relationship between education and politics | News, Videos & Articles
This is the question which will be posed by former Education Secretary Estelle Morris, now Baroness Morris of Yardley, when she gives one of. Politics and Education: Cases from eleven nations tackles the relationship between politics and education. The book presents several dimensions of the. See the Relationship between Education and Politics in Nigeria. Education they say is the best legacy right? But see how politics affects.
Of course there are many definitions for this concept. The BBC English dictionary defines politics as the study of the way in which people are governed; it is also the activities in which people use to achieve power in a country. It is also has been defined as the governing of men and women. Harold Lasswell, an American political scientist defines politics as who gets what, when and how, now that is the exact way Nigerians understand politics, and to a great extent it is also the reality in all of black Africa.
Politics involves the allocation of scarce social, economic and cultural resources to individuals, groups, regions and classes. Among academics, politics is often defined as the authoritative allocation of values. Emphasis is put on how resources are allocated by the system of authorities in society.
The Concepts of Politics, Education and the Relationship between Politics and Education in NIGERIA
Politics could also be defined as all activities that are directly or indirectly associated with the emergence, consolidation and use of state power. Some also see politics as a civilizing agent and a way of ruling in divided society without violence. For example the Greek philosopher, Plato had his academy just outside of Athens, there his philosophy was taught.
This school of thought has come to be known as Platoism, in the time of Socrates and Plato and other Greek philosophers this was pretty much how people got educated. Only rulers and other influential families could afford such luxuries. Education took other forms in other climes, in some places like in the middle-east; it was mainly religious, as Hebrew children were taught to read the Torah in the synagogue.
Education which has been defined by some as the training of mind and character for effective performance did not become a basic human right until sometime in the 20th century.
In our time education and educational policies are mainly controlled by the government. It is actually very difficult to separate politics from education in Nigeria; politicians have always been at the fore front of education. In our time the government has used education as a tool for producing skilled workers, and knowledgeable personnel. The expansion of industry and technology is proportional to the amount of qualitative education received by the citizens of a country.
Before independence the case was quite different; for instance, there was collaboration between the state and the church in education. The missionaries used the establishment of schools for purposes of conversion, the education of would be lay readers, catechists, teachers and other literate personnel for commercial houses. The British colonial government when they came had a different agenda.
Its own purpose was mainly to produce literate and clerical staff who would keep the colony in a subordinate position for continued exploitation. According to some Nigerian researchers, a distinction has been made between two types of politics in Nigerian schools; micropolitics and macropolitics. The term micropolitics refers to the use of formal and informal power by individuals and groups to achieve their goals in organizations.
Cooperative and conflictive processes are integral components of micropolitics. Conversely, macropolitics refers to how power is used and decision making is conducted at district, state and federal levels. Macropolitics is generally considered to have noted that micro and macropolitics may exist at any level of school systems depending on circumstance. The educational system is in a way an extension of the political system, education is funded by government and propagated by its policies.
For the first time, the economy needed a significant number of well-educated people, and society wanted a country of greater opportunity. The Education Act and the tripartite system that followed were designed to deliver that.
Politics and education today Now, we face the need for even greater change. We need even more highly skilled people so we can compete in a global economy, and we understand better the social consequences for individuals and society when children are failed at school. Across the political spectrum there is a view that we need an education system that has universal high standards and is inclusive, and the public have far higher expectations than used to be the case.
However, politics has always been better at gate keeping than gate opening. It is well practised at building education systems that allow a few to reach the top, but it is much less sure of the levers it needs to use to deliver high standards for all.
Yet there seems to be emerging agreement across the political parties as to what those levers might be. Political levers Despite political differences, all political parties have used four key levers, to different degrees, to bring about the changes they want. The challenge is that although each lever can point to success, each also has disadvantages in the way it affects education.
Structural change takes the focus away from teaching and learning. It is too frequently used as a lever for change. Structural change is unlikely to bring about progress in the time frame that politicians want, so the temptation is to continually amend or change structures. Choice and the market.
Relationship between Education and Politics in Nigeria
We need choice and competition. We need people to have a voice within the system and a market is a good way of providing that. Creativity, inspiration, good citizenship, and working well together are all difficult to measure and teachers, parents, and pupils sometimes feel they are not valued.
There is no evidence base of what works; the relationship between research and education is not as strong as it should be.
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Although these levers are different to those available to teachers, both make an essential contribution to raising standards in the classroom. It is essential that the discussions between politicians and teachers recognise this.
If teachers oppose a particular part of the accountability system they are thought, by politicians, to be against accountability measures themselves. Too often debate concentrates on misunderstandings rather than substance.
Taking pedagogy forwards Potentially, the most important of the political levers is pedagogy, but the relationship between education and politics on pedagogy needs addressing.
Although in the past politicians have sought to influence things outside the classroom eg, admissions or resourcesover the past 30 years there has been a significant change, with political policies being directed inside classrooms eg, the National Curriculum, testing, and more recently the numeracy and literacy strategies. However, politicians have assumed that it is they who can make the decisions about pedagogy, and have done so.
There is an argument that pedagogy has fallen on the wrong side of the divide between education and politics. We now have policies from government on setting in classrooms, on synthetic phonics, on how much homework children should do, on how children should sit in a classroom, and on how we should use computers.