COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION IN QUALITY ASSURANCE IN PUBLIC SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN DELTA STATE, NIGERIA
This study investigated ways of involving the community in quality assurance in public secondary schools in Delta State, Nigeria. The design adopted for the study was descriptive survey. Five research questions and five null hypotheses guided the study. The population of the study comprised 452 public secondary schools. A sample of 212 schools was taken using Taro Yamen’s formula. Multistage sampling technique was employed. Through stratified proportionate random sampling technique 8 local government areas were selected from each senatorial zone and through disproportionate stratified random sampling technique 212 schools were selected. Using a purposive sampling technique, 2 respondents were selected from each school made up of the principal and a community leader, given 424respondents. Questionnaire which was structured on a 4 point rating scale titled community participation in quality assurance in public secondary schools in Delta State research question(CPQRQ) and Focus Group Discussion (FGD) guide were the instruments for data collection. The instruments were face validated by five experts. Three in educational administration and planning, and two in measurement and evaluation from University of Nigeria, Nsukka. The overall reliability coefficient index of the questionnaire determined using Cronbach Alpha was 0.95. The reliability co-efficient obtained for clusters A, B, C, D, and E were 0.55, 0.64, 0.91, 0.94 and 0.89 respectively. The data collected were analyzed using mean and standard deviation for research questions while t-test was used to test the hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance. Content analysis was employed to analyze the focus group discussion (FGD). It was found that involving the community in planning, particularly in setting the goals to be achieved in school, having community education board in every school to particicipate in the management of schools bring about quality assurance in public schools. The study further revealed that community should participate in implementation of every planned programme, such as execution of every construction project, taking inventory of school properties, and ensuring that set goals are implemented according to plan bring quality assurance. Furthermore, it was revealed that involving the community in monitoring students and teachers attendance to school, students absenteeism and loitering during classes and principal’s expenditure of funds brings quality assurance and higher commitment of teachers and students to school . It also showed that involving the community in supervision of students daily work, teachers records and checking of the organization of the school help to attain the set goals for teaching and learning, curb indiscipline, embezzlement of funds, promotion of hard working staff and in making right recommendation to government. The findings also revealed that community should be involved in whole school evaluation to influence the performance of teachers and students, by awarding scholarship and prizes to distinguished teachers and students, ensure the availability and adequacy of facilities in schools and provision of staff in areas of need. The study showed that the required quality of education can only be attained by involving the community in the management of schools. It was found that community favored community participation in quality assurance more than principals of secondary schools. By providing educational facilities, awarding scholarship to students and rewarding teachers, will impart positively on the performance of teachers and students in the teaching and learning process. Based on these findings and implications, it was recommended that community should be involved in planning and implementation of school programmes. Community based management committee should be formed in every public school, and Symposium, seminar, and workshop should be organized for community leaders and teachers, on ways of involving community in monitoring, supervision and evaluation of school programmes for quality assurance. Government should put appropriate policy in place to support community participation in school management and community should be interested in their public schools by providing fund and necessary facilities for quality assurance.