The Role of the School Council of Mozambique in the performance of Primary Schools

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CONTEÚDO

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

MEIA, Aleque Joaquim [1], BECHANE, José [2]

MEIA, Aleque Joaquim. BECHANE, José. The Role of the School Council of Mozambique in the performance of Primary Schools. Revista Científica Multidisciplinar Núcleo do Conhecimento. Year 05, Ed. 10, Vol. 12, pp. 168-181. October 2020. ISSN: 2448-0959, Access link: https://www.nucleodoconhecimento.com.br/education/school-council

SUMMARY

This article seeks to bring together an approach about the theoretical and practical foundations of performance, its impact, implication in school and society. It brings a reflection on the role of the School Board in primary education in Mozambique, using as a case study the Complete Primary School of Canongola, in the district of Tete and Province of the same name. This work, throughout its approach, will be based on the methodological procedures of qualitative research and subsidized by statistical treatment in the analysis of data in relation to questionnaires and interviews. The interviews were applied to the components of the school board’s body, such as the school’s principal; Deputy pedagogical directors; head of the Secretariat; eight teachers; four students; a chairman of the board; a school board secretary and four class parents. They completed and answered the forms corresponding to the members or representative of each body. The study reveals that there is a huge challenge in the management procedure in the plans of primary schools for reasons of various orders. The meeting of the Council of the Primary School Matthew Samson Muthemba, whose agenda was the election of the president and secretary of the School Board. The study identified the violation of some rules that govern the manual of the constitution of the School Board, because in addition to the principal, who is the only member exempt from the election, there are other nominees and not elected on the school board. The study also showed us that, despite the participation of community members in school board meetings, in practice, they have little role in the course of meetings, which still shows strong influence of the teachers’ segment, that is, the manager of the institution in the type of decisions taken by the School Board.

Keywords: Education, School, School Board.

INTRODUCTION

This article, has as a result of reflections of the work that has been developed by the school councils of our country, Mozambique exists the involvement of the country and guardians, where they are represented by the body called Council in schools, and this practice has been verified since the post-independence period when the first experiences of parents and / or guardians, begin to be felt through the committees of parents and Liaison Community School designated by LEC. This Law No. 6/92 of 6 May reinforces in some way the involvement, which guides the effective participation of other competent entities, including communities in their performance in educational processes and encouraging a greater connection between the community and educational institutions.

School boards in our establishments, especially at primary education level, as well as the other levels, it is clear that there is a very relevant need for the availability of the school in local communities through the support of the legislation that is regulated by the Ministerial Diploma through paragraph 54/2003, dated 28 May, by the same force of the law in the context of administrative decentralization of the national territory, which aims to create greater dynamism in all the process of planning and taking any decisions through a joint participatory with this prominent body.

The study presented in this article is the consequence of a day-to-day investigation and observation in the process of evaluating the participation of parents and guardians around many schools, such as the need to take a look at the perspective of bringing and inspiring a capacity in the management of new approaches consistently according to the real situation and through each reality that happens in each primary school and in particular in the Complete Primary School of Canongola , where the school board does not disclose its competences in relation to the direction of the school. The intention was to really understand how the actors targeted in the process, primary school school board engage or commit as to their participation in the decision-making process in the approval of action plans.

METHODOLOGY

According to Marconi and Lakatos (2007), he has the understanding that allows us to realize that, method is the set of various systematic and rational activities that, with greater security and or mastery, with a view or that leads us to achieve the objectives, relevant knowledge tracing the environment to be followed, detecting errors and assisting the scientist’s decisions. These approaches or methods help to establish criteria in the classification of work of any research nature. And in this case in reference, this reflection is part of exploratory research that aims to provide great assimilation with the problem in order to make it clearer in the bearing of various hypotheses for any object of study.

In this sense, it led us to want to verify whether there is a need to apply the functionality of exploratory research in the perspective that allows us to bring greater involvement of bibliographic survey; interviews of people of experience and practices, and analysis that stimulates understanding (SELLTIZ et al, 1967), in order to provide society with evidence of the fund and greater clarity of the main reason that calls into question the body of the school board in the performance in primary schools, in the concrete case in the Canongola Complete Primary School. In such a way that Lakatos bases the process on the methods to be paths that allows me to reach a certain point, and this phenomenon leads me to go through different forms, in order to achieve some basic truth in the object of study of this article.

