How Public Relations help in Implemented the Education Policy and Programs?
Since education cater to their needs and aspirations, educational policy and programme should be acceptable to the people Thus, in the formulation of educational policies and programs, a planned and sustained effort should be made to involve the community and the opinion leaders. The performance of the education sector would be judged by the way in which programs are run. Public relations would help here whether the programme has been effective. Public Relations (PR) is nothing but doing good work and talking about it.
In education, most of the criticism emerges when the programme is introduced and public is yet to accept it. If the public is critical of the whole educational process, the criticism gets reflected in the debates of the legislatures and parliament and in the media. Thus, it is both a challenge and an opportunity for the educational institutions and the PR professionals to tackle the situation. An effective two-way communication process can help the institutions to continuously respond to public opinion. Given this, community can actively participate in making the system vibrant.
Campaign Approach Initial Resistance:
It took more than four decades for the country to realize the need for “campaign approach” in implementing the educational programs. The word campaign was an anathema for Indian educationists and educational administrators. They had not thought about community participation. In the 1970s, for the first time the help of media experts were sought to carry the message forward in the National Adult Education Program. That was a modest beginning to resort to campaign approach.
It was very recently when the National Literacy Mission was launched the need was felt for initiating a major sustained public campaign through the use of mass media for achieving the objective. The significance of getting public cooperation, including that of all political parties, and gearing up the administrative machinery to accomplish a task was gradually felt. Similarly to achieve the target of universal elementary -education, a campaign approach can be of help. The judgment of the Supreme Court of India which ruled that primary education up to the age of 14 years is a “fundamental right” and the provisions of the law restraining the use of child labor can be used in the campaign to exert pressure on the society to bring all children up to the age of 14 within the ambit of education.
Public Relations Professionals in Education Field:
In education, the problem arises because of the way in which the programs are implemented. There are also various factors like lack of finance, regulations and controls that put a limit on the use of all PR tools. The press and sometimes the electronic media are used as the chief means of communication. There is little scope to use other media like house journal exhibition, film or video. Also, the indifference on the part of institutions towards PR itself makes it more difficult.
Institutionalized Public Relations:
In the field of education, institutionalized public relations effort is a comparatively recent phenomenon. About six decades ago, the public relations entered into the country, but the education sector started employing full-time PR professionals hardly three decades ago. In the field of education, people at the helm of affairs are yet to fully comprehend the potential of a planned and sustained effort establishing and maintaining a mutual communication process with their public’s. PR-orientation can make educational institutions vibrant. Of course, educational institutions may be lacking funds to organize a PR campaign.
If we compare, the PR in defense sector is doing very well. This is because of the facilities the PR professionals get in the sector. Also, if we look at the extent and quality of coverage for the sports sector or the economic sector, we are bound to be impressed. Education does not have that kind of coverage in the press, even if it touches the life of almost all the citizens of the country. Some newspapers have very recently started devoting weekly columns for education and felt the need for exclusive education correspondents.