Electronic Record Management Competences Required By Records Unit In The Federal Polytechnic South East
This work was carried out to examine electronic record management competences required by records unit in the Federal Polytechnic South East. Six research questions and four null hypotheses guided the study. Descriptive survey design was adopted for the study. The population constituted of 877 subjects, made up of 630 administrative staff, 165 Head of Departments and 82 ERM staff. A sample of 293 respondents made up of 201 administrative officers, 39 H.O.D. and 53 ERM staff were used for the study. A 36 item checklist and 50 item questionnaires were used to obtain data for the study.
The questionnaire was administered to the 293 respondents. Mean and standard deviation were used to answer the research questions while t-test was used to test the hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance. The study revealed that Federal Polytechnics are more equipped with ERM facilities than the state polytechnics. The responses indicate that ERM facilities are utilized to a “Great Extent” in records, staff personnel and student personnel management in polytechnics while ERM is utilized to a “Less Extent” in instructional management in polytechnics.
Also many constraints such as inconsistent electric power supply, inadequate funding, inadequate technicians, and lack of interest, among others impede effective utilization of ERM in the management of polytechnics. Based on the findings, the researcher recommended that there is need to make more ERM facilities available in state polytechnics for effective management; instructional management should be developed through provision of necessary ERM facilities and acquiring the necessary skill for utilization, through training of staff; constraints to effective utilization of ERM should be addressed; government should address urgently inconsistent electric power supply and inadequate funding of Polytechnics. The researcher also suggested continuous in-service training in ERM for all staff of Polytechnics for effective management.
Table Of Contents
- Title Page
- Approval Page
- 1.1 Background of the Study
- 1.2 Statement of the Problem
- 1.3 Purpose of the Study
- 1.4 Significance of the Study
- 1.5 Scope of the Study
- 1.6 Research Questions
- 1.7 Hypotheses
Review Of Literature
- 2.1 Introduction
- 2.2 Conceptual Framework
- 2.3 Theoretical Framework
- 2.4 Review of Related Empirical Studies
- 2.5 Summary of Literature Review
- 3.1 Design of the Study
- 3.2 Area of the Study
- 3.3 Population of the Study
- 3.4 Sample and Sampling Technique
- 3.5 Instrument for Data Collection
- 3.6 Validation of the Instrument
- 3.7 Reliability of the Instrument
- 3.8 Method of Data Collection
- 3.9 Method of Data Analysis
- 4.1 Summary of the major findings
Conclusion, Recommendations and Summary
- 5.1 Conclusion
- 5.2 Recommendations
- 5.3 Limitations of the study
- 5.4 Suggestions for further study
1.1 Background Of The Study
The role of technology in tertiary education is rapidly becoming one of the most important and widely discussed issues in contemporary Nigeria education scene. The role of technology in shaping the future of tertiary education according to Nwana, (2009) include: online learning which is gaining firm foothold; use of various electronic media for Distant Learning; storage and retrieval of learning materials; research and evaluation of learning materials; individualization of instruction; use of ERM in instructional communication.
Technology is seen as the application of scientific principles, skills, devices, tools and systems in the solution of human problems (Eze and Obeta, 2006). Technology simply means electronic tools used in everyday activities. Electronic record management (ERM) is a fusion of information technology and communication technology. It is “diverse set of technological tools and resources used to communicate, create, disseminate, store, retrieve and manage information” (Blurton, 2000:46).
It is the most powerful force which is shaping the 21st century (Ayo, 2001). ERM has reduced the world to a global village and as a result, it is repositioning the social, economic, political and academic outlook of man (Chinwe, 2005). This implies that ERM has brought about reform or innovations thereby enhancing dissemination of information and bridging the gap of communication with broad range of technological equipment such as computers, mobile telephone, storage devices, file transfer protocols, world- wide web and video system. From the above perspectives, ERM for this study can be defined as a range of technology used for processing, storing, retrieving information for effective communication.