I have the understanding that, to this end, several methods could be used that would allow to achieve the results, but that the need for quantitative conjugation for measurable and immeasurable data would be urgently needed. However, because the research is predominantly qualitative, the data were analyzed in interpretive form through categorization into patterns, which produced descriptive narrative synthesis.

According to the objective that moved us to write or work this article, is that the research tends to analyze actions of the School Board that can be developed to improve performance in primary schools, making as a model for various educational institutions, which can follow as a reference model.

At the level of the three unloved groups in the field of study, we observed that in reality the School Board after the analysis, it was seen that one of the biggest obstacles has to do with the type of members who become representative of their community do not gather the capacity to manage their actions, both as a consequence, there has been no concrete plan to fulfill their mandate.

During the fieldwork, we had a few occasions to attend scheduled school board meetings, we found that there was a lack of the appropriate forum for the body to meet and deliberate on relevant issues.

During the study we identified that in most interviewees converged their suggestions regarding the rules governing the constitution of the School Board, because in addition to the director who is the only member exempt from the election, there are other nominees and unelected. Another aspect is related to the representativeness in the constitution of the School Board, because the president of the body has been most often the influential member of the board. In these aspects, Werle (2003), as mentioned in Luiz and Conti (s/d), states that the School Board should be elected by secret vote and constituted by all segments of the school community.

In this study we also observed that, despite the participation of community members in school board meetings, in practice, they have little contribution in opinions motivated by the lack of dominance of the body they bear in the course of meetings, which still shows strong influence of the school management segment in the type of decisions made. He also revealed that the school operates according to a vertical structure, with the principal at the top and the others in the lower echelons, moreover, this is the formal structure in force in public schools, as set out in the National Education Policy (PNE).

In the participation of this body, School Council, the legislation of our Country, Mozambican, is associated with full functioning, focusing on improving the performance of educational institutions, to the extent that parents can regularly monitor the performance of their children (MEC, 2005). In the specific case despite working in urban environments, the School Council has aspects such as several others that may reveal some aspects to its failure, such as: absence of the president of the School Board on some relevant occasions, as a consequence, the consolidation of the role is concerned; less involvement of parents and guardians on the School Board; the requirement of remuneration of the members of the School Board and the lack of training actions of the members of the School Board, which can contribute to their poor performance in the functioning of the school board (MEDEIROS and OLIVEIRA, 2008).

From this article, we have to propose in general some suggestions of qualifications and that can help the key functioning that allows the school board body that is well consolidated of the competencies in the performance of its functions, which will serve as a model for various body of the School Council in our teaching in Mozambique, so it guides itself in the following aspects :

  • Adequacy of minimum requirements for candidates to be eligible to the body;
  • Creation of forms of monitoring and advice of the School Board, as a way to ensure effective functioning;
  • Creation of fundraising of the school board’s operating fund to ensure necessary or good conditions in the participation of parents and guardians;
  • Generation of action plans and request for accountability in their respective segments;
  • Establishment of the obligation to train the members of the School Board in order to qualify them to discuss the real problems of the school;

LITERATURE REVIEW

EDUCATION

Ferreira (2009), led us to believe that education is a process that allows the development of physical, intellectual and moral capacities of children and human beings in general, aiming at their better individual and social integration. In this sense, education being a process of formation of man, occurs during social coexistence, teaching and learning, not only at school, but above all, in life, give that, the foundation that the role of education as a process and considers the school as an important way for the realization or execution of a human education that considers discipline in action , where the individual learns to the extent that he makes the choices that change him to himself and others.

And for Oliveira (2000) offers the possibility that the educational process that man should be considered on the physical and intellectual level aware of the possibilities and limitations, able to understand and reflect on the reality of the world that surrounds him. In the other sense, Kant wants to distinguish man from the animal is because man has this ability to graduate and educate himself to serve his community through intellectual capacity, whose ability that man has to transform contributed greatly to his own society

From the concept learned about education, it can be insgiven that educational purposes relate to the roles that individuals play within society. In this context, education and its practice are dependent on historical time and political, social, economic and cultural factors. Similarly, it is pointing in the same direction, (REBOUL, 1971) considers education a conscious action that leads us to allow ourselves to be a human being derived from the capacity to develop our physical and intellectual skills as well as social, aesthetic and moral feelings, with the aim of fulfilling as much as possible his mission as a man. In accordance with the result of education, several actions arise.

