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The practice of public relations can if more concerned with relationship between people that is mostly about communication be effectively harnessed as a strategic approach for all inclusive Education in special schools.
The Government and major stakeholders are expected to not only focus on policy making but also implementations as everyday Education becomes a higher demand in every society which aims to grow and advance. Report disappointing academic performances, acts of nuisance or poor care of students by schools through constructive criticism and sometimes News Media Scrutiny of Government negligence would Increase Competition and the growing demands of quality and inclusive education to attain an Increase enrolment and patronage due to increased population, demand, and urbanization.
Effective Public relations as a professional practice that encourages and or promotes the adequate sales of goods and service, has been used over the years in various fields of human endeavour. However, itis not quite clear if the strategies employed in the use of this practice in inclusive education for special needs people is a workable model. Effective public relations means school divisions ask for, and receive information just as much as they transmit it. Because today’s public demands accountability, school need to have effective public relations that provide ever more detailed information about their operations, policies and schools. School divisions must seek outsiders’ input in areas that used to be the sole province of the board and its administrators. Inclusive education in the various prison and almajiri schools is obtainable so long as there are workable strategies that yields effective results for special people right to education across Nigeria and perhaps the entire Africa.
In case of effectiveness and logical strategy to be employed in a school, the public relations division needs to examine whether its communication with the public is helping ensure a positive image, the Saskatchewan school board module 14, on Effective communications and public relations from boards of schools states that positive image leads to public support for and confidence in its schools and in the public education system. Today, school public relations is less about conveying information than it is about establishing and promoting partnerships within the community. Children whether needy and special or privileged are the main interest of the various publics; especially the parents.
In all policies, procedures and action plans, the needs of the children is always the primary reason for proceeding. Effective school board through the public relations continually advocate for better education as well as the physical and social needs of children. They adopt policies and protocol to assure the safety of students and prepare for crisis situations that might arise, they do this with acquired skill and confidence. Similarly, there must be the establishment of a parent as individual relations in order to collectively gain the support of the community which is comprised of families that are in a way or the other decision makers. Therefore adequate skill in public relations is critical in these undertakings for effective inclusion. (Saskatchewan school board module 14, on Effective communications and public relations for boards of schools) few essential part of gaining support for the school is communicating the achievement of its students, Knowing what is to be conveyed and how to provide appropriate information is also an important factor in gaining support.
People will form opinions of what organizations do whether or not those organizations try to interpret their own activity. If school divisions don’t speak up for themselves, others will—and public opinion will be out of control. So it makes sense for school divisions to get involved in interpreting their own activity to influence public opinion.
Today’s educational system is much more complex than it was a few decades ago and it faces obstacles that were unheard of then, such as:
Because education is a right of every child of which a majority of children are still deprived of, it becomes pertinent to advocate and proffer workable models to promote effective schooling for every child. Dr. Khalid, in a presentation delivered at the National Symposium on Almajiri Education in Nigeria in 2013, argued that these traditional and religious institutions, due to their flexible timetable, are more appropriate for rural societies that rely solely on agriculture for their subsistence.
Education of children must be the nation’s top priority. As such school boards and school divisions are committed to ensuring that the local school board voice is heard in every public policy forum in which education decisions are made or influenced. Our education structure must place local school boards at the centre of the governance process. Their unique role in overseeing education and representing lay involvement, enables them to provide a structure for public accountability and a way for parents and the community to influence vital policy issues affecting schools.
The Universal Basic Education
Commission in an article published in 2015 stated that some of her constraint in the implementation of the inclusive almajiri school program has been the lack of political will from the regions where the system of education is practiced, and the mismanagement of the schools. There yet seem to be proper scrutiny and advocacy obviously because of poor public relations, when people are duly informed about the need for proper education, accountability sets in. There becomes an increasing want to adopt National workable frameworks, harmonisation and distribution of curricula that promotes inclusion in such special schools thus breeding confidence and equality.
