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Management Of Primary Schools By Local Government Education Authorities In South East, Of Nigeria

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ABSTRACT

The Local Government Education Authorities were established for the purpose of proper management of primary schools. Since the inception of this body, there have been problems in the management and control of primary schools in various states of Nigeria. These problems ranged from inadequate qualified teaching staff, poor staff development, mismanagement/lack of fund, inadequate physical facilities and equipment, lack of thorough supervision of classroom instructions to incessant cases of boundary disputes/land encroachment in schools. The purpose of this study therefore was to investigate the management of primary schools by the Local Government Education Authorities in the South Eastern States of Nigeria. The study was guided by five research questions and five null hypotheses and the design used was descriptive survey design. The sample of the study was 964 head teachers, 19 Education secretaries and 30 SUBEB senior staff. The instruments used for data collection were questionnaire, focus group discussion and interview schedule. In addition, a physical facilities and equipment observation schedule was used for on-the-sport assessment of the physical facilities in selected schools in the study area. In analyzing the data, mean scores and standard deviations were used to answer the research questions, while the t-test statistics was used to test the null hypotheses at 0.05 levels of significance. Also percentage scores were used to analyse the data obtained from observation with checklist. The study, among others, revealed that funds meant for the management of primary schools were utilized to a little extent in maintenance of school buildings and in providing physical facilities/educational materials for effective teaching and learning. Findings also revealed that organising seminars and workshops for teachers, auditing primary schools’ account, granting study leave with pay to teachers and providing adequate qualified teachers to primary schools were given little attention. Based on the findings, the researcher recommended that: education sector should be adequately funded so that enough funds will be disbursed to LGEAs for proper management of primary schools. Also there should be regular auditing of the funds so allocated to ensure that they are judiciously used for the purpose they are meant for.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

The Primary school level of education is the education of children between six to eleven years plus. The Federal Republic of Nigeria in her National Policy on Education (FRN, 2008 p. 14) refered primary school education as the education given in institutions for children aged 6 – 11 years plus. It is the foundation upon w hich other levels of education are built and the key to the success or failure of the whole educational system. According to Adenipukun (2008) the features of primary school education curriculum include English language, Mathematics, Basic Science and Technology, social studies, Civic Education and Creative Arts, Computer studies, Health and Physical Education, Languages, Religious Studies, French as core subject, Arabic, Agriculture, Business Studies and Home Economics as elective subjects. Also the educational services provided include: school library, basic health scheme, counselling and educational resources centre.

Primary school is formally organized and planned, with rules and regulations guiding its activities in order to achieve desired goals. In his view, Durosaro (2006) saw the primary school level of education as the educational system which runs for six years aimed at developing basic literacy, numeracy, communication skills and transmission of culture of the people to the younger generation. It prepares the child for life outside the classroom; develop the child’s latent skills and provides him with basic skills for literacy and numeracy. The primary school level of education, being the bedrock of the child’s basic education, is a vital aspect of the nations’ educational system that deserves to be handled with great care and caution. Ezenwaji (2012) stated that any error committed in the organization and management of this level of education may reverberate on other levels and thus seriously mar the lives of the people and indeed the overall development of the nation. This is one good reason why primary school management has received serious attention in recent times. For instance, both the government and private sector according to Tabotndip (2000) commit a great deal of resources towards the achievement of the goals of primary education; as can be seen in some states like Anambra and Imo states where many new schools are built by philanthropists, Universal Basic Education Board / Education Trust Fund and the old ones renovated.

The establishment of primary schools in Nigeria is to achieve a wide variety of goals. These goals as contained in the National policy on Education ( FRN, 2008) include, to; inculcate permanent literacy and ability to communicate effectively; lay a sound basis for, scientific and reflective thinking; give citizenship education as a basis for effective participation in the contribution to the life of the society; develop in the child the ability to adapt to his changing environment; provide the child with the basic tool for further educational development including preparation for trades and crafts of the society; mould the character and develop the sound attitude and morals in the child; give the child opportunity for developing manipulative skills that will enable him function effectively in the society within the limit of his capacity(p.14).