Education systems around the world are under increasing pressure to use the new Electronic record management (ERM). According to Yuen, Lee, Law and Chan (2008), ERM is important in bringing changes and improvement in management of education. Considering the need for Electronic record management (ERM) in education, the Federal Republic of Nigeria included ERM in education policy through the Federal Executive Council (FRN, 2004).The policy on ERM was one of the innovations of the National Policy on Education.
The first move for implementation of the policy started in 1988. However the implementation of the policy started in 2001 after the establishment of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), the implementing body. The enactment of the National Information Technology Development Agency Act in 2001 became a legal platform for creation of NITDA (National ERM Policy, 2012). Since then, there has been significant improvement in the ERM sector. For instance, Nigeria has progressed from 400,000 fixed telephone lines in 2001 to 90.5 million available mobile telephone lines by the first quarter of 2011. Some of the objectives of Nigeria’s ERM policy, according to Osei (2007) include: to ensure that ERM resources are readily available to promote efficient national development; to empower Nigerian’s to participate in software and ERM development; to integrate ERM into the main stream of education and training.
Education system in Nigeria has been divided into different levels namely: pre-primary, primary, secondary and tertiary levels (FRN, 2004) .They include the following: Pre-primary Education is for children between 3-5years; Primary Education is education for children between 6-11 years; Secondary Education is education for children after primary education between 11-15 years; Tertiary Education is education after secondary education in universities, colleges of education, polytechnics, monotechnics including those institutions offering correspondence courses. It is meant for young adult of 18-22 years of age.
Polytechnics were set up as a result of the acceptance of the recommendations of the Ashby Commission in 1960 by the Nigeria government to expand technical and vocational education to ameliorate acute shortage of technical manpower. The polytechnics were set up with the objectives of developing and encouraging the idea of polytechnic education through students’ industrial work and improving on the immediate and long- term prospects of polytechnic graduates (Oloyo, 2008). Okpeodua (2001) stated that the decision of the Federal Government in establishing the polytechnic education was predicated on the decision to revolutionise the society technologically. The specific goals of polytechnic education as contained in the National Policy on Education (2004:41) are the following:
to provide full-time or part-time courses of instruction and training in engineering, other technologies, applied science, business and management, leading to the production of trained manpower; provide the technical knowledge and skills necessary for agriculture, industrial, commercial and economic development in Nigeria; give training and impart the necessary skills for the production of technicians, technologists and other skilled personnel who shall be enterprising and self reliant; train people who can apply scientific knowledge to solve environmental problems for the convenience of man; and give exposure on professional studies in the technologies (pg.41).
In actualizing the goals, effective and efficient management of polytechnics with modern technological tools becomes apparent. This means exploiting information and effective communication tools which is the nervous system in management of any institution. According to Beynon-Davies, (2002) information is knowledge communicated or received concerning a particular fact or circumstance.
Hence information can be message which may be utterance or expression being conveyed or communicated. Rana, (2009) asserts that ERM holds the key to the success of modernizing information services. In other words, ERM tool is the wheel for improving information communication in the modern world. Communication involves transmission of exchange of ideas, feelings, views, messages and issues (Oboegbulem and Onwurah, 2011). Consequently ERM provides effective communication as it helps to provide timely information for management and employers.
Management is the process of utilizing human and material resources to achieve desired objectives. In line with this, Onifade (2003) see management as the process of making use of human and non-human resources to achieve organisational goal. Ochai and Ebirim (2011) defined management as a process designed to ensure cooperation, participation, intervention and involvement in effective achievement of goals. According to Oboegbulem and Onwurah (2011), management is the effective organisation of human and material resources in a particular system for the achievement of identified objectives.
Management can be defined as process of guiding the employee to utilize available human and material resources to achieve the goal of an institution or organisation. Effective management is the management skill that helps managers deal with specific challenges and problems in each organization (Francis, 2007).
Thus effective management can be seen as proper utilization of human and material resources to achieve goals of an institution. Utilization means to put to use especially profitably or practically (Luminous Inverters, 2013). It is an act of using something better. The increased demand for polytechnic education has made polytechnics management complex and demands more from the polytechnic administrators.
