Community involvement in Mozambican school management

Sacatucua, Somao Carlos Capece
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In the new democratic context of the country, with particular reference to education, the issue of community involvement in school management, is one that has received scant attention in education policy. In the view of the researcher, the issue is of critical importance at a time when education is facing developmental crises, which are not isolated from the whole spectrum of the levels of the country's development. The purpose of this exploratory study was to generate better understanding of the issue and create greater awareness among policymakers, education authorities and the community in general about factors that may hinder or enhance the involvement of the community in school management in Mozambique. A qualitative research methodology was adopted, which used semistructured interviews based on three major questions, to elicit an understanding of the research topic. The research was confined to the city of Maputo and the Province of Maputo. The population sample was made of officials in the Education Ministry, Directors of Education in the city of Maputo and the Province of Maputo, education authorities in the visited Districts and schools, teachers, students, resident community members and institutions. In a nutshell, the results of the study indicate that, although there is a growing perception of the value of community involvement, clearer understanding of the concept is in the hands of the education practitioners. Parents commissions were generally seem as the present form of schoolcommunity interaction. Constraints of different nature were identified, but they were generally assumed as the conjuncture of evolutionary or transitional process that the country is undergoing. The creation of school councils in schools was the central finding as to how to improve community involvement in schools in Mozambique.