Nwadiana (2000) revealed that, in most cases the societal expectations in terms of achieving the stated goals of primary education are hardly met and part of the reasons are linked to absence of adequate human and material resources as well as absence of conducive environment for learning .It is pertinent to note that for the goals of any organisation to be achieved there should be proper management.  This  implies  that  management  is  a  very  essential   tool  for  the  success of any organisation. To this effect, the policy objectives which govern primary school education are very crucial and important and should therefore be carefully handled and managed.

Many authorities have variously defined management. According to Ogunu (2001), management is the effective organization and utilization of the human and material resources in a particular system for the achievement of identified objectives. Proper management helps the organization to plan, organize staff, control, direct and coordinate its activities to achieve pre-determined goals. Obi (2003) opined that management involves the process of planning, organizing, leading and controlling the efforts of organizational members and the use of other organizational resources in order to achieve organizational goals.

In educational institutions, management can be seen as a process of utilizing human and material resources through cooperative efforts to achieve educational goals. In view of this, Ogbonnaya (2009) emphasized that effective management is very necessary for coordinating all the resources of educational institutions through planning, organizing, directing and controlling of the human and material resources to attain pre-determined goals. To Ogbonnaya, the task of the managers is to establish the environment for group effort in such a way that the individuals contribute to group objectives with the least amount of such input as time, effort and comfort. Effective management of educational institutions requires that certain practices need to be carried out for the attainment of goals and objectives. These practices include: instructional management, staff personnel management, school community relationship management, physical facilities management, financial management practises, pupils’ personnel management, curriculum management, delegation of duties and business management practises. This study concentrated on only five management practises namely: instructional management, staff personnel management, school community relationship management, physical facilities’ management and financial management practises. Instructional management is one of the areas of educational management for promoting instructions in schools According to Mgbodile (2004), instructional management involves planning, organising, promoting and supervision of instruction. It is important to note that the administrator has the duty of helping the teacher to plan and organise for instruction, sees that the teacher prepares useful lesson notes and ensures that he teaches his lessons with useful instructional materials. It is also the duty of the administrator to carry out proper supervision of instruction to ensure effective teaching and learning in schools. In the context of this study, the researcher is interested in instructional supervision. This is because supervision of instruction is that part of management practises that leads to teacher effectiveness. Wiles and Lovell in Akudo (2007) defined supervision as the maximum development of the teacher into the most professional efficient person he is capable of becoming. This definition recognized that a teacher has potential that needs assistance, directing and guidance. Supervision is used to improve instruction through regular monitoring of teachers to promote teacher growth in educational practice. Therefore supervisors need to stimulate, help, advise, assist, and guide the continued growth of teachers in better understanding and more effective performance of their instructional roles in order to achieve the school objectives. Doris (2000) identified two types of supervision – internal and external supervision. The author stressed that internal supervision is carried out by the school heads to ascertain the needs and problems of teachers while external supervision is conducted by external agents like State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) supervisory staff, Local Government Education Authorities (L.G.E.As) officials among others, to promote teachers’ instructional effectiveness. Doris explained that both internal and external supervision are important tools for effective teaching and learning hence both internal and external supervision are discussed in this study.

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The main purpose of instructional supervision is to bring about desirable changes in the teachers’ and pupils’ behaviour. Ofojebe (2006) stresses that competent supervision of programme, projects and teachers to ensure they are on the proper course are necessary for the achievement of predetermined goals. To this end therefore, the extent to which instructional supervision is carried out in schools becomes one of the focuses of this study.

