Partnerships of Educational with Local Community and Their Benefits

Abstract

The paper deals with the role of the relations of educational institutions with the local community, with its social actors. These relations are determined by the characteristics of the community, but also by the competence of the institution to initiate and develop partnerships with it. There have been highlighted the problems of educational institution that can be solved by setting up partnerships, potential partners who can contribute to solve them, and as well as the roles that can be assigned to such demarches. In particular, it treated the issue of partnerships of medical schools with existing organizations at local community level.

Keywords: Partnershipeducationsociallocalcommunity

Introduction

Schools are institutions that develop educational activities in local communities that bring together

several entities with major influences on the educational process: the family, local authorities, church,

police, libraries, government bodies and NGOs, hospitals, social assistance, cultural entities, economic

agents, sports clubs, theaters, museums, media. Influences are in both directions but the two parties,

school and community, influencing each other.

Therefore, it is necessary for schools to identify the problems of the community that can be

resolved by setting up partnerships, the potential partners who can contribute to solve them, as well as

the roles that can be assigned to these efforts.

Problems relations school - community were studied over time in many countries, the subject of

partnerships initiated by schools not being a new one. A number of studies have been conducted on the

triangle school - family - local community (Beznea, 2005; Epstein, 1995; Epstein & al., 1997; Gogfrey,

2007; Kirschenbaum, 1999; Salinas & al., 1999; Shields, 1995; U.S. Department of Education, 1994).

They are also analyzed arrangements for involving the community in the existence and activity of the

school (Băran-Pescaru, 2004; Nettles, 1991; Popescu, M., 2000).

Relations of the schools with local community

School, first of all, has to know the community needs and then, to become a visible presence as

possible in it. In this sense, those who run such an institution must understand that each community is

different and therefore it is important to identify the path to be able to relate and develop partnerships.

They must take into account the environment and the local context, which both have a significant

influence on the possibilities to obtain financial human, material and information resources, required in

achieving the targets.

It is necessary to improve communication with the local community so that potential partners might

know the activities in which schools are involved and the value of partnerships for the local

community. Schools can use various means to this respect: various publications, radio, TV, internet,

conferences, brochures, meetings.

It is also important to point out, to clearly illustrate the ways in which the community can help to

reach the objectives of the school. In order to increase the visibility of the school on will initiate and

maintain an open dialogue with the community through public meetings, articles, informal

communication in the community, a number of other cultural, sports, etc.

Schools need to be more receptive to the community needs by replying through education to these

requirements. Since the early twentieth century, in the US has circulated the idea that schools can

provide services for community residents in various areas: cultural, social, recreational and workforce

training, health etc. Over time, the activities of schools in the community became more diversified:

training courses, festivals, conferences, club, concerts, competitions and sports activities, volunteering

and involvement in activities at community level, advisory activities, volunteer centers, clubs, and

childcare activities after school.

On the other hand, no community can remain indifferent to school requirements. Firstly, especially

in public schools, support can come in various forms of financing. It is necessary to find ways of

raising awareness of the business environment about the need for action for financial support of schools

in a community based on that safety, quality and stability of life of a community are influenced by how

schools are able to perform, the education of the younger generation. Moreover, schools are becoming

increasingly more active, creative request for material and financial support from businessmen.

Partnerships generally are done on the basis of formal cooperation agreements in which various

clauses are presented and detailed procedures to carry out these responsibilities parties, their

expectations, persons responsible for the planning of meetings, monitoring of activities scheduled.

To maintain and develop cooperative relations with business environment, with people from

business who support the school in various forms, it is recommended that schools not to overlook any

opportunity to express public gratitude for these contributions. No less important is that there must be

at least one person responsible for the relationship of the school with community.

It is beneficial for maintaining and expanding relations with the community, that the decisions

related to the allocation, use funds received to be taken responsibly. The allocation of funds will be

made in accordance with the objectives set by the school in their attempt to obtain funding and

development plans made by the school. By decision made in accordance with some coherent plans, the

school may have the chance to attract new partnerships.

Companies that possess computers, technical or medical equipment can donate to schools such items

when they replace with new ones. The advantages are for both parties. Schools get equipment,

furniture, laboratory facilities, cabinets, repairs of buildings and equipments, without making large

investments, while organizations can benefit from tax deductions and a good reputation in the

community. Also, the organization of competitions, by the schools, with prizes awarded through

sponsorships of the events made by companies from community, are among commonly encountered

forms of cooperation in local communities. Private organizations can support scholarships to students

or teachers to driving for internships, professional seminars and conferences.

Some companies encourage social involvement of their employees through financial contributions

to social programs, such as material assistance for socially disadvantaged students, scholarships for

children with poor financial situation, sponsoring activities of schools.

