APPRAISAL OF COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF PUBLIC SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN EDUCATION ZONE “C” OF BENUE STATE
This study was carried out to appraise community participation in the administration of public secondary schools in Education Zone “C” of Benue State. Four research questions and two null hypotheses were posed and formulated respectively to guide the study. The hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance. The related literature to the study was reviewed under four main headings namely: conceptual framework, theoretical framework, review of related empirical studies and summary of literature review. This study used descriptive survey research design. The population of the study was 1427 while the sample was 284 respondents. The instrument for data collection was a questionnaire titled “Appraisal of Community Participation Questionnaire (ACPQ)”. Three experts validated the instrument, two in Educational Administration and Planning, department of educational foundations and one expert in measurement and evaluation, department of science education, all from University of Nigeria, Nsukka. The instrument was trial tested and the overall reliability coefficient of
0.91 was obtained. Mean and standard deviation were used to answer the research questions that guided the study, while t-test statistic was used to test the null hypotheses formulated at 0.05 level of significance. The Results of the study revealed that: the communities participate in funding public secondary schools in Education Zone “C” of Benue State to a less extent, the communities also participate in the provision of infrastructural facilities in Education Zone “C” of Benue State to a less extent. Communication gap between the community and the school was one of the problems militating against community participation in administration of public secondary schools. The respondents in rural and urban schools had the same views on the strategies for integrating community members for effective school administration in Education Zone “C” of Benue State. It was recommended among others that since the Principal, the teachers and the education administrators are also members of the community, they can help to disseminate information to other members of the community on the need to take active participation in the education of the young ones. The limitations of this study were highlighted and suggestions were made for further studies.
Background of the Study
Education is recognized as the cornerstone for sustainable development. Education is a veritable instrument for achieving economic development and social transformation of every society. Fertig (2000) regards education as a social responsibility that every citizen should enjoy as a member of a country and that everyone has a right to education. Federal Republic of Nigeria (2004) also accepted education as an instrument that brings about even and orderly development for a country. Senge (2006) opined that socio-economic development of any nation hinges on its level of educational development. The author further stressed that any country that fails to educate her citizens is trying with the level of her development; hence education is regarded as an investment which must yield high dividend.
Consequently, Ogundele (2008) noted that Nigeria as a country is faced with a lot of crises in her educational industry. These crises had been attributed to inadequate funding, poor and irregular payment of salaries, students’ population explosion, poor teachers’ job satisfaction, and inadequate supply of educational facilities and needed equipment for effective teaching learning process. The result of this brings about low quality and fallen standard of education in our secondary school system. The filmsy excuse of the government is that government alone cannot take up total responsibilities of education that it has to be paid for by all and sundry.
Due to the inability of Government to attend to these issues, appraisal of community participation in the administration of public secondary schools becomes necessary. Appraisal is an expert estimation of quality, quantity and other characteristics of someone or something. According to Bondesio (2000), appraisal is the act of assessing an expert or official value of something for the achievement of goals and objectives. In this context, appraisal is used to determine the level of community participation in the administration public secondary school.
Community could be viewed in terms of all the people or group of people living within a specific geographical area such as a village, a town, a city, a neighbourhood or even a whole state. Community when conceived in this way is used in two senses, first, as social unit and second as geographical or ecological unit. This implies that such groups of people are closely joined together and organized. This togetherness among the people spells out a common feeling of community (Oghuvbu 2004). The researcher further perceived community as a people or group of people who share common interest or functions such as farming group or agricultural group education, culture or religion. This group may not include everyone within the geographical area or boundary, but who have a particular interest or functions in common. Ugwu (2000) described a community as a people obliged to one another not because of place of birth, race, sex, religion but people bound to one another and governed by shared taste, value, specific words for common interest. Throughout history, the relationship between the school and the community has been a matter of major concern. Yusuf (2000) opined that it is important that the school and the community should have mutual
relationship to foster cordial existence. The researcher further stated that the community where the school is situated forms a focus point of assessing the activities of the school and make necessary contributions towards its growth.
