (Deep South Watch, 2009).

Pattani is one of the four provinces of Thailand where the majority of the population are Malay Muslim, making up 88% of the population. They speak the Pattani Malay language, although many can also speak Thai. The Pattani Malays are very similar in ethnicity and culture to the Malays of Kelantan, Malaysia.

Mrs. Jamjuree Soraya, the training for Peace and chairman of the working group from Prince of Songkla University. She views that the rehabilitation is the Peace for reducing the violence in the future and Mrs. Pokkeetaedaoh Pateemah, the Director of woman for Peace or “We Peace”. She is also expressed the confidence in the power of rehabilitation. The Rehabilitation Work, for people affected by the violence situation. It must have the power to rise up and fight the problem with themselves. That is the capacity to achieve people in the region and the Civil society is the part of resolving that is occurred. The Echoes of family loss and thus Civil Society groups are encouraged and empower to talk the people affected by the violence situation and can make them stand with themselves.

The Deep South Coordination Center has the big role for rehabilitating the people affected the violence in the Deep South. In 2006, the Deep South Watch Coordination Center discovered since the violence starting in 2004, there had been some 310 widows affected by the violence. Because of the psychological and mental illness and economic hardship these women are faced. The center empowers and encourages them and learns to help them sustainable.(South Coordination Center, 2012 ) and the Center has also been working with children who affected by the violence, specifically in Pattani province and in 2008, it provides rehabilitation for children and collaborative with the Mental Health and assist 72 children and Dr. Guning Metta, the Deep South Coordination Center views that:

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(Author: Kanlaya Daraha

Published by Macrothink Institute)

Developing a Measurement Model for Undergraduate Program in Logistics

The era of globalization has seen the rapid advancement of the logistics industry. Malaysia, like other countries, has decided to focus on the logistics sector as part of its policies to meet global challenges (Tenth Malaysia Plan 2011-2015, 2010). This is because one of the challenges faced by Malaysia is to develop competent human resource, equipped with the right knowledge and right skills in logistics. A substantial amount of study has examined the importance of having validated dimensions of logistics program offered by higher education institutions (HEIs). Myers, Griffith, Daugherty and Lusch (2004) study has indicated a useful construct for studying dimensions of logistics program in Malaysia. Findings from Myers et al. study has demonstrated that jobs skills were found to be good predictors of logisticians’ performance but not working experience and education. In a Malaysian context, studies have been done in the context of competency and talent required by logistics graduates (Lim, Dazmin & Jonathan, 2012; Dazmin, 2011).

In the context of Malaysian economy, the growth of Malaysian business activities locally and globally requires competent logistician workforce to manage logistics activities. There is a need to prepare local logisticians to pace with the development of business globalization in the 21st century (Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat, 2007). A study from Wu (2007) indicated that HEIs need to provide competence and marketable logistics programs. In Malaysia, with the development of higher educational sector, more competent and marketable logistics programs need to be offered in order to meet this demand. A study from Mohamad Hanapi, Zahiruddin and Mohd Shah (2003) emphasized that it is importance for HEIs in Malaysia to cope with globalization so that the programs offered are marketable all over the world. The implementation of the Cabinet’s Report in 1979, the new Private Higher Educational Act in 1996, the new Education Act 1996, and the upgrading of the National Accreditation Board to the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) in 2008, will lead to a high standard of logistics program.

While informative and intriguing, the literature still has shortcomings. Previous studies from Lim et al. (2012) and Dazmin (2011) were only focused on competency and talent needed by Malaysian logistics graduates. Studies closer to the problem were done by Wu (2007) and Myers et al. (2004) where they provide insights for developing dimensions for logistics program. However, their studies were based on the international perspectives for general logistics education.

In view of the research gap and the lack of information concerning undergraduate logistics program in Malaysia, more focus research attempts need to be carried out. One particularly interesting area would be to develop dimensions for the undergraduate logistics program offered by the Malaysian HEIs. In that, it seeks to make a first attempt in developing a measurement model indicating the dimensions that represent Malaysian undergraduate program as seen from the Malaysian logistician’s perspective.

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(Author: Daud Dazmin, Mohamed Syazwan Ab Talib

Published by Macrothink Institute)

A System Dynamics Approach for the Determination of Adverse Health Impacts of Healthcare Waste Incinerators and Landfill Sites on Employees

Nowadays, settlements are more centered on housing areas. This causes new problems especially on the systems of sewer and garbage. The previous natural discharge, draining it to the rivers, had been considered successful. At first, it did not cause any problem since the amount of garbage was little. However, the increasing waste disposal results in the increasing environmental contamination. The centered settlements make the high accumulation of household waste in the sewer. It reduces the quality of water in rivers if the waste has not been processed properly first.To solve this problem, the waste needs to be processed. One of the processes is by using WWTP.

