Involving students in decision making in school administration is very crucial in developing leadership qualities in students. It also helps in fostering a peaceful atmosphere in the school environment. When students are involved in one way or the other in deciding issues that affect them directly or indirectly, they will most likely support the implementation of the policy.
The root of most disagreement in schools between the administration and the students is the notion carried by students that policies made by the school management are forced down their throats. There is no way the school condition will be conducive for learning and teaching if there is no cordial relationship between the students and the administration. There is a sense of responsibility that comes upon the students when they can view the policy thrusts of the school as their own creation.
The students will have to be invited or encouraged to make inputs in creative and effective manners. These inputs may be on issues such as the curriculum content, co-curricular activities, teaching methods and materials, physical structures, composition of the faculty, the school calendar and events, mode of assessment and so on.
The following ideas can be used to make students have more inputs in the decisions made by the school administration:
* Make the vision of the school clear to the students
When students have a lucid understanding of the mission of the school, they will readily agree with the policy direction of the school. Their inputs into decision making will not be at variance with the school administration mindset. No resolution will be considered excessive or stringent if the students are aware of the fact that it is meant to achieve the big goal of the school
* Virile student body
The school administration school should ensure that the student union or government is as autonomous as possible. A functional and moderately independent student body will be proactive in seeking the welfare of the students and foster a good relationship with the school administration. This cordial relationship will engender creative ideas from the students to the school administration.
* Opinion poll
The school administration should periodically conduct objective and statistically viable opinion polls on as many issues as possible. Whenever the school wants to change or amend a policy, there should be an opinion poll to sample the students’ judgment. The responses received from the students will make the school administration to either modify the decision or embark on an intensive enlightenment on the policy direction.
It is important to reiterate that involving students in decision making does not mean that the school administration lacks ideas but it is to create an avenue whereby students are carried along in managing the school and inspire leadership qualities in them.