Every material on this site is authentic and was extracted from the complete available project.Click to GET IT NOW
MS-WORD DOC || CHAPTERS: 1-5 || PAGES: 430 || PRICE: ₦3000
DEMOGRAPHIC AND PERSONALITY CORRELATES OF PRINCIPALS’ PERFORMANCE IN THE MANAGEMENT OF SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN SOUTH-SOUTH NIGERIA
Background to the Study
Secondary Education is a six-year form of education which children receive after primary school before proceeding to the tertiary level of education. According to the National Policy of Education (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004), secondary education is the form of education attended by children after primary education and before tertiary education with the aim of preparing individual for useful living within the society and for tertiary education. Secondary educations exist within the ambits of the law and are supervised by the Ministry of Education and its State agencies. For instance Section 18(3)b of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 2011 as amended provides for the existence of free secondary education while the Nigerian Educational Edicts and laws promulgated in 1955 and 1965 covered the rights of Secondary Education. The education laws promulgated by the states in the Federation laid down rules and regulations in respect of administration and management of Secondary Education. The principal is the administrative head of secondary schools who ensures the effective implementation of policies and progammes for the achievement of the school goals. For the attainment of the objectives of secondary schools, the curriculum has been developed to suit such desires which are to be implemented by the Principal with the coorporation of competent teachers.
The authority of the secondary school principal, according to Ogbonnaya (2009), is viewed in the position occupied as well as the functions performed. The Principal implements the educational programmes of the school, ensured the provision of facilities and equipment, keeps records both statutory and non-statutory in addition to creating a conducive teaching and learning atmosphere in schools. These are summed up by Ogbonnaya cited in Mgbodile (2004) into five areas, namely: Development and implementation of educational programmes, Development of teaching staff, Student relation function, Community relation function and financial function. Similarly, Ocho and Okeke (1997) classified these functions into five namely: management of instructional programme, staff personnel administration, student personnel administration, financial and physical resource management. Stoner (2002) noted that supervision of the teaching and learning process, decision making, conflict resolution, communication, record keeping, fund management, plant management, public relations and compliance to legal stipulations are critical aspects of school management. In this study, the following aspects namely: Instructional supervision, communication, decision making, provision of incentives for teachers and students, human resource development, public relations, funds management, plant management, adherence to statutory provisions, and conflict management/resolution are considered.
Instructional supervision has to do with what the principal does to promote or direct teaching and learning in the school. This according to Mgbodile (2004) involves the task of ensuring that organized teaching and learning is effective in the school system. This is done by the principal to see that meaningful learning takes place in all classes and that teachers are teaching what they are supposed to teach and are undertaking the teaching in a manner that the students understand and enjoy their lessons. The essence of instructional supervision is to assist teachers with ideas and suggestions that will improve their instructional delivery, as well as identify their needs and problems. Haruna (2008) noted that instructional supervision is the first and the most important responsibility of a school principal. No wonder Carter (2008) explained that the cardinal index of the performance evaluation of the school administrator rests on the leadership ability in instructional supervision. Similarly, Chika and Ebeke (2007) observed that among many factors that influence learning and achievement in secondary schools, principals’ instructional management seem to be the most critical intervening factor.
Communication is a basic administrative responsibility of the principal in ensuring that educational goals are achieved. Communication, according to Craig (2009), is the process of sharing information and exchange of significant messages, ideas, attitudes, and feelings in ways that produce a degree of understanding between two or more people. Communication is the ability to convey in the simplest form information or ideas which the recipient can easily understand; and the ability on the other part of the recipient to reciprocate in such a way that he can easily be understood (Otamiri, Isaiah and Wori, 2002). If the principal’s communication style is unfavorable to teachers working with him, there is the tendency that the teachers would not co-operate with the principal and performance would be affected.
Decision making is also a critical aspect of an administrator’s responsibility in the management of secondary schools. It is simply the process of choosing from among alternatives ways of providing a solution to a problem towards achieving objectives (Mgbodile, 2004). Decision making involves making choices. In the school system, the principal makes informed decisions that guide whatever the school does. Oboegbulem and Onwurah (2011) noted that decision making is vital in such managerial functions as planning, organizing, influencing and controlling. Participatory decision making in a collaborative form with stake holders in school usually improves the quality of decisions since diverse organizational experience is drawn and this increases the understanding of the group as well as their commitment to the decisions. This ownership perception motivates them to successfully implement the decisions.
Provision of teaching and learning incentives to teachers and students is another area of principals’ responsibility in school administration. These incentives are those things that encourage teachers and students action or efforts in the teaching and learning process which fall within the limits of the principal (Amirize, 2009). These include stimulating, controlling, disciplining and evaluation of teachers and students for the purpose of effective instructional delivery (Mogbodile, 2004). Understanding that teachers and students are the most important assets in the school is very necessary for school management. Due to the importance of teachers and students in the school system, Mgbodile (2004) reiterated that they must be handled very adroitly. The principal must understand how to deal with them to get the best out of them.
Human resources development is another crucial area of principals’ responsibility in the management of secondary schools. This could also be known as professional development (Gareth and Jennifer, 2006). These are the series of articulated training programmes designed for enhancing values re-orientation and attitudinal change of the human resources in an organization (Lawson, 2007). These specialized training when given to the teachers will make them more professionally effective than those who are not exposed to such training. This is so because these training programmes empower and motivates teachers for better performance. Therefore, in the opinion of Achunine (1998), the length of time one stays on the job does not necessarily make one perform efficiently rather, professional training is a more important factor than on-the job experience in job performance.
