Academic journal article International Journal of Education

Parents, Teachers and Community Relations in Promoting Learning in the Secondary School System in Nigeria

Academic journal article International Journal of Education

Parents, Teachers and Community Relations in Promoting Learning in the Secondary School System in Nigeria

Article excerpt

Abstract

Schooling, a relatively recent invention which emerged as society became more complex, has become the major agent of education worldwide. Being that schools do not exist in a vacuum, they alone cannot successfully perform this function. Because schools emanate from communities, the latter must exercise ownership by being both the determiners and determinants of education. This paper therefore presents how a relationship can be formed among the principal stakeholders - parents, teachers and community to foster quality in education, a situation in which the student is the immediate beneficiary and the society the ultimate beneficiary. If teacher/school treats parent/community as powerless or unimportant, the latter will be discouraged from taking interest in school thus promoting the development of attitudes which inhibit achievement among students. Conversely schools that synergistically work with these stakeholders do better in all areas.

Keywords: parents; teachers; community; secondary school; learning

1. Introduction

Education has always existed in human societies regardless of the stage of evolution of a society but schooling is a relatively recent invention which emerged as society became more complex and division of labour set in (Ezekiel-Hart 2011). In most modern societies the school has become the major agent of education. Ideally, since schools emanate from society the ownership resides in the community. Whenever this ownership is absent schools and the education they deliver become dysfunctional.

In reviewing several research studies which examined evidences regarding the effect of parent/community involvement on student academic achievement and performance in schools, Henderson (2002) and Epstein(2001) concluded that schools that work well with families show improved morale, produce higher ratings of teachers by parents and have better reputation in the community. Yet in Nigeria, participation is very minimal, particularly at the secondary school level. Therefore, the focus of this paper will be on how to achieve this quadruple relationship which promotes quality learning in schools.

1.1 Elucidating Key Concepts

The key concepts here are teachers, parents, community, secondary school.

1.1.1 Teacher

Who is a teacher?

A teacher is not just a person who stands in front of learners in a class, neither is he the one who merely instructs, nor one who is knowledgeable in certain areas. Rather, he is one who has the ability to command societal respect as a role model to all. He is key in bringing about desirable learning outcomes. The Federal Government of Nigeria (2004) in her national policy on education emphases this truism that teachers' quality and quantity are critical to meaningful attainment of goals and objectives But it is often erroneously assumed that anyone with a university qualification from a Faculty of Education or a qualification from a College of Education is a teacher. But a qualified teacher is not necessarily a competent teacher and the latter may not necessarily be an efficient teacher; just as the efficient one may not be an effective teacher. To be more specific;

A qualified teacher has the minimum acceptable qualification for teaching. A competent teacher has mastered all the principles of teaching as taught. An efficient teacher can apply the principles as learnt. An effective teacher applies the principles so creatively that students' learning is maximized. Quality teachers therefore are qualified, competent, efficient and above all effective.

These four classes of teachers operate at five corresponding levels of teaching.

*The qualified teacher: Level 1 (Dictatorial) The all knowing teacher who "stuffs the empty heads" of students with knowledge.

*The competent teacher: Level 2 (Didactic) He has learnt the formal pedagogical rules and follows them keenly.

.The efficient teacher: Levels 3 and 4- (Demonstrative, interactive) this teacher allows limited student input, can also encourage student participation, but still thinks within the box. …

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