TEGEGN B. GERIBO (AUTHOR)
Provision of education is one of the roles of each and every government in the whole world. This education is provided by the government through public school system through the department of education. It is therefore the responsibility of different states in a country to operate and manage public schools. Educational systems are governed by legal aspects that determine what should be done in these systems. The current world has heavily experienced the aspect of globalizing education where students from one country are learning in a different country certain courses as a result of increased advancement in technology. In this approach, distant learning or rather blended learning is regulated and governed by certain legal and regulatory issues in any one country. In this respect, the government of any country has a role to play in governing educational systems. The management of schools is usually guided by legal aspects and therefore there are legal implications that influence personal management of this education. This study of education and law analyzes the legalities that regulate students and teachers’ rights and responsibilities in educational institutions. This is so because students and teachers usually have rights that need to be respected. These rights and responsibilities are either institutional or individual and hence they are included in legal aspects of many countries (Apple 2005, p. 67).
As indicated by Woolman and Fleisch (2009, p. 36), during the construction of schools there are laws that govern this construction especially in terms of how many classes that need to be build according to the number of students in a school. This is a good indication that education is usually closely related to the law of a country. This study also examines the laws and regulatory processes that play a part in addressing various emerging trends and issues in education. In this respect, there are laws and regulatory issues that decide the lowest level of grade that a student should attain in order to graduate to the next level of education. For instance in the United States of America, the No Child Left Behind Act of the year 2001 provides that students before they graduate to their post secondary education should be tested and those who are competent enough are allowed to join colleges and universities. This is a good indication that there are legal aspects that govern educational issues.
In different aspects of education, like legal issues that govern students, it can be said that it is the law that provides the best means that should be used in disciplining students. Disciplining students is one of the best ways that help in making sure that students are responsible and respective. In this case therefore, the law and regulatory issues dictate either in individual school or in all schools what is the best method of disciplining them Lines (2006, p. 26). In the early days, the management of education and more specifically schools in many countries was in the hands of the state government. This indicates that the state government was responsible in determining educational funding, methods of disciplining teachers and students, and accreditation in schools. In the modern world, the ultimate responsibilities of the state government have been shifted to the local and regional governments and hence they are the ones that determine the legal aspects that should govern schools (Oplatka 2010, p. 13).
According to Imber and Geel (2009, 23), education law is an area that relates to schools where it mainly deals with schools, school boards, and school systems. This law ensures that students are provided with the best education in terms of quality and quantity and also students are well disciplined. In this case, the rights of students and teachers are well explained by education law. According to the modern management shift of educational systems, in many countries of the world each state is required to develop, maintain, and operate its own educational system. This is done is order to make each and every state responsible and accountable for the schools it has to manage.
Accreditation and regulatory issues in Education
From a general definition, accreditation is a process through which certification of authority, competency, and/or credibility is offered. In this case, a person who is very competent in an organization is provided with a certificate. In educational institutions, educational accreditation, as put forward by Chennault (2006, p. 33), is a process that is carried out by the quality assurance department concerning the services and operations of educational institutions or programs which are in most cases examined and evaluated by an external body. It should be clearly noted that the main role of this external body is to determine whether applicable standards are adequately met in an educational institution (Kaplin &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp; Lee, 2007, p. 56). This indicates that there are implications especially where applicable standards are not met. In the event that the applicable standards are met, the agency usually grants accredited status. This is where one sees schools that are preferred by students and parents because their statuses have been named to be very good (Imber &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp; Geel, 2010, p. 98).
In most countries of the world, it is provided by the law that the accreditation of educational institutions be carried out by the government organizations like the ministry of Education (Russo, 2008, p. 2002). Through the process of carrying out accreditation in educational institutions, it is a clear indication that education or schools are governed by the law as each and every school that is assessed and identified that it does not provide its students with the required standards of education is in most cases required to face legal actions or is closed down (Rothstein &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp; Johnson, 2009, p. 67). Educational accreditation is a process that is carried out in order to make sure that schools in any one country are providing their students with the required quality of education.
The aspect of educational accreditation is of great significance in that; it confirms that educational institutions are able to meet particular standards that require code of conducts and behaviors (Bloomfield, 2007, p. 69). This is because in order for a school top provide quality education, the behaviors and conducts of the students need to be attractive. Secondly, educational accreditation helps students in identifying educational institutions that provide quality education that is worthy for their money and time. The fact that provision of education is the role of the government; it becomes the role of the same government to make sure that students at any educational institution are able to acquire high quality education (Kamoroff, 2008, p. 39). It required that an educational institution that does not meet the standard education requirements is not worthy for public and private investment. This is because through accreditation it becomes very easy in identifying institutions and even educational programs that are worthy for investment of public and private finances.
