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‘School Organisation Must Engage Communities’ - Distinguished Professor

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A distinguished Professor at the State University of New York, University of Buffallo, Stephen Jacobson says a 21st century educational institution must be one that engages the community in achieving its full potentials.

According to him, institutions driven towards the communitarian module instead of a business module are that which is needed to improve educational standards and affords institutions the opportunity to contribute to their communities.

Prof. Jacobson stressed the important role of parents in the development of school management, calling for a collaborative effort of all in maintaining a high standard of academic discipline and integrity in the school organisation.


Professor Stephen Jacobson

“We have gone too much to organizational business-like module and as a consequence to going in that route, we have removed schools from the communities they serve and what we should try to do is to recreate the relationship between schools, parents and the community so that parents are more engaged in their youngsters education and the entire community is engaged”. He noted.

Professor Jacobson made the remarks in an exclusive interview with ATL FM NEWS after he delivered a presentation at a seminar organised by the Institute for Educational Planning and Administration in partnership with the school of Educational Development and Outreach.

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Speaking on the development of institutions of higher learning, Prof Jacobson said Universities should not be money conscious but rather focus first on how to impact and engage the communities in which they are situated. Without denying the need for institutions of higher learning to generate income, Prof. Jacobson believes, that should not be the primary focus.

“I think universities should be well aware of what their mission is. So if their mission is solely to make money I think they have lost their way. I think making money so that they can expand their impact on education and the nation, that makes sense". He advised Universities to raise enrollments to be able to generate more money, tasking them to ensure community and national productivity with the "generated revenues."


File Photo : UCC VC - Prof Joseph Ghartey Ampiah

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On his part, an Associate Professor of Education at the Monash University in Australia, Joseph Seyram Agbenyegah described as worrying the low ranking of African Universities on the world University ranking table especially in Ghana. He said the situation is a wakeup call for institutions of higher learning to enhance their visibility by engaging in creative research ideas that impact society.

“Actually when you look at the universities in Ghana, out of the first 1000 universities, you will never see the name of any Ghanaian university, and this is worrying.’ Prof Agbenya stressed.

prof agbenyegah

Associate Professor Joseph Seyram Agbenyegah

According to him, “The lack of visibility of what the university is doing and lack of patency for research and developing innovative ideas’ are some reasons for this development.

Prof. Agbeyengah stressed ‘those things are not coming from the African universities and it is like we are always recycling obsolete knowledge and we are not bringing about new and innovative ideas that can impact the life of our communities”.

Source: Kojo Dei / ATL FM NEWS

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