Factors affecting school-community relations in primary schools in Eritrea: a case study of Keren district
Teklemariam, Amanuel Abraha
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The main purpose of this study was to investigate the schools in Keren District (Eritrea). More specifically, the study aimed at fulfilling the following objectives: i. To investigate how colonial rule (Italian, British and Ethiopian) influenced the present school community relations. ii. To investigate activities carried out by school personnel and community members. iii. To investigate the channels of communication used between the schools and community members. iv. To examine both community members' and school personnel's attitudes towards one another. v. To identify the opportunities provided by school personnel to involve community members in school affairs. The study was conducted in six primary schools and among their community members. The study sample included six head teachers, 102 teachers, 24 school committee members, 30 parents and 152 pupils randomly selected from grades four and five. All these gave a total of three hundred and fourteen subjects. The instruments for data collection were interviews and questionnaires. The interviews were conducted for all the head teachers, members of school committees and parents. The questionnaires were administered to all the teachers and pupils. Responses obtained from the five sources were analysed by the researcher using frequency, percentages and tabulation. The study findings showed that the main factors affecting school community relations in the district were: the community members' low educational standard, the nature of the schools and their locality, limited opportunities provided by the school personnel to involve the community members in school affairs, policies and decisions made by educational authorities, the society's low economic standard, and the personal interest or responsibility in educational activities. Finally, on the basis of the findings, up-lifting the community members' formal educational standard and creating awareness about school community relations, introducing PTA's and the school personnel to look for possible ways on how to involve community members in school affairs were recommended. Suggestions for further research were also made.