Education: Whose responsibilities is it?
By Ter Manyang Gatwech,
August 18, 2014 (Nyamilepedia) — There is several definitions of education. This shows that each society makes arrangements to see that its citizens learn the desirable social behavior, necessary basic knowledge and skills for use their daily lives so that they can be productive and useful to themselves and to the society. According to the former president, of South Africa, Nelson Mandela; ‘’education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that a son of a mine worker can become the head of the mine that a child farm worker can become the president of great nation. It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another’’
Two common definition of education are:
Education is a process by which one generation purposefully transmits culture to the young, young and the old for the benefits of the whole society. Education is a conscious process designed to change or bring about behavior patterns of individuals in each society towards desirable or worthwhile ends as perceived by the society or leadership of that society. Education therefore is useful weapon, an instrument to bring about corrective and necessary measures in society. According to United Nations Educational Scientific Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1979 education is part both dependent and dynamic of the social system. In Africa and in Uganda particularly, before the introduction of school or Western education, young and old people received informal or traditional education within tribal organizations. This was to enable each member of that society to be helpful to himself or herself, his or her family, to the rest of the members of the society and to the state.
The education of children in traditional Africa was the responsibility of all adult members. During infancy, the education of the child was mainly in the hands of the mothers. The elders’ siblings rendered a hand in the education of their siblings at a later stage. Parents taught children their different roles during puberty. While the aunts and uncles gave boys and girls sex education the grandparents too had their role to play in the formation of children.
The adults inculcated all the values, norms and taboos of society in the young. The young were taught through proverbs stories, riddles poems songs myths and the like. Rewards were also used in educating the young. The ‘polite’ ones were praised and permitted to sit and eat with elders. While others were punished for misbehavior and advised. However, rapid changes today have affected not only individuals but also institutions like families. Community education of children seems no more. Every family educates and disciplines its own children. Punishing some one’s child today is often considered a crime. It plays a key role in achieving moral intellectuals, ideological cultural and social development of the people in society as well as the national goals of unity, democracy, economic progress and security for all its citizens.
According to J.C.S Musaazi (1982) observes that relationship between the school and the community was important to the all round growth and the development of both students and adults. The community’s participation in school affairs makes the link between schools and community more meaning full. Hence, the school and community shall regard each other as partners. Learners/students ought to take personal responsibility for their learning and participating in community works, thus acting to encourage parents to become involved in school activities. Parents/ guardians ought to monitor their children’s’ regular attendance at school, taking an interest in children‘s progress; supporting them in completing home work and activities, supporting and contributing towards school improvement.
The community comprising of chiefs, local dignitaries, young organizations, welfare groups, towns or villages development committees, old students associations and local people may influence a school in various ways. They can offer moral/ financial and material support, provide labor for building, teach children crafts, recruit children for schools, promote daily attendance of students as well as accommodate teachers either in the school compound or in the neighborhood among others. The teacher is the most important and probably the most that a teacher expensive resource in a school. It is important that a teacher knows the kind of school he /she is working also know its governors. The primary role of a teacher is to create a conducive atmosphere for learning, a teacher should be able to assess the level of his/ her students and plan his/ her work according to his/ her finding.
In conclusion, there is need for cooperation, empowerment and shared responsibility if it important to use inclusive and collaborative processes in education.
By Ter Manyang Gatwech, chairman of Ayod Students’ Association in Uganda ( Gawaar Community)
He can reach through email address; firstname.lastname@example.org