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Buying and selling

Buying and selling

Management Information System In Healthcare Services Delivery

Management is getting things done, or achieving results through the directed efforts of other people. It can also be defined as effective allocation and utilization of source resource achieve predetermined results.

Going by those definitions, getting things done means achieving results, the second definition points out that achievement of result could be attained with other people’s directed efforts. Directing other people involves communication. The third definitions also signifies achievement of results with effective allocation and utilization of scare resources such as man, materials, machines, Money and time hence the 4 M&T formulas. Once again we cannot effectively allocate and utilize resources without adequate information. This means that generally, management in any form cannot be effective or result –oriented without adequate information/ effective communication.

Information on the other hand involves a number of managerial activities. What is important about information is that it keeps the manager and management on top of its performance. It is very important for a man to know how many people feed in his house daily so as to know how to prepare for them. The manager who has little or no information on what he does or is doing or has to do, achieves little or no positive results. It can therefore be said that all phase of managerial performance require adequate information.

It can now be ask how manager gets information and what type of information does he get. There are control signals in management that provide information to the manager. These control signals are in two categories.

  1. There are some control signals that give the manager some information about what has happened so that he can take action to solve problems if there are any. Such control signals are regarded as curative. Coincidentally this forum is that paramedical personnel from who this word curative is commonly used. So it can be easily and stops it from creating further damages to the patient.
  2. There are also some signals that give information to the manager, warning him to prevent a potential problem. Such control signals are expected to be accurate and timely so that they will not give premature information that can force the manager to take wrong action or false steps. These are the control signals referred to as prevent. Again it rhymes with the medical information that helps his decision- making and action. Both are quite helpful and useful, although generally one is preferred to the other. It is always said that prevention is better than cure. Meaning it is better to prevent a problem than to solve it. Erwin schell has this contribute.

“An executive with only enough information to apply remedial rather than preventive measure is obviously not in a position to justify his responsibilities to top management in other word, it is the manager who can problem through organized information that is regarded as being on top of job. Some example of control signal is listed here. Please see through a find out what nature of signal they are and what information they give to the manager?

(i) Budget

(ii) Employee turnover

(iii) Personnel Establishment figure

(iv) Complaints

(v) Numbers of letter written

(vi) Time taken to reply to correspondence

(vii) Variance report

(viii) Project schedule

(ix) Inventory

(x) Waste

(xi) Volume of sale

(xii) Transaction per employee

(xiii) Maintenance cost

(xiv) Cost of labour

(xv) Total salary

(xvi) Amount of Overtime

(xvii) Rent

(xviii) Advertising cost

(xix) Project Estimate

(xx) Record of absenteeism

(xxi) Alarm clock

How many these control signal have you used and for what reason? How accurate as the information given to you and how did it help to solve your problems. These signals are in the general group, because they apply to many organizations particular the private sector, some of them also apply to the public service. In any case they may give wrong information unless care is taken by the manager. What happen when control signal give us wrong information?

  1. Problem, unfavorable variance or shortfall are discovered too late to be corrected
  2. The manager find himself taking corrective action on problem that could have been prevented
  3. Subordinate are frequently explaining inventing excuses and apologizing for their action decisions
  4. The time of the manager and/ or his subordinate is misallocated; they focus on the control rather than the result to be achieved.
  5. Subordinate direct their energies toward circumventing control
  6. Important information on variance or defensive instead of focusing on early problem solving
  7. The manager spend a great deal of time in checking the work of subordinates
  8. Subordinate lack motivating and enthusiasm, they are not creative in the way they carry out their job
  9. Warning of deviation are premature, or the deviation are not significant
  10. Too much influence is attached to staff authority, which gathers and provides control information for example; the time manager is controlled by the accountant. Which of this condition exist in your organization/local government? How can you

Improve control procedure and invariably security of information to eliminate this problem? Now let’s glance through some of the information system used in the civil service/ local government service and how positively or otherwise they effect health care.