Public relations obviously boosts private and individual partnership which is a need to support governmental institutions in achieving the goals of inclusive education. The prison school for instance requires much trust between students and teachers, this is because people are always reminded that they are prisoners even after studying and are likely not to gain jobs upon release. Now private agencies can come in as assurances that their studying and skills acquired while in prisons would not be in vain, provisions have to be made for this class of people to gain employment or practice their skills outside the walls of the prisons or correctional facilities. Prof. Idris A. Abdulqadir, during the 21st convocation lecture of Bayero University in 2003, was quoted as saying “The Almajiri school system as it is presently being practiced has outlived its usefulness, the system lack good teachers and a fairly healthy environment”.
The National Council for the Welfare of Destitute (NCWD) puts the current population of the Almajirai at about 7 million. One can imagine 7 million potential judges, accountants, engineers etc. being wasted away. But it must be clearly stated that the practices retains religion as its base, religion has to do with faith and belief and this has psychological toll on people. Inculcating western education and quranic system may be like a proverbial dual edged sword and thus the need for public policies on a survey of what the people wants is important. There should be a communication bridge between the people and institutions which are involved in the education sector, at governmental levels and private level, public has to be aware and fully involved in policy making.
Prof. Tahir Gidado, (Chairman of the National Symposium on Almajiri Education Program in Nigeria) in a call for public-private partnership said “Since Almajiri Education can be implemented by an individual, community group, civil society organization, International Development Partners and the State Actors, we should expect a multitude of program types that calls for robust quality assurance strategies to bring them in line”.
Nigeria demonstrated its commitment to universalize basic education by signing the UN Convention for the Rights of the Child (CRC) in 1989 and the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) in September 2000. Despite this approach, poor public relations and inadequate communication between the people and schools became a bane that reduced the adoption of this system of inclusive education in major states where the almajiri education system is predominant (Northern Nigeria). A shift into public private partnership could create an atmosphere of trust and bridge building in such a way that supports the parents and students to embrace education in comfort.
Developing effective Public Relations Strategy for Inclusive Educational environment, Public relations has been defined as: “A planned and systematic, two-way process of communication intended to encourage public involvement (in schools and the school division) and to earn public understanding and support.” Yet, Public Relations is more than communications in that it is more about relationships with students, staff, parents, non-parent members of the community than it is about provision of information. Public relations includes a 4-step process to better insure the effectiveness of the work done:
That prisons schools and quranic schools are in a deterrent state today majorly because of lack of will of the public to better these system of education, this from my research has to do with the failure of effective public relations, religious organisations, and governmental negligence. In a bid to promote the quality and restore confidence in these systems, all major stakeholders need to be onboard. As it is every child’s right to education, it must be a thing of concern how they all attain it to the best. Annual budgets should be well implemented, and misappropriations checked.
When the public is well informed, they become partners in the process; public relations is a key to achieving this. According to the Nigerian Prison Service Manual (2011), the realization of one of the major objectives of the prisons service – the reform and rehabilitation of convicts are to be done through a complicated set of mechanisms consisting among others: conscientisation, group work, case work session, recreational nactivities, religious services and adult and remedial education programmes, educational development project, skills acquisition programme, mid-range industrial production, agricultural service and after-care service programme
https://ubeconline.com Nigerian Prisons Service Manual, (2011). Nigerian Prisons Service, Abuja, Nigeria Assessment of Rehabilitation Services in Nigerian Prisons in Edo State Dr. Mrs. Asokhia M.O. Osumah Obaze Agbonluae (Mr) Institute of Education Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma, Edo State Nigeria /SJPAS/article/view/637, Presented at the 21st convocation of Bayero University Kano. Alechenu J.(2012). Odds against the almajiri education. www.punchng.com>Education.
Wikipedia Dictionary (2009) The Almajiri System of Education in Nigeria Today ByProfessor Idris A. AbdulQadir http://www.gamji.com/ saskschoolboards.ca Effective Communications and Public Relations for Boards of Education Module 14
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