IJSRI

ijsri journal

International Journal of Social Research and Innovation (IJSRI) is a peer-reviewed multidisciplinary international journal published annually by Villa College, Maldives, with the aim of encouraging research and innovation in various fields. We publish original and high-quality articles covering a wide range of topics in multidisciplinary research-based areas.

Past issues of the journal are available here


Volume 3 Issue 1

Table of Contents

Development and the Sacred: An Account of Reef Resource Management in the Maldives
Mizna Mohamed (ENDEVOR, Maldives), Nicole Gombay (Department of Geography, Université de Montréal, Canada), and John Pirker (School of Biological Sciences, University of Canterbury, NZ)

Agents for Development: The Booming Youth Population in the Maldives
Aminath Afrah Rasheed (ENDEVOR), Mizna Mohamed (ENDEVOR), and Mohamed Inaz (VESHI)

Community Perspectives on Livelihood Practices and Development: Implications for Policy and Planning
Sheema Saeed, Mohamed Kamil, Hussain Rasheed, Shiyasa Rasheed and Hassan Najee

Book Review
Fathmath Najadha Abdulla




Articles

Abstract

While the Maldives is heavily dependent on its reef environments, rapid economic development is creating adverse impacts on these marine ecosystems. In an eff ort to explore alternative forms of resource management, this paper presents sacred beliefs that have guided the way traditional Maldivian communities have used, managed and governed their reef resources. The findings of this qualitative study, conducted in seven island communities of the Maldives, show that beliefs such as the Islamic concept of Rizq, humans as stewards of the earth and sentient non-human beings, drove traditional resource use and management practices. “Progress” in a globalised world has meant that nature has become part of the secular. We argue that there is a need to re-integrate the sacred into our resource management as this can potentially contribute to ongoing environmental conservation efforts.

Keywords: Sacred beliefs, Rizq, Reef resources, Maldives.

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Abstract

The Maldives is in the midst of a demographic window of opportunity, with a large share of the population comprised of children and young adults. Youth account for about 40 per cent of the Maldivian population, and the dependency ratio has shown declines in the most recent national census. The country’s success in reaping the demographic dividends of this 'youth boom', in terms of social and economic development, is arguably refl ected in the level of positive youth engagement in the community. However, there is a growing concern that Maldivian youth feel, and are perceived to be, socially and economically disenfranchised and idle. Based on an ongoing qualitative research study on everyday changes and everyday lives in Maldivian communities, this paper discusses the high level of youth engagement in community development and livelihood activities in a small island community. Various qualitative research methods including interviews and observations were used in the research. The signifi cance of factors such as parenting, role models in the community, community size,schooling, mentors, family structure and responsibilities, level of development of the island and types of economic opportunities available, which may contribute to higher levels of youth engagement, are explored.

Keywords: Youth, Demographic dividend, Community development, Maldives

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Abstract

This paper presents an in-depth study of the livelihood practices and development needs of one isolated rural island community in the Maldives. The research identified key stakeholders concerns about opportunities and barriers to livelihood practices and community development using a case study approach. Some of the challenges networking locally and nationally to achieving community objectives for food security, water and other resources management, socio-economic development and environmental protection are identified, followed by strategies to reduce vulnerability in the context of climate change and to develop a sustainable ecosystem for future generations.

Keywords: Small island state, Food, Water, Energy, Livelihood, Climate change, Nexus

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Cultures and Organizations

Software of the Mind is one of the most influential books on the study of cross-cultural management. This book includes the authors’ research findings conducted in more than seventy countries over a forty year span and helps us to examine how we think - and how we fail to think - as members of groups.

