Analysis Of Principals’ Managerial Competencies For Effective Management Of School Resources In Secondary Schools

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Analysis Of Principals’ Managerial Competencies For Effective Management Of School Resources In Secondary Schools


Abstract


This study analyses Principals’ managerial competencies for effective management of school resources in secondary schools in Anambra State. The study was conducted in Anambra State. Ten Public secondary schools were selected for the study. The descriptive survey design was used and the questionnaire as well as the interview schedule were the main research instruments. A sample size of the sample was 70. The data collected was analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. The findings of the study showed that the general competence criteria used in appointing principals in schools were their levels of decision-making, problem solving capability and communication skills especially when handling meeting. The study revealed that all respondents alluded that managerial competence by principals served to create an atmosphere of that facilitated effective learning. Based on the findings, it was concluded that principals as managers play key and pivotal roles in enhancing students’ academic performance hence enabling the overall school performance improvement. The study recommends that principals should progressively and continually grow their knowledge, skills and competence by concentrating on on-going professional development programmes, to enable them stimulate and nurture their own professional growth and that of other teachers. Evidently, teachers to grow their knowledge skills and competences throughout their career hence instead of concentrating on programmes that donate single training event, principals should concentrate on a set of course, individual learning projects, conferences, group discussion, problem solving activities, case studies and stimulation exercises. This would eventually translate into enhanced students’ academic performance in the schools.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

Education is a transformational tool in every society and should be held in high esteem. It is the acquisition of knowledge and skills required to sustain individual, groups, and organizational advancement at all levels and spheres of life. Egwu (2016) opined that the Principal is a leader who must plan, coordinate and supervise the affairs of the school, so that they run smoothly. The Principal is the chief administrator of secondary school who is expected to effectively use various resources through the adoption of management principles and practices for the realization of school goals. If education system must achieve it national policies and goals, the school managers at all levels must ensure optimum management of human, material, financial and time resources.

Management is the arrangement of available human and material resources for the achievement of desired goals and objectives (Nwune, Nwogbo& Okonkwo, 2016). It is the productive use of available resources in an efficient and effective manner geared towards goals realization. Nkwoh (2011) observed that school Principals must possess a wide array of competencies in order to lead schools effectively towards the accomplishment of educational goals, which has led to changing expectations of what leaders need to know and must be able to do. Competency as opined by Carol and Edward (2004) is the successful performance of a task through the use of knowledge, skills, attitude and judgment. It is the ability and required skills to accomplish given task. Managerial competency is the possession of necessary skills to effectively manage resources for productivity. Heller (2012) outlines functions of school administrators as including management of instructional programmes, staff personnel administration, students’ personnel administration, finance and physical resource management and community relationship management.

Effective management of human, material, time and financial resources is highly crucial for institutional sustainability and the development of school action plan. The great influences and lasting impact set out by formal education for development of a country, depends on the management systems, which exist in schools. The secondary school heads manual (Republic of Nigeria, 1998), states that the link between the head teacher and the teachers in institutional management is the Principal. This position of PRINCIPALwas established in 1998 through the scheme of service for graduate teachers. Earlier on there was no salary benefit for Principals. Those who qualified after the posts were advertised in 1998 were placed in job group “L.” After serving as Principals for two years, they would be deployed to be deputy head teachers in secondary schools with 9-14 classes or as head teachers in secondary schools with 5-8 classes as per the scheme of service.

Indeed, there is a rising recognition of the pivotal role ‘Principals play in the effective management of the modern school. With schools today acknowledging and embracing management change geared towards the overall school improvement, there is a widely held view that schools rely on the dynamism and leadership/managerial competences of Principals for their success, (Wise and Bonnet, 2003, Busher and Hanis, 1999). The Principals are the cadre of leaders who can make a big difference in the performance of duties within the department and the school at large, hence significantly affect school performance improvement. Simon, (2007) adds that Principals have to function not only in their academic capacity but as managers. Apparently, Principals play a dual role: they have the administrative role within the School as well as teaching responsibility. They are also party to the school Total Quality Management (TQM) initiative (Rosenfeld and Peter, 2008). In other words, as per the above assertions, as a middle level manager the PRINCIPAL is simultaneously a leader, manager and administrator (Bush, 1994).