The enormous rise in the number of students in polytechnics as well as the multiple programmes have made polytechnics management to handle a very large quantity of data, which must be processed speedily to provide information for polytechnic administration, the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) and Ministry of Education for effective management and decision making processes. Hence the utilization of ERM in the management of polytechnics becomes imperative in discharging its administrative duties effectively which include management of records, staff personnel, student personnel services, and instructional programme, among others.
Records management is an essential part of information management in any institution. Academic institutions like polytechnics are involved in the production of documents and information which are kept for future references.
Mgbodile (2003) defined school records as documented statement of facts about persons, facilities, proposals and activities in and about the school. Records are information on a particular subject, collected and preserved. This implies that any processed or unprocessed datum that is collected and kept for future use constitutes a record. Polytechnic records include admission records, students’ personal files, course content, financial management books, academic calendar, time table, student test scores, comprehensive result sheet, list of expelled students, students on suspension, list of student to repeat/withdraw, academic regulation book. Management of polytechnics are finding it difficult to manage records effectively, probably due to explosion of student population in polytechnics institutions today.
In many polytechnics, Exams and Records that used to be one unit is divided into two due to the enormous task required, which cannot be coped with one administrative head. Due to lack of space as a result of the traditional method of keeping files and information in triplicates, files and documents are scattered, matched on, leading to loss of information due to improper documentation. Effy (2002) identified this problem associated with traditional record management as “high data redundancy and low data integrity”.
The worst is that most of these documents are destroyed by termites and rodents resulting to inability to retrieve documents beyond five years in some units in polytechnics. This is in line with Aduwa-Ogiegbaen and Iyamu (2005) that many establishments in Nigeria including educational institutions still keep record in files and tuck them in filling cabinets where they accumulate dust and consequently eaten up by rodents and cockroaches, thereby rendering them irretrievable. With ERM, spread sheet, data-base package, word processing package, digital video display (DVD), on-line transfer of records can be utilized to store huge amount of information.
In the light of the above, utilization of ERM in polytechnics management will enhance administrative work, reduce occupational stress and increase student academic performance (Emenike, 2003). Amaefule (2009) asserted that the use of ERM in education has made the traditional use of paper obsolete. He added that the computer facilities have greatly improved the process of information organization and management, as access and retrieval of books or information is now a matter of seconds with a click of mouse or keyboard. However, the benefits offered by ERM seem not to have been fully exploited in the management of polytechnics in the South Eastern states and perhaps in other polytechnics in the country.
As Amaefule (2009) puts it “ERM spirit is gradually trickling-in into the tertiary institutions in Nigeria.” It seems that the use of ERM is still in its infancy in polytechnics in the South Eastern states and perhaps other polytechnics in Nigeria. Although there is evidence of ERM facilities in some of the polytechnics visited, how far these polytechnics have availed themselves of the opportunities offered by ERM in coping with complexities of management and boosting management functions are yet to be ascertained. So there is the need to examine the extent of utilization of Electronic record management for effective management of polytechnics.
1.2 Statement Of Problem
It has been observed that there is explosion of population in educational institutions at all levels, including polytechnics in Nigeria. Consequently there is increase in personnel data. As a result, management are finding it difficult to cope with the challenges related to administrative functions that with this study include management of records, staff personnel, student personnel and instructional programme. The problems are evident in large number of files and documents which could no longer be handled with the traditional method of management. In the light of the above, files and documents are scattered due to inadequate space, insufficient file racks and cabinet for their proper arrangement for easy retrieval. Thus information is delayed when required and sometimes impossible to retrieve.
The integration of ERM at all levels of education by government illumines the hope for better management of information, as this is the modern and sophisticated technological tool to cope with large number of data. The problem of this study is that, despite government effort in making ERM facilities available for both academic and administrative activities in polytechnics, it seems that they are not fully utilized. It is saddening to note that many management processes are still being carried out with traditional methods in polytechnics today. This study therefore is to examine the extent ERM has been utilized for effective management of polytechnics in the South Eastern States.
1.3 Purpose Of Study
The general purpose of the study is to investigate the extent of utilization of ERM for effective management of polytechnics in the South Eastern states of Nigeria.