The law may provide that a school be closed or the management be changed if it is found to be providing low quality education, if the students are frequently misbehaving, or if the teachers are found not to meet the requirements that are set by the department of education under the ministry of education in a country. According to Schwab and Gelfman (2005, p. 26), an educational institution may be closed if it is bring about health hazard in an area. In this case, the environment should be conserved under all means and hence an institution that does not promote environmental conservation by its methods of waste disposition may be closed down. Through this process, there is encouragement of improvement of education quality in institutions and programs. This is because accredited educational institutions are regularly or frequently appraised by their assessing external bodies and hence they are encouraged to maintain their accreditation status (Scott, 2007, p. 19). It should be noted that an accrediting body usually serves as a watchdog to investors, educational institutes, and employers and hence schools try as much as possible to maintain high level of education. Students will not continue to school in an institution that is not meeting the required educational standards in a state and hence the law usually takes its course if student increasingly move from a certain school (United States Government Accountability Office, 2007, p. 45).
Federal and regional state constituents and law in Education
As indicated earlier, the federal and regional governments have the responsibilities of providing quality education to all students in a country. In this case therefore there are some constituents and laws on education that are determined by the federal and regional governments (Young, 2009, p. 497). Basically, the curriculum that needs to be followed by teachers, in particular educational level is usually determined and dictated by the federal and regional governments. This is in order to make sure that all students in a state or a country are provided with quality and adequate education equally (Unger, 2007, p. 50).
According to Kaplin and Lee (2009, p. 792), students after graduating from secondary education are usually required to join colleges and universities. In this case, the government of a particular country has the responsibilities and roles of selecting which students are qualified to be admitted in which universities. It is provided by the federal and regional governments of the United States of America, for instance, that each and every student must be tested before graduating to post secondary education. This indicates that the government of this country has legalized the aspect of testing students from all schools (Prairie et al, 2010, p. 455). Taking an example of Russia, the federal government usually strengthens the social orientation of education system. In this case, the federal government targets a program that will bring about patriotism among the Russian students in this country (Sheppard, 2007, p. 1125).
In many countries of the world, the federal and state governments support education by contributing more than a half of the required amount of money in any one school. The law that is provided by the federal and state regional governments requires that this amount of money should be well appropriated in order to benefit all members of a certain school. If this is not done, the law provides that the people who were engaged in appropriating these funds be held accountable (Welner &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp; Chi, 2008, p. 29). It should be noted that it is the federal and the state regional governments through passing a bill at the parliament that pass laws concerning how education systems in a country should be ran. In this case, despite the fact that educational institutions are managed and operated by members of board of governors, the federal and state governments have the final decision especially in serious discussions. The minimum qualifications that a teacher should hold in order to be employed as a teacher in a certain level of education is usually determined by the government (Palestini &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp; Palestini, 2006, p. 19).
In most countries of the world, the governments have made a law that primary education is compulsory and free and hence there is no one who should ask students or parents to pay money for this type of education. Additionally, students are not required by the law to be at home especially if their ages allow them to attend school (Gleason, 2010, p. 20). It is clear that secondary schools are not all equal since there are some which are provincial level; others district level, and others which are divisional level. In these criteria, the federal and state regional governments have the responsibility of indicating the level of a school (Palestini &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp; Palestini, 2006, p. 20). Additionally, in order for a divisional school to upgrade to the district level, the requirements are usually provided by the government and hence educational institutions have to follow some laid down laws and regulations (Vacca &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp; Boster, 2008, p. 45).
Institutional and individual legal issues in Education
In any organization, there are legal issues that are set to the institution and to individuals. In this respect, institutional legal issues are the aspects that affect an educational institution basically in matters relating to education. An educational institution may come up with its own legal issues in order to make sure that the students are able to behave well. It has been reported by Jackson and Terrell (2007, p. 250) that, an educational institution needs to be kept clean and safe according to the laws and regulations that are provided by the institution. On the other hand, the employees are required to behave in a good way in the pursuit of providing the students with the best of education they require. There are different methods of leadership that may be adopted by an institution (Rauhvargers &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp; Rusakova, 2010, p. 37). For instance, an educational institution may adopt a bureaucratic leadership where the top managers have all the authority and everything must pass to them. In such like a case, the students usually do not have anything to contribute to the management of the whole school.