Background to the Study

Secondary education’s general goals of concocting people for suitable living in the society and for higher education have made it imperious that it should, among others, supply trained manpower in the applied science, technology, and commerce at sub-professional levels; inspire its students with the desire for self-improvement and achievement of excellence; raise a generation of people who can think for themselves, respect the views and feelings of others; and respect the dignity of labor (the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004). One major step in the achievement of these goals is the enrolment of students into secondary schools where they are exposed to experiences necessary to achieve these objectives.

Statement of the Problem

It has been observed by some scholars that many principals in Anambra State do not devote much time and effort in planning school activities as evidenced by the hasty organization of programs such as teachers’ forums and Parents Teachers Association meetings. Incidence of role conflicts, duplication of functions, and general lack of direction in task performance have also been reported (Onuh, 2008; Egboka, 2008). With these problems, wastage in the use of resources, the poor academic performance of students, and poor Parents Teachers Association involvement in school administration are likely to persist. Incidentally, the selection of principals based on teaching experience and not on administrative qualification has been alleged to contribute to the inefficiency and lapses found in the secondary schools. Some scholars contend that several teachers that were promoted to principals were later regarded as incompetent principals they lacked the required skills to carry duties relevant to their post. Areas they were found to have a deficit in skill were in working with high officials (State School Board or Ministry of Education) and in dealing with the student body. These result in administrative problems (Obilade, 1986; Arikewuyo, 2009). The Nationwide diagnosis of the Nigerian education sector also showed that a greater proportion of secondary school principals do not have the necessary administrative strategies/tools such as vision and mission statement, code of conduct for students (rules and regulations), year activity calendar, code of conduct for teachers, school strategic plans, in-house teacher’s development activities and students’ target setting (Federal Ministry of Education, 2005). These situations could be as a result of the principals’ lack of competencies needed to carry out administrative responsibilities, or that they do not apply the acquired competencies. In view of these, this work is interested in identifying competencies that are essential for administrative effectiveness and examining the extent to which secondary school principals possess and apply the identified essential competencies.

Purpose of the study

This study aimed at identifying essential competencies and examining secondary school principals’ administrative effectiveness in Anambra State. Specifically, the study was concerned with:1. identifying the competencies considered to be essential for principals’ administrative effectiveness2.  examining the extent school principals possess the identified essential competencies3.  ascertaining the extent school principals apply the identified essential competencies.4.  identifying likely factors that affect principals’ application of the competencies.5.  finding out whether discrepancies exist between principals’ possession and application of the identified competencies essential for administrative effectiveness.




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