Study of Stakeholders‟ Participation in Public School Management Case in Matara District

C. K. Arachchi, S. D. Edirisinghe

Abstract


At present the government schools in Sri Lanka are implementing School BasedManagement (SBM) system. One of the key elements of the SBM is participatorymanagement in schools. Therefore, this study was designed to investigate theparticipation of stakeholders in those schools. Sri Lankan version of SBM is titled as theProgramme of School Improvement (PSI). The research field was Matara districtschools. Particularly, this study intended to: investigate the nature of stakeholders‟participation in school management, involvement of the community members in thedecision making process, and to discover limitations and challenges related to thecommunity participation in the PSI schools. Case study approach was used in this study.Document surveys and interviews were employed to gather information from Principals,Deputy Principals, Teaching Staff, Parents and Past Pupils of the governing boards ofthe PSI schools. Descriptive statistical tools and thematic analytical technique wereused to analyze data. According to the responses made by the parents and past pupils;the principals and the internal community members of schools are not willing towelcome ideas, suggestions and criticisms made by the external community members.The selections of the members for the school governing boards are influenced by theprincipal. Therefore, the decision making process is not functioning in a democraticmanner. This study also revealed that the participation of stakeholders in schoolmanagement is not encouraged by the school leaders. Although PSI policy encouragesgreater community participation in school management, it seems that the communitydoes not satisfactorily participate in the PSI school management. However, it has fairlyenhanced the participation of internal community members for school decisions andschool management rather than the external community members. The PSI awarenessprogramms conducted by the Ministry of Education are not successful. Lack of time,financial recourses and commitment of higher officers negatively affect the successfulcommunity participation in the PSI implemented schools.

Key words: Community Participation, School Based Management, Programme ofSchool Improvement, Participatory Management


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