There are a number of partnerships that do not require financing that could be carried out without

special financial resources. Generally, they are short-lived and with immediate effect.

A number of recreational activities, but with educational role, such as visits to museums,

exhibitions, themed tours, theatre, opera, operetta, concerts, broaden the horizons of students and allow

better integration of the school into the community.

The school can arrange contacts with specialists in various fields, both in the form of visits of the

students to different organizations and the form of meetings at school or in the classroom or while

conducting more extensive whole school. Among young people there are attractive the internship

periods in organizations, mentoring and career counseling offered by specialists.

Partnerships with economic actors can lead to a better correlation between demand and supply in the

labor market by tailoring educational offer of schools in response to requests from local economic

environment.

Schools also maintain partnerships with police, hospitals, church and non-governmental bodies.

In the educational field, the roles of police is manifested through preventive actions and intervention

in special circumstances, for the purpose of road education, juvenile crime prevention, crime, street

violence, ensuring the personal safety of students and teachers, maintaining public order in schools and

their perimeter, promoting a civilized society.

Partnerships with schools aim at preventing health units in the educational programs and

intervention in special cases such as accidents, cases of abuse, disease, beneficiaries being the students,

teachers and healthcare professionals.

Partnerships with church are on organization of joint cultural and artistic events during Christian

holidays, of pilgrimages to monasteries, participation of church representatives in events organized by

schools: opening and end of the school year, realization of meetings between representatives of the

church with the students, and student participation in events organized by the church.

Partnerships with NGOs are realized as part of programs, projects or for the achievement of specific

activities, which can be preventive or interventionist actions. There can be information activities,

volunteering, counseling, training, competitions, exhibitions, research, scholarships, fundraising events,

activities to support children's rights, for equality of educational opportunities, as well as preventing

discrimination and social reintegration of disadvantaged categories of people.

Partnerships in the field of family assistance involve a number of actions: family support,

counselling, information, organization of services for single parents or for busy parents. Partnership

programs for assistance and protection aimed at supporting people with disabilities to integrate children

with disabilities in school, guidance and information for parents and teachers.

An important role is played, in many communities, by the alumni associations of schools. The ways

in which they can help to support schools that have graduated are varied: financial, material, promoting

school activities, tutoring and mentoring for students performing internships.

In their turn, students can be engaged in a series of volunteering activities in the community and

promoting the image of the school. Through these forms of relationship with the community they can

develop their socio-cultural skills, knowledge and quality of services.

In Romania, the forms of partnership are quite varied, but most are materialized in specific

activities. This result was obtained through a study (table 1 ), considering 20 counties (AR, AB, AG,

BR, BZ, BH, BC, BR, CL, CJ, CS, DJ, IS, MM, DB, HD, SM, IF, SJ, BN).

Table 1 -
See Full Size >

Relative to the activities and the ways of materialization of these partnerships most of them are

made in the direction of prevention of school abandon, civic and ecological education. On several

occasions schools are able to attract funds for sponsorship of small scale events, especially through

committees of parents.

Partnerships of medical schools with the local community

Medical education requires significant funding and, for this reason, post-secondary schools in the

field of healthcare must set their strategies for attracting financial resources to support their work. In

this respect, it is beneficial to their collaboration with foundations and private hospitals.

For example, in US, hospitals develop partnerships with medical schools to increase the number of

students and to ensure in this way the needs for nurses, given that many hospitals are facing a shortage

of qualified medical personnel. Doctors and nurses teach in medical schools free of charge within such

partnerships.

To attract students in private medical education can be initiated partnerships with different

institutions to find ways to finance them during the study programs. Obtain loans with lower interest

rates for studies, scholarships may be some of the forms of support for students. Also, schools could

benefit from partnerships with various organizations of equipment, facilities and supplies for providing

various theoretical and practical training.

The state can also support medical education, given that, for example, the current situation of the

Romanian when medical system is facing a significant migration of health professionals to other EU

countries. It can subsidize the interest on loans for studies or offer tax incentives to institutions and

organizations that make donations to schools or healthcare and social institutions that employ graduates

of these schools.

Conclusions

The relationships of the schools with the local community, with social actors are determined by the

peculiarities of the community, but also the competence of the school to initiate and to develop

partnerships with them. School can guide, coordinate organizations in the community to work together

to achieve the objectives of the school and of the community. Partnerships between schools and the

community contribute to improve the social skills of students, providing support to teachers in

educational activities and community service.

Collaboration with other organizations is not always easy, schools accounting for their role to

convince organizations to engage in actions initiated by them. In this way, they can attract the

necessary pedagogical resources in education: school premises, equipment therefore, financial and

human resources and information.

References

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Publisher

Future Academy

First Online

18.12.2019

Doi

10.15405/epsbs.2016.09.125

Online ISSN

2357-1330