Public relations function is another area of responsibility of the school administrator. It underscores the need to establish good rapport and human relations between the school and the various stake holders especially the parents, government and philanthropists (Sherlekar, 2005). This demands that the administrator seeks appropriate ways of relating with the public on issues of mutual interest. The performance of this function, according to Worlu (2007), could be by operating an open door policy where administrator can easily be accessed; regularly sending out newsletters that address school and student progress over the course of the time and indicating dates of special events and volunteer opportunities; helping to establish PTA and working co-operatively with them by holding regular meetings where parents, teachers and community stake holders discuss salient issues as well as correct the views people hold against the school; making appeals to philanthropists in the locality to track down needed supplies in the school; and inviting the community to important school functions such as price giving day, annual sports competition and end-of-year events. By this, the school will endear itself to the public and will attract support and assistance in various ways (Bander, 2008).
Fund management is one of the major tasks of the school administrator. The success or failure of any school programme depends very much on the way the financial resources are managed and this in turn affects the overall performance of the school. Ogbonnaya (2010) pointed out that public schools derive most of their financial resources from the government but the principal of such schools should be aware of other avenues for the school to generate fund for its use. However, the crux of the matter is not just the inflow of funds but also on how best the funds are utilized. It is therefore important that all school heads have sufficient knowledge of financial management in order to be effective financial managers as chief accountants of their schools. Ogbonnaya cited in Mgbodile (2004) noted that the failure of many schools is due poor financial management. Without good fund management measures, the programmes of educational institutions will not be properly implemented.
Plant management is another crucial area of principals’ responsibility. School plant refers to the school site, the building, the playground ground, the equipment and other materials provided for effective teaching and learning (Onwurah, 2004). Continuing Onwurah described school plant as the space interpretation of the curriculum, noting that the programmes of the school are expressed through the site, the building, play grounds, the arrangement and design of the school buildings. The school plant in this study are the school facilities which enhance teaching and learning such as classrooms, staff offices, compound, laboratories and libraries. The importance attached to school facilities as a vehicle for effective teaching and learning cannot be over emphasized. The school plant if not properly managed and utilized could dilapidate and wear out to the extent that the school would not derive optimum benefits from it. Consequently the educational goals for which such educational facilities are acquired would not be achieved. Ezugwu (2005) posited that properly designed and fully utilized school plant with wide array of teaching aids provide effective delivery of schools curriculum and are positively related to academic achievement. The school administrator, in addition to other duties is expected to effective utilize and maintain school plant to achieve school goals.
Adherence to legal status is also an important area of responsibility for the school administrators. In contemporary times people are becoming more aware of their rights within the school system. The school administrator in the discharge of the duties is expected to work within the confines of the laws guiding school administration. This is because any act to the contrary will be ultra-vires and ignorance of the law is no excuse. In this age of enlightenment ignorance relative to the rights, duties and obligations of school administrators Obi (2010) noted may no doubt be costly if not disastrous to the individual, the educational system and others within the school environment. Proper understanding of the roles and codes of conduct as they impact on the rights and responsibilities of teachers, students and other stakeholders in the school system affords school administrators and teachers the opportunity to define their limits of individual behaviours and enhance principals’ role performance in the management of secondary education (Peretomode, 2001).
Conflict management and resolution is an important task area of principals in the management of secondary education. Conflict ordinarily is an inescapable reality for workers in organization which takes any form. It may be a disagreement about how to complete a task, allocate resources, personality clash between associates, misunderstanding among students, or differences in individual value system (Oboegbulem and Onwurah, 2011). Leah (2008) posited that in which ever level conflict manifests in the school of organization, be it intra-personal, inter- personal, inter- organization and community related, if not properly diagnosed or left unchecked can be a highly destructive force. Good conflict resolution and management strategies in the school system brings about an enviable and productive environment for the achievement of school goals. Hence school administrators should apply conflict management and resolution strategies to control and prevent conflict from becoming destructive (Oboegbulam & Onwurah, 2011).
Principals’ effective performance on these critical aspects of administration determines the achievement of educational objectives. Ibukun (2011) viewed principals’ performance as the rate or frequency at which they carry out their daily functions towards the attainment of educational goals. Principals’ performance in this study refers to how well or the frequency with which the principals execute tasks in the critical areas of school administration for the achievement of goals. Principals’ task could be high or low depending on the task area. The more frequently principals carry out their functions in the critical task areas, the higher their performance and the better for the achievement of school goals. High performance would lead to discipline and the overall improvement in the teaching and learning process in the school system.
The performance of principals in the management of secondary schools in South-South Nigeria has remained questionable in contemporary times as there is still public outcry. Several authors attributed it to the performance of school administrators in task areas like supervision of instruction, decision making, communication, human resource management, conflict management and resolution, and plant management. Evidence abound for poor infrastructure, teachers poor attitude to work due to vacillating nature of principals like nagging, and non involvement of teachers in decision making. Indiscipline among staff and students are not uncommon. Students’ performance in external examination is low. Student’s unrest, continuous rancor between staff and student, and illegal activities like embezzlement of funds and cheating are also perpetrated in secondary schools. Okujagu (2005) questioned the management of secondary schools by principals who have abdicated their functions and compromised their roles to the extent of aiding and abetting examination malpractice which led to the removal of four principals and the relocation of several centres for the West African School Certificate Examination in Rivers State. He noted that this has not augured well for the school system