MODALITIES FOR IMPROVING P.T.A. PARTICIPATION IN SECONDARY SCHOOL ADMINISTRATION IN ENUGU EDUCATION ZONE

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CHAPTER ONE/INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

The Parents Teachers Association, like the name indicates, is an association, comprising Teachers and Parents. It is obvious from the name, that such an association is formed for the welfare of children/students in mind and the welfare  of the school in general. National Congress of Parents and Teachers, also National Parent-Teacher Association (PTA), a child and youth advocacy volunteer group,  the largest of its type in the United States, founded in 1897 in Washington D.C. (Microsoft Encarta 2007).

Parent-Teachers Association (PTA) is a voluntary and welfare organization that brings together the major stakeholders in education, which are the parents, guardians and teachers of pupils in a particular school. They help in fund-raising, maintenance of discipline, seeing to the welfare of the school, and  creating  a bound between the school, the home, and the community, between the parents and the teachers and building parent involvement at school and other activities relating to the welfare of the school, rather than the progress of individual pupils. Eze, (2008) defined P.T.A as “a membership organization  for  parents  of students/pupils and teachers of schools. The associations are groups made up of parents, teachers and sometimes others within the school community.  They  provide a range of opportunities for parents or care givers to be actively involved

in supporting schools, for the overall benefits of their children. The importance of PTA cannot be over emphasized, especially now that it is clear that government alone cannot shoulder the responsibility of providing qualitative education  for every citizen.”

After the government takeover of schools, the then East Central State Government saw the need for the involvement of the community especially the  Parents  Teachers Association in the administration of Schools. It saw that it was obvious that government alone cannot cater for the  education of the children,  and that  there is the need to involve the Parents Teachers Association.  The  children,  belong to the Parents who are the PTA, therefore, the education of the children is important to them too. It is a collective responsibility. Government plays its role, and parents including teachers, play their own role in the education  of  the  children. Ezeocha, (1990), saw the Parents Teachers Association as  a voluntary  and welfare association of parents/ guardians of children of a  particular school  with the teachers who teach in that school as members. Parents Teachers Association also helps to promote an understanding between the home and the school, which is between the teachers, the parents and the student. Ukeje, (1992), sees Parents Teachers Association as a formal establishment that  comprises  parents whose children are currently registered as students in a school  with  teachers in that school. From the definitions we see  that  though  parents  sometimes are not really the official teachers of their children, they play an important role in the training of their children both at home and in the school; because they serve as a link between what happens at home and what happens in

the school environment. This relationship between the school and the home helps  to instill discipline in children, since a child would know that his activities both at home and in school can be monitored and communicated to either the school or   the home. To Ohuche and Ali, (1989), the purpose of the Parents Teachers Association is to bring the home and the school close to each other, to study the problem of the children and if possible find solutions that are mutually beneficial.

The association was first started in the United States of America by a group of parents (mothers) who were concerned about the welfare  of  the  children.  “Charity kindergartens or so called free kindergartens for children of the poor became one of the main instruments of the progressive women’s and social movements of the late 1880s and 1890s. Some of these schools were parts of settlement houses, such as Hull House in Chicago, established by American social reformer Jane Addams. The teachers from these charity kindergartens often made home visits and taught songs and games to mothers to use with their children.  These meetings between parents and kindergarten teachers eventually helped lead to the founding of the National Congress of Parents and Teachers, also known as the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA)”. Microsoft Encarta (2007)