  1. Information gets to us through government circulars. How explicit and informative are they? How many people get such circulars and how fast do they get to the appropriate quarters?
  2. We get information from official correspondence. What do you think about them?
  3. Information gets to us through public mobile vans. What do you think about them? People to them? Immunizations programme/ outbreak of epidemics etc.
  4. Information is put on poster how many people read them? Who takes pain interpret them? How effective are they?
  5. Radio and televisions: Give us information. Do you care to listen to them? What population do they reach?
  6. Files in our offices are sources of information: what is your reaction to the files? Is there enough security on our files?
  7. Patient cards/records what do they say? How do you organize them? How helpful are they? How many patients have died?
  8. Patient register how do we keep them? Is it possible to get information of the last fifty years? How many people have so far been treated in the health care sector?
  9. Information Tank what type? How reliable is the information? Do we have records on the following?
  10. The Number of children born between January, 1992 and April 1996
  11. How many of such children have died and how many are alive?
  12. Can we categorize the children’s number as males and females or as Christian

Or Muslim?

  1. What information do we gather with regards to children’s mortality rate?

Barriers to Accurate Information

Of all the resources at the manager’s disposal the 4M&T Human Resource is the most important, the most dangerous. Unfortunately all system/ sources of information are controlled and operated by man. So he can be a barrier to accurate information. Starting from verbal or written information. Man can manipulate information either to suite his purpose or cause confusion. He might not get the information correctly while he assumes that what he relates to others is the correct information. He may not even understand the content or the importance of the information he gathered. His perception of the information may be contrary to the actual. He may decide to deform the information to connote a different meaning. The receiver can also be a problem. Since the receiver too is human he may be affected and by any of those affecting the informat he may even be deformed and pretend to be sound either in hearing or speaking i.e he may be a deaf or dumb. He may be a stammered. He may misunderstand but may not accept the objective and the importance of the information given to him. He may decide to be careless with the information. He may subtract or add to the information. By making information look reasonable and acceptable to others he may change the important words that mean something else. Therefore as managers, we should manage our human resources or system information very well otherwise they are likely to produce negative results through false information.

If the importance of man information connection is recognized as vital, then it affects all other earlier mentioned system of sources of information. The file can be used to carry false information particularly if the man is not interested in the subject matter. So the file can become unreliable since the information carried is of no value. In fact pages of relevant information could be removed from a file  in order to kill the effect of information contained.

Official correspondence could carry ambiguous information that could be interpreted to mean many things. The choice of words and arrangement of ideas can produce negative results. One again the interpretation of the contents may be different from what the sender intended. In this case, the information contained in a letter of correspondence may not be reliable. This applies to all system of information enumerated earlier Public Address vans, information posters, radio, and television, the new public, circular, Radio and Television, Patient Record Cards, Registers and even the computer which is believed to be the most accurate in modern technology.

The computer may be turned to an ordinary robot or a gaining machine when the information contained or supplied is un- reliable. After all, the computer is supposed to operate on information supplied by the operator the theory of garbage in and garbage out.


From the foregoing it would appear that information is collected from some sources, which could be regarded as systems. It does not matter what the system or source are, human electronic written, verbal or rountine, the important thing is that they give us some information. These sources of information are what I referee to as control signals, inter alia. To ensure therefore that they give us proper information, following should be observed by the manager.

  1. They should relate directly to important goals and focus on significant performance areas
  1. They should operate in the area where your business operations or plans are most vulnerable
  1. They should operate in the area over which you have authority and where you can take effective action
  1. A standard must be act against which result can be measured, when such information supplied should facilitate comparison, usable, understandable and easily interpreted.
  1. They should give timely information warning against variances or deviations early enough for mistake to be corrected. They should not give false or premature warnings.
  1. They should be efficient, giving warnings of from expected or desired events or behavior.
  1. They should be few in number, simple in design, facilitating trouble shooting and problem solving.
  1. They should not produce devious, deceptive or dysfunctional behavior.
  2. They should lead to corrective action.
  3. A periodic review of performance is essential to ensure accurate information and where there is deficiency they could be discarded and replaced with more effective ones.