In a similar vein, one can define community as a legal, political or administrative unit. As a legal unit, it is likened to a municipality, a school district or a nation with a clearly defined social structure. In this sense, a community will feature the formulation of laws to guide the conduct of members, and this is what is required to ensure its existence. The regulations or laws are enforced by an administrative unit. As a legal unit, it is likened to a municipality, a school district or a nation with a clearly defined social structure. The community through a healthy working relationship with the school management and the entire school community would get to know the school strength and weaknesses (Obiechina, 2006).
Community participation in the administration of secondary schools has become necessary as a result of lack of proper management, lack of funding, facilities and equipment, poor learning environment, inadequate provision of teaching materials, problem of discipline and proper supervision of instruction. The community has immense input in the funding of educational projects such as endowment funding, sponsoring of projects and Parents Teachers Association involvement (Okoro and Okoro, 2005). All these indicate that the community and the school exist side by side and always being in existence as a pre-existing condition for effective school administration. The most involvement of parents in school matters in most of the communities is usually through the Parent Teacher
Association (PTA). With a few exceptions, the traditional role of the PTA has been the making of financial contributions to schools (Ugwu, 2010).
The participation of communities in the administration of secondary schools has gone beyond mere financial contributions; however, educational development in some parts of the country has witnessed increased involvement of the whole communities. Some communities in Nigeria have established secondary schools through their own initiatives in the past, e.g The education zone ‘C’ in Benue built community secondary schools in various local government and this local are Agila community secondary school Apa, Achaga community secondary school, Ikobi community secondary school, Ikobi, Adoka community secondary school Adoka and Okpiko community secondary school Alaglanu. The Parent-Teacher Association (P.T.A) helps in the general development of the school along with other community members, by providing the school with classrooms, dormitory blocks, staff quarters, science laboratories and equipment, electric plant generators, school vans, libraries, books and classroom equipment (Oghuvbu and Iyeke, 2004). They get the funds for these by launching Parents Teachers Association (P.T.A) funds and by contributing individually, directly or indirectly, towards the funds. The Parents Teachers Association (P.T.A) also helps the authority to maintain discipline by the children at home on how to behave at school.
On the other hand, the community needs to monitor and supervise the schools to see to their needs, problems and progress towards the education of their children. Bello (2011) believed that open relationship between the school and community could bring about high opportunities that will allow community
resources to be optimally utilized for the school improvement. Yusuf (2000) opined that a community school relation is a strong instrument for effective school administration. Within the school system, participation involves a feeling of identification with and responsibility to the school and academic life it offers.
Administration is getting things done in order to accomplish defined objectives. Akpotowoh (2006) agree that school administration aims at using both human and material resources within the school system for the achievement of objectives. Nwankwo, in particular, defined educational administration as arrangement of the human and material resources and programmes available for education and carefully using them systematically for the achievement of articulated objectives. This involves describing tasks to be performed to accomplish certain objectives, assigning these tasks to carefully selected and trained personnel, making the personnel perform efficiently by using the tools provided for them, coordinating some formal structures which permits a hierarchal allocation of responsibilities with communication flow, and contributing to the fact that administration involves co-ordination of human and material resources towards the attainment of pre-determined objectives.
The central purpose of administration in general is the coordination of human and material resources towards the attainment of some predetermined objectives. Okendu (2009) sees administrative effectiveness as a careful, systematic arrangement of resources by the principal for the realization of the objectives of the school. For administration to be effective, there are processes that must be followed by the administrators. This is because administration is seen as a
collection of processes, dealing with various ways in which human and material resources are utilized to achieve set goals in an organization.
Secondary school administration entails working with and through teachers, non-teaching staff and students to get things done effectively. It is more concerned with the institution, its goals, policies, and execution of these policies (Ajayi & Ayodele, 2003). In school administration according to Jaiyeoba (2006), the major objective has to do with the improvement of teaching and learning and all the activities of the school. The researcher further posits that the primary purposes of the school in any society are the intellectual development of the individual child to his greatest potential, the acquisition of factual information and understanding the concepts and meanings in a number of subject areas including the languages, the arts, history, geography, science and technology.
