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Administrative effectiveness of principals of public secondary schools in Delta State.

 Format: MS WORD   Chapters: 1-5

 Pages: 92   Attributes: COMPREHENSIVE RESEARCH

 Amount: 3,000

 May 03, 2020 |  04:02 pm |  1011

CHAPTER ONE

 

INTRODUCTION

1.1    Background to the Study

Administrative effectiveness is of particular importance in educational management because of the far-reaching effects on the accomplishment of school programmes, objectives and the attainment of educational goals.

Tannenbaum and Schmidt (1973), did express a situational theme in their leadership model when they made the point that the most effective leaders or administrators are not authoritative or democratic, but flexible leaders who are able to select a style that is not only comfortable to them but also appropriate for the situation they are handling. The school administrator therefore, must take cognizance of the various situational forces. These include the school climate, the nature of the subordinate’s work task, members attitudes toward constituted authority, group effectiveness, pressure of time and the nature of the problem.

Fiedler (1967), identified three important elements in the work situation that will help determine which leadership style will be effective. These elements are the Leader-member relations, task structure and the leader’s position power. The leader-member relation refers to the degree of confidence, trust and respect the subordinates have in the leader. This situation characteristic reflects the loyalty shown the leader, his attractiveness and acceptance by the subordinates. The main idea is that if the leader is respected and accepted by his or her group and interpersonal relations are friendly, leader-member relations are considered good. On the other hand, Leader-member relations are considered poor, when the groups lack respects for the leader, does not support or accept him and interpersonal relations within the group are unfriendly. it is also believed that the better the relationship between the leader and subordinates, the easier it will be for the leader to exercise influence and lead informally without having to rely on fontal rank, authority and directive to accomplish group tasks, Fiedler (1967), stated that the quality of leader-member relations is the most important influence on the school administrator’s power and effectiveness. The second most important factor is the task structure in the work on which concerns the nature of subordinate’s task. The degree to which s to be accomplished are programmed (structured or reutilized) or spelt out via established procedures. In other words, task structure refers to the degree which! tasks are simplified and easy for the group to understand. The more structured a task is, the greater the influence of the leader (Middlemist and Hitt, 1981).

Leader’s position power is the final situational variable identified by Fielder as the power inherent in the leadership position. It is measured by the degree to which the leader can reward, punish, promote and/or demote employees in the work group.

Therefore, administrative effectiveness is judged by the extent to which group accomplishes its primary task; that is, the quality and efficiency of personnel who perform the functions necessary for the fulfillment of stated also and objectives of the primary tasks. Hence, the quality of education in the system depends largely upon the quality of the personnel engaged in the educational process, and upon the effectiveness with which they carry out individual/group responsib1ities.

Since the educational reform that gave birth to the 6-3-3-4 programme in 1982, tremendous changes have been observed in all facets of the secondary school system m Delta State. These changes coupled with the existence of free education programme re-introduced since 1999, by civilian government of the peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of Nigeria, brought about an astronomical increase in both size and number of secondary institutions in Delta State as well as the other states of the federation. Currently, there are 327 public secondary schools with 327 principals, as well as over 9,928 teachers in Delta State. The rapid expansion rate of Secondary Schools has no doubt increased the complexity and dimension of the duties of all school principals in areas, such as curriculum and instruction, students and staff personnel management, finance and physical facilities management and school community relations.

Nwana (1975) and Nwadiani (1999), stated that the rapid expansion trails several educational issues and problems such as the lowering of standards, increase in the number of failures in public examinations, examination malpractice, and increase in the number of drop outs, resulting from principals administrative incapability to foster discipline in schools. This incapability have been attributed to the extra-ordinarily large students enrolment which made effective school administration more difficult to attain. In Delta State, these large enrolments, have led to the splitting of schools, particularly in the urban areas, and the creation of many arms of junior secondary classes (JSS) so as to  must be such as would serve the diverse needs of the students to become a total man.

Ezewu (1983), identified the principal in his dual functional capacity as a teacher and as administrator. As an administrator, the principal engages in such routine duties as planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling. As a teacher, on the other hand, the principal is the head-teacher or instructional head. This is a paramount role for the principal, which requires him to lead the way in curriculum implementation and be held accountable for its success or failure, in other words, the principal seeks for means of achieving curriculum objectives by providing the necessary instructional materials and equipment and also by managing prudently the scarce and limited resources at his disposal for the benefit of his students and the school at large. The place of the secondary school principal as administrator and teacher is very vital in the implementation of schools’ policies and the attainment of educational objectives and goals, in recent times, there has been an increase in the rate of examination mat-practice, truancy, high failure rate in public examinations, increase in the incidence of students’ riots, indiscipline, cheating moral decadence and drop in the standard of education, in secondary schools.

