THE ROLE OF COMMUNITY IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF SCHOOLS
Background to the Study
Many communities in Nigeria have been playing very useful roles in their local schools. The involvement of parents in school matters in most of the communities is usually through the Parent Teacher Association (PTA). With a few exceptions, the traditional role of the PTAs has been the making of financial contributions to schools. These contributions, being discouraged by some state governments in the country for political reasons, are usually used for constructing some needed facilities and procuring some materials and equipment that may be lacking in the schools. In fact, some schools in one state which the writer knows, still depend on the parents for money with which to purchase examination materials each term.
The educational system is a social institution which cannot be separated from its existing community (Olaniyi 2017). Government policies on community involvement in educational system is informed by the creative and innovative attributes of the private sector in the planning, organization, funding, supervision, maintenance and evaluation of development programmes. Also, the involvement of the mission system in the educational systems is informed by the decentralization of educational provision by government as far back as the colonial era. This decentralization which today is classified as deregulation is re-emphasized by the defunct Universal Basic Education of 1998. In all these policies, it is evident that community involvement is theoretically and physically underscored. For instance, in the UBE, the philosophy is that, “education for all is a responsibility of ALL” (UBE 2000). For the responsibility to be for all, the community has to be fully involved in areas such as mobilization of learners, maintenance of infrastructural facilities and supervision. All these are done under the auspices of the Parents Teachers‟ Association (PTA). Thus, in the UBE Bill (2000), it is evident that the community must not only participate in the educational system, but also, ensure compliance with the required standards in terms of educational services provided.
The involvement of the community in the life of their schools has recently gone beyond mere financial contributions by PTAs. Educational development in some parts of the country has witnessed increased involvement of the whole community. A study of the roles of four communities in Ondo States in the development of schools in their areas revealed that each of them established at least one secondary school on its own initiative between 1976 and 1981.
It is not uncommon for these and other communities in the country, through the PTAs, to employ some qualified teachers and pay them to teach children those subjects for which they have no regular teachers. Nowadays some parents with requisite qualifications undertake to teach students, free of charge in their spare times, those subjects for which they have no regular teachers. Some parents and even whole communities have been known to make representations to the Local Inspector of Education, the School Board or Ministry of Education to cancel the transfer of some teachers who they feel are doing good work in their local schools. Some of them have been known to lobby for the posting of some good teachers to their schools. A good number of PTAs have financed the construction of additional classroom blocks in order to decongest some overcrowded classrooms. In these and other ways, local communities show interest in, and contribute to the qualitative development of the educational system.
In Ondo State, which is the focus of this study, the people have become more proactive in educational development through parental involvement in the management of schools. Community involvement in schooling with the aim to improving the teaching and learning environment has become more crucial now than ever. Perceptions of inadequacies in the supervision of schools, both by district level officers and headteachers, and the limitations of disciplinary processes are said to be undermining effective teaching. Communities, therefore, are required to be involved to assist the district level officers and headteachers. It has been argued, “Community involvement in the life of the school could have a dramatic impact on education access, retention, and quality. Bringing the school and community closer together can generate a sense of local ownership and enhance accountability. Teachers and other sector professionals are more likely to do their jobs well when communities take an active interest in what is happening in the classroom. In the process, community participation in education can play a central role in efforts to raise participation rates and improve school retention and learning outcomes.
The idea of community participation in community development generally, is universal and in the case of Nigeria, pre- dates the era of colonialism. Thus, before the advent of colonialism in Nigeria, marry communities had at one time or another come together at family, clan, village or district levels to identity and execute projects of common socio economic interests. It was though community efforts that projects as the construction of village squares, markets, living houses and paths leading to streams and farmlands were undertaken. The current persistent call for community participation in education is not only to spread the burden of educational financing but a full realization of the historical and actual roles the communities have played in the development of education in Nigeria. Implicit in these roles is that our communities actually have the capacity to participate in any education programme including the financing and management of secondary education.
When the impact is determined in terms of the physical and monetary contributions, we note that the provision of secondary education in many Afiican countries (including Nigeria) has been greatly relieved by community support. Indeed, it may be argued that there is hardly any secondary school without one form of community support or another. Igwe (2008) noted in his study of community financing of schools on Eastern Nigeria, that community development through self – effort was almost a way of life in that area. Okafor (2014) had established that nearly 50 percents of all developmental projects (including educational ones) were initiated and supported by communities.
It is clear that the impact of community participation in administration of Education cannot be underemphasized and there is the implicit understanding that any improvement on secondary school facilities would have to depend on community support. In Ondo secondary schools abound and the need for the community participation in the administration becomes necessary. The question that occupies ones mind is how can the community be adequately involved in the administration of secondary schooIs in the area. It is based on this background that the researcher is interested in evolving the role of communities in the development of schools in Owo Local government area of Ondo State.
Administration in Nsukka Education zone.
Statement of the Problem
The purpose of the school is to educate, train, create good citizen and equip the rising generation with skills. Knowledge and desirable social behavior that will be of benefit to the individual himself and the society at large. The success of schooling, therefore, depends to a large measure up on the value that communities attach to education when education is highly valued and actively sought, the mission and goals of the school are shared and supported by the community. Poor academic performance of student has been of great concern to educationists, parents and counselors in particular. Despite community in Ondo are involve schools and the majority parents participate school fees and paid ―the largely funded by school fees‖ to improve the school performance but still recorded the service delivery is poor, reflected in insufficient access to teaching learning materials; teachers are de-motivated, poor teaching methods, lack of enough resources, low enrolment, poor retention and completion by children of primary education and insufficient classroom supplies and prescribed textbooks. Community participation in education is the centre to improve the educational facilities of the secondary schools in Owo Local Government area . So, the effective performance of the school and achievement of education goals, appropriate participation of the community in the management is therefore, crucial. Therefore the researchers intend to investimate the role of community in the development of schools in Owo local government area of Ondo State
Purpose of the Study
The major purpose of this study is to investigate the role of community in the development of schools in Owo local government area of Ondo state.
The specific objective is to;
- Determine the roles of community in the development of schools in Owo Local Government area of Ondo State
- Find out the strategies for involving communities in active administration of schools
- Investigate the factors militating against community participation in the development of schools in Owo local government area of Ondo state
- What are the roles of community in the development of schools in Owo Local Government area of Ondo State
- What are the strategies for involving communities in active administration of schools
- What are the factors militating against community participation in the development of schools in Owo local government area of Ondo state?
Scope and Delimitation of the Study
This study is aimed to investigate the role of community in the development of schools in Owo local government area of Ondo State
. The study specifically covers all primary, and secondary schools, school management board, communities, head masters and principal, parents and village heads, in Owo local government area of Ondo State
Significance of the Study
The study is very significant in the sense that, it outcome will enable the community to know that, it has a role to play in the development of schools in their domain. It will also enable the community to know those areas the government expected them to participate in managing schools.
The outcome of the study will enable the government know the expectations of the community from the schools located in their catchments areas which if fully met will motivate the community into participation in school management. Finally, they study will enable all the stakeholders in primary and secondary school education to know the need for collaborative efforts in the successful development of schools in owo local government area.
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