In order to achieve the educational goals and objectives, the school has to ensure that the skills developed in these subjects can be used in practical situations. It has to be faithful to some model of what the society is or ought to be. This is necessitated by the fact that the school should always serve the interest of the society as a whole. To do this effectively, the school has to be aware of the cherished societal values and norms. It has to be aware also of the generally held idea of what a good or ideal society is and should be able to offer the child an opportunity to develop his potentials as a social being. For learning experiences to be meaningful to the child in the secondary schools, they have to be related to the child's immediate community and society. These can only be possible if the barriers between the school and its community are broken to make way for a
constant flow of information and ideas between the two. Developing effective two- way communication between the school and the community will be to the mutual advantage of the two parties. It implies some specific roles for the school staff and community members. This interaction can take various forms and there are benefits that can accrue to the child and school as well as the expected roles of the school staff and the community members in enhancing the quality of secondary education.
The invaluable roles and contributions of education in the development of an individual and the society cannot be over emphasized. Many countries including Nigeria, take education as an instrument for the promotion of national development as well as effecting desirable social change (FRN, 2004). This perhaps, might be responsible for the continuous growing concern of all stakeholders in education industry on changes that are likely to affect it as well as the implications such changes will have on the management and administration of education. There is therefore, the urgent need to really look into the future of our nation’s education Vis-visa the challenges ahead with a view to achieving effectiveness, quality and relevance in the entire system by fully involving the school principals and teachers.
Principals are known as educational managers and their roles as educational managers’ ranges from administrative to professional. Ojo in Ekudayo (2010) believe that, school administration involves managing, administrating the curriculum and teaching, pastoral care, discipline, assessment evaluation and examinations, resources allocation, costing and forward planning, staff appraisals
relationship with the community, use of the practical skills necessary for surviving the policies of organization such as decision-making, negotiation, bargaining, communication, conflict handling, running meetings and so on. All these tasks can be reduced to the following: planning, organizing, directing, supervising, and evaluating the school system.
The Principal is the chief executive and accounting officer who is entrusted with the responsibility of controlling the revenues accruing from the school and ensuring judicious utilization of PTA levy for quality assurance. In order to raise fund to complement the efforts of the government, the principals establish a very good rapport with the Parent Teacher Association, old student’s Association and Non-Governmental organizations for fund raising activities that will facilitate internal quality assurance in his school. Provision and Maintenance of Physical facilities: Principals must be fully concerned with the physical environment and other facilities around the school. Dilapidated buildings, leaking roofs, abandoned projects, over-grown tress and lawns, dingy and dark buildings, have demoralizing effect on people, especially the adolescents and cannot lead quality assurance output (Obidoa, 2006). The principals have the responsibilities of ensuring that, these facilities are in good shape. Even with the meager resources at their disposal, they have the responsibility of providing teachers and other instructional staff with necessary resources for effective teaching (Babayemi, 2006). Principal as a Motivator: Ajayi and Oni in Babayemi (2006) opined that a school principal must not only be trained in the act o f administration but must be well-acquainted with the principles that guide and control administration processes. As the chief
executive, the principal owes it as duty to modify the attitude of the staff and motivate them in accordance with Henri Frayol’s policy of motivation to put in their best at achieving educational goals through effective teaching-learning process for internal quality assurance output. Principal as a Curriculum and Instructional Supervisor:
However, public senior secondary school is that secondary school under the maintenance of government for the benefit of her citizens. Public secondary school according to Ogbonnaya (2009) is those secondary schools owned and managed/controlled by state or federal government. Furthermore, secondary education according to FRN (2004) in her National Policy on Education is the form of education children receive after primary education and before the tertiary stage. The SSS is comprehensive with a core curriculum designed to broaden the student’s knowledge and out-look. Education at this stage has two broad aims: Preparation for useful living within the society and Preparation for higher education (FRN, 2004). In addition, one can define secondary school as the intermediate level between elementary school and college (University) and that usually offers general, technical, and vocational or college (University) preparatory curricula.
Statement of the Problem
The provision of administration of educational system is the responsibility of Government at all levels (Local Government, State and Federal). Nigeria as a country is faced with a lot of crises in her educational industry. These crises have been attributed to inadequate funding, poor and irregular payment of salaries,
students’ population explosion, poor teacher’s job satisfaction, poor learning environment, and inadequate supply of educational facilities and equipment for effective teaching learning and learning. The result is the low quality and fallen standard of education in our secondary school system. The flimsy excuse of the government is that, they alone cannot take up total responsibilities of education; that it has to be paid for by all and sundry. These problems have become a recurring decimal in the history of Nigerian education.