Quality problems in built environments of society settlements of most big cities in Indonesia become multi-dimension problems. The rapid developments of big cities are marked by the more increasing number of population in cities. It has impacts on the volume of solid and liquid waste produced. Therefore, the production of waste per unit area also increases (Soemarwoto, 1983). If there is no appropriate action to handle this problem, so it will cause a serious problem. The more dense the area, the more complex the contamination, especially dealing with household or domestic waste. Uncontrolled domestic waste has contaminated most rivers in Indonesia, especially Java (Hadi S. P. and Samekto Adjie, 2007).

Domestic or household waste consists of dirty water disposal of bathrooms, toilets, and kitchens. This dirt is the mixture of mineral and organic elements in various shapes, including big and small particles, solid, floated residues scraps and colloid and half colloidal (Martopo S, 1987).

Generally, biological treatment is used to reduce and lower the level of organic contamination in wastewater. It uses and utilizes microorganism liveliness (Mahida, 1993), for example by using activated sludge, tricling filter) and waste stabilization ponds.

Waste stabilization ponds are used to repair the quality of wastewater relied on natural processes using the existance of bacteria, algae and zooplankton to reduce organic pollutants in wastewater (Kayombo et al., 2002; Beran and Kargi, 2005; Puspita L., et al., 2005).

Commonly used disposal system is draining the wastewater from toilets into septic tanks. Then, the runoff water from the septic tanks is absorbed on the ground or disposed to public canals. While the non toilet wastewater from bathrooms and kitchens is directly disposed to the public canals.

The aim of this research is as an means to control domestic wastewater contamination in cities which is commonly disposed through cities sewer networks and led into centered WWTP, that predicts organic waste load.

The importance in building the centered WWTP is to support the program of clean rivers (Prokasih), to prevent or reduce soil contamination, to save private treatment manufacture and to increase healthy environment improvement. Waste stabilization ponds are suitable to be applied on the developing countries (especially in tropical areas with warm climates), since the treatment of these ponds does not need high investment and treatment fees. They also do not need special operators (Mara D., et al., 1992; Mashauri and Kayombo et al, 2002; Beran and Kargi, 2005; Puspita L., et al, 2005).

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(Author: Nesli Ciplak

Published by Macrothink Institute)

Canadian and Cameroonian English-Speaking University Students’ Compliment Strategies

There are numerous studies on the realization patterns and functions of compliments in English (Holmes 1986, Manes & Wolfson 1981), Chinese (Ye, 1995; Yu, 2005), German (Golato, 2005) French (Kerbrat-Oreechioni, 1998; Traverso, 1996; Mulo Farenkia, 2009), and many other languages. To the best of my knowledge, there is no study on compliments in Canadian English. Also, there is a growing body of research on the performance of speech acts in different regional varieties of the same languages and such studies are undertaken within the framework of variational pragmatics (Schneider & Barron, 2008). With regard to the types of speech acts examined, much research has focused on requests, apologies, thanks, invitations, etc. in pluricentric languages such as English, German, Spanish, French etc.1 As far as the speech act of complimenting is concerned, the very few studies available dwell on compliment strategies in Cameroon French and Canadian French (Mulo Farenkia 2012a, 2012b, 2012c). The recent years have witnessed a rapid growth in the number of studies in variational pragmatics2 dealing with the realization of speech acts such as offers (Barron, 2005), responses to thanks (Schneider, 2005), requests (Barron, 2008), expressions of gratitude (Jautz, 2008), etc. in two or more varieties of English. Nevertheless, a great deal of work still remains to be done on speech act performance in Canadian English and Cameroon English. Also, compliments have been widely investigated in several regional varieties of English. However, there seems to be very little or no information on how English-speaking Canadians and Cameroonians express admiration. The present study attempts to provide such an analysis, by comparing the ways English-speaking Cameroonian and Canadian University students express admiration in six different situations.