Anwanakaka (1982), blamed the teachers, principals and school authorities for the high level of indiscipline and moral decadence in schools. The author remarked that there are some teachers who encourage their students in moral decadence and indiscipline. The author accepted the general view that the tone of schools in the missionary era was better than the current situation in our  schools. Comparing what used to be principal’s power, duties and responsibilities with what operates today, the powers of principals have been substantially eroded and they have become an ineffective organ of the educational system. Thus they are subjected to regulations coming from the government or its agencies. Principals are not aware of the planning stages of they are expected to implement in their various schools. It is important to understand that principals have been called upon to expand the size of their accept new subjects and above all, increase enrolment in their various schools. They have attempted to respond with no sure knowledge of the long impact of these changes upon school organization itself and the implications of such changes on the effective performance of their work. These have indeed resulted in the partial or total withdrawal of the participative rights earlier enjoyed by the principals. It should be noted that cases of rioting were hardly heard of in any secondary school in the fifties let alone in our higher institutions as it is largely case today. These acts of misconduct, according to Anwanakaka (1982), have been attributed to the principals administrative ineffectiveness.

Principal’s effectiveness or ineffectiveness would determine the level of discipline or otherwise, among teachers, students and other members of staff. .me role and duties of the secondary school principal is so delicate and vital, that good care should be exercised in appointing the right calibre of persons nave the aptitude, interest and character profile for the position. As a by Adesina and Ogunsaju (1984)

…headship of a secondary school should not be for every teacher who has the requisite academic and professional qualification. Rather, it should be reserved for those who in addition to the necessary academic and professional qualifications, have the essential qualities of a good teacher (p:63).

Some of these essential qualities include the personal attributes of the principals which makes it possible for some to exert and command respect more than others, among students, teachers, parents and the general public. Therefore, the school work and reputation revolves around the administrator. He can make or mar a school and its image, (Ozigi, 1977). In other words, the principal has the power to correct the malpractice in examinations, truancy, indiscipline, poor results and all that are of negative effects in the school. The presence of these ills, therefore depicts poor and ineffective administration on the part of the principal.

Aghenta (1987), identified lack of expertise and experience by some principals as contributory factors to poor administration. In the same manner, parents and guardians have blamed principals for the poor performance and poor habits exhibited by students (Ogunsaju 1984). These authors strongly believed that it is the responsibility of the school authority to solve these malpractices and indecencies in as much as school is looked upon as an institution for character moulding.

Refuting the policy of selection of princip8ls from amongst teachers with long serving experience alone, Osifo (1994), remarked that acquisition of administrative experience is different front just classroom experience. Consequently, training in school administration or management, relevant administrative experience, oral and written interview and a proof of Leadership capability should be greatly considered in the selection exercise. Supporting (he acquisition of diverse skills for effective role performance in the management of staff and students as well as non human elements in the school system, Aghenta (1987), maintained that a principal must “show maturity, insight and diplomacy”.

For principals to achieve effective management of schools whose climate provide the right mixture of order, flexibility and diversity, such principals must be prepared to face and resolve challenges. The principalship position, therefore, can be seen as the oldest administrative position in the school system. Inadequacies in basic infrastructural facilities, coupled with scarce resources, stubborn students, wide spread malpractices, indiscipline, poor academic performances and many more, have further impeded the administrative efficiency of principals. In addition, the general stress and strains on students and parents resulting from the economic crunch, had made it imperative for principals to acquire extra administrative capabilities for effective management of our schools.

Under the prevailing situation, therefore, there is the need for an appraisal of principals administrative effectiveness in Delta State in order to find out bow well they are actually performing the various administrative (asks in their schools. The demand of expertise in the educational programme coupled with the ever increasing students enrolment with its problems of inadequacies, have further compounded administrative effectiveness of school principals. The employment of less qualified and less experienced teachers and principals are also contributory factors of inefficiencies. These not withstanding, some researchers like Nwankwo (1989) and Eyike (1985) have observed that some school principals are more effective than others in the management of schools under these constrains. Eyike (1985) also stated that school control takes different forms with different school heads. Writing on differential administrative effectiveness among secondary school administrators, Oki (1985), noted that discipline in schools was the off-spring of administration while indiscipline was caused by the absence of commitment on the part of some principals.