Staff personnel management is another aspect of management practices that lies at the core of the efficiency of an organization. Oboegbulem (2004) defined staff personnel management as the manpower activities of any organization which embraces recruitment of staff, selection, staff welfare, discipline, training, development, compensation and evaluation of staff for educational activities. For any school programme to succeed, the welfare of teachers should be given prority. The reason is that the teacher is the personality that implements the educational programmes for the attainment objectives. He is the one trained in the act of teaching through institutions of higher learning in specialized departments of teacher education. Thus, this study concentrates on staff welfare / development because teaching staff determines to a great extent the effectiveness of education programme. According to Bello (2004), the achievement of the school purpose is dependent upon the extent to which all personnel develop and find satisfaction in working toward achievement of goals. Bello explained that it is important to recruit and select teachers sufficiently, and once they are recruited, they need to be paid, promoted, trained and retrained. Thus, the way and manner by which the teaching and non-teaching staff are paid, trained, retrained, promoted and maintained becomes one of the focuses of this study.

School community-relationship is another essential aspect of management practices. It is the degree of understanding and the goodwill achieved between the school and the community where the school is located. According to Oboegbulem (2004), the school is a social institution designed to serve the needs of the society; hence no school will ever operate in a vacuum without the society or community it serves. Oboegbulem opined that the school derives a lot of benefits and supports from the community where it is located, such as: provision of land for building schools and farming, supply of pupils, financial support as well as donation of books, and furniture. For this reason, Mgbodile (2004) stresses that the school head has the responsibility to effect meaningful school community relationship by getting to know and socialize with important people in the community. Also he has to make school facilities available for the community use on demand, attend community functions if invited and participate in important community work with his staff. Through this way, the school will endear itself to the community to attract community support and assistance through School Based Management Committe (SBMC) and Parents Teachers Association (PTA). SBMC is intended to move education forward at the basic level while PTA is the agencies of the community that influences school administration. Fowomola (2013) stated that SBMC encourages communities’ participation and boost demand for quality education services. Oboegbulem (2013) in her view stresses that PTA provides an opportunity for both parents and the teachers to meet together to discuss matters affecting the school.

The Federal Republic of Nigeria (2008) in her national policy on education pointed out that the local people, particularly the parents, will be encouraged to participate in the school management to show that the government takeover of schools is without prejudice to the community’s participation in the management of schools. Obi (2003) articulated that the contribution of the community is worthwhile in ensuring good school management more especially now that the management of schools has become very complex. It is pertinent for schools to know the home circumstances and the parents to know about what goes on in the school and in this way the community assists in providing what the government has failed to provide in the schools. However, the manner of approach and the level of relationship between the school and the community determine the level of cooperation and contribution of the community in the management of primary schools. Arising from the fore going, therefore, school – community relationship forms one of the focuses of this study.

Physical facilities management is another core aspect of management practices. It is primarily concerned with procuring, organizing and maintaining material resources in an effective manner for the achievement of educational goals. Mkpa (2008) described physical facilities as all the material resources which the teacher utilizes for the purpose of making teaching and learning more effective. He saw physical facilities as important vehicle through which educational goals can be achieved; and advised that, if not properly managed; the facilities will dilapidate and wear out. Mgbodile (2004) in his view emphasized that educational facilities are needed for developing cognitive areas of knowledge, abilities and skills which are pre-requisites for academic achievement. He noted that well planned and organized physical facilities in schools such as conducive accommodation, libraries, play ground and furniture, foster good interpersonal relationship and effective teaching and learning. In a related view, Onwurah (2004) pointed out that school buildings and equipment are essential aids for effective teaching and learning and where they are inadequate or lacking; the various educational institutions cannot reasonably carry out the instructional objectives of their educational programme. According to Edem (1998), effective teaching and learning that lead to achievement of goals rest on the ability of the government to plan, organize and provide adequate physical facilities to primary schools. If Edem is right, the question to which this study would seek answer is, to what extent does the Local Government Education Authorities (L.G.E.As) provide physical facilities in primary schools in the South Eastern States of Nigeria?

