International Journal of Social Research & Innovation

International Journal of Social Research & Innovation

Call for Papers

with special focus on COVID-19

International Journal of Social Research and Innovation (IJSRI) is a multi-disciplinary research journal published by Villa College. The journal is currently in its 4th volume, and has in the past published a number of high quality research papers in diverse areas such as business, education, health, public policy, law, language, arts and culture. All papers in the journal are published after a rigorous peer-review process and stringent editorial scrutiny.

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the editorial board of IJSRI is currently seeking high quality research papers related to the general theme of the current pandemic situation. As such, we wish to invite academics and researchers to submit their papers addressing the impact of COVID-19 on the Maldivian society - from various perspectives such as public health, education, business, economy, livelihood, employment, technology, law, public policy and governance. Authors are encouraged to focus their papers on identifying current research and thinking related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and to provide impactful and creative solutions essential for a speedy recovery and normalisation.

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International Journal of Social Research and Innovation (IJSRI) -ISSN: 2664-3138 (Online); 2664-312X (Print) 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.All issues of the journal are available for download (Open Source).
Volume 4 Issue 1

Table of Contents

Sea level rise, statehood and artificial islands for environmentally displaced persons under international law:Future of the Maldives
Ahmed Adham Abdulla (Research Associate at the Institute for Research and Innovation of Villa College.)

Working towards effective feedback: Exploring students’ perceptions of feedback given for their Dhivehi Writing in Higher Secondary Education
Nazly Rashad and Maryam Nihaadh

Dhi-English: Influence of Dhivehi language features on the English narratives of Maldivian ESL learners
Zahra Mohamed

Social Media Use and Impact during Maldivian Travellers’ Holiday Planning
Ali Akram (finance management at the Maldives Airports) and Ahmed Shahid (Dean of Research at the Institute for Research and Innovation, Villa College)

Adaptive Capacity for Climate Change in Maldivian Rural Communities
Ibrahim Mohamed (Environmental Protection Agency of the Maldives), David King (College of Science and Engineering, James Cook University, Australia) and 3.Alison Cottrel (Centre for Disaster Studies, James Cook University, Australia)


Editorial Preface

Editorial Preface This issue of the International Journal of Social Research and Innovation (IJSRI) has come to fruition at a defining moment in the recent Maldivian history. For the past 40 years, tourism and hospitality industry has been the driving force of the Maldivian economy. Despite Maldivian tourism and travel industry coming to a temporary halt with Covid-19, the low number of deaths and the control of infection to a few islands is an indicator of strong social and political leadership , adaptability and resilience. Even though, weaknesses in the health sector in remote islands became starkly prominent, social capital, community leadership and individual responsibility in supporting each other became clearly visible through financial and material contributions by individuals, and organisations to the health sector. Individual, community and Maldivian emigrant sharing of knowledge, skills and expertise was combined to strengthen the health infrastructure at a time of extreme need. Difficulty in online financial transactions had been a hindrance for micro-economic development in the isolated, rural islands. However, innovative practices in online shopping and online financial transactions became visible even in the remotest islands, as people moved away from cash transactions amidst fear of Covid-19 infection, supported by the above mentioned networks of expertise. These community-led initiatives are also mechanisms by which community resilience can be strengthened for climate change adaptation. The articles in this issue of IJSRI are also a glimpse to the resilience of the Maldivian people against both natural and man-made disasters. As international tourist arrivals plummet, Ali Akram and Ahmed Shahid illustrate the role, the high level of technological connectivity and engagement in internet-based social media by Maldivians can be utilised to maximise sustainable, small scale, local tourism in inhabited islands by local entrepreneurs, providing a boutique, client oriented service to both local and international tourists. The largest asset, Maldives has is its young population. Naazly Rashad and Maryam Nihaad’s paper on teacher and student feedback to improve writing in Dhivehi language classes in higher secondary education is a step forward for young people to learn collaboratively and to work together to assess own work, to seek support to improve work and to become independent learners. Zahra Mohamed’s paper on influence of Dhivehi on learning English as a Second Language illustrates the emerging capacity of Maldivian teachers and researchers to move to evidence based practice to inform learning and development. Ibrahim Mohamed’s paper on adaptive capacity of rural island communities to climate change, indicate the importance for communities to be knowledge creators, observant to changes in their ecological environment and to develop objective adaptive capacity based on knowledge generated from living within unique habitats of coral reef ecosystems. Ahmed Adham Abdullah’s paper highlights the importance of political and legal leadership to secure the sovereignty of the Maldivian people, maintain statehood, and ensure Maldivians can exercise socio-economic rights to an economic zone of more than a million square kilometres of airspace and ocean, in the event of sea level rise and submergence of territorial boundaries. As Covid-19 struck the world economies with devastating impact; importance of political autonomy, access to local and international resources and expertise; and resilience and adaptability of the Maldivian population became clearly evident. Working together, we can develop a modern and resilient economy; ensure equity in health and education provision; and fair distribution of wealth for inclusive growth and wellbeing of the poor, the vulnerable and the marginalised.

