How Schools are Seen as Organisations


Organization connotes parts that are joined together to form a whole. Broom and Philip (1977) suggested that organization is like human relations that are closely woven and that any strain on one part may weaken the whole fabric in unexpected ways.

There are two main organizations, namely formal and informal. Formal organizations will include schools, cooperatives, business groups, etc. while informal organizations refer to families, religious groups, peer groups, etc. There are characteristics of making a school an organization.



The school system is hierarchical. Members are at different levels of authority or influence. For instance, in Secondary schools in Nigeria, the Principal is No 1, Vice-Principals, Directors, Deans, HODs, and teachers, in the College of Education in Nigeria, the Provost is the No 1.

It is followed by The Registrar, the Librarian, the Bursar, the Deans, the Deputy Registrars, the HODs, the Lecturers, and other non-teaching staff and students. In the university too, The Vice-Chancellor is No 1 followed by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and so on.

Division of labor

There is a division of labor in the school system. There is some staff designated for administrative tasks, some for lecturer, and some in charge of maintenance. Everyone has to do his/her duty so that the goal of the school can be achieved.


The school system like other organizations has a goal. The school has to make sure that this goal is achieved.

For example, primary schools are to produce sound pupils for secondary schools and secondary schools are to produce sound students for admission to tertiary institutions.

NCE is to produce well-trained graduates and polytechnic is to produce those who are sound in academics coupled with technical and engineering. The universities are to produce professionals that can solve societal problems in different fields.

Rules and regulations

For an organization to function efficiently there must be rules and regulations to guide the members of the organization.

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Every member must be aware of these rules governing them. The consequences for anyone deviating or going against the rules must be spelled out.

Delegation of power

Usually, the school system operates a sort of hierarchy in which some people have the right to issue orders. For instance, the head of the school or institution has the right to give orders to everybody.

The Headteachers, Principals, Provosts, Rectors, and Vice-chancellors can delegate power or authority to their Vices, Deputies, or any other persons.

Through delegation of power, if a boss is not around, he can ask his subordinate to act on his behalf. Through this kind of arrangement, the work in the organization can go with or without the overall boss.


The school system has a structure. The Federal Ministry of Education comes top on the structure. This Ministry is represented by the Minister of Education.

In primary schools, secondary schools, colleges of education, polytechnic, and universities, head teachers, principals, provosts, rectors, and vice-chancellors are both the academic and administrative staff.

Their Vices and Deputies are the next in the organizational hierarchy. The President Heads the students’ body.


Every organization must have a leader who is to direct its affairs. If the system is good, the leader gets praise. If on the other hand, the system fails, it is the leader that has failed. The leader steers the ship of the organization.

Channels of Communication

There must be open communication in the school system. Lack of communication can lead the system to chaos. For communication to be effective, it must have a good channel.

For instance, in a school system, everybody can’t take their problem directly to the heads of the schools. Students should go through the Students Affairs Officer through their Heads of Department if they have any problems.

The HODs will then channel the messages or complaints through the Deans of the schools to the No1 of the school. Most of the time, many problems can be solved without bothering the Chief Executive of the school.

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Coordination is very essential if the organization is to be successful. The Dean, of Student Affairs, coordinates the affairs of the students’ department; the Dean of School coordinates the affairs of the school, and so on.

Inter-relationship among parts

The school as an organization consists of parts. These parts include the heads of teachers, principals, provosts, rectors, vice-chancellors, administrative staff, lecturers, students, clerical staff, cleaners, security, etc.

All these parts must work hand in hand before the organization can succeed or achieve its goals. If one section or part is removed, the organization may collapse.

The smallest part of the organization is as important as the rest. For instance, if the cleaners are removed, the school will be filthy and this can lead to epidemics and diseases.

How schools socialize learners

The school is one of the formal agents of socialization and it uses various methods to accomplish this goal.

Rules and regulations

The school uses rules and regulations to socialize the pupils in good and acceptable behavior.


Pupils do watch the teachers’ behavior. Hence, teachers are supposed to be of good behavior. Pupils by watching teachers, model their lives after the teachers.

If a teacher is a truant or late comer the pupils by watching him may turn out to be truants. Teachers should excel in character so that pupils will take after their good example.

Peer group

In school, pupils do mix with their age group. The bad or good group can easily influence themselves. The peer group has a way of punishing the member for any wrong act.


Societies such as Literary and Debating Society, Kegite, Reagery Club, Gemini Club, and so on do have ways by which they socialize the members. Some societies especially the secret ones do have a negative influence on students’ lives. Consequently, such secret societies have been banned in many colleges and universities.

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