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Volume 2 Issue 1

Table of Contents

Effects of Supply Chain Practice, Competence and Concern on Supply Chain Performance: A study of Small and Medium Enterprises in India
Subburaj Alagarsamy

Factors That Influence Writing in English Language Classrooms: A Case Study of a Secondary School in the Maldives
Fathimath Ibna

Perceptions of Ageing Among Older Adults Living in Male’, Maldives and Implications for Provision of Support
Aishath Nazra

Under-preparedness of Teachers to Teach Life Skills Education in the National Curriculum
Hidaya Mohamed Zahir

Challenges in Regulating Quality Assurance in Higher Education in Small States: A Case Study of the Maldives
Abdul Hannan Waheed


Editorial Preface

It gives us great pleasure to deliver to you the first issue of the second volume of International Journal of Social Research and Innovation (IJSRI), published by Villa College, Maldives. We have established this journal to serve the needs of promising new researchers and other varied professionals and scholarly communities to publish research which provides insights into issues that are of concern to them, thus, broadening access to the discipline of social sciences research to a wider audience. We use double blind peer review by two colleagues to support researchers. Through the peer review process we promote practice of theoretical sophistication and rigour in social sciences research. We are indebted to our peer reviewers who have provided extensive support to these emerging researchers. Their level of responsiveness is exemplary despite heavy academic workloads and tight deadlines within which they had to give feedback. We are epistemologically inclusive, as can be seen in this first issue, and as we plan our second and subsequent issues. In this issue, five researchers new to the field of research publication share their research. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) represent a large proportion of businesses worldwide. They are critical to developing countries like India where the wealth gap is immense. They provide jobs, skills and services to a large number of people. However, knowing how to improve productivity and drive down costs as well as ability to develop and manage supply chain practices are crucial to any SME’s long term survival. Subburaj Alagarsamy examines the dimensions of supply chain management components and their relationship to supply chain performance in SMEs of Madurai District of Tamil Nadu. Whilst supply chain concerns were rated most highly by the managers of these SMEs as significant for supply chain management, design of low-pollution production processes and low-pollution delivering processes are significant supply chain competencies rated highly by SMEs. This can positively support the district with development of green entrepreneurship and leadership in green business processes and technologies. Modern higher education and employment demand fluency in writing in English. Fathimath Ibna utilises social cognitive theory and self-efficacy beliefs to analyse the processes through which inhibition to write emerges within secondary classrooms. Since self-efficacy affects children’s motivation, interest and level of attainment, she identifies strategies to develop a sense of competence and confidence in English language writing which children can transfer to other areas of learning within school and beyond. Life Skills Education is emerging as a fundamental right of all children to prepare them to cope with the extraordinary changes the world is undergoing. Hidhaya Zahir questions the level of teacher preparedness to teach life skills while highlighting the importance of life skills education, as well as the challenges teachers face in implementing life skills curriculum. Regulation and governance of higher education can be perplexing even for academics whose work is based on rigour, independence of thought and the search to push the boundaries of knowledge. Hannan Waheed’s paper on regulation of higher education in the Maldives examines the complexity of creating better, fairer, efficient and transparent systems of quality assurance in higher education, from the perspective of a small state with a newly emerging higher education sector. We invite researchers from disciplines across social sciences to publish with us. We provide a supportive platform for researchers to publish research on challenging issues confronting our children, youth, adults, parents and communities in the modern era.

Dr. Mohamed Adil
Dr. Sheema Saeed
Dr. Ahmed Shahid
Editors of IJSRI, Villa College


Editorial Board

  • Executive Editor: Dr. Mohamed Adil, Villa College, Maldives
  • Managing Editor: Dr. Sheema Saeed, Villa College, Maldives
  • Senior Editor: Dr. Ahmed Shahid, Villa College, Maldives
Editorial Board
  • Dr. Ahsan Ahmed Jaleel, Villa College, Maldives
  • Dr. Ali Najeeb, Villa College, Maldives
  • Dr. Aminath Shafiya Adam, Maldives National University, Maldives
  • Dr. Ahmed Ali Didi, Villa College, Maldives
  • Dr. Huseyin Dogan, University of Bournemouth, UK
  • Abdul Wahid Ibrahim, Villa College, Maldives
  • Dr. Byju K. P. Madhavan, Villa College, Maldives
  • Dr. Abdulla Sadig, Villa College, Maldives
  • Ahmed Yasir, Villa College, Maldives

Articles

Abstract

Supply chain management (SCM) practices have become a key determinant of competitive advantage of business enterprises. Effectively carried out supply chain management practices provide a strategic improvement to supply chain performance and thereby increases the performance of companies. The present study examines the dimensions of supply chain management components (practices, competences, and concerns) and their relationship to supply chain performance. Data was collected from 250 medium and small enterprises of Madurai District in Tamil Nadu, between December 2016 and July 2017. The enterprises were selected using simple random sampling. The relationship between supply chain management components and supply chain performance was investigated using structural equation modeling. The resulting model indicated that supply chain management practices, competence, and concerns have a direct, positive impact on supply chain performance. Recommendations for improving operational capability are provided accordingly.