Finally the manager should note that most information received are meant for either prevention/or solution of problems. So he needs in addition the following information systems to keep him on top of this job. WE SOLVE IT.

Working conditions or layouts (7-2pm,2-9pm, who is who)equipment and supplies Hospital, dispensaries, beds, drugs system and  procedures the Doctor, the pharmacist, the nurse, community health officer/ health Assistant/ health technicians etc

Other employees hospital attendants laborers etc Load or pace of work various supervisory actions Employee himself information flow training.

Management Concepts and Health Care Delivery

The Concept of Management

The term management has different meanings. To some people, management refers to the functions being performed by those who manage.

Gulick and urwick (1937) identified the functions of a manager with an acronym ‘POSDCORB’ which means planning, organizing, staffing, directing, coordinating, Reporting and Budgeting. It must be noted that the list of managerial function is both endless and overlapping.

Management is also defined as ‘getting things done through other’s ibukun (1997) felt that any useful and meaningful definition of management should take into consideration, the structure, actors, functions and goals of management.

Hence, he defined management as a process of delimiting an organization into structural levels and arranging workers and activities into performance units and coordinating resources and production procedure through appropriate leader behaviours to achieve organizational goals.

In other words, management is the effective and efficient utilization of human and material resources for the attainment of organizational goals.

Any useful definition of management must have following implications.

  1. Managers have functions to perform with an organization (e.g planning, organizing, staffing, leading and controlling).
  2. Productivity the essence of management is for the manager to create surplus or profit maximization and this is made possible through increased productivity.
  3. Management cuts across all kinds of organizations.
  4. It applies to all levels in all Organizations. This includes top level, middle level and operational level.

Elements of Management

The elements of management are planning, organizing, coordinating controlling and evaluating.

A. Planning

Planning is the determination of goals and objectives and selecting the policies, procedures, and strategies to achieve them in advance in such way that the programmes are executed at minimum risk of failure or problem.

Planning involves what to do? Why it should be done? Who should do it? Where to do it? When to do it? And how do it?

Importance of planning

(a) It reduces time and effort
(b) it aids optimal use of resources.

(c)  It improves decision making rationally

(d) It focuses on means and ways of achieving set goals

(e) It makes it easy to identify the problems of an organization

(f) It injects rationality, critical analysis and logic into organizational activities.

(g) It ensures control.

Kind of planning

Planning is futuristic. The future may be immediate, distant or long time

To this end we have

  1. short term planning (0-2years)
  2. Medium term planning (1-5years)

iii. Long term planning (5-20years)

Stage/step in the Planning process (Ibunkum 1977)

  1. Identification of planning problem
  2. Setting of objectives
  3. Prioritization
  4. Information collection and analysis
  5. Development of Alternative Plans
  6. Selection of Action Plan
  7. Budgeting
  8. Contingency support Plans
  9. Implementation procedures
  10. Review and Evaluation of plains

B. Organizing

Organizing is the establish of staffing structure and functions that could best lead the achievement of set goals. It shows authority relations in the organization. It involves departmentisation   for work and people into performance units to be coordinated by superiors that is the orderly arrangement of human and material resource to achieve organizational goals.

C. Directing

Directing is the ability of the superior to influence his subordinates to carry out their duties in a way that will facilitate the accomplishment of organization objectives.

For the function to be effective, the goals of the organization must be made clear, the structure must be clearly defined, leaders must be ready  to delegate duties to their subordinates based competency and effective communication.

D. Coordinating

Coordinating is the synchronizations, of individual efforts towards the accomplishment organizational goals in  order to prevent workers form working at cross- purposes.

If the activities of members are not coordinated, they will be working towards different goals to the detriment of the organization goals.

