The School is an important organization that prepares our children for adult roles. Their working mechanism has an effect on the quality of education. There are many theories that try to explain the nature of the school organization. Among them, social systems theory has been one of the most realistic models for schools. The school is not only a place or institution students go to learn and the work place of teachers and non-teaching staff. It must be emphasized that the school is a community and also part of the larger society. It is also a system of interconnected activities.
The school possesses all the characteristics of a social organization. The following are some characteristics;
- COMPOSITION: This comprises of those engaged in giving and receiving instructions. The teacher and the taught respectively. Other members constitute the administrative staff engaged in the day to day administrative activities of the school.
- POPULATION STABILITY: It has a relatively stable population whose depletion and replacement occurs slowly. The population movements go according to plan and could be predicted and registered in advance.
- HOMOGENEITY: The school is homogenous and a representative of the community. In other words, the entire students group in the community attends the same school. Distribution of the pupils and students is usually localized.
- CULTURE: The school has its own separate culture which is the creation of the students or pupils themselves. The culture partly is devised by the teachers in order to channel the activities of students/pupils passing through different stages. The culture of the school determines the behavior of teachers and pupils/students connected with the school.
- POLITICAL STRUCTURE: The school equally has a political structure that is organized bearing in mind the principle of authority. This makes the students/pupils to be subject to the teachers, since the teacher possesses the skills and knowledge they wish to acquire.
- SOCIAL STRATIFICATION: The school is a mini-stratified social unit. The larger community is a stratified community. The pupil/students population depends on the social and economic status of their parents. Some private schools are reserved for children of the high socio-economic group while the nomadic schools are meant for the children of the nomads. On the other hand, the community school serves the children of the farmers, peasants and low earners. Practically, majority of the population of some staffs schools comprises the staff’s children.
FUNCTIONS OF THE SCHOOL
The school, whether primary, secondary or tertiary have a number of educational goals to achieve. Most schools state it out clearly for both the teachers and parents and in some case their students. But generally the school performs the following functions.
- The school is formally charged by the society with the responsibility of socializing the young by providing particular skills; organized knowledge and a set of values that will enable the youth cope successfully with the task of living in the modern society.
- It is responsible for child-rearing and provides formal teaching to the children giving acquired identity to them and teaching self control, moral and religious values and patriotism. Also teaches vocational and professional skills to the children.
- The school also plays a part in the selection process. In a community, there are various categories of workers such as nurses, doctors, lawyers, fashion designers etc. the school considers each child’s abilities and potentials and makes selection for appropriate career education. This is made possible through the different subjects that are available in the school.
- The school provides qualitative labor force in the modern society.
- The formal training of youths to assume leadership positions starts in the school. Students are appointed as class monitors, prefects and many more. The school also has other clubs or society with political setups.
Conclusively, the expectations of the school for the society are enormous. Although the school is not organized along the bureaucratic lines, there are nevertheless major elements of the bureaucratic system in the school. The school organization is based on the principle of hierarchy. This means that the allocation of duties and responsibilities develops on the superior or higher offices, which assign the duties, direct and supervise the junior staffs. Tasks to be performed in a school are based on written rules, regulations and guidelines.