Problems and Issues Associated with Community Participation in Education?

Community is a group of individuals connected to one another with similar interests. A community brings people together to advocate and support each other in times of difficulty.The element that links them together is at the core, and is the essence of the group.

Communities are also rich in resources, that is where their collective aspect comes into play. 

“A community is said to exist when interaction between individuals has the purpose of meeting individual needs and obtaining group goals…a limited geographical area is another feature…the features of social interaction, structures for the gratification of physical, social and physical needs, and limited geographical area are basic to the definitions of community.”

Sussman, in Bell and Newby, pp. 29 and 30)

Problems of Community Participation in Education 

i. Distrust

The community groups cannot always be trustworthy. That’s why ongoing transparency and inclusion is necessary. 

ii. Privacy Concerns

Schools and communities working together can lead to privacy concerns for both the parties. It is important to be transparent about every information related to the school from both sides. 

iii. Lack of time and resources 

Sometimes the community groups do not have sufficient time and resources necessary tofulfil the requirements of the school and improve the quality of education. 

iv. Financial Strain

The community may experience financial strain sometimes due to which they may not be able to fulfil the needs and requirements of the school. 

v. Education Level

People have had varying levels of access to education throughout their lives and it’s important to provide the right amount of context and information to ensure that everyone has an equal understanding of the engagement process.

Why is Community important in Education System?

Even with its drawbacks, presence of community in a school is still deemed for various reasons. Some of them being:

  • i. Community provides physical facilities like infrastructure, teachers, teaching instruments, and other elements necessary for quality education.
  • ii. Community helps in motivating its members which increases the attendance and enrolment of the students in school.
  • iii. Community seeks for the all-round development of its members in the school which is achieved through its informal agencies like libraries, museums, art galleries, music drama centres and many more. 
  • iv. Community also provides financial support or donations to educational institutions. The financial help provided is used for educational purposes to improve the quality of education. 
  • v. Community takes the responsibility of maintaining discipline and decorum in the school. It also deals with managing the timetable of the schools with regards to the needs of the community.

Hence, community is helpful for school in many ways for the educational development of its members. It can be understood that both community and school are closely related and interconnected for a greater achievement of the society which is creation of a learning society.