E. Controlling

Controlling is the measurement of performance against laid down standard so as to make appropriate adjustment where and when necessary, it deals with evaluation of tasks against the objectives. It may involve location, allocation and relocation of materials and personnel to reduce deviations from plans.

Four steps are involved in the control process;

  1. Establishment of standards/objectives
  2. Measurement of performance against standards
  3. Correcting deviations from standards
  4. Ascertaining whether control has yielded desired change

F. Evaluating

Evaluating is a process of comparing stated and theoretical standards with observed or actual performance. The difference between controlling and evaluating is that while period (1 year, 5years etc) specified by the management.

There are various types of evaluation namely programme evaluation, staff evaluation and material evaluation.

The Concept/ Meaning of Health


Health means different thing to different people. As a matter of fact, the concept and the real meaning of health is not properly understood by many people yet they are all expected to live in an optimal health condition. While industrialized countries with comprehensive social security and health insurance would define health primarily in term of ‘ability to work’ a different scenario may exist in other places. Linking health with work enables us to understand some basic facts. It is clearly visible the correction between risk of unemployment and sick leave. The rate of sick leave in the work place falls when there is a risk of being laid off. It should be noted that it is not that sick people are sacked nor that sick people continue to work, but that there exist a gray zone between health and disease where the individual decision of taking sick leave oscillates. This fact is equally obvious in agricultural communities when during planting and harvesting period’s hospitals are deserted by sick people and the least hand is engaged in farming activities. Defining health in relation to disease status appears confusing, complex, and grossly incomplete. It is clear that someone may be sick and still goes to work and someone may not be sick and still unable to work. Health professionals see health only as a disease entity. This is not correct. Health is not and cannot be restricted to a mere absence of disease. It is important that health workers understand the real meaning of health otherwise it will be very difficult for the make meaningful impact on the lives of the people.


The WHO defines as ‘a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmities. This definition had been criticized by many health experts in view of the problems encountered in understanding its real goal and also the thinking that it makes its concept a mere goal that will be very difficult to attain by anyone. For example, how and when do you say someone is in a state of complete physical wellbeing? Or even mental or social wellbeing? The social wellbeing comprises of something which may be called the strength to live with inescapable disabilities or handicaps. The definition of health, the acceptance of ill health obviously depends on religious, cultural, societal and scientific norms.

The WHO’s definition gives a broader concept of health and also bring into open the various important components of health which transcend the physical state of completeness. In this wise, health is seen not only a disease entity but in relation to the physical, mental and social state of wellbeing. It is the understanding that has provided another way of looking at health in the concept of wellness which is the new goal of health.

The concept of Wellness

Wellness is an expanded idea of health. While health cannot be interpreted to mean only the absence of disease, wellness transcend this understanding by considering how individual rise above their physical or mental limitations to live rich, meaningful vital lives.

Wellness in any dimension is not a static goal but a dynamic process of change and growth.

The different dimensions of health include the following areas of wellness which are deeply interrelated:

  1. Physical wellness
  2. Emotional wellness
  3. Intellectual wellness
  4. Spiritual wellness
  5. Interpersonal and social wellness
  6. Environmental or planetary wellness

These six dimensions of wellness interact continuously, influencing and being influenced by one another. Maintaining good health is equally a dynamic process and increasing the level of wellness in one area of life automatically influences may others.

While health and wellness seem largely to be an individual/personal concerns or goal, they are also of national and international concerns. Governments of various countries have programmes and vital interest in the health and wellness of her people. The Nigeria National Health system aim to ensure that all Nigerians live a healthy and productive health. This is in view of the understanding of the development implications of health. A healthy nation is a productive nation. It must be appreciate that there cannot be any meaningful development if issues relating to health are not properly attended to. In addressing the fundamental challenges of health and wellness, some factors influencing the health status of individual and the nation has to be properly understood.