SCHOOL

In Guedes’s (2009) perception, he defines the term school, as a place of idleness, a space in which free men gathered to think and reflect on their lives. And we have to say that Aristotle provided for the outdoor school, where the master and disciples could ramble on the most varied topics without pretense of the practical and the haste. In this sense, the art of reason and knowledge predicted something pleasurable, that is, Sapororis (taste and reason).

In this theoretical foundation to know that it should be phenomenal that inspires men in their day-to-day in the teaching-learning process. And currently the place conceived as school space, it checks if a difference of the same space, which is advanced conditions. To make communication between institutions easy, it has been through the learning systems itself, where societies attend in such schools, as well as in the modern world, currently the school refers to the public or private establishment where collective education is systematically taught (FERREIRA, 2009).

Freire (2003), as mentioned in Dalbério (2008) parents should not go to school to receive reprimands, warnings, complaints or work, but to participate with their knowledge and experiences, in order to bring good income in their own student life in these institutions, which is why they are called to accompany their children in any situation that may exist so that they can exist in a way that , they share decisions on the orientation of education in the learning process.

Although we saw some concepts about the school, Gramsci (2000) cited in Taborda, Petrenko and Monteiro (2009) consider that the school is not only the place, but an instrument used to train intellectuals of various levels. By intellectuals Gramsci refers to all persons who perform organizational functions on different fronts, namely: in production, culture or public administration. In this perspective, canongola Complete Primary School can be an instrument for the formation of staff to better serve your community.

However, we also consider Gramsci’s relevant appreciation in recognizing that the school can only offer the starting point for the development of a new conception of the world, aiming at the formation of a new intellectual. This intellectual is related to the organizer who, in addition to elaborating and giving organicity the ways of thinking and understanding the world, would be responsible for its dissemination in all aspects of his own society, so that the need to have a partnership bond in the school in relation to the school board arises.

In the perspective of Gramsci (2000) as mentioned in Taborda; Petrenko and Monteiro (2009), admits that the school can act both for the maintenance of the existing order and for the transformation of man by the learning process in our education systems, depending on the correlation between the community and the educational institution, which supports the maintenance that the school can do is in relation to the transparency of management of institutions that culminates in the best performance of the school board in its participation in representativeness of the community. It is a school because it is justified by a fair correspondence with all spheres of society, as well as the school board’s body at the level of primary schools in Mozambique.

In all the processes aimed at functioning, it has sometimes been characterized by interferences that tends to lead to failure in decision-making at various levels of school directions, has not characterized good leadership, as can be seen in some primary schools in Mozambique. So many of these concepts from different authors is to bring more evidence in the approaches of diverse ways of how leaders can interconnect with the school board, in particular at Canongola Complete Primary School.

SCHOOL BOARD

To understand a little of what is being treated about the school board we use the authors Ferreira and Aguiar (2004), to bring the meaning, which refers to both listening to someone and submitting something to a deliberation of someone, after a reflected, prudent and common sense consideration, is the virtue that is conceptualized by the authors that is mainly occurring in the regulated model in the organs.

In the great Encyclopedic Dictionary Verbo (1997), it also defines the term Council as an organism that can have different functions, such as consultative, technical and executive functions where it is established, and that it is fundamentally this principle that brings functionality in our primary schools.

According to (REGEB, 2008), the School Council is the highest body of the educational establishment, and which has as its functions of regulating the fundamental principles of educational institutions and their established goals at various levels, such as, central, guidelines that are established at the top and place where they cover at the level of the base, which to any reality of the school this body is established with the purpose of ensuring the good performance of the same in democratic management , solidarity and co-responsible.

The relevance of this article is in line with the Cruz principle (s/d), stating that the term “council” although it is widely used to designate different forms of organization or other meeting of various political nature, both in the education sector as well as in other media has come to be considered more recently as a mechanism for managing the system in order to ensure good performance in primary schools, because the school is popularly controlling public policies. This is why, some researchers claim that the term council arises in the education sector, as a way to institutionalize the participation of the community represented by the school board in the processes of good school performance from a democratic perspective.