According to Holmes (1986:485) a compliment is “a speech act which explicitly or implicitly attributes credit to someone other than the speaker, usually the person addressed, for some ‘good’ (possession, characteristic, skill etc.) which is positively valued by the speaker and the hearer”. In most studies, compliments are considered as expressive speech acts with multiple functions. According to Kerbrat-Orecchioni (2005) compliments are “verbal gifts”, offered to enhance the face of the recipient, to negotiate or affirm solidarity between speaker and hearer (Herbert, 1989, Holmes, 1988, etc.) and to encourage desired behavior in specific situations. Compliments also serve as intensification or indirect forms of speech acts such as apologizing, thanking, advising, asking for information, etc. or mitigating devices of face-threatening acts like criticism, reprimanding, etc. (Jaworski, 1995: 74). While compliments serve as conversation openers as well (Traverso, 1996: 107), they are also employed to mitigate face-threatening acts in written discourse (Gea Valor, 2000). Although compliments can generally be seen as positive politeness devices, they may more specifically be considered as examples of some of the positive politeness strategies developed by Brown and Levinson (1987: 102 – 128). As a matter of fact compliments function as “prime examples of the first positive politeness strategy, that is, ‘Notice, attend to H (his interests, wants, needs, goods’ [...] since complimenters indicate that they have noticed and attend to the recipients’ needs and interests and attempt to make the addressee feel good” (Sifianou, 2001: 396). Compliments could also be interpreted as “the output of [the] second positive politeness strategy, that is, ‘Exaggerate (interest, approval, sympathy with H)’” (ibid.) and this aspect is usually reflected in the use of intensifiers such as adverbs and interjections in compliment utterances. A compliment can also function as an example of strategy 7, that is, “Presuppose / raise / assert common ground”, in the sense that the compliment indicates a kind of commonality with regard to taste, values, etc. Compliments may also function as examples of the last positive politeness strategy, that is, “Give gifts to H”, which consists in offering goods, sympathy, understanding, cooperation, etc. In other words by giving a compliment, the speaker indicates that s/he knows “the addressee’s ‘human relation wants’ to be liked and admired and tries to satisfy them” (ibid.). In brief, “irrespective of the particular strategy they are outputs of, compliments are clearly positive politeness devices” (ibid.: 398). Compliments also have negative politeness functions. This is the case when they are employed to mitigate face-threatening acts such as requests, criticism, etc.

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(Author: Bernard Mulo Farenkia

Published by Macrothink Institute)

Initiation, Hazing or Orientation? A case study at a South African University

“Initiation” is derived from the Latin word initium – an “entrance” or “beginning”. Typically it involves a rite of passage or ceremony marking acceptance into a group (gang, team, age cohort)of some kind. Metaphorically it can involve “a transformation, in which the initiate is ‘reborn’ and starts afresh in a new role. This definition applies to many harmless and socially accepted induction ceremonies such as baptism, confirmation or university graduation, each of which has clearly defined objectives, and serves a useful purpose of introducing, acclimatising and ‘starting’ an individual in a new and foreign (possibly uncomfortable) environment.

However, increasingly in the modern world, and in tertiary institutions, the word ‘initiation’ has come to refer to activities that are potentially humiliating or degrading, often involving some coersion, and the risk of emotional or physical harm. In America, the term “hazing” is the common equivalent. While mild initiation may involve nothing more than the pranks or antics of young students, there are forms of initiation imposed by the group on a newcomer that lead to harassment, abuse and humiliation. When peer pressure is exerted by a group on other individuals in order that they ‘voluntarily’ conform to norms, under the threat of ostracization or other negative consequences, one moves into a very different and negative interpretation of the word ‘initiation’, and it is this concept that is explored further in this paper.

Hoover and Pollard’s (1999) National Survey in the United States of some 60,000 student athletes from 2,400 institutions revealed that a quarter of them experienced some form of hazing in order to join a team. Of these, one in five were forced to do something or humiliated in some way, half of these acts involved alcohol and 2/3 involved embarrassing apparel, sleep deprivation, or unhygienic behaviour.

In the most comprehensive survey to date of 53 institutions in the United States involving over 11,000 undergraduates, Allen and Madden defined hazing as “any activity expected of someone joining or participating in a group that humiliates, degrades, abuses, or endangers them regardless of a person’s willingness to participate” (2008:2) These behaviours are embarrassing, dangerous, and potentially illegal, and typically include alcohol consumption; public humiliation; isolation; sleep-deprivation (including being woken very late or early); public performances or skits of a potentially embarrassing nature; being made to sing or chant with a group in a public situation; wearing clothing that is potentially embarrassing; acting as a servant to others; associating only with specific people, being tied up or confined, being dropped off at an unfamiliar location, drinking large amounts (of water or alcohol), and performing or miming of sexual acts (op. cit. 2008:9).

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(Author: Vivian de Klerk

Published by Macrothink Institute)

Are Common Beliefs Present among Greek Academics during the Implementation of a Controversial University Policy?

This paper investigates the existence (or not) of a common academic culture, values and beliefs among Greek academics. This is accomplished by drawing elements from a policy issue which has been affecting the Greek university for over a decade. An institutionalized evaluation system of the Greek university has always been a policy issue that created political tension. Even before the beginning of the Bologna process unsuccessful attempts to legislate for and implement an evaluation system in the Greek university had been made (Law 2083/1992).

After the opening of the Bologna process there were also attempts to establish a quality assurance and evaluation system in the Greek University (MoE draft Law 2003, Law3374/2005). Through confrontations, a few university department evaluations began to be carried out from 2008 onwards. Through this confrontation, two large coalition groups emerged among academics, one in favour of and the other against the institutionalized evaluation program as provided for in the law of 2005 (see Kavasakalis, 2011). The existence or absence of a system of core beliefs and values among Greek academics that were activated in the opposing, conflicting groups of networks for this policy program is one of them, and it is dealt with in the present paper.