  1. Cultural factors e.g customs, beliefs, taboos and practices. Some of these cultural factors are harmful to health, hence should be discouraged. Some religious practices are cultural in nature and they may have effect on health both positively and negatively. For instance, absolution as practiced by Muslims may enhance personal hygiene to some extent (depending on how one views it) while a similar practice of not eating pork for example may reduce source of protein supplies to the body where for one reason or the other there is no other source of animal proteins apart from pork. Among the Christians, some practices may have positive effect as well as negative effect on health. For example, the practice of not wearing shoe which may increase chances of hookworm infections for example. Since culture is a way of life that is passed from generation to generation, health workers should be diplomatic when trying to discourage harmful factors and at the same time promote the beneficial ones.
  2. Environmental factors which include water supply, sanitation refuse disposal, drainage system, housing and air pollution. Apart from being health promoting, most environmentally related facilities determines the levels of hygiene to be maintained by each person. Availability of water determines to a large extent types of latrine to be used in a premises and the extent to which it could be kept clean. Personal hygiene and cleanliness remains one of the most important environmental factors affecting personal and public health.
  3. Socio-economic factors which include economic activities of the community, level of income/poverty, level of education, social amenities like electricity, communication methods etc. Each of these has significant influence on health.
  4. Personal factors which include personal hygiene, level or knowledge of health matters, attitude to health system and health practices, habit and addict.
  5. Ignorance factors. Lack of knowledge about health and issues affecting health and wellness is important in determining the health of the population. In some cases, people may not even be aware of the existence of health facilities, services and opportunities. Ignorance is chief among factors influencing health particularly in many countries of Africa.
  6. Geographical factors i.e climatic condition, type of soil, topography land size etc. Many geographical factors influence the types of vector and /or parasites that may be prevalent in a particular place or region and also the possibility of their control and/ or elimination.
  7. Nutritional factors. Nutrition is a major determinant of health in that, it influences the body’s ability to resist infection otherwise known as body’s immunity. Malnutrition is a major health problem of many people in developing countries resulting from many factors ranging from lack of food supply, poverty and ignorant. In another sense, infection and illness could be result into malnutrition as a result of nutrients not being available for the body’s use.
  8. Political factors: – These are informing of political agenda, policies and programmes also affect health in a number of ways. The political environment prevailing at any point in time is also very important.
  9. Organizational factors: in term of organization and administration of the health system and the department. Also important in this case is the staffing and the availability of other resources.

As a teacher, the task before us on education of children.


In one sense, we are all being educated all the time, to the extent that everything that happens to us may bring about some change in the way we feel and think and act. We learn from the circumstances in which we live, the people we meet, ideas in books or papers, tips from internet, or on radio or from the geographical situation and time in history in which we live, the work we do. In fact, everything that surrounds us and of which we have experience, is educating us and our children all the time. It is important for us to understand this, for unless we as teachers take into account the way that these wider educational influences affect our children, a great deal that we do in our schools will be wasted.

We cannot of course, trust to the life around us to teach our children all that they need to learn. In days gone by, parents were the people who taught their children and prepared them for life, and when life was comparatively simple this was easy. A father took his son hunting with him, showed him to make weapons and nets; a mother had her daughters helping and learning  in the preparation of food and clothing; while both parents and grandparents taught their children the custom  and laws they must obey. So, children grew up, learning by doing and by precept, and by the example of their elders.

Today, life is much more complex, there is so much more to be learned, so many possibilities opening out before each child, that parents can no longer take responsibility for all their teaching. Children therefore spend a good part of their lives in place set apart for them, schools, with specially appointed adults – teachers – whose profession is to help the children  grow and learn.

This is what is usually meant by ‘education’ in its special sense, and from this point of view it is the task of the school, and teachers, to be aware of those aspects of the environment, social, physical, spiritual, which  are most necessary and helpful for teaching children.

What is education?