The council can be an organ where reason approaches common sense. For this study, council means a meeting or assembly, where people meet to deliberate on issues of various areas, such as: pedagogical, financial and administrative. With this position that a school board is legitimized, it will be up to the guardianship body to develop an action plan that aims to carry out its tasks without under the influence of the school’s management.

According to Cury (2004), he considers that the council is a constituent of a place where the members of the council meet to deliberate decisions for the proper functioning of that school where it is inserted. Therefore, the whole decision must be preceded by an analysis and discussion of the participants. In order to be aware that there is an urgent need for the members of the school board to be constituted in the body, who are individuals or people who meet efficient requirements to be able to meet the requirements or competencies in the performance of the functions.

DISCUSSION

In our context, in each direction of the school in the Parents the influence on decision-making is recurrent and guides the discussions, culminating in apparent figurative, the school board has not had the proactive power, whether in the meetings of the school board, or in the general assemblies of the school and consequently does not have an impact on the process of effective performance. The data obtained show that the school board has no effective power in schools in Mozambique. Thus, the aim of this study is to analyze actions of the school board that can be developed to improve their performance in primary schools, specifically in the School Board, through involvement in the local community, where they make decisions and solve the problems that affect school life.

In this perspective, Luck (2006) states that the School Board should promote to the members of the school board in the effective participation of the community in the processes of administration and management of the school, thus aiming to ensure the quality of school work in administrative, financial and pedagogical terms.

However, the role that the school board plays in educational institutions, being an innovative structure, which implies profound changes in the behavior of school managers, its implementation has known some constraints (FONSECA 1998: p89). Such constraints are related to resistance to change, forms of passive participation and criticism of its constitutional model.

From the author’s perspective, in some schools, school board bodies are created, however, they do not play their role effectively, when many of the members meet to only approve the deliberations or projects presented by the school board, which is contrary to the principle of participatory and transparent management.

In this context, it is clear to realise that this body, the school board, almost has its least consistent representation in primary schools, because of the poor performance of its role in schools. It can be understood that this body is set up to play its part for which it was established. A reality that is observed in public schools in Mozambique, and in particular in the Complete Primary School of Canongola (EPCC), members are strategically selected for the composition of the body, which now represents its community in the school, but which, without a domain the time to discuss and bring a planning of the activities to be developed during its two years in office. It was to be expected that elected members who might have requirements with a vision of consenting to their duties entrusted to them. But the criteria are certainly not strictly observed to allow some school directions to coerce members on their benefits.

The thought of the presentation of this article is to bring some questions that can help to clearly realize the engagement of the performance of the school board. Know in essence the reason for the poor performance of this organ? What correct involvement in the role that could put this body in effective participation. As an organ that is in harmony in the administration of schools. Will the members who form the school board have met appropriate and corresponding requirements to the functions to help their school, so as to have the precision to implement the plan (MINED, 2008).

Recognizing the competence of each elected member, we have to propose some possible suggestions that can help circumvent or improve the performance of each organ member in primary schools in Mozambique. The Mozambican state has always given priority to the Ministry of Education, in the reformulation of the script that always seeks to officialize the composition of the members of the school board, with greater interest in interaction in the selection criterion corresponding to the level of education, thus being able to restore the balance of the agency in relation to the directions of schools regarding its performance. On the other hand, the school board being provided the reports of accountability in each period of the activities, can also reconstitute its position as the maximum structure in the school.

The study in question has in view a reflexive analysis of the research done in the production of this article; having proved to be very relevant in that it helps to minimize failures and maximize the potential of the body established by the government in order to combat the fragility in the performance of the school board in educational institutions in Mozambique and in particular in the Complete Primary School of Canongola and that allowed the investigation and clarification of the reasons that prevent greater involvement in decision-making.

In the technical quality of education, it is perceived that there is a responsibility to identify and reflect on educational problems and, through studies, propose some possible solutions to the problem raised. In this sense, the growing dissatisfaction of parents and/or guardians in the work developed by the School Councils in recent years has created in us in this work, the need to carry out this reflection in a specific way, contribute with greater openness, in order to call more contributions on the subject and that will bring together numerous proposals aimed at improving the performance of the school board in primary school education , and in particular attention to the Complete Primary School Matthew Samson located in the city of Tete and Tete Province.

