Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 4

Search results for: Parvaneh Farhangpour

4 Inner and Outer School Contextual Factors Associated with Poor Performance of Grade 12 Students: A Case Study of an Underperforming High School in Mpumalanga, South Africa

Authors: Victoria L. Nkosi, Parvaneh Farhangpour

Abstract:

Often a Grade 12 certificate is perceived as a passport to tertiary education and the minimum requirement to enter the world of work. In spite of its importance, many students do not make this milestone in South Africa. It is important to find out why so many students still fail in spite of transformation in the education system in the post-apartheid era. Given the complexity of education and its context, this study adopted a case study design to examine one historically underperforming high school in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga Province, South Africa in 2013. The aim was to gain a understanding of the inner and outer school contextual factors associated with the high failure rate among Grade 12 students.  Government documents and reports were consulted to identify factors in the district and the village surrounding the school and a student survey was conducted to identify school, home and student factors. The randomly-sampled half of the population of Grade 12 students (53) participated in the survey and quantitative data are analyzed using descriptive statistical methods. The findings showed that a host of factors is at play. The school is located in a village within a municipality which has been one of the poorest three municipalities in South Africa and the lowest Grade 12 pass rate in the Mpumalanga province.   Moreover, over half of the families of the students are single parents, 43% are unemployed and the majority has a low level of education. In addition, most families (83%) do not have basic study materials such as a dictionary, books, tables, and chairs. A significant number of students (70%) are over-aged (+19 years old); close to half of them (49%) are grade repeaters. The school itself lacks essential resources, namely computers, science laboratories, library, and enough furniture and textbooks. Moreover, teaching and learning are negatively affected by the teachers’ occasional absenteeism, inadequate lesson preparation, and poor communication skills. Overall, the continuous low performance of students in this school mirrors the vicious circle of multiple negative conditions present within and outside of the school. The complexity of factors associated with the underperformance of Grade 12 students in this school calls for a multi-dimensional intervention from government and stakeholders. One important intervention should be the placement of over-aged students and grade-repeaters in suitable educational institutions for the benefit of other students.

Keywords: Inner context, outer context, over-aged students, vicious circle.

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3 Using Pattern Search Methods for Minimizing Clustering Problems

Authors: Parvaneh Shabanzadeh, Malik Hj Abu Hassan, Leong Wah June, Maryam Mohagheghtabar

Abstract:

Clustering is one of an interesting data mining topics that can be applied in many fields. Recently, the problem of cluster analysis is formulated as a problem of nonsmooth, nonconvex optimization, and an algorithm for solving the cluster analysis problem based on nonsmooth optimization techniques is developed. This optimization problem has a number of characteristics that make it challenging: it has many local minimum, the optimization variables can be either continuous or categorical, and there are no exact analytical derivatives. In this study we show how to apply a particular class of optimization methods known as pattern search methods to address these challenges. These methods do not explicitly use derivatives, an important feature that has not been addressed in previous studies. Results of numerical experiments are presented which demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method.

Keywords: Clustering functions, Non-smooth Optimization, Nonconvex Optimization, Pattern Search Method.

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2 Effects of Drought Stress on Qualitative and Quantitative Traits of Mungbean

Authors: Amir Mirzaei, Rahim Naseri, Parvaneh Vafa, Meysam Moradi

Abstract:

In order to investigate the effect of drought stress and row spacing on grain yield and associated traits of Mungbean, an experiment was conducted as a factorial in based on randomized complete block design with three replications in Ilam station, Iran during 2008-2009 growing season. This experiment was conducted in four stages on one kind of Mungbean named Gohar. The experimental factors including (80, 110 and 140mm cumulative evaporation from class A pan) and row spacing (25, 50, and 75cm) were selected. The results of the experiment showed that the varieties affected by the treatment showed significant differences. The highest total yield was obtained in the condition in which evaporation of water was 80mm. Of course some traits such as grain yield did not show a significant difference between the conditions in which evaporation of the irrigation water was 80 and 110mm. The traits under study also showed a significant difference to different raw spacing. Row spacing of 50cm had a higher total yield compared to other raw spaces. It was due to the higher number of pods per plant and grain weight. The interaction of drought stress and row spacing showed that in the condition in which the row space is 50 cm and the evaporation of the irrigation water is 80mm, the highest number of grain is achieved.

Keywords: Stress, Grain yield, Mungbean, Row spacing.

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1 The Effect of Drought Stress on Grain Yield, Yield Components and Protein Content of Durum Wheat Cultivars in Ilam Province, Iran

Authors: Parvaneh Vafa, Rahim Naseri, Meysam Moradi

Abstract:

In order to study the effect of drought stress on grain yield, yield components and associated traits of durum wheat cultivars, an experiment was done as split plot arrangement using randomized complete block design with three replications in Ilam province, Iran in 2009-2010 cropping season. Different levels of irrigation (Full irrigation, drought stress at stem elongation, Flowering and grain formation stages) were considered as a main plot and three durum wheat cultivars (Yavaros, Seimareh and Karkheh) were assigned as a sub plot. The results showed that drought stress was significant on grain yield, spike.m-2, grain. Spike-1, 1000-grain weight, biological yield, harvest index and protein content. Drought stress at all stages caused a loss in grain yield and its components. Full irrigation had the highest grain yield and yield components. Drought stress at stem elongation, flowering and grain formation stages caused a reduction in spike.m-2, grain.spike-1 and 1000-grain weight, respectively. Protein content was significantly affected by drought stress. The highest protein content was obtained from drought stress at grain formation stage. Cultivars had an influence on grain yield and yield components. Yavaros and Seimareh cultivars had the highest and lowest grain yield, respectively. Interaction effect between drought stress and cultivar had a significant effect on grain and yield components. Full irrigation and Yavaros cultivar had the highest grain yield and drought stress at grain formation stage and Seimareh cultivar had the lowest grain yield, respectively.

Keywords: Durum wheat, Drought stress, Grain yield.

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