Unfortunately most school principals do not allow communities to participate in the administration of their schools because of selfishness, poor public image making and rustic behaviour as they seem to be out of tune with changes. The home therefore, provides the foundation on which the school builds, but some parents believe that as soon as the child starts to go to school, they can hand over their training to the teachers. For many years, budgets of education have been under enormous pressure as a result of declining budgetary allocation and increase in enrolment, the effect of this on education administration is better imagined. Inspite of the efforts of different donor countries in providing assistance for education; the system still lacks the necessary fund, human and material resources to implement the various programmes. It is against this background that this study sought to examine other sources of supporting secondary school administration by appraising level of community participation in the administration of public secondary schools in Education Zone ‘C’Benue State.
Purpose of the Study
The general purpose of the study is to appraise the community participation in the administration of public secondary schools in Education Zone “C” of Benue State.
Specifically, the study seeks to:
1. determine the extent of community participation in funding public secondary schools in Education Zone “C” of Benue State.
2. ascertain the extent of community participation in the provision of infrastructural facilities in Education Zone “C” of Benue State.
3. determine the problems militating against community participation in the administration of public secondary schools.
4. identify the strategies for motivating community members for effective school administration.
Significance of the Study
Theoretically, this study anchored its significance on contingency theory of management. This theory advances to prescribe which management strategy or procedure will yield the best results in a specific situation such as teaching and learning. Thus, the contingency theory is based on the premises that situations dictate managerial actions and that; there is no single best way of solving problems in situations. This is true since secondary school is a structure with interdependent parts, each having a supra system which constitutes its environment and having the ultimate goal of developing the individual’s mental capacity and character building for higher education and useful living within the society. For the survival of
secondary education, there is need to involve the community members in its administration since the community helps in the provision of land, funds, security, physical facilities and materials for effectiveness and efficiency in the school administration.
Practically, this study will be of a great significance to the following: the secondary school principals, teachers, students, community and the government. To the principals, the findings will help them improve their relationship with the community. The principals as well through the findings of this study will learn about the development, problems, purposes, programs and the needs of the schools where the community could participate for effective school administration. On the part of teachers, the findings of this study will equally help them improve on the classroom attendance, competency in content and pedagogy, relationships with students, principals and the community as well.
Furthermore, the findings of the study will bring new awareness to community members to know that their active participation in the administration of secondary schools is important and thereby learn to give more of their time for the effectiveness and efficiency in the achievement of educational goals and objectives. Finally, the findings of this study will provide information to the state government on the extent to which communities are involved in the development of the state through their effective participation in the administration of secondary schools.
Scope of the Study
The study is delimited to all the public secondary schools in Education Zone “C” of Benue State. Education Zone “C” of Benue State consists of Nine Local Government Areas, these include: Ado, Agatu, Apa, Otukpo, Ohimini, Ogbadibo, Obi, Oju and Okpokwu Local Government Areas. The study will focus on the appraisal of community participation in the administration of public secondary schools in the area of funding, provision of infrastructural facilities, problems militating against community participation and strategies for motivating community members for effective school administration and the ways public secondary schools administration could be enhanced in Education Zone “C” of Benue State.
The following research questions will guide the study.
1. To what extent do communities participate in funding public secondary schools in Education Zone “C” of Benue State?
2. To what extent do communities participate in the provision of infrastructural facilities in Education Zone “C” of Benue State?
3. What are the problems militating against community participation in the administration of public secondary schools?
4. What are the strategies for motivating community members for effective school administration?
The following null hypotheses are formulated to guide the study and will be tested at 0.05 level of significance.
H01: There is no significant difference in the mean ratings of rural teachers and urban teachers on the participation of communities in the funding of public secondary schools in Education Zone “C” of Benue State.
HO2: There is no significant difference in the mean ratings of rural teachers and urban teachers on the strategies for integrating community members for effective school administration..