IMPACT OF SCHOOL-COMMUNITY RELATIONSHIP ON THE MANAGEMENT OF SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN NIGERIA
CHAPTER ONE : INTRODUCTION
Background to the study
The advancement of both individuals and society is intricately linked to the level of educational achievement. Consequently, education has gained worldwide recognition as a powerful tool for national development and transformation (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2014). It holds inherent and extrinsic value for individuals and society as a whole. Given the immense significance attached to education in the context of both national and individual well being, it is crucial that a collective effort is made to ensure the provision of essential resources for the effective development and management of education.
Within the Nigerian context, education serves as an exceptionally potent instrument for driving national development. It has seen active participation from non-governmental entities, communities, individuals, as well as government interventions (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2014). However, Nigeria faces a plethora of challenges in its educational sector. These challenges, as noted by Ogundele (2007), encompass inadequate funding, irregular salary disbursements, a surge in student populations, diminished job satisfaction among teachers, suboptimal learning environments, insufficient provision of educational facilities, and the requisite equipment for effective teaching and learning. These issues collectively contribute to a decline in the quality and standards of education within our secondary school system.
The government often asserts that it cannot bear the sole responsibility of providing education for its vast population, prompting the need for shared responsibility among all stakeholders in the education sector (Osita, Benson, Ike-Inegbu, 2015). Federal Republic of Nigeria (2013) reiterates the standpoint that education cannot be entirely free at all levels and should be financially supported by stakeholders at specific tiers within the education system.
A school functions as a microcosm, comprising both staff and students, each with its distinct set of rules and regulations. Simultaneously, it remains an integral part of a larger community characterized by its unique patterns of thought, individuals, and social organizations, all of which influence thoughts and actions. In essence, a school does not operate in isolation; it functions as a social institution, a conduit through which crucial societal needs can be met, making it a means to an end rather than an end in itself. Consequently, schools are established by society to ensure the continuous transformation and molding of children into functional and contributing members of the community (Duru-Uremadu, 2017).
Secondary education, defined as the educational stage following primary education but preceding the tertiary stage (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2013), is overseen by the principal of a secondary school. The principal assumes multiple roles that synergize to achieve the stated educational goals and objectives. Nwosu (2007) delineates five primary task areas essential for attaining educational objectives in Nigeria: instructional programs, staff personnel management, students’ personnel management, financial and physical resources management, and school-community relationship management—all under the principal’s supervision. Effective harmonization of these various task areas forms a synergy that drives the realization of educational objectives and goals. Importantly, no single task area holds more significance than the others, emphasizing the need for effective teaching, learning, and administrative effectiveness in secondary schools, which warrants the attention of school-community relations.
School-community relations have assumed a critical role in school management due to the understanding that learning extends beyond the school compound’s boundaries. Interactions with the community significantly impact a child’s learning process. Thus, there exists an imperative for a deliberate and sustainable effort to establish and maintain mutual understanding between the school and the community. School-community relationship underscores the mutual reliance between the school and its host community, with the aim of fostering a positive rapport to achieve educational objectives. While schools are physically located within communities, they often operate as isolated entities, disconnected from the larger community. Nevertheless, these entities inevitably affect each other, whether positively or negatively. Given their shared goals in educating and socializing the youth, schools and communities must collaborate and interact to minimize problems and maximize outcomes (Osita, Afianmagbon, and Ijeom, 2015).
Furthermore, the community-school relationship plays a pivotal role in education funding. Communities contribute significantly to educational projects through endowment funding, project sponsorship, and Parents-Teachers Association involvement (Okoro and Okoro, 2005). This underscores the close coexistence and interdependence of the community and the school. The school is a formal and complex organization established within the community to fulfill specific societal functions. It exists for the community’s benefit and, conversely, operates as a miniature society that relies on a strong relationship with the community to function effectively. This special relationship can be likened to a micro-community existing within a macro-community (Anukam and Anukam, 2006).
In summary, school-community relations denote the level of understanding and goodwill between the school and the community (Oboegbulem, 2004). This relationship reflects the diversity, needs, aspirations, and values of the community, information crucial for effective school management and the attainment of secondary education goals. Schools are social institutions that nurture skills, abilities, and attitudes in children, ultimately enhancing the community’s quality of life. In this context, the community refers to a localized political and social unit whose members share common values, often comprising hamlets, villages, and towns (Amadi, 2013). Schools and communities are inseparable institutions, with communities providing the students that schools educate. School-community relations serve as a conduit for achieving educational goals within a community.
Statement of the problems
The effectiveness of secondary school education relies on comprehensive management involving various stakeholders, such as local communities, well-qualified teachers, adequate financial resources for infrastructure, effective planning of activities, decision-making processes, positive interpersonal relationships, the enforcement of discipline among both teachers and students, as well as the active involvement of parents in providing for children’s material needs and imparting supplementary home training to complement the efforts of school educators. Successful management of secondary schools requires the active collaboration and support of parents, teachers, the Secondary Schools Management Board/Teachers Service Commission, and the Ministry of Education.
However, school principals in the North-West Zone of Nigeria face a multitude of administrative challenges that hinder the smooth operation of their schools. These challenges encompass the scarcity and low quality of teachers, insufficient funding for school maintenance, interference by parents, inadequate educational infrastructure, including shortages of classrooms, furniture, hostel accommodations, staff quarters, libraries, laboratories, and examination halls. Other pressing issues include the absence of information and communication technology (ICT) facilities, such as internet access, satellite cable television, video, and digital communication, a lack of community involvement in activity planning, instances of indiscipline among both teachers and students, and uncooperative attitudes among other school staff. Additionally, the problems extend to poor decision-making processes and strained interpersonal relationships both within and outside the school, often resulting in significant disruptions to the effective operation of secondary schools.
When school administrators are unable to address these multifaceted challenges, the seamless operation of secondary schools becomes increasingly difficult and burdensome, potentially compromising the quality of education provided.
The main objective of this research is to investigate the impact of School-Community Relationships on the management of Secondary Schools in Nigeria. The specific objectives include:
- To explore the effect of School-Community Relationships on the provision of instructional materials in Secondary Schools
- To assess the influence of School-Community Relationships on the provision of infrastructural facilities in Secondary Schools within the North-West Zone, Nigeria.
- To examine how School-Community Relationships affect the planning of activities in Secondary Schools w
- To determine the impact of School-Community Relationships on communication within Secondary Schools
- To ascertain how School-Community Relationships influence decision-making processes in Secondary Schools .
- To evaluate the influence of School-Community Relationships on funding in Secondary Schools
- To assess the impact of School-Community Relationships on the management of interpersonal relationships in Secondary Schools .
- To determine how School-Community Relationships influence the maintenance of discipline in Secondary Schools
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