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INFLUENCE OF PARENTS PARTICIPATION IN SECONDARY SCHOOL MANAGEMENT ON STUDENTS ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN BUYAGA COUNTY KIBAALE DISTRICT
Background of the study
Provision of education is a responsibility of the government worldwide. In Uganda, the Government through the Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES), provides administration and management for the betterment of the national education system. Key policy decisions regarding education and other educational services have always been made by the state at least since the attainment of independence. However, schools whether government aided or private, have stakeholders who undertake various activities. School management therefore is done through the coalition of stakeholders, performing different complementary functions in order to attain school objectives and goals. The quality of management services, determines the survival and progress of organizations such as schools.
Although the planning and management of education has largely been a role of the state, Adongo (2006) reports that, in the mid 1970s, leading economists in universities in Europe and donor agencies began to criticize governments’ direct involvement in service delivery. The governments were criticized for mismanagement, inefficiency, corruption, lack of planning and related problems. Consequently, in the 1980s there was a shift to community involvement in service delivery. In Uganda, primary education has been decentralized to ensure community participation and provision of quality education. At secondary level, whether government aided or private, schools rely heavily on parents’ financial and managerial contribution. Unless all stakeholders are involved, school achievements including students’ performance may not be realized.
The role of parents in school management today is rooted in the Education Policy Review Commission (EPRC 1989) report.Their responsibility revolves around financial mobilization, discipline and monitoring the performance of the school. Parents are said to be partners, clients, consumers and educational assistants in as far as management of schools is concerned (Thomson, 2001). However, in Sub -Sahara Africa, due to extreme poverty and financial constraints, there have been challenges in the provision of education. Many countries reported difficulties in recruiting and retaining qualified teachers, especially for teaching Mathematics and Sciences, (Bregman and Armstrong, 2003). Due to poverty in the developing world and more so in rural areas, parents may not afford providing school materials or paying tuition fees which fund is used to pay teachers, buy scholastic materials and laboratory equipment, or provide for the welfare of teachers and students in order to contribute towards the achievement of academic success.
Docking (1980) as quoted by Babirye (2006) argues that discipline as a managerial function is important in the process by which children develop and are enabled to perform in society. Although he appreciates the significance of
discipline to children’s performance, he does not point out parents’ roles in ensuring children’s discipline yet they are a party in child development and school management. In most rural schools, parents tend to keep aloof and lack knowledge on education affairs as they watch the discipline and academic standards declining. Yet the importance of parental participation in school management should ultimately be vested in the improvement of academic standards of their children. Unless the roles of parents in disciplinary issues and other managerial areas is strengthened, there may be continued questions regarding satisfactory performance. Therefore, the study intended to point out parents’ roles and to show how they should carry out their responsibility in ensuring children’s discipline which is a prerequisite for better performance of children.
In a study carried out by Feyfant and Rey (2006) in Scottish schools, it was concluded that for more than 10 years now, parents’ role in school was the main factor responsible for ‘school market’ in this sense meaning the popularity of the school. From Uganda’s experience, the popularity of schools is so much linked to how many first grades (academic performance) a school may achieve in given consecutive years. This prompted the researcher to find out the extent to which failure or success in academics may be attributed to parents’ participation in school management.
This was especially so if it is taken into account that the schools that achieve the best of these results are known to have the parents of their students actively involved in the activities of the schools. specifically, these schools have powerful school management committees/ boards of governors as well as vibrant Parents and Teachers Associations, through which the partner with the schools and demand accountability from the school managers from time to time. It is against this background that the researcher had the belief that parental participation in school management could be influencing students’ academic performance Implementation of policies at school level is done with the participation of all concerned stakeholders, parents being a party. A case in point is the policy making the study of science subjects compulsory at the ordinary level of education. Sciences have become key determinants of how many first grades a school may get since they are a priority in the best eight subjects considered. Implementation of such a policy requires the participation of all stakeholders. For instance, during Board of Governors (BOG) and Parents-Teachers Associations (PTAs) meetings, parents need to recommend allocation of a suitable amount of money to equip school libraries and laboratories. Parents and school administrators also need to provide a good reading environment both at school and at home. In rural areas where schools are still unable to provide all academic requirements, parents may have to supplement school supplies and libraries with reading materials like textbooks for their children’s home library. Such complementary roles may improve students’ academic performance. However, Griffith (2001) reports that socio-economically disadvantaged parents usually lack skills, abilities and interest to help in the school and in their children’s education. The researcher hoped to discuss, analyze and recommend how parents, irrespective of their socio-economic status may contribute to the improvement of their children’s academic performance in Buyaga schools