Many researchers whose work was in relation to secondary school Principals, including Brophy and Kiel (2002) Fitzgerald (2002), Brown and Rutherford (1999), Robbins (1998), mainly highlighted on the role of PRINCIPALS in the management of teaching and learning in schools. Boge (2008) revealed that the main challenges faced by the Principals among others are; lack of competence in managing departmental staffs. A research on challenges of change in practice by Amato, Eileen and Ann (2008) connoted that Principals face challenges and complexities within their roles such as the underlying emotions, hopes, reactions, and moral dispositions of others in the school.

They are encountered with the required flexibility to deal with the diverse human side of teachers, students parents and all significant others. Labrecque (2007) research, while emphasizing on the challenges faced by Principals, lamented that assuming the mantle of leadership and challenging department members to move ahead or wrestle with difficult issues does not seem to be a natural step for Principals.

Other researchers (Okumbe, 1999; Kipnusu and Ogembo, 2005) have highlighted that Principals like many other school managers, take up management positions without formal training in, for instance, administration and leadership, as concluded by Okumbe, 1999;Kipnusu and Ogembo, 2005 in their studies on training needs of school administrators. The 2001 Global Training and Certification study done in the US by the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), acknowledged the benefits of investing in staff training and development as for process improvement, performance improvement, behavioral improvements and increased staff satisfaction among others. This statement implies that performance improvement does not occur by mere chance. The education magazine Elimu News (2009) acknowledged that there is need to establish internal quality mechanisms in our education institutions and this can be done by intensifying training especially for Principals in this case, to be able to realize desired school performance improvement. According to Aziz et al (2005), efficiency in management competencies will ultimately lead to successful and efficient task accomplishment leading to good performance standards.

Ogoti, (2006) in his study found out that majority of the Principals do not have adequate knowledge, managerial competences, skills and attitude necessary to perform departmental management coordination and human management roles. The study further stated that if schools want their middle managers to perform their tasks effectively, then there must be some level of investment in middle management development. Management development however, as revealed by Ogembo, (2005) often occurs at the Senior Management level, and middle management remains forgotten, hence jeopardizing the managerial capabilities of the Principals.

Competencies, explained in simplistic terms, consist of skills and knowledge used for work in the organization, or industry (Rees and Garnsey, 2003). Quinn, (Cited in Breen, Wale and Dimmock, 2004) described competencies as “both possession of knowledge and the behavioral capacity to act appropriately. They entail the possession of technical ways of managing things or people, (Dieleman and Leenders, 2000). In the context of school institution, various competences are expected to prevail in order to run the entire system including leadership, managerial, administrative, financial, and professional, among many others. Managerial competences of Principals and their impact on students’ academic performance, as the dependent variable, is the main subject of this study. Ghazala (2003) in his research concluded that the managerial competences of Principals are directly related to the department’s effectiveness and by extension, the overall school effectiveness.

It was therefore imperative to assess the managerial competences Principals in Anambra state have and their relationship with school performance, hence this study.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

There are serious challenges in secondary schools in Nigeria ranging from inadequate coverage of scheme of work, teachers’ persistent lateness, frequent conflict, truancy among students, inadequate and damaged physical facilities, shortage of fund, unprecedentedly high fees charged on students among others. This may be as a result of poor managers’ competencies in effective and efficient management of the key resources in every organization including the school system which are; human, material, financial and time resources. No meaningful organizational change can take place without effective management of resources. Premised on these challenges that the study aimed at analysing Principals’ managerial competencies for effective management of school resources in secondary schools in Anambra State.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

This research was guided by the following objectives:

  1. To examine the influence of Managerial competencies by principals on students’ academic performance in Anambra state, Nigeria.
  2. To assess the influence of planning competencies by principals on students’ students’ academic performance in Anambra state, Nigeria.
  3. To analyze the influence of organizing function competencies by principals on students’ academic performance in Anambra state, Nigeria.
  4. To determine the influence of coordination competencies by principals on students’ academic performance in Anambra state, Nigeria.
  5. To evaluate the influence of monitoring and evaluation competencies by principals on students’ academic performance in Anambra state, Nigeria.