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Abstract

The research presented in this paper focused on studying the factors that influence writing in English among a group of secondary school students in Male’, Maldives. Face-to-face interviews and a self-administered questionnaire were employed for data collection. The findings revealed that motivational factors such as self-efficacy, interest, and attitude of students affected students’ performance in writing. Also, subject knowledge, composition skills, and the context of writing such as time allocation, classroom setting, and examination oriented teaching were primary factors which hindered students’ writing. These factors which hinder students to write are blended with research on self-efficacy to discuss strategies to develop competence and confidence in writing among adolescents struggling with writing in a second language.

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Abstract

The research presented in this paper aims to (1) provide insights into how older people living in Male’ perceive ageing and (2) how families and the wider community meet the care needs of older people. Eight people who are in the age group of 65 to 70 year olds, living in Male’, were interviewed for the present study. The results indicated that the participants preferred to live with their children and appreciated the level of care given by their children. Lack of modified homes, adapted built environments and suitable housing for families living with elderly parents means that healthy older adults’ level of physical activities, social interaction and independence are limited. Unavailability of environmental, social and health support services that are dedicated towards elders negatively influenced their perspective of ageing. While some of the participants showed resilience and adapted to the circumstances, others perceived the physical and social barriers to ageing with fear and restricted their physical activities and social interactions.

Important aspects of ageing and the availability of support are discussed with implications for self, family, community and for policy makers.

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Abstract

Modernisation and urbanisation has come at a cost to Maldivian children, making them more vulnerable to social ills and psychological diseases. Life Skills Education (LSE) has been integrated into the 2014 Maldives National Curriculum as a way to avert the emotional and psychological crises of children growing up in a rapidly changing society. Rather than questioning how this new initiative is introduced within the curriculum and the possible outcomes of the initiative, this paper aims to explore how knowledgeable and prepared the teachers believe they are to teach Life Skills to children.

A cross sectional survey was completed by 186 teachers of two schools of Male’, Maldives. Life Skills Education has been taught in some form in both schools since 2004. Four factors linked to teacher preparedness were analysed, namely: (1) teachers’ attitude to LSE; (2) teachers’ motivation to implement LSE; (3) teachers’ perceived professional mastery; and (4) participation in ongoing professional development, all of which have direct impact on successful implementation of Life Skills Education. All four factors have strong correlation to successful implementation of Life Skills Education. Only 13% of the teachers in this study indicated that they believed they had the capacity to deliver Life Skills Education in the curriculum fully.

This study identified the urgent need for LSE to be incorporated into initial teacher training and for policy makers and school leaders to ensure that teachers have ongoing effective support to develop life skills of vulnerable children who live in challenging home environments.

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Abstract

This paper presents findings of a case study of the regulatory framework of quality assurance (QA) in higher education in the Maldives. For this study, a systems approach was adopted to capture a holistic perspective of the various key elements and their relationships to each other to investigate the effectiveness of the regulatory framework in the quality assurance system. The data collection consisted of document analysis and interviews with four key stakeholder groups. Some of the unique challenges in developing and establishing a fully-functioning regulatory mechanism of quality assurance for higher education in the Maldives include lack of independence of the system from the Ministry of Education and influence of other key stakeholders on the decision making process of the quality assurance system. Absence of a legal mandate to ensure that outcomes of regulatory processes are accepted by the government, the public and the higher education system is unique to the Maldives where the quality assurance system has been in operation since 2010, while it holds no legal status or independence. Whilst the case study is situated in the Maldives, it provides a useful reference for policy makers, practitioners and professionals in other small states.

