LACK OF ORGANOGRAM; ONE OF THE ERRORS HURTING PRIVATE SCHOOLS

One of the last schools I taught before leaving employment in secondary schools was a big boarding school with enviable standards and excellent building cum physical structures. Infact, it was considered one of the signature schools in Port Harcourt of then days. This was the one school I worked with that understood the need for departments for subject teachers. The school had six teachers for mathematics, six for English language and three for Physics. Other subjects had more than two teachers.

Teachers had engagement in only one class and one subject throughout a session. There was efficiency in pedagogy delivery but an issue in organisational relationship.

The school had an organogram on the wall but it’s application was lacking in practice.
The organogram showed that the teachers report to the departmental heads who inturn reports to the VP (academics) and is supervised by the Principal. The Principal being the highest authority in the system and head of school.

This beautiful structure was rarely followed. You could just be in class and the Bursar will stop by to check your lesson notes. When she is not checking lesson notes, she will summon all teachers to her office for an address. She would dabble into issues she has no knowledge of and withhold your salary if you question her ridiculousness. She was infact, the defacto owner of the school.
The next challenge we had was the husband of the owner of the school. Whenever he was in town, he would come to the school and turn all the teachers to his errand boys. From having to go to town to buy him berbequed chicken to taking his clothes to laundry to waiting at the gates for a ‘shoemaker’ to polish his shoes. The lost of human dignity was profound. Next was his foisting is awkward ideologies on method of teaching and dressing on the teachers. He will also insist on seeing your lesson note even though they had been checked by your departmental head abinitio.
As expected, most of the good hands and intelligent teachers who had value in themselves left the system. Not because the pay was not good (the least of us earned ₦70,000 with accommodation as at 2010), but because of the lack of direction and clear line of reporting in the system. We were not comfortable with being tossed about by every wind of instruction and counter instructions.

The school has lost its place today in the city of Port Harcourt.
The above situation is the case with most private schools in Nigeria. School owners don’t find a need to put in place a structure for reporting or find an expert to run the system. Their relatives with an OND is put in charge of Bursary and administration. You will find someone who knows nothing about learning and pedagogy inculcation giving out instructions and dishing out queries on a subject he/she knows nothing about. Worst of all is having husband and wife running the school like they run their family. You report to the husband and report to the wife on the same matter at different times. The husband can just walk into the premises and fire a Teacher just for not liking his/her face.

Dear School Owner, there’s a reason why both the Bible and the Qur’an teaches orderliness and organisations. You destroy your school when you don’t have structures that work. Some teachers can stay in the chaos and tolerate your nuisance, but some will just get out and go where they are valued and have some form of decorum. While you advertize and do branding to grow your school population, find time to put down a structure and line of reporting.

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