Education as a two – way process

But there is more to education than the impact, the influence, of the environment on a person.  Education is a two-way process, and the result of any special educational experience depends as much on the way a person responds to it, as on what is being done to him. Perhaps a sermon is being preached, but of all the people who hear it, each one may   learn something different; some may learn nothing. A hurricane may rage over an island, and as a result some people may become more fearful, some more competent, some braver, some more interested in meteorology, and some may be hardly affected by it at all. After an arithmetic lesson some children can work, some new sums correctly, some are beginning to understand new work, some are getting to be more interested in arithmetic, some continue to hate it and have learned nothing. If a teacher is to be in control of any educational situation he must be aware of the nature of environmental influences as they affect his pupils, and he must also understand the pupils themselves, what they are like and how they learn. Only then can he attempt to bring about the result he wishes, that is, to educate the children.

Education, then, is concerned with different aspect of environment, their effect on individuals, and the way in which individuals respond, or react. In order to be clear about this we will look briefly into what is meant by environment, and then we will consider what is meant by being an individual.

Social Environment

Of all the influences that surround a person from the day he is born, people are the most important. The first, of course, is his/her mother, and  he/she should form his/her first social relationships with her, and these form the pattern for all others. A child’s early society Includes, or should include, his/her father,  brothers and sisters, grandmother, and all who make up the group known as the family. As a child grows, he gets to know more people, those who live nearly and whom his/her parents know become part of his environment. Then he/she goes to school and his/her social environment extends to include other children of his/her age, his teacher, other teachers and the head teacher, and he comes to know these well, and these know him. He knows people at church and Sunday school, and becomes aware that he and his family are part of certain village or town, and a country. As an adolescent his social environment extends to include people of other nations, races, religion, until a fully mature person can realize himself as part of the whole society of mankind. But all the time, especially while he is growing up, he is responding in some way to his social   environment. The people about him influence the way he speaks, his dress and his manners, his ideas and beliefs, the occupation he chooses to earn his living the way he brings up his children. A person may change his social background, as when a west Indian emigrate to England or the united states, as then the new social influences may bring about changes in the way he lives and what he does, this is easier the younger he is, but even so, many of the effects of his early social environment persist right through life.

Although this influence is so important in our lives, it is also true that, as each of us is part of our society, so each contributes towards it and may bring about changes. A young farmer who has been to an agriculture college may bring back new ways of cultivating and propagating, and if he is successful his neighbours may adopt them too. The radio often brings new words and songs and dance tunes, and soon people are speaking a little differently, and may be learning to dance in a novel pattern and rhythm. These and many other changes in the social environment affect the bahaviour of people in that society. But such changes do not occur by themselves, they are brought about by people, who are thus helping to alter their society.

Here then are two points to remember about our social environment, it affects in many ways the behavior of people who form that society. And it is always changing as a result of the bahaviour of its members. Education is one of the most important factors in bringing about social change. It is also most important in helping each child to be fully a member of his society, but at the same time to develop into a person in his own right, capable of making his own judgments and choices and directing his own life.

Physical Environment.

The world in which we live is part of a system of planet revolving round the sun, and in a way this universe, and the immense universe of other system of other system of which it is a part, is our physical environment, affecting in many way the lives of men on earth. But for each one of us that of earth where were born, or where we live most of our lives, is most important to us. Many matters are far beyond our control, the length of day and night, the changing seasons and tides, climate and weather; all affect the lives of men, their occupations, habit and customs. Where there is a long cold winter, for instance, men develop the habit of working hard in the summer month of provide and store up food, and qualities of hard work, thrift, and foresight become important to them, and a carefree easy going life is despised. In the same way people tend to develop special characteristics if they live in large cities, or among rugged mountains, in forests, in wide open plains, in villages, or by the sea. Man can, of course, to some extent change his physical environment, and life becomes different of new roads are built, if forests are cut down and lands cleared; if a dam is built across a river; if contour plant is adopted to stop erosion.

The physical environment of people in the Africa has its own special features, and it is important to take them into account. There is the influence of a warm climate and fertile soil; of living mostly on small Island apart from each other. All there are important in shaping the lives of people, and must be considered and understood in educating our children.