1.4 Research Questions

The study was guided by the following research questions:

  1. What is the influence of planning competencies by principals on students’ academic performance in Anambra state, Nigeria?
  2. What is the influence of organizing competencies by principals on students’ academic performance in Anambra state, Nigeria?
  3. What is the influence of coordination competencies by principals on students’ academic performance in Anambra state, Nigeria?
  4. What is the influence of monitoring and evaluation competencies by principals on students’ academic performance in Anambra state, Nigeria?
  5. What is the influence of principals managerial competencies on students’ academic performance in Anambra state, Nigeria?

1.5 Significance of the Study

These study findings may generate knowledge that may be utilized by school head teachers on the competencies of Principals necessary for effective leadership for the realization of students’ academic performance. Secondly, the study findings may provide a detailed explanation of the managerial competencies of the Principal within the changing educational scenario so as to improve understanding of Principals’ roles hence reduce any role ambiguities and role conflicts within the school framework. Thirdly, the study findings may help in developing knowledge for universities and education managers that participate in the training of educationists and finally, the research findings may form a basis for generalization of the recommendations for other schools in Nigeria.


1.6 Scope of Study

This study was carried out by analyzing of Principals’ managerial competencies for effective management of school resources in secondary schools. The study was limited to secondary schools in Anambra state.


1.7 Limitations of the Study

The descriptive survey as a research design had its limitation of difficulty in using its findings for generalization since only a part can be used to represent the whole. In this case, the impact of managerial competencies of secondary school Principals on students’ academic performance in Anambra state could not be generalized to the entire nation. To reduce this limitation however, literature works were widely consulted to make references to issues being discussed which are of relevance to the other areas of the country.

Difficulty in the collection of primary data from relevant institution. This challenge was the result of the seemingly reluctance of respondents to provide information relevant to the study. This was taken care of by taking a letter from the school authorities that served as evidence that this study was just for academic purpose. Thus, the information given was treated with utmost confidentiality.


1.8 Organization of Study

The study is divided into five chapters. Chapter one deals with the study’s introduction and gives a background to the study. Chapter two reviews related and relevant literature. The chapter three gives the research methodology while the chapter four gives the study’s analysis and interpretation of data. The study concludes with chapter five which deals on the summary, conclusion and recommendation.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations.

5.1 Introduction

The chapter presents a summary of the research findings, conclusions and suggestions for further research. The purpose of the study was to determine the perception of teachers as regards the actual and expected role of Principals.


5.2 Summary of the study

The study established that Managerial competencies by Principals influence student academic performance. From the findings all the respondents agreed that the principal creates an atmosphere that facilitates effective learning. This was followed by 96.7% of the respondents agreed that the principal has efficient supervision skills. Also 95% of the respondents agreed that the principal has effective instructional Managerial. Further 90% of the respondents agreed that the delegation of tasks to team or team members positively influences academic performance. In addition 95% of the respondents agreed that the principal has critical and creative thinking to maintain interactive learning in the department. The study also established that 86.7% of the respondents agreed that the emotional intelligence (self-development, self-control, compassion and humanity, seeking responsibility and personal growth); The PRINCIPAL has individual capacity to motivate others and to promote team spirit in the department; The principal has high levels of communication skills especially when handling meetings in the departments each. Further 85% of the respondents agreed that the principal has high levels of decision-making and problem solving. In addition 83.3% of the respondents agreed that the motivation of overall team and individual team members positively influences academic performance. Further 81.7% of the respondents agreed that the one-to-one counselling of subordinates and team members and helping others with their challenges.

The study revealed that planning competency skills by Principals influence students’ academic performance. From the findings 93.3% of the respondents strongly agreed that school planning in essence focuses on learners’ achievements. Also 91.7% of the respondents strongly agreed that the school has long-term planning for the curriculum and textbook adoptions. Further from the findings 90% of the respondents strongly agreed that the school planning focuses on setting clear goals. Also 86.7% of the respondents strongly agreed that they plan for the planning the year’s programme for their departments. Additionally 83.3% of the respondents strongly agreed that their school focuses on the needs of the teachers and others who will implement those plans. Also 80% of the respondents agreed that the Principal is able to effectively implement planed activities for the school. The study also established that 76.7% of the respondents agreed that they are in charge of lesson preparation. Additionally 76.7% and 68.3% of the respondents agreed that the Principal is able to execute day to day planning (prioritizing and organizing tasks and activities). Further 71.7% of the respondents agreed that they are required to undertake thorough evaluation of teachers. In addition 66.7% of the respondents agreed that the School planning focuses on motivating teachers. Finally 39% of the respondents agreed that professional development programmes for teachers are part of their roles as a Principal.

