About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 6952-6963
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-614-2439-9
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain

DOES COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION IN EDUCATION WORK? PERSPECTIVES FROM TWO RURAL COMMUNITIES IN GHANA

A. Essuman

Profile Consult (GHANA)
The government of Ghana in 1987 embarked on a process to decentralise education management to districts throughout the country as part of wider social and democratic governance reforms. A cardinal part of this reform was the prescription of active community participation in the affairs of schools within their locality. The establishment of School Management Committees (SMCs) was to create a new school governance landscape based on community participation as well as devolution of power to the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies. In this regard, considerable attention has been focused on central government’s understandings of how this devolution of authority to communities and schools should work and how communities should assume responsibility of increased participation in schools.

There seems to be little consideration to the practice of this policy across diverse cultural, socio-economic and historically-situated contexts that prevail in the country. The study explored the different meanings the policy of decentralisation of education management and community participation had for the various stakeholders, by examining the multiple understandings of how community and school relations work, the practices, challenges and the environments that influence such relationships. The study employed qualitative methods of interviews and documentary search to collect data from purposively sampled respondents from the perspectives of the community, the school and education management.

The findings of the study seem to suggest that much of the theoretical and policy expectations on community participation in education are only evident in form but not as intended in practice. Furthermore, in poor rural contexts, often, it is the local elite and relatively more educated members of the community, who become the new brokers of decision-making, and through their actions, close up the spaces for genuine representation and participation by the community members in general.

These findings among others support the view that the fate of schools is increasingly tied to, and powerfully shaped by its relationships with the community and in the case of poor rural schools, schools are expected to play a major role as agents for change in the life of rural communities by demonstrating their willingness to facilitate the process of change and doing more than what they are traditionally expected to do.
@InProceedings{ESSUMAN2010DOE,
author = {Essuman, A.},
title = {DOES COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION IN EDUCATION WORK? PERSPECTIVES FROM TWO RURAL COMMUNITIES IN GHANA},
series = {3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2010 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-614-2439-9},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {15-17 November, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {6952-6963}}
TY - CONF
AU - A. Essuman
TI - DOES COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION IN EDUCATION WORK? PERSPECTIVES FROM TWO RURAL COMMUNITIES IN GHANA
SN - 978-84-614-2439-9/2340-1095
PY - 2010
Y1 - 15-17 November, 2010
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2010 Proceedings
SP - 6952
EP - 6963
ER -
A. Essuman (2010) DOES COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION IN EDUCATION WORK? PERSPECTIVES FROM TWO RURAL COMMUNITIES IN GHANA, ICERI2010 Proceedings, pp. 6952-6963.
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