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 paper is based on a case study to investigate students’ perspectives of feedback given to support writing in Dhivehi in higher secondary education in the Maldives. The results revealed that the majority of the students were not satisfied with the feedback they received from their Dhivehi language teachers because of the ambiguity and vagueness of the feedback given to develop their writing. Oral feedback was only given to the whole class, focusing on the common errors in general. Students did not receive any individualized oral feedback to improve their writing, unless they asked for feedback. However, the few students who have sought oral feedback, and received constructive feedback, have shown progress in their writing. Therefore, this paper hopes to guide the teachers on how to improve the effectiveness of both oral and written feedback in Dhivehi writing instruction.

Keywords: Dhivehi writing, Oral feedback, Written feedback, Students’ perceptions

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Abstract

This qualitative descriptive study explored the influence of Dhivehi, the first language (L1) of the Maldivian students on learning English, their second language (L2). The questions raised in this paper enabled to identify morphological, lexical and syntactic transfer errors present in the narratives written by thirty-three students at secondary level from three schools in Male’, the capital of the Maldives. Transfer Analysis was used to analyze errors present in the English narratives written by Maldivian ESL (English as a Second Language) learners. The analysis uncovered negative transfer of Dhivehi linguistic features in their written English at morphological, lexical, as well as syntactic levels. The findings provide invaluable pedagogical implications for second language learning in the Maldivian context. Thus, it is recommended that ESL teachers as well as curriculum developers in the Maldives take into consideration the possibility of the influence of students’ mother tongue or Dhivehi linguistic features on the process of learning English.

Keywords: Dhivehi influence, ESL learners, morphology, lexis, syntax

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Abstract

The objectives of this study were to explore how social media is used in travel planning by Maldivian tourists, and to discern the opportunities social media presents as a marketing medium to the Maldivian tourism industry, especially in the budget hotel and local tourism segment. The research findings showed that social media postings by friends were considered a very important source of information compared to traditional sources of advertising. Online ratings and reviews of hotels also influenced their decisions significantly. Additionally, respondents preferred content posted by consumers rather than by hoteliers. Therefore, social media remains a critical element for tourism marketing to a Maldivian audience, demonstrating the importance for hoteliers and marketers to use this medium to gauge their customers’ reactions to the services offered; to modify the services to meet the expectations of their customers; and also to reach a wider customer base cheaply and efficiently. As Maldivian social media users frequently post, and are willing to post photos/videos of their holiday experiences on multiple social networking websites, it gives opportunities for marketers to involve users and influencers to promote visual content on social networking sites. Maldivian travellers rely very little on information provided by hotels in their travel decision making. Hence, further investigation is required on how to improve the trustworthiness and credibility of information provided by budget hotels as well as how this information can be accurately corroborated by users.