The studies were carried out, show great contribution to the extent that the approaches more focused on the members of the school board in relation to the directions of schools, which do not observe the relevance of the structure of the organization chart of Liaison-School and Community (LEC). From the study, the results showed to a great extent the role in consolidating the importance of efficient community participation, and it is noticeable in the school at the common point of these two leaders. In the case of Mozambique in particular, there is little literature on the subject to be developed in this article, therefore, the reflection will motivate greater interest to readers, thus arousing the greatest contribution in the field of analysis on the subject.

This research is directed to the aspects considered relevant from the authors’ perspective and is expected to: serve as a reference point for other research papers; that MINED provide clear subsidies for the strengthening of the performance of the School Boards; allow the relationship between the functions legislated to the School Board and the decisions that the same body has taken throughout its operation.

CONCLUSION

The action research on the role of the School Board in the performance of primary schools in Mozambique, based on gramsci’s theoretical framework, allows us to present some conclusions: The School Board is a public space where parents, the community and employees meet to discuss and make decisions of a pedagogical and administrative nature. This body is therefore considered a means of exercising its role in the institutions it confers, provided that it is treated as a democratic tool. However, for a better framework of the research conclusions, it is important to recall the context of the emergence of school board bodies in Mozambique and the question that guided the development of this research. As mentioned, the School Board was created with a Mozambican state with the objective of involving parents in the search for solutions to problems originated in part by the massification of teaching. It should also be noted that the research aimed to answer some questions: To know in essence the reason for the poor performance of this body? What correct involvement in the role that could put this body in effective participation. As an organ that is in harmony in the administration of schools. Will the members who form the school board have met appropriate and corresponding requirements to the functions to help their school, so as to have the precision to implement the plan (MINED, 2008).

Although schools have set up School Boards in the form of compliance with the directive of the manual in force, their operation is a challenge for all actors in the learning teaching process. Thus, the study identified some constraints that are probably preventing the School Board from developing as a democratic space for participatory decisions, highlighting the lack of: capacity for persuasion in the moments of the participation of decision-making processes; time for regular meetings of the members of the School Board; motivation of the members of the School Board, etc.

I have to point out that the strengthening of the role of the School Board must be linked to the socio-political commitment of the community, and this construction is the result of permanent participation, taking into account the following practices: eliminating centralized management practices; to safeguard the level of debate capacity in the segments and consolidate effective participation in decision-making.

The study also revealed that the school operates according to a vertical structure, with the principal at the top and the others in the lower echelons, moreover, this is the formal structure in force in public schools, as set out in the National Education Policy (PNE).

With regard to the contribution of the School Board, the legislation, combines the full functioning of the body, the improvement of the performance of students, to the extent that parents can regularly monitor the performance of their children (MEC, 2005). In the case of the EPCC, despite working in urban environments, the Guardianship Council has aspects such as the various aspects that may reveal some aspects to its failure, such as: absence of the president of the School Board, as a consequence, the consolidation of the role of the same is concerned; less parental involvement in the School Board; requirement of remuneration for the members of the School Board by the Board and lack of training actions for the members of the School Board, which may contribute to its weakening (MEDEIROS and OLIVEIRA, 2008).

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LUCK, H. (2006). Gestão educacional: uma questão paradigmática. v. 1. Petrópolis: Vozes.

LUIZ, M.C & Conti, C (s/d). O papel dos Conselhos de Escola no Sistema Municipal de Ensino.

MEDEIROS, A & Oliveira, F.F (2008). Conselho Escolar: mecanismo de democratização ou burocratização? Volume 12, nº1, Janeiro • Abril 2008. Disponível a 15 de Maio de 2012 em http://www.unisinos.br/publicacoes-cientificas/images/stories.

MARCONI, M. A & Lakatos, E. M (2002). Técnicas de Pesquisa: Panejamento e execução de pesquisas, amostragens e técnicas de pesquisas, elaboração, analise e interpretação de dados. São Paulo: Atlas.

MINISTÉRIO DA EDUCAÇÃO (2003). Diploma Ministerial nº 54/2003, de 28 de Maio. Maputo.

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[1] Master’s degree in Teacher Education-Training, European University of Atlantica, Instructor and Pedagogical Technician of higher education and Degree in Psychology.

[2] Master’s degree in Teacher Education-Training, European University of Atlantica, Instructor and Pedagogical Technician of higher education and Degree in Portuguese.

Submitted: July, 2020.

Approved: October, 2020.

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