In Public Schools

from the "outside" looking "in"

Too Much Government

Posted by Admin On April - 9 - 2010




WHapril05Debates abound in different countries as to what extent the government should involve itself in the affairs of public schools. While some feel that the government should be deeply involved, others feel that the government should limit itself to formulating policies, guidelines and developing curriculum and leave the management and running of public schools to the local community through their local elected school board committees.

While investigating to what extent the government should involve itself in public schools, it is prudent to clearly state that governments’ involvement in public schools in developed countries is less compared to developing countries.

Whether in developing or developed countries, one thing remains clear, public schools are funded through a country’s exchequer and it is tax payers’ money that is used in their running and management through budgetary allocations.

Education, being key to any country’s development, is taken seriously by any government. Any government will try as much as it can to get involved in the management and running of public schools knowing very well that it’s survival depends partly on the success of the country’s education system.

Developing countries have well-structured education systems and advanced schools’ infrastructure. Governments in developed countries involve themselves in school’s infrastructure development, provision of learning aids and materials, teacher recruitment and training, school inspection services and appointing a representative to the school board committee. The local community is left with the responsibility of appointing a school management team and recruitment of other necessary support staff through the elected school committee board.

In developing countries, governments are deeply involved in public schools, right from the construction of new public schools and maintaining them, equipping the schools, recruiting and training teachers, conducting national examinations, running and managing the schools through teachers who in most cases do not have managerial skills.

A good example of deep government involvement in public schools can be found in Kenya. The government introduced a policy eight years ago that made primary education free and compulsory. This saw the number of children enrolling in primary schools rise from about 1 million to 3 million in just the first year. This was a very positive move by the government since it also subsidised secondary education and provides bursaries to needy students. However, with little budgetary allocations, the standards of learning have reduced, as the teacher-pupil ratio stands at about 1: 70. It is important to note that Kenya’s efforts in ensuring education for all it’s citizens freely or at subsidized rates is bound to translate in huge gains for the country. Kenya’s efforts have attracted the attention of world organizations such as UN and other Non-organizations have stepped in and are providing funding.

So, to what extent should the government get involved in public schools? From the afore stated, it cannot be generally stated that governments are deeply involved in public schools or not. This depends on a particular country you are reviewing. While a country in a developed part of the world has little government involvement in public schools, a government in a country in the developing part of the world finds itself forced to shoulder all responsibilities in relation to public schools.

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One Response to “Too Much Government”

  1. I like the style of your blog! It looks really cool.

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