Keywords: Social media, local tourism, travel planning, marketing

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Abstract

The research presented in this paper studied the functional linkages between risk and adaptation appraisal and the psychosocial discourse variables that influence the outcomes for adaptive capacity of island communities to the impact of climate change. Qualitative data was gathered from focus group discussions and semi-structured interviews in five, purposively selected communities of the Maldives, from June to December 2015. The findings showed that risk appraisal was enhanced by direct experiences encountered and social construction of climate change. We found that a negative appraisal of adaptation arises due to lack of resources, fatalism and wishful thinking. While objective adaptive capacity was low, a higher subjective adaptive capacity was observed. The results also showed that people’s ecological knowledge of the reef-island systems depended on their livelihood practices, and that changes to modern livelihood practices can lead to loss of deep ecological knowledge and lead to dependency on external data only for adaptation. The findings add to the research on importance of meanings, ideas, behaviours and values of people, and the agency of such variables for positive appraisal of risks and adaptation.

Keywords: adaptive capacity, risk appraisal, adaptation appraisal, climate change

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Abstract

The Republic of Maldives is a small, South Asian archipelagic State consisting of low-lying islands, hence, climate change and sea level rise are not just mere words for us, the Maldivian people; they are a grim reality that is consuming our nation. The loss of a nation does not only mean the loss of home, substantial livelihood, natural wealth, and cultural identity; it also means the erosion of sovereignty and statehood at the international level. The analysis of applicable international laws and state practice indicates that the Maldives will not lose its statehood due to the loss of its territory resulting from sea level rise. The pragmatic way forward to protect the legal personality of statehood for low-lying island states such as the Maldives is to declare islands above the mean sea level, in case of complete inundation of naturally formed land, as Artificial Islands for Environmentally Displaced Persons, and to declare maritime borders established under the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention as non-ambulatory.

Keywords: Sea level rise, Statehood, Artificial Islands, Environmentally Displaced Persons, Maldives.

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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


Editorial Preface

Editorial: Special Issue from National Research Conference 2018 on Development and Social Values This issue is dedicated to three articles which were initially presented at the National Research Conference 2018, held at Villa College, Male’, Maldives on 30th June 2018. The organisers of the conference,Maldives Research Network, the research arm of ENDEVOR (Maldives) had worked closely with the Institute for Research and Innovation, Villa College, to facilitate the process of submitting the papers from the conference to IJSRI. The authors of the published articles in this issue followed the same standards of review as any other submissions. The authors had nearly a year after the conference to work on the papers and underwent two rounds of rigorous blind peer review to make it to the pages of the present volume. Congratulations! Islam is the prime source of support and guidance for Maldivians. Hence, bringing spirituality into discussions about development is timely since spirituality allows for sustainable mechanisms to use natural resources for human consumption. In the first article in this issue, Mizna Mohamed (ENDEVOR, Maldives), Nicole Gombay (Department of Geography, Université de Montréal, Canada) & John Pirker (School of Biological Sciences, University of Canterbury, New Zealand) present an account of reef resource management in the Maldives, exploring the relevance of sacred beliefs in natural resource management. Based on a qualitative study conducted in the Maldives, the focus of the paper is on sacred beliefs that have guided the way Maldivian communities have used, managed and governed their reef resources. They advocate the readers to consider re-integrating the sacred into discussions and practices of natural resource management. In the second paper, researchers from two NGOs based in the Maldives, challenge the notion that Maldivian youth feel, and are perceived to be, socially and economically disenfranchised and idle. Based on an ongoing qualitative research 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 in the central region of the Maldives. In the third and final article, members of an NGO in Meedhoo, Addu atoll, Maldives – Nalafehi, present the challenges a small, remote island community face in integrating local community development initiatives and resources with regional and national environmental resources and policies to achieve community objectives for development of a sustainable ecosystem for future generations. Finally, in the books reviews section, a review by Fathmath Najadha Abdulla of the book, “Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind” by Hofstede, Hofstede and Minkov (2010), is included.

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

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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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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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

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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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

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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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

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

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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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 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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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

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

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

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

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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