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HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT AND TEACHERS’ COMMITMENT TO DUTY IN PUBLIC SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN ABAK EDUCATION ZONE
1.1 Background of the Study
Human resource management has been a matter of concern to human race the world over. It can be seen as a vital life wire of the society, from the family which is the smallest units of the society, through the school to the larger society.There are various forms of human resource management that form the basis for peaceful co-existence. It can be seen as the coordination of human and material resources within the organization for the attainment of organizational goals. Resources have to be properly managed so that the set goals can be achieved. Management refers to the coordination of both human and material resources for the achievement of the set goals of any organization, especially the school organization. Human resource according to Ezene in Etuk, Eyo and Etor (2015) refers to all the human beings working in the organization, including teachers, students, principal and all other members of staff working in that organization. Inline with this, human resource management can be categorized into three different dimensions. namely: management of human, financial and material resources. Management of human resource refers to the principals’ ability to use the available non-teaching staff,teachers and students efficiently in school for the achievement of school goals. These include teachers’ motivation, participation in decision making, in-service training, communication strategy and inter-personal relationship quality.
Teachers’ commitment to duty is looked at as the passion or affection teachers have for the teaching job or school organization. In the context of this study, it is seen as the degree of positive, affective bond between the teacher and the school. It does not refer to a passive type of loyalty where teachers stay in their jobs, but are not really involved in the school or their work. Rather, it reflects the degree of internal motivation, enthusiasm and job satisfaction teachers derive from teaching and the degree of efficacy and effectiveness they put in to their jobs. Hornby (2003) defines commitment as a thing one has promised to do and or state of being willing to give a lot of time, work, energy and so on to something or somebody. It is the teachers’ level of care, dedication and seriousness attached to their job. To this effect, teacher commitment has been identified as one of the most critical factors for the success of education and secondary schools. (Nabukenya, 2010). Cheng (2009) asserts that teacher commitment is closely connected to teachers’ work performance and their ability to innovate and integrate new ideas into their own practice. The view of Cheng about teachers’ commitment to duty is limited and shallow in the context of this work.
According to Modebelu (2007) Teachers’ commitment to duty is therefore to teachers’ discipline, students, school environment, academic and moral disposition. Teachers’ commitment to duty signifies readiness and willingness to identify with, invest in and pursue the cause of teaching with devotion and sincerity. A committed teacher is expected to behave in particular way. Obi (2003) identifies three salient role of committed teacher to be:
(i) A strong desire to remain as part of the school organization
(ii) Willingness to exert high level of efforts on behalf of the organization and
(iii) A definite belief in and acceptance of the values and goals of the organization.
These implies that commitment is a product of discipline, because once a teacher is committed, disciplined, and regards teaching as his job without regrets, he/she does what is right, and performs his duties diligently in the presence or absence of the school authority, supervisor etc. Such teacher always strives to improve on his practical pedagogies and is research oriented (Tyree, 2006). Such a teacher is a member of a team, a partner with parents ready for class work, reflective practitioner and transparent.
Secondary education occupies a central position in the Nigeria education that prepares students for higher education. It is the level of education that determines the academic and professional career of students. Perhaps it is on the basis of this understanding that the Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN, 2013) articulates the broad aims of secondary education to include preparation of student for useful living in the society and preparation for higher education. However, the aims of secondary education in Nigeria cannot be successfully achieved without dedicated and committed teachers. This is why the issue of teacher commitment in Abak education zone has attracted the attention of the public educators and other state-holder because “teacher commitment results in better job performance and effectiveness” (Akpan, 2013). The teachers are the hubs of every educational system and the success of any educational programme rests upon them. It is generally observed that there is poor attitude of teachers toward work in many secondary schools in Abak education zone of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. Some teachers are engaged in trading more than their professional responsibilities. Some of them are combining full-time post-graduate studies in universities with their teaching jobs. Some teachers exhibit nonchalant attitude towards Students’ academic achievement and pay less attention to discipline. All these are indicators of lack of commitment among teachers (Akpan 2013).
It is observed that workers can only put in their best and be committed to their organization when their needs are satisfied and they are motivated. Denga (1996) reports that workers, whose needs, goals and aspirations are thwarted by the organization, develop feelings of low self-worthy become apathetic, disinterested, frustrated and tend to withhold self-commitment to the work. Thus, the way human resource management of secondary schools is managed can influence their feelings and interest towards their job and commitment to the institution. In effective schools where teachers are well managed, they can be spurred to hard work, and will become enthusiastic in the pursuance of institution objectives.