The university is one of the oldest institutions in European history. As Berchem says: ‘universities represent the memory of a society, including not only knowledge, but also values and experience. The university is among the longest-living formal institutions in the world – with the Catholic Church, being one of the very few others that have an even longer tradition’ (Berchem, 2006, p. 395).

It is therefore necessary to examine the basic turning points in the history of European universities in order to proceed with this study’s analysis of the existence (or not) of common values in the Greek university today.

Universities appeared during the twelfth century as corporations, associations of persons performing common tasks and defending their interests. By the middle of the thirteenth century they had received, through the intervention of popes, a canonic content by which a university was an institution that ‘[is] acknowledged or founded by a pope, whose members enjoy all the privileges granted to them by the pope, whose degrees are acknowledged throughout the Christian world on the pope’s credence’ (de Ridder-Symoens, 2006, p. 370). At the pre-Nation/State stage universities’ core missions were teaching and research. The medieval universities, as far as their mission and basic organization were concerned, bore many similarities to the present institutions since they were legal corporations with the power to grant degrees, and also had a similar structure, being constituted of a curriculum, examinations, commencement, and faculties (Haskins, 1927, p. 369).

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(Author: Aggelos Kavasakalis

Published by Macrothink Institute)

Using University-Community Partnerships to Stem Environmental Inequities and Injustice

Town-gown relationships, also known as collaborations between the university and the community, have continued to receive acknowledgement of its ability to enhance the benefits to the community, especially between white universities and African American communities (Bombyk, Ohren, & Shue, 2003; Rowson, Broome, & Jones, 2010). Universities interact with the community to improve the relationship by realizing that the community knows what its problems are but lack resources to properly address those needs The university, in turn, can match the resources to fit the communities’ needs along with guiding the community in the process of being empowered with the knowledge and proper tools to address future needs (Young, 1995; Onyx, 2008).

To further solidify the need for universities to become involved in community engagement, Isaac indicates (2003, pp. 8), “There is a strong need for citizen involvement concerning priorities, problems, and political solutions because the community knows what the problems are; however, the citizens may not know the resources available to solve them.” The Council for International Development (2003) defined advocacy planning theory as a “People-centered advocacy that involves the affected communities themselves in advocating for change as participants in the process, not as objects of the process” (Isaac, 2003, pp. 8).

The purpose of this paper, therefore, is to discuss the roots of the movement by reviewing the following: (1) theoretical perspective of community engagement, (2) the environmental justice movement and (3) the challenges of the environmental justice movement that can be addressed through effective collaborations between universities and the communities they serve.

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(Author: Ralph Gallo, Consuela Amos

Published by Macrothink Institute)

Psychological Counseling needs and Academic achievement of students at the Secondary level

The need for psychological counselling as a practice for promoting adolescent health has been documented worldwide. However, the specific ways by which psychological counselling can be practiced, the optimal settings where psychological counselling can work in the education context, and how successful such programmes are in ensuring gender equity and equality remain largely not discussed in the Asia-Pacific region. Establishing psychological counselling programmes in schools and incorporating gender responsiveness in the context of psychological counselling programmes in secondary education are vital to the achievement of larger education objectives.

The term ‘school counselling’ broadly refers to the process of meeting the needs of students in several areas of development, such as academics, career, and personal. Experts agree that professional school counselling programmes should be comprehensive in scope, preventative in design and developmental in nature. The term ‘guidance’ refers to a more specific trajectory within the field of counselling, a pathway to help students choose a vocational or career path. Guidance is the process of helping people make important choices that affect their lives, such as choosing a preferred life-style. One distinction between guidance and counselling is that while guidance focuses on helping individuals choose what they value most, counselling focuses on helping them make changes.

Early adolescence is a turbulent period. To survive this period, adolescents need guidance and honest assistance. At this stage of life, an adolescent is besieged with multifarious challenges and if these challenges are not resolved, he/ she may become a social misfit. These challenges may adversely affect the academic achievement of adolescents. Education is one of the factors of rating an advance nation and hence the common saying that education is the bedrock of any society. Ironically, school no longer means much to most adolescents as they are so much engrossed with social life. A society whose adolescents are not academically oriented may be classified as under developed.

Consequently, adolescents need to be re-integrated academically into their classes and counselling programmes serve as a bridge towards improving academic achievement which in turn will aid in the long run toward national development. There is therefore a need to investigate the relationship between social life adjustment of the adolescent and academic achievement in secondary schools of Chennai city and in this context, the following research questions were raised.

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(Author: Sahaya Saila, T., Chamundeswari, S.

Published by Macrothink Institute)