Spiritual and Emotion Environment

Just as we live in a social world which is made up of people, and in a physical world of natural features and forces, so we live in a moral or spiritual world of ideals, beliefs, and attitudes. These are in many ways the most important; for what we think and belief and feel determines the way we act. it is hardly  possible, however, to consider this aspect of environment as something separate from the other two, for ideas and beliefs attitudes comes to us largely through other people, and to some extent from our physical environment. As we have seen in the previous paragraphs, new ideas come to us all the time, from parent and teacher, from church and books and newspaper, from radio and cinema, far too many for any  one person to accept or absorb. From all these influence we select and some of them and let the other go by, gradually building up a system of personal belief in our environment are varied good and bad useful useless of greater or less value and those which any child adopt for his own are largely those taught and held by people he love and respects. It is generally acknowledge that our most important attitude those which influence our behavior during life are establish in the earliest year and made more definite specific during childhood it is that we get our first idea of right and wrong of the way we are expected to behave and the religious teaching which explain our relationship with God and man it follow then that the most improper people for influences from different source come into picture and the young person may seem to throw over the idea and belief of his childhood all the same they  are there in the background and if his early teaching has been sound and good and the people who taught has been sound and he is to go very far a stray.

   The Individual Inherited Trait

So far we have been considering those aspect of education which come from experience that any

kind of effect these may have depend  on how they are receive what is made of them we will look briefly therefore at the individual children being educated to see why they respond differently to a given situation what make them different  In the first place children are born with certain characteristic inherited from parent and ancestor long before birth it is determined what race a child belong to what sex he is the color of his eye and skin the kind of hair and feature and has weather he is likely to be tall and slender or short and broad, or of medium size and weight. He may inherit a sound of constitution and be generally healthy, or be born with a tendency to catch certain diseases easily.

Another inborn trait is the degree if intelligence or mental ability: one child may be born with intelligence to enable him to become a university professor while another has only a moderate degree. He may inherit a good ear for music, or he may be colour blind, or a good athlete. It is also probable that he inherits certain traits of temperament, one baby may be placid and good tempered, another easily upset, another sometimes bright and responsive, sometimes bright  and responsive, sometimes dull and moody.

All these differences, physical, intellectual and emotional, exist in every child at birth, but they are only there as potentialities, possibilities. The way in which a child develops depends on his innate characteristics, but also on the way his environment treats him. The degree of warm and loving care he receives, right feeding and exercise, make all the difference to the way his physical traits develop, and his temperament too. His mental ability may be potentially very high but it only develop if he receive the right kind of stimulus from his social environment a child growing up in a home where there are stories and music and books and people wit6h interesting ideas, has the opportunity of developing his mind,  even before he goes to school. When he does go to school, the better the conditions are, and the teaching, the more fully can he make use of whatever ability he has.

The opposite is, of course, true. It is unfortunate that in the Africa there are many children whose early environment is so deprived that there is little chance for them to develop fully. Children who are ill fed, neglected, hear little conversation and are restricted in their play and movement, who don’t go to school, or attend irregularly at a school that is poor and overcrowded, such children may have begin with good intelligence, but in a poor environment it has little chance of developing. Even if they are transferred to a more favorable environment later on, as when a bright child from a poor background is given a place at a secondary school, it is very difficult to make up for what has been lost. A few may succeed, but for many this early deprivation means so much wasted that, potential intelligence that is never developed. This is a matter we shall discuss more fully later on; the point to make here is that a child is the product both of this inheritance, and of his environment, acting upon each other, or interacting


Our Responsibility

We, as teachers, have no control over a child’s inherited qualities, but the better we understand them the more we can help to make good use of them. There are aspects of environment, too that we cannot control, but during school day there is a great deal that depends on the school and the teachers. The social and spiritual environment, all that comes from people with right feelings, ideas and actions, these are within our power, and we can do much to provide conditions in which our children can grow and develop as fully as they can.

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