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Volume 1 Issue 1

Table of Contents

Does successful Action Research Merely Require a Culture of Reflective Practice or is There More to it?
Dheeba Moosa

Differentiated instruction: Is it in place?
Rahma Abdul Rahman

Discussion structure: Does it influence student participation and learning through online interactions with block mode students?
Fazeela Ibrahim

Eighth Grade Students’ Attitude Toward Algebra in Maldivian Schools
Abdul Sattar Gasim

Teaching Methodology: One of the Factors Affecting Academic Achievement of Secondary Grade Students
Mariyam Nihaadh

Dhivehi OCR: Character Recognition of Thaana Script using Machine-Generated Text and Tesseract OCR Engine
Ahmed Ibrahim


Editorial Preface

It gives us great pleasure to deliver to you the first issue of the first volume of International Journal of Social Research and Innovation (IJSRI), published by Villa College, Maldives. We have established this journal to serve the needs of promising new researchers and other varied professionals and scholarly communities to publish research which provides insights into issues that are of concern to them, thus, broadening access to the discipline of social sciences research to a wider audience. We use double blind peer review by at least two colleagues to support researchers. Through the peer review process, we promote practice of theoretical sophistication and rigour in social sciences research. We are indebted to our peer reviewers who have provided extensive support to these emerging researchers. Their level of responsiveness is exemplary despite heavy academic workloads and tight deadlines within which they had to give feedback. In this first issue of our Journal, we have included six articles covering a broad spectrum of topics and disciplines.Dheeba Moosa’s article explores the issue of whether a reflective culture is a necessary condition for sustaining action research in the Maldives. She draws on data gathered for a study conducted in the Maldives and supplemented by a discussion of literature on the appropriateness of AR in developing countries, and argues on the importance of carefully and critically considering the assumptions and practices within action research arena.Rahma Abdul Rahman explores the various experiences and dynamics of implementing differentiated instructions, from a pedagogical and practical point of view. She argues that to enhance differentiated instruction carried out in schools, teachers need to get the right professional development training. Fazeela Ibrahim’s paper investigates the influence of online and block mode learning on student participation and learning. She concludes that there is a significant increase in the level of participation in the new structure using online and block mode teaching. Abdul Sattar Gasim examines students’ attitude towards algebra using a quantitative study approach. He contends that there is evidence that the learners have a neutral attitude for the components of the attitude towards algebra in Maldivian schools. The last article, by Mariyam Nihaadh, explores the role of teaching methodology in impacting student achievement in secondary schools of Maldives. The findings revealed that students’ lack of motivation was the consequence of unvaried and ineffective methodologies adopted by most teachers in delivering the lessons. Overall, every article in this issue adds a significant amount of new knowledge and academic insights into the matters being investigated. We invite researchers from disciplines across social sciences to publish with us. We provide a supportive platform for researchers to publish research on challenging issues confronting our children, youth, adults, parents and communities in the modern era.

Dr. Mohamed Adil
Dr. Sheema Saeed
Dr. Ahmed Shahid
Editors of IJSRI, Villa College


Editorial Board

  • Executive Editor: Dr. Mohamed Adil, Villa College, Maldives
  • Managing Editor: Dr. Sheema Saeed, Villa College, Maldives
  • Senior Editor: Dr. Ahmed Shahid, Villa College, Maldives
Editorial Board
  • Dr. Ahsan Ahmed Jaleel, Villa College, Maldives
  • Dr. Ali Najeeb, Villa College, Maldives
  • Dr. Aminath Shafiya Adam, Maldives National University, Maldives
  • Dr. Ahmed Ali Didi, Villa College, Maldives
  • Dr. Huseyin Dogan, University of Bournemouth, UK
  • Abdul Wahid Ibrahim, Villa College, Maldives
  • Dr. Byju K. P. Madhavan, Villa College, Maldives
  • Dr. Abdulla Sadig, Villa College, Maldives
  • Ahmed Yasir, Villa College, Maldives