1.2    Statement of the Problem

Aghenta (1987) and Nwadiani (1999) have it that many public secondary schools are ineffectively managed by principals and that government is not unaware of this problem. Nwadiani (1999), stated that parents and society have come to hold principals and teachers of secondary schools accountable for poor performances and moral decadence of their children and wards. There is also this public assumption that principals are no longer committed and dedicated to their administrative responsibilities of maintenance of quality, standards and discipline in schools. To this effect, the researcher investigated teachers’ in Delta State public secondary schools perceive the administrative effectiveness of their principals in theft attempt to achieve the objectives and goals of the school system.

1.3    Research Questions

In an attempt to appraise the administrative effectiveness of principals of public secondary schools in Delta State, as perceived by teachers, the following questions were posed.

(1)      How does experience affect principals’ administrative effectiveness, as perceived by teachers?

2.       Are male principals perceived to be mere effective than female principals in the performance of their administrative tasks?

3.       In which of the tested principal’s administrative tasks are principals perceived to be more or less effective by teachers?



1.4    Research Hypotheses

Hypothesis 1

There is no significant difference, in Teachers’ Perception of Principals’ Administrative Effectiveness between highly experienced and less experienced principals.

Hypothesis 2

There is no significant difference in Teachers’ Perception of Principals’ Administrative Effectiveness between urban and rural principals.

Hypothesis 3

There is no significant difference in Teachers’ Perception between the Administrative Effectiveness of male and female principals.

1.5    Purpose of the study

The researcher has decided to carry out this study because of what she observes in schools as regards principalship effectiveness and based on oral interviews she had with colleagues about principals administrative effectiveness. Therefore the following purposes of the study were identified:

(I)       To determine whether principals spend more time on the admission         of new students and collection of fees to other aspects of their principalship task performances.

(2)      To appraise how effective principal are in their administrative task performances in the secondary school system as perceived by teachers.

1.6    Significance of Study

Generally, significance of education research lies in its scientific approach which entails systematic and vigorous process of problem solving, with an aim to solve and make objective generalization that can be used for future predictions. He aim is to help policy makers op how principals could improve their administrative performances and raising standard of secondary education in Delta State. In this respect, the significance of this study highlights vividly the administrative tasks effectiveness of the school principals, as perceived by teachers. This is with a view to knowing the various specified tasks that hitherto, have been assumed and which needed to be improved upon by principals, for an all round administrative effectiveness of our schools. The degree of commitment of our principals to their various administrative tasks was therefore analysed.  The outcome of the study should provide useful information for policy makers and other calibre of persons for the principalship positions. This could help curb the acts of truancy, absenteeism, and other deviant behaviour exhibited by students and the youths generally.

On the part of the principals, the department in charge of appointment and promotion of teachers to the rank of principals, should consider greatly, the personal attributes and charisma of prospective principals. Similarly, the study could serve as a guide for those in charge of organization of workshops, seminars, and other induction courses for teachers and principals. Areas of least effectiveness as were discovered should be emphasized and focused upon during workshops and seminars in bid to achieving better performance on the job.

1.7    Delimitation of Study

This is a research designed to look into the administrative effectiveness of public secondary school principals in Delta State. To make the research more manageable, the study is restricted to the following administrative tasks of principals, namely:- curriculum and instructional programmes, Student personnel functions, Staff-personnel functions, financial management functions, physical facilities management functions and school / community relation functions.


1.8    Definition of Terms

Principal: Those heading school at the time of study.

Experience Principal: This refers to principalship period during which he/she consistently held the position as a secondary school principal grade tip to merit grade.

Less Experience: Principals below Principal grade 1.

Effectiveness: The ability of the Principal lo co-ordinate the human and material resources to bring about a realization of the objectives of the secondary school education.

Administrative

Task:- The act of principals management of the instructional programmes, human and material resources of the school system.

School Size:- This is grouped into Large, medium or small.

(I)       Large size schools are schools with student enrolment of 1,000 and above.

(2)      Medium sized schools are schools with student enrolment of 600 to 999.

(3)      Small sized schools are schools with student enrolment of less than 600

Perception:-The way teachers regard or understand principals in the performance of their administrative tasks.


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