Another important aspect of management practices for the achievement of primary education goals is financial management. It is the researchers’ opinion that for effective management of primary schools to take place, there should be proper financial management. This is because financial management of educational institutions is of prime importance in the achievement of educational objectives. According to Mgbodile (2004), financial management is a way of raising money, using the money judiciously and being able to give account of the money expended to justify the purpose of the expenditure. Ogbonnaya (2005) stresses that the central purpose of financial management is the raising of funds and ensuring that the funds so raised are mobilized in the most effective manner. Ogbonnaya further emphasized that the realization of the objectives of the educational programme rests on the availability of funds and effective management of the funds, because money is needed for payment of staff salaries, maintenance of school physical facilities and running the administration of schools. Also Edem (2006) articulated that the achievement of educational objectives, the expansion of educational programmes and the creation of educational opportunities for all, depend on adequate provision of funds which in many cases are usually limited.

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It is pertinent to note that inadequacy of financial resources will have the effect of limiting the educational development policy of any nation. For instance, in Nigeria, there was evidence of delayed payment of teachers’ salary structure (TSS) in the year 2011 due to lack of fund which resulted to strike action by primary school teachers and the effect of that strike on pupils’ academic pursuit was immeasurable. There was also the discovery that so many primary schools lack adequate teaching staff due to lack of fund for payment of teachers’ salaries; hence, Ogbonnaya (2005) stated that poor financial management largely affects effective management of the educational system.

Considering the effect of the above mentioned problems on primary education, the federal government in 1991 promulgated a decree which passed the control and management of primary schools to local government education authorities. The establishment of LGEAs by the federal government was to ensure adequate funding and effective management/control of primary schools that will lead to achievement of primary education goals. In the context of this work, Local government education authority is seen as an educational agency charged with the responsibility of the management and control of primary schools at the local government level. Ogunu (2001) emphasized that the Local government education authority was established under Decree No 3 of 1991 by the federal government for effective implementation of primary school educational goals. According to Ogbonnaya (2009), local government education authority is an arm of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB)  and  its  activities  are  subject  to  State  Universal  Education  Boards’  directives.

Tabotndip  (2000)  in  his   own  view  posited   that  local   government  education                    authority functions at local government level to complement the job of state universal basic education board (SUBEB). To this end therefore, local government education authority was established to   ensure   that   the   policies   and   programmes   of   primary   school   education   are      fully implemented at the grassroots. Oboegbulem (2011) noted that the functions of the Local Government Education Authority as contained in the Decree 3 of 1991 include: day to day administration of primary schools in their areas of jurisdiction; distribution of the school equipment, furniture, registers, diaries, chalk and dusters to primary schools; employment, appointment, deployment, promotion and transfer of teaching and non-teaching staff of primary schools within their areas of jurisdiction, stimulating and encouraging communal participation in primary schools; payment of staff salaries, allowances and benefits to both academic and non-academic staff of the authorities; collection of approved dues and payment for any land acquired for education/development in their areas of jurisdiction and supervision of all educational instruction in their areas of authority; retirement and retraining of primary school teachers; responsibility for the approval of schemes for the training and retraining of primary school teachers and non-teaching staff (P.13).

It is expected that the local government education authorities should carry out the above mentioned functions effectively, but contrary to people’s expectations the LGEAs seem to have failed in performing their assigned duties effectively; more especially in the South Eastern States of Nigeria. This situation is such that the integrity of the LGEAs in the discharge of their functions is questioned. For instance, experience, general observation and research reports  have  revealed  that  many  urban and  rural  primary schools  in  the  South

Eastern States of Nigeria have inadequate: teaching staff, financial resources and physical facilities. Also the method of postings and transfers of teachers, supervision of instructions and staff welfare/development in urban and rural primary schools are not encouraging.

Emphasizing on this management lapses, Odunze (2000) in his study expressed dissatisfaction over the method of postings and transfers of teachers in urban and rural areas and called for the best strategy to use in order to ensure that teachers posted to schools in rural areas do not reject their postings or transfers. He stresses that teachers who have stayed in urban schools for more than five years should be transferred to rural primary schools and vice versa.

The above observations on the state of management of urban and rural primary schools calls for an investigation of the management of primary schools by local government authorities in the South Eastern States of Nigeria in order to arrive at objective recommendations that will boost proper management of primary schools.