Articles

Abstract

This article explores the issue of whether a reflective culture is a necessary condition for sustaining action research in the Maldives. Drawing on data gathered for a study conducted in the Maldives and supplemented by a discussion of literature on the appropriateness of AR in developing countries, I consider why AR might be useful for professional development in the Maldives. As in many developing country contexts, there are many practical difficulties, such as time constraints that can prevent teachers from engaging in AR. However, the main focus of this article is to reflect whether it is simply a case of the absence of a reflective culture or AR itself that may be acting as a barrier to teacher engagement in it. Based on these findings, I argue that familiarity with reflective practices in teaching may be a prerequisite to the development of AR in the Maldives, and therefore, it may be that introducing the notion of reflective practice into initial teacher training is the first step. I also argue that it is important to carefully and critically consider the assumptions and practices within AR and adapt it for use as a professional development tool.

Identifiers /Key words: Action research (AR), developing countries, reflective practice,Maldives

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Abstract

Implementing differentiated instruction is a national policy and to ensure that it is implemented in schools, external supervisors carryout supervision and evaluation of classroom instruction based on this approach. Differentiated instruction (DI) is recommended to close the academic gap among learners. This quantitative cross-sectional survey is designed to find out teacher understanding and implementation of differentiated instruction, with the aim of identifying the professional development needs of teachers in this area. The descriptive statistics and t.tests conducted showed that the teachers have a statistically significant level of understanding of all the DI components but implementation of all the components was not statistically significant. This study has shown that the training teachers receive in differentiated instruction have a positive impact on their understanding and implementation of this teaching pedagogy. To enhance differentiated instruction carried out in schools, teachers need to get the right professional development training. This study has shed light on areas for teachers’ development in understanding and implementation of differentiated instruction.

Keywords: Differentiated instruction, understanding, implementation, content, process, products

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Abstract

Interaction in online learning is becoming quite common in higher education. Online communication tools are thought to promote student-centred learning and encourage wider student participation as well as provide an important learning opportunity for students. This paper presents a study based on a survey of seventeen students regarding perceptions on the usefulness of online communication, analysed through an interactive discussion structure with selected synchronous and asynchronous communication tools. The article considers student feedback on the new interactive discussion structure provided to them and compares the level of participation between the old structure and the new structure. The results show that there was a significant increase in the level of participation in the new structure. However, it also indicates that simply providing an interactive discussion structure does not mean that it will be used effectively. Several other factors were related to actual participation and perceived usefulness of the structure.

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Abstract

Students’ attitude towards algebra is important in deciding the factors that influence students’ achievement in algebra as well as mathematics learning. This is a quantitative study which has explored the algebra attitudes of eighth grade students. The study population included students from two main schools in Male’ who were selected using stratified random sampling. One component of the Fennema Sherman Mathematics Attitudes Scale and three components of the Attitude Towards Mathematics Inventory (ATMI) by Tapia and Marsh were used to survey the algebra attitudes of 39 boys and 45 girls in grades eight. The results show that the learners have a neutral attitude for the components of the attitude towards algebra as well as for the total attitude and that there is no gender difference in their attitude.

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Abstract

Numerous factors affect the academic achievement of students as they undergo the transition of proceeding to secondary grades. This article discusses the findings related to factors affecting the academic achievement of secondary grade students from the students’ perspective. A qualitative study was conducted at a secondary school with a sample of students who had experienced a decline in their performance in secondary grades. Respondents were queried with regard to various factors relating to their academic achievement. Issues relating to student motivation were highlighted as the most prominent factors affecting their academic achievement. The findings revealed that students’ lack of motivation was the consequence of unvaried and ineffective methodologies adopted by most teachers in delivering the lessons.

Keywords: academic achievement, secondary grades, factors, motivation, teaching methodology

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Abstract

This paper provides technical aspects and the context of recognising Dhivehi characters using Tesseract OCR Engine, which is a freely available OCR engine with remarkable accuracy and support for multiple languages. The experiments that were conducted showed promising results with 69.46% accuracy and, more importantly, highlighted limitations that are unique to Dhivehi. These issues have been discussed in detail and possible directions for future research are presented.

Keywords: Dhivehi OCR, Thaana Script, Optical Character Recognition, Tesseract OCR.

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