Full Project – INFLUENCE OF THE SCHOOL COMMUNITY RELATION – PROSPECTS AND CHALLENGES ON THE PRINCIPALS IN SHOMOLU LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
Background to the Study
The school and the community are like two sides of a coin, they are interrelated and inseparable. Balogun, Okon, Mussazi and Thakur (1981), opined that, looking at the inseparable bound that exists between the school and the community, the school can be viewed from the angles as a “model of the community” or as a “community school”. Looking at the school from these two angles, they argue that it is important for the school to be in close relationship with its community because of the supports which the school gets from the community in terms of resources. In spite of this symbiotic association between the school and the community, the relationship between them have not been cordial enough in Contemporary Nigerian society.
School as an open system and a social organization thrives on the effective interrelationship within it and with its relevant communities. What happens in a school affects the community, and what happens in the community affects school (Nwankwo, Nwokafor, Ogunsanwo & Ighalo, 1985). This means that community builds its schools and the schools build their communities (Sidhu, 2007). Therefore, school community interdependence is unbreakable.
Secondary school principals have the opportunity to interact with the community in many ways that may help to develop positive school community relations (Agbo, 2007). Wilson and Stanberry in Di Benedetto and Wilson (2006) suggest that principals might: Interpret school programmes for the community; Determine community expectations of the school; Communicate with parents through the media and in group conferences; Arrange for parents to visit the school; Work with parent associations and related groups; Interact with school critics; and Plan and coordinate the visits of school people to homes of students; Appraise school community relations; and; Work with industry and community image group.
The school cannot exist in isolation but in cooperation with the community or society in which it finds itself. The success or failure of the principals of schools depends to a large extent, on the general educational environment of the communities and their value system (Ihebereme, 2008). Due to this fact, the Federal Government of Nigeria (2004) in the National Policy on Education states that the school system and consequently their management and day to day administration shall grow out of the life and social ethos of the community which they serve.
According to Di Benedetto and Wilson (1982) the principal of a school is most directly responsible for maintaining the relationship between the school and the community. Poor or mismanaged community relationship can even conceal the institution’s license to do business (Murphy & Tacy, 2002). Some of the social environments of the community in which some administrators find themselves do not pave way for effective leadership (Ihebereme, 2008).
A principal might face some of the following dilemmas while managing school community relations: School boards and administrators who are fearful of losing control; the need to be all things to all people; disagreement about the meaning of community involvement; and reluctance of some teaching staff to cooperate in community involvement (Husen, 1982).
There are many principals, according to Lareau in Okubanjo (2007), who are ignorant of the benefits of parents’ involvement with the school, that any attempt to invite them to school activities would be dismissed with a wave of the hand. Many of them have notion that every invitation to school activities involves raising fund or intimidating them on a particular fee to be paid by their children.
Murphy and Tacy (2002) provided a checklist for a strategic approach to school community relationship. These are as follows: Identify the community–relations goals; Research concrete, specific ways in which the communities need school help, support, involvement or presence; Identify the areas where the school need community help; Learn how the channels of communication really work in your community; Develop a prioritized plan of action based on research; Get to know community expectation, concerns and sensibilities – including local regulations and local regulatory bodies. Ensure that each time the strategic plans are revisited and also the community relation strategies are reviewed.
Statement of the Problem
There are numerous challenges before the general education and before the agencies of school administration. According to Sidhu (2007) these challenges are: lack of credibility, poor facilities, political unrest, lack of cooperation, non performance, lack of devotion; out-dated expertise, wastage, and poor planning on school administration system.
The present condition of Secondary Schools indicates that so much need to be done if proper learning is to take place. Some of these schools have few structures that can be considered as idle for effective learning. No required facilities and equipment & infrastructure and so on. These resources could not be easily provided by the government for its own reason. While, the parents are expecting so much to be done by the government, government seems satisfied of what it is doing towards education. This may create a dilemma for school administrations. And the principals’ main answer lies in the school relationship with the community to ensure that the needs of the school in terms of finance, facilities, human resources, equipments, buildings, infrastructure, and so on are met and that the provided ones are well maintained and properly utilized.
This study is designed to achieve the following objectives:
- To examine the perceived attitude of principals in school community relationship.
- To find out if principal involvement in school community relationship will improve quality of education in Nigeria.
- To identify the challenges affecting school community relationship in Secondary schools.
- To identify strategies to be used in promoting school community relationship in Senior Secondary Schools.
The following questions are set as a guide for this research:
- What are the perceived attitudes of principals in school community relationship?
- Does principal involvement in school community relationship improve quality of education in Nigeria?
- What are the challenges affecting school community relationship in Secondary schools?
- What are the strategies used in managing school community relationship in Senior Secondary Schools?
In carrying out this research work the following theoretical statements are buttressed to serve as a direction on which the work will be premised:
H1: There is no significant relationship between principal involvement in school community relationship and quality education.
H2: Principal involvement in school community relationship does not improve quality of education in Nigeria.
H3: There is no significant relationship between poor planning on school administration system and improvement of school community relationship.
H4: Effective of channels of communication does not enhance school community relationship in Senior Secondary Schools
Scope of the study
The study investigated the influence of the school community relation: prospects and challenges on the principals in Shomolu local government area. The study will be limited to five selected schools in Shomolu, Lagos.
Significance of the study
- Provide an in-depth analysis of principals’ usefulness in secondary school community relationship.
- Offer to stakeholders (including education planners and managers at all levels, parents and students) information on the current level of involvement of principals in school community relation and what enhances or hinders effective school relationship.
- Motivate other scholars and researchers to carry out research in other areas in order to establish acceptable ways of principal participation in secondary school management.
Definition of Terms
Education: Education in its general sense is a form of learning in which knowledge, skills, and habits of a group of people are transferred from one generation to the next through teaching, training or through research.
Parents: A parent is a caretaker of the offspring in their own species. In humans, a parent is of a child (where “child” refers to offspring, not necessarily age).
Student Performance: This shows the result of students’ assessment, test and examination.
Influence: Influence is the action or process of producing effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of another or others.
Teacher: A teacher or schoolteacher is a person who provides education for pupils (children) and students (adults).
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