Specifically, the study intends to:
- Find out the available ERM facilities in polytechnics.
- Find out the extent of utilization of ERM in management of polytechnics records.
- Determine the extent of utilization of ERM in staff personnel management.
- Assess the extent of utilization of ERM in student personnel management.
- Examine the extent of utilization of ERM in instructional management.
- To find out the constraints to effective utilization of ERM in the management of polytechnics.
1.4 Significance Of The Study
The significance of this study will be discussed under the theoretical and practical aspects. Theoretically, this study will be anchored on total quality management theory. Total quality management theory was propounded by Edwin Deming in late 1920s. The major significance of the theory is in bringing the best from both the management and other employees through training. It emphasise on the commitment of managers or management for quality production. Consequently, Total quality management theory ensures speed, innovations, increased productivity and this is what Electronic record management offers. In relation with this study, total quality management involves two way communications which is the major component of ERM. Also like TQM, ERM emphasise on training of both manager and employees for maximum output. Hence, total quality management theory ensures that both the managers and employees acquire the necessary skills required for efficient utilization of ERM in polytechnics.
Practically, this study will be of great benefit to education administrators and planners, National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), Ministries of Education, and Management of polytechnics, lecturers, students and parents.
The study if successfully completed will be of benefit to the educational administrators and planners, NBTE, Ministries of education as the statistical data required for effective planning will be processed promptly. This can be achieved through seminars and workshops organised by NBTE for management of polytechnics on necessary ERM skills required to process data promptly and accurately. This will also help in ERM integration in polytechnics thereby fulfilling the aim of ERM policy.
The management will benefit through this study as they will have better insight on how to utilize ERM facilities in achieving their administrative functions. It will also help them to tackle the occupational stress due to numerous challenges from massive enrolment in polytechnics education. This can be achieved through organisation of conferences by management of polytechnics and also giving laptop computers to staff at subsidised prize.
The result of this study will be of benefit to the staff of polytechnics.
The lecturers will realize the place of ERM in instructional management for better and faster achievement. The non-academic staff will be able to benefit from effective record management, staff personnel management, student personnel management. This can be achieved through workshops and seminars on acquisition of necessary ERM skills required for such functions.
Students of polytechnics will benefit when lecturers acquire the necessary skill in using ERM facilities in teaching and learning they will be motivated through the use of audio visual ERM facilities. This is because they will have opportunity to have access to learning through virtual library, projector and power point software which will enhance teaching and learning. The students carrying out research will benefit from this study if it is in relation with the problem of this study as they will consult this work as a source of literature review.
The parents will benefit from the findings of this study as on-line registration and payment of school fees will reduce cost, risk of transportation and other worries of parents during the period. The parents will also benefit from better acquisition of knowledge and success of their children through utilization of ERM in polytechnics. This can be achieved through public enlightenment programme by state government through their agencies.
1.5 Scope Of The Study
The Geographical scope covers the three Federal and three State polytechnics in the five states in South Eastern zone of Nigeria. The federal polytechnics includes: Akanu Ibiam Federal polytechnic Unwana, Ebonyi state; Federal polytechnic Oko, Anambra state; Federal polytechnic, Nekede, Owerri, Imo state.
State polytechnics involved include: Abia state polytechnic, Aba, Abia state, Imo state polytechnic. Umuagwo, Institute of Management and Technology, Enugu, Enugu state.
The content scope will cover the extent of the use of ERM for effective management of polytechnics in records, personnel management, student services and instructional programme and the constraints to the effective utilization of ERM for effective management of polytechnics in the South Eastern states of Nigeria.
1.6 Research Questions
The following research questions were formulated to guide the study:
- What are the ERM facilities available in the polytechnics?
- What is the extent of utilization of ERM in management of records in polytechnics?
- To what extent is ERM utilized in staff personnel management in polytechnics?
- To what extent is ERM utilized in student personnel management in polytechnics?
- To what extent is ERMutilized in instructional management in polytechnics?
- What are the constraints to effective utilization of ERM in the management of polytechnics?
