An analysis of parental involvement in primary and secondary schools and their role in supplementary schools
This study analyses the roles, responsibilities and functions of parents in the education of their children. Parents are found to be involved in classroom-based as well as non-classroom based school activities. A sample of 5 headteachers, 35 teachers, 45 parents and 12 parent governors was selected in exploring parental involvement in schools. Parental involvement was also examined in four supplementary schools. The views expressed by parents, teachers, headteachers, parent governors and the organisers of the supplementary schools were analysed. Parental involvement was found to have been in practice for over two decades or so, recent development such as the 1986 Education Act and the 1988 Education Reform Act have brought in parents to be more responsible and more aware of their roles in the education of their children than before. Parental involvement has been examined as a model, having a set of four activities - accountability, partnership, supportive and advisory. Having looked at these activities closely, it is argued that accountability and partnership tend to play a more dominant role than supportive and advisory activities. This is because accountability and partnership permeate most activities of parental involvement. The views expressed by parents, teachers, headteachers and parent governors as well as the organisers of the supplementary schools, supported this view. A theory of conflict and integration was examined, which also showed that if there is objective accountability and partnership, and both parents and teachers see each other in this partnership with respect, then accountability will bring about mutual relationship, hence, making conflict gives way to integration of ideas, experiences objectives and methods. However, parental involvement practices have been found to be of benefit to the child, parents, teachers and the community in immeasurable terms. A prominent area that has shown such immeasurable benefit has been in reading which were done either in the school or at home by parents, organised and supervised by teachers. In this particular area, there has been much more research than in any other area of activity of parental involvement. The aspect of governing bodies has recently tended to deflect the attention of professionals, school administrators and educationists from other areas of parental involvement processes. It is however, enlightening parents on their roles and responsibilities for their children's education.