Organizing skills of Principals were found to influence the student academic performance. From the findings 91.7% of the respondents strongly agreed that the Principal divides the work and activities into meaningful departments or groups. This was followed by 88.3% of the respondents strongly agreed that he/she analyzes all the teaching and learning work and activities. Also 86.7% of the respondents strongly agreed that the Principal communicates all decisions and arrangements. Further 75% of the respondents strongly agreed that the Principal allocates the necessary resources. In addition 73.3% of the respondents strongly agreed that the Principal obtains comprehensive information about the nature and scope of the teaching and learning work and activities to be organized. Also 70% of the respondents strongly agreed that the Principal is able to manage change in the school. In addition 66.7% of the respondents strongly agreed that the Principal divide the activities or departments into meaningful tasks. The study also established that 65% of the respondents strongly agreed that the PRINCIPAL identifies all the teaching and learning work and activities. Further 65% of the respondents also strongly agreed that the Principal allocates authority and responsibility and establish relationships of authority. Finally 61.7% of the respondents strongly agreed that the Principal organizes and structures department for maximum productivity.

Coordinating competencies by Principals were found to influence student academic performance. In addition, 93.3 of the respondents strongly agreed that the Principals have familiarity and competence in translating curriculum objectives into teaching/learning activities, knowledge in book keeping and record keeping is essential. From the findings 90% of the respondents strongly agreed that the Principals guide new teachers in implementing subject content. Also 88.3% of the respondents strongly agreed that the Principals ensure assignments have been marked and so measure the performance of learners. In addition 81.7% of the respondents strongly agreed that the Principal allocates the necessary resources. 76.7 of the respondents strongly agreed that the Principals address problems arising from the curriculum. Also 73.3% of the respondents strongly agreed that the Principals plan examination and test papers. Further the study established that 71.1% of the respondents strongly agreed that the Principals discuss departmental circulars. In addition 70% of the respondents strongly agreed that the PRINCIPAL has information and data gathering skills. Also 70% of the respondents strongly agreed that the Principals ensure cooperation between teachers so that work is uniformly applied. This depicts that 51% of the respondents strongly agreed that the Principals promotes teamwork among the staff.

The study further found out that monitoring & evaluation competencies by Principals influence student academic performance. From the findings 96.7% of the respondents agreed that Meetings serve as corrective functions for improving the quality of teaching by Principals. Also 93.3% of the respondents agreed that Principals should utilize subject meetings to measure teachers’ knowledge and skills in the subject. Further 93.3% of the respondents agreed that in order to check whether the teachers’ evaluation is up to standard, the question papers, memoranda and answer papers of tests and examinations must be presented to the Principals for moderation. Additionally 92% of the respondents agreed that the Principals encourage teachers to prepare their lessons in writing so that they can be checked to gauge their knowledge of the subject. Finally 61.7% of the respondents agreed that the Principals use class visits to gauge the success of a teacher’s presentation of a lesson, thus encouraging professional growth and providing support.

Managerial, planning, organizing, coordination and monitoring & evaluation were found to explain 84.3 percent of the variance in student academic performance.

Managerial competencies by Principals would lead to an increase in student academic performance by factor of 0.671 with P value of 0.023. Planning competencies by Principals would lead to an increase in student academic performance by a factor of 0.981 with P value of 0.003. The study also found that organizing competencies by Principals affected student academic performance by a factor of 0.639 with P value of 0.016, coordinating competencies by Principals would result to an increase in student academic performance by factor of 0.791 with P value of 0.010. Finally, Monitoring and Evaluation competencies by Principals would lead to an increase in student academic performance by factor of 0.788 with P value of 0.011.


5.3 Conclusion Based on the Objectives

This study concludes that there exists a positive relationship between factors principal competencies and student academic performance in Anambra state, Nigeria. Planning contributes the most to the students’ academic performance in Anambra state, Nigeria followed by coordination, monitoring and evaluation, Managerial and then organizing.