1.7 Research Hypotheses
The following null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study and will be tested at 0.05 level of significance:
- HO1: There is no significant difference between the mean scores of federal and state polytechnics staff on the use of ERM in managing polytechnics records.
- HO2: There is no significant difference between the mean scores of federal and state polytechnic staff on the use of ERM in staff personnel management.
- HO3: There is no significant difference between the mean scores of federal and state polytechnics staff on ways ERM is used in student personnel management.
- HO4: There is no significant difference between the mean scores of federal and state polytechnics staff on ways ERM is used in instructional management.
Conclusion, Recommendations And Summary
The following conclusions have been drawn from the major findings of the study.
There is higher availability of ERM in Federal Polytechnics than State Polytechnics.
ERM is utilized in records management, staff personnel management, student personnel management in polytechnics; however the traditional methods are still in practice especially in the state polytechnics. The traditional method of instructional management is much in practice while there is less emphasis on ERM integration and utilization.
ERM is utilized to a great extent in Federal polytechnics than state in staff personnel management than in State polytechnics.
Though there are more available ERM facilities in Federal polytechnics than in State polytechnics, the Federal polytechnics have not utilized them better in records management, student personnel management and instructional management.
There is need for full integration of ERM in instructional management to enhance polytechnics educational standard.
Constraints to effective utilization of ERM facilities such as epileptic electric power supply, inadequate funding, inadequate technicians, inadequate number of trained personnel, lack of interest in the use of ERM facilities, high cost of accessing ERM services, limited access to internet, substandard ERM infrastructure among others should be addressed for effective utilization of ERM in polytechnics.
Based on the findings of this study, the following recommendations are made bearing in mind the extent of utilization of ERM for effective management of polytechnics.
- Adequate funds should be provided by government and the stakeholders for effective utilization of ERM in polytechnics education.
- Relevant skills, especially in computation of student semester results, registration of students and other management functions, should be developed through training.
- Polytechnics management should endeavor to make internet facilities available in all offices and classrooms.
- Enabling environment should be created in the classroom to encourage the use of ERM facilities for provision of services to students within and outside the classroom.
- For diversification of sources of educational financing, especially ERM, the government, the society, communities, the private sector and parents should all share in the responsibility.
- Government at all levels should make ERM a matter of priority; improve the funds specifically needed for the training of staff in computer education who will be equipped with ERM knowledge and skills.
- Computer literacy should be made compulsory at all levels of education and more intensive in every higher institution.
- Computer literacy should be a prerequisite for employment of any staff in tertiary institutions.
- Issues relating to challenges to provision of ERM facilities in polytechnics should be given urgent and adequate attention.
- Problems associated with the use of ERM for educational activities should be addressed for proper implementation.
- Government should create awareness of ERM and encourage students interest through quiz competition on ERM in polytechnics.
- Government should ensure and monitor the implementation of ERM at all levels of our educational system as contained in the National policy on Education 2004 by federal republic of Nigeria.
- There should be continuous in-service training for all staff of polytechnics.
- Nigerian government should address seriously the issue of erratic power supply while institutions should procure generating set to compliment power holding company for power supply.
- Assignment should be done in higher institutions and submitted through on-line.
- Thesis should be carried out and submitted through on-line to reduce the risk of travelling.
5.3 Limitations of the study
There are number of factors that constitute impediments to this study, which are as following:
- Some respondents did not complete their questionnaire while some returned them without filling at all. As a result only 293 questionnaires out of 317 were completed correctly.
- In a descriptive survey, information obtained from the data collected based only on the opinion of the respondents could be misleading and may have affected the results of the study.
- In some polytechnics, the tight schedule of respondents due to processing of students result during the administration of questionnaire was detriment to the distribution and collection.
5.4 Suggestions for Further Studies
Based on the findings and limitations of the study, the following are suggested for further research:
- Similar study should be replicated in secondary schools in the same geo-political zone in Nigeria for compare and generalization.
- Studies could be carried out on the extent of utilization of ERM for instructional delivery in Universities in South Eastern state of Nigeria.
- The impact of ERM in the administration of polytechnics staff in the South Southern states of Nigeria.
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