Statement   of the Problem

Since the establishment of primary school education from the time of voluntary agency till date, there have been numerous changes in the policies and programmes of primary school education. These changes have had a lot of undesirable effects on the primary school system which include; inadequate teaching staff, delayed payment of teachers’ salaries and allowances, incessant strike action by teachers, indiscipline among pupils, lack/mismanagement of infrastructure and school fund as well as punitive transfers of teachers. Inspite of a number of government’s efforts to ensure effective management of primary schools, this administrative problem still persist. Therefore, in order to address this undesirable situation, the federal government in 1991 promulgated a decree which passed the control and management of primary schools to the local government education authorities.

It is expected that the creation of LGEAs to handle the affairs of primary school education will bring desired changes in primary school system; but from observation and research reports, it seems the LGEAs have not been leaving up to expectations in the management of primary schools. Some of these observations and reports bother on irregular supervision of schools, inability to organise regularly seminars and workshops for teachers, inability to provide schools with adequate seats, chairs, functional libraries, sports equipment and equipped first aid boxes; inability to carry out proper auditing of primary schools’ account and participate in community activities such as maintenance of roads leading to schools.

These observations and reports seem to show case the inefficiencies of LGEAs in the management of primary schools. Inorder to establish authentically these observations and reports, an investigation of the management of primary schools by the local government education in the South Eastern states of Nigeria becomes the focus of this study.

Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to investigate the management of primary schools by Local Government Education Authorities (L.G. EAs) in the South Eastern States of Nigeria. Specifically, the study sought to:

  1. examine the extent to which Local Government Education Authorities (L.G.E.As) carry out instructional management practices (instructional supervision) in primary schools in the South Eastern States of Nigeria.
  2. identify the extent to which Local Government Education Authorities (L.G.E.As) carry out staff personnel management practices (staff welfare/ development) in primary schools in the South Eastern States of Nigeria.
  3. examine the extent to which Local Government Education Authorities (L.G.E.As) maintain good school-community relationship in primary schools in the South Eastern States of Nigeria.
  4. ascertain the extent to which physical facilities are provided by the Local Government Education Authorities (L.G.E.As) in primary schools in the South Eastern States of Nigeria.
  5. investigate the extent to which Local Government Education Authorities (L.G.E.As) carry out financial management practices in primary schools in the South Eastern States of Nigeria.
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Significance of the Study

This study is beneficial from both theoretical and practical point of view. From theoretical viewpoint, the study is anchored on systems theory. This is because the entire educational set up of which primary school is among is a system. Proper management of primary school as a social system requires adequate provision of qualitative human and non human resources. Thus, primary schools should be provided with adequate human and material resources without which the objectives will not be achieved and pupils’ overall development will not be attained.

It is hoped that the findings of this study would give a clearer understanding of data and empirical findings with respect to the purpose of the study. The study would also permit interpretation and deductions that can be tested empirically. The study would serve as a reference point to all the educational administrators in the primary school system. The recommendations on possible proper management of primary schools, if properly adhered to, will greatly help in the achievement of primary school education goals. The study will also serve as a source of information for other students who may wish to carry out a research that is related to the study by providing them direction and guideline for their studies. This study is anchored on systems theory as best for attainment of primary school education goals.

On the practical dimension, the findings of the study will be beneficial to Ministries of Education, policy makers/planners/implementers, teachers, Local Government Education Authorities, Head teachers, supervisors, pupils and the society, in the following ways: The results and recommendations of the study will serve as a feedback to the Ministries of Education. With the feedback, they can forward strong proposals to the federal government through the Federal Ministry of Education for upward review of monthly allocation given to Local Government Education Authorities and ensure that the allocated funds are mobilized in the most effective manner. The results of the study may also trigger the Ministry of Education to organize seminars or workshops for Local Government Education Authorities (L.G.E.As) officials on proper and effective management of primary schools.

The findings of this study will provide empirical and data base information that will guide the policy makers/planners and policy implementers on their subsequent plans and projections especially on the areas of human and material resources necessary for achievement of primary school education goals.