Motivation is defined as a driving force or something that energises the teachers to put in their best towards the achievement of schools’ goals. In the school organization, teachers are influenced by what motivates them to work and reward fulfillment they derive from it. The management needs to know how best to elicit the co-operation of the teachers and direct their performance to achieving the goals and objectives of the school. The manager must understand the nature of human behaviour and how to motivate the teachers so that they work willingly, effectively and participate in school decision making thereby enhancing their commitment to duty.
Decision making is a process whereby the awareness of a problem existing within a system, influenced by information and values is transformed into competing alternatives among which a choice is made for perceived outcomes.Uyanga (2008) defines decision-making as a steps beginning with the identification of the problems and ending with evaluation of it outcomes. The extent to which a staff participates in organizational management process such as decision-making and policy formulation could affect his or her level of commitment to duty and attainment of the organizational goals and objective. When teachers are allowed to participate in decision making process in school, vital issues, concerning in-service training and development shall be discussed and put into school policies.
In-service training is defined as the process of exposing teachers to further teaching and practice after the initial training. It may also be taken as improving the teacher through further studies. According to Kennedy in Tom (2010), our society is dynamic, our needs, values, aspirations and expectations change from time to time. Knowledge, skills and methodologies also change as a result of research. Education is the fastest tool for socialization and propagation of culture and teachers are tools used to implement the teaching-learning process, all teachers required retraining on a regular basis in the arts of new pedagogical, communication, interpersonal relationship can enhance teachers’ skill of delivery quality instruction and to boost their commitment skills among others to duty.
Communication strategy is defined as the principals’ skill in disseminating information to the teachers in school. Cole in Akinnubi, Gbadeyan, Fashiku and Kayode (2012) defines communication as the process of creating, transmitting and interpreting ideas, facts, opinions and feelings in form of a message from the person (encoder) and the message is translated and interpreted by another person (decoder). For effective management of resources, the principal should create a message in form of an object, transmitting the message through the heads of department to teachers who will in turn transmit same to students thereby enhancing teachers’ commitment to duty. The principals’ ability to manage communication effectively in school can enhance inter-personal relationship and facilitate actions among teachers in school.
Inter-personal relationship refers to the mutual trust and feeling between the teachers and the school managers. When the principal understands the feelings and the needs of the teachers and try to proffer solution to it, it will motivate them to work effectively for the achievement of the school goals and the objectives, thereby enhancing their commitment to duty.Commitment refers to the level of involvement of teacher in the activities of the school. It is the extent to which teachers are serious with their duties for the attainment of school goals.Contrary to this, there had been complains from scholars, parents and the society about low commitment of teachers to duty due to poor principals’ management of human resources. For instance, at Utu-Etim Ekpo, Ikono Annang Comprehensive Secondary School, Nkwo Ikono, it wasobserved by the researcher’s interaction with the staff of the school, that teachers were not consulted by the principal during policy formulation. This has resulted in the teachers not identifying themselves with the school goals and objectives which were caused by poor human resource management of participatory decision making which hinders effective teachers’ commitment to duty.
At community commercial secondary school Midim, it wasobservedby the researcher’s interaction with the staff of the school, that teachers’ application for further study was not granted by the principal. This resulted in the teachers not being acquainted with the new knowledge, skills and methods of research caused by poor human resource management of in-service training thereby inhibiting teachers’ commitment to duty.At community commercial secondary school, Afaha Obong, Abak, it was observed by the researcher’s interaction with the school management that there was a breakdown of communication between the principal and his subordinates. This was caused by the principal’s in ability to disseminate information to the teachers in bulletin, staff meetings and Parent Teacher Association (PTA) this resulted in unfriendly atmosphere and lack of trust amongst the teachers’ students and the principal there by inhibiting effectiveness teachers’ commitment to duty.
Also worthy of mentioned is the recent incidence at government technical college, Ikot Uko Ika,where the students embarked on a peaceful demonstration against the school authorities for not responding and showing concern to their needs. This resulted in mild and weak relationship between the students, teachers and the principals thereby hindering effective teachers’ commitment to duty. All these may be attributed to the principals’ poor human resource management of motivation, participationin decision making, in-service training, communication strategy and inter-personal relationship. This has become a problem in the society to the extent that many researchers have tried to proffer solutions but the problem still persists. Because of this, the researcher decided to carry out a research on this topic human resource management and teachers’ commitment to duty in public secondary schools in Abak Education Zone. The question therefore is, to what extent does human resource management variables predict teachers’ commitment to duty in public secondary schools in Abak education zone?