The study also concludes that the most influential Managerial, planning, organizing, coordinating, monitoring & evaluation competency skills by Principals on students academic performance are; the PRINCIPAL has creates an atmosphere that facilitates effective learning, The school planning in essence focuses on learners’ achievements,

The Principal divides the work and activities into meaningful departments or groups, The Principals have familiarity and competence in translating curriculum objectives into teaching/learning activities, knowledge in book keeping and record keeping is essential and meetings serve as corrective functions for improving the quality of teaching by Principals respectively.

The management competency criteria used their appointment as Principals in their schools are; high levels of decision-making and problem solving and communication skills especially when handling meetings in the departments. Individual capacity to motivate others and to promote team spirit in the department. Effective instructional Managerial and supervision skills and create an atmosphere that facilitates effective learning. Critical and creative thinking to maintain interactive learning in the department. Information and data gathering skills and more importantly, have familiarity and competence in translating curriculum objectives into teaching/learning activities, knowledge in book keeping and record keeping is essential.”

The study further concludes that by being a teacher service graduate they were inducted as Principals in their school and placed under their appropriate job group. They then underwent proper preparation before assuming that position. Preparation included exposure to the policies and practices governing the selection, training, operations and evaluation of staff. On top of having a successful teaching experience, the Principals also had to demonstrate that they possess training and skills appropriate to their subject areas and to positions of Managerial for which they are applying.

Principals ensure students academic performance in their managerial roles by making sure that the school is working to the current syllabi as laid down in the Nigeria National Examination Council (KNEC) regulations. Ensuring that there is a scheme of a work for each subject on the curriculum. Organizing the subjects under his/her jurisdiction through the school. Organizing the setting, moderating and marking of school examinations in their department. Advising the head teacher on the purchase of text books and equipment and be responsible for their proper use and allocation. Conducting and assisting newly qualified teachers by advising them on the teaching of their subjects and, finally, maintaining a record of work of the subject.”

The study also concludes that best performing Principals are rewarded in various ways such as sponsorship for further studies, honorarium as well as in cash and in kind benefits.”

Finally the study concludes that the policy guidelines in place in relation to Principals management roles are the same as the manual for heads of secondary schools (Republic of Nigeria), which include: ensuring that there is a scheme of a work for each subject on the curriculum. The PRINCIPAL ensures that the school has obtained the correct external syllabus for any particular subject; he also ensures that the subject time table is well prepared and is posted in each classroom. In addition he ensures that teachers are not overloaded and that the time table allows for rapid change if necessary, he is also charged with responsibility of ensuring that school examination are set, moderated and marked. In addition he ensures that students are assessed on the basis of regular assignment.”

Further, they ensure that draft papers are prepared within given time limits, marking schemes are prepared and approved accordingly and that any necessary alterations or amendments are made in time, moreover, he ensures that estimates (budgets) are made for a particular year and that allocation for the financial year is according to the needs of a particular subject. In addition he/she should make a review of the financial situation at the end of each year with a view to making adjustment in the following year; he further ensures that each teacher prepares his lesson in accordance with the content, structure and methodology approved. In addition he ensures that each teacher is supplied with a lesson preparation book, and record of work book which should be well used and up to date. They should ensure that teachers set work regularly, check, mark and comment on students work and that they comment on all written work in the exercise book.

In addition he should ensure that teachers continuously record marks in their mark books.”


5.4 Recommendations Based on the Findings

Based on the findings, the study recommends;

Principals should concentrate on ongoing professional development for teachers, because teachers’ quality plays an important role in improving the quality of education. Teachers need to grow their knowledge and skills throughout their careers; therefore, Principals must stimulate and nurture the professional growth of teachers.

Whatever method used by the Principals to develop teachers, these programmes should be integrated with educational goals to improve education and follow-up support should be provided for further learning. Therefore, instead of concentrating on programmes that donate a single training event, Principals should concentrate on a set of courses, individual learning projects, conferences, group discussions, problem solving activities, case studies, and stimulation exercises. These approaches to staff development should also be characterized by respect, negotiation, dialogue, and cooperation.


5.5 Recommendations for Further Research

  1. A research study should be carried out on the perceptions of the teachers and students on the actual and expected roles of the Principals.
  2. A study on the challenges Principals face in the performance of their roles.
  3. A research study on the role of the Nigeria Education Staff Institute in the training of the teachers, Principals and administrators in institutional management.
  4. Further researcher on service delivery in secondary schools.

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