The findings of the study will be useful to teachers in that, government will utilize the result to improve teachers’ welfare services such as prompt payment of teachers’ salaries/benefits, regular promotions, regular attendance to conferences, workshops and seminars as well as in-service training with sufficient financial backings. The findings of the study will also draw the attention of the government to the issue of inadequate physical facilities in primary schools and possibly provide them with adequate facilities for effective teaching and learning.

The findings will enable the Local Government Education Authorities officials to become aware of the state of the human and material resources needs of primary schools and as such they will take measures to minimize inadequacies discovered. Head teachers will benefit from the study because when there are enough teachers, adequate provision of physical and educational facilities in primary schools, teaching and learning will be more meaningful. This will result to good performance in examinations and improved standard of education.

The study will be useful to the LGEAs supervisory team because government will provide them with vehicles for regular and effective monitoring of activities in primary schools irrespective of where the schools are located and also paid enough out-of-station allowances which will enhance their job performance. They will also become aware of the importance of seminars and workshops for improving their supervisory skills for effective supervision of instructions. Pupils will also benefit from the study because they will enjoy quality teaching and learning through adequate provision of instructional materials, enriched library facilities, good recreational facilities, enough spacious classroom accommodation and good laboratory equipment.

The study will help parents, guardian and other stakeholders to realize that a sound education is the bedrock for effective human development and as such its funding cannot be left for government alone rather all hands should be on deck. The society will also benefit from the findings since the recipients of good standard education will acquire the right skills and attitude that will enable them contribute effectively to the development of the society.

Scope of the Study

The content scope of the study is delimited to the management of urban and rural primary schools by the Local Government Education Authorities and the following management practices formed the focus of the study; instructional supervision, staff welfare/developement, school community relationship management, physical facilities management and financial management. The geographical scope of the study covered the five states that made up the South Eastern states of Nigeria, namely: Abia State, Anambra State, Ebonyi State, Enugu State and Imo State.

Research Questions

The following research questions were formulated to guide the study

  1. To what extent do Local Government Education Authorities (L.G.E.As) carry out instructional management practices (instructional supervision) in primary schools in the South Eastern States of Nigeria?
  2. To what extent do Local Government Education Authorities (L.G.E.As) carry out staff personnel management practices staff welfare/development in primary schools in the South Eastern States of Nigeria?
  3. To what extent do Local Government Education Authorities (L.G.E.As) maintain good school-community relationship in primary schools in the South Eastern States of Nigeria?
  4. To what extent do Local Government Education Authorities (L.G.E.As) provide physical facilities in primary schools in the South Eastern States of Nigeria?
  5. To what extent do Local Government Education Authorities (L.G.E.As) carry out financial management in primary schools in the South Eastern States of Nigeria?

Hypotheses

The following null hypotheses guided the study and were tested at 0.05 level of significance.

Ho1: There is no significant difference between the mean ratings of urban and rural primary school Head teachers on the extent to which instructional supervision is carried out in primary schools in the South Eastern States of Nigeria by LGEAs.

Ho2: There is no significant difference between the mean ratings of urban and rural primary school Head teachers, on the extent to which staff welfare/development is carried out in primary schools in South Eastern States of Nigeria by LGEAs. .

Ho3: There is no significant difference between the mean ratings of urban and rural primary

school Head teachers on the extent to which good school community relationship is maintained in South Eastern States of Nigeria by LGEAs.

Ho4: There is no significant difference between the mean ratings of urban and rural primary

school Head teachers, on the extent to which physical facilities are provided in primary schools in the South Eastern States of Nigeria by LGEAs.

Ho5: There is no significant difference between the mean ratings of the urban and rural primary Head teachers on the extent to which financial management is carried out in primary schools in the South Eastern States of Nigeria by LGEAs.


Pages:  150

Category: Project

Format:  Word & PDF         

Chapters: 1-5                                                               

Material contains Table of Content, Abstract, References & Appendix.

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