Principals’ Communication Strategies And Teachers Productivity In Public Secondary School
The topic research on was “influences of communication on teachers productivity in secondary schools in Nsukka Education Zone of Enugu State”. A-24 item questionnaire was developed by the researcher and administered to 410 respondents male and female secondary school principals and teachers in Nsukka Education Zone of Enugu State. Means and standard deviation were used to answer the four research questions whereas the t- tests standards was used to test two research hypothesis that guided the study. It was the opinions of the male and female secondary school principals and teachers that the medium of communication in schools includes face to face conferences, staff meetings, notice boards, circular letters and oral announcements. The opinions of the male and female secondary school principals and teachers shows that the obstacles to effective exchanges of ideas and information in schools includes misconception of information by the teachers, principals and students, inappropriate encoding and decoding of information, noise around the school environment among others. The opinions of the male and female secondary school principals and teachers shows that the strategies to promote effective communication in schools are allowing free flow of information, the maintenance of open door policy by the principals, the use of information communication technology (ICT) in the storage and retrieval of information owning others highly advocated from the findings of this study. Finally, there was no significant different in the mean opinions of the male and female teachers and principals on the problems and the measures that enhances effective communication in secondary schools in Nsukka Education Zone of Enugu State.
1.1 Background to the Study
From the time immemorial, communication has been an everyday process in all fields and between all people. It is a fundamental tool of relating to different people. Hicks and Gullet (1975) have broadly stated that communication necessitates co-existence of people in the world. They further say that through communication, people share knowledge and combine efforts and this enables them to develop and expand their store of knowledge, technology and culture. Communication serves as a linking process by which parts of a system are tied together. The importance of communication to human life cannot be overemphasised, for without communication, no society can exist, no social structure can form or endure, since communication is the fundamental social process permeating all aspects of social life. Michael (1992) in his study on Development and Communication explains that without communication no organised action is possible. Social systems can only form and endure if the participating persons are linked to each other by communication.
The survival of any organisation depends on effective communication. Effective communication is therefore a prerequisite for a school to achieve its objectives. Without effective communication among the school administrators, teachers and students, disharmony and poor working environment may result. Luthans (1989) in his studies has pointed out that organisation ineffectiveness arises partly out of the difficulty in the exchange of information between the members at various. Some managers believe that poor communication wastes more time and money than any other organisational problem, as communication has such a vital influence on the success of any organisation.
A Principal in any given secondary school is responsible for the day to day running of a school and its success in academic performance. The responsibility of motivating the staff and improving the academic performance and general standards within the school lies solely on him or her. When they perform their duties well, the academic performance is likely to improve, (Muyiera, 2002). Doobs (1961) stated that the communicator (Principal) must be located with respect to his position in the communication network. He may initiate a communication, act as an intermediary between a communicator and audience or at first function as an audience and later retransmit the communication he or she has received.
A principal is charged with monitoring communication. He or she stays informed about who is communicating with whom and about what in regard to the school setup. The Principal monitors communication networks both formal and informal that operates in school and community to ascertain message distortion of one kind or another. He or she also seeks facts, perception and ideas from other people. He needs to encourage accurate and full communication throughout the school organisation.
The mode and way of communication used in a given school will affect the way people interact, and it will have an impact on the general atmosphere of the school, which in turn will affect the general quality of instruction that teachers receive, (Muyiera, 2002). Communication directs the behaviour of people in an organisation. The Principal therefore through appropriate communication pattern, should be able to realign and modify the attitude of teachers, students and the whole school community towards achievement of set targets in a school.
The management process that a Principal is involved in, basically revolve around communication. Effective communication as one of the aspects of management plays a paramount role towards the success of any organisation, school or institution. Any communication barrier therefore may interfere with the accomplishment of the set objectives of a school. It is on this basis therefore, that this study sought to examine Principals’ communication strategies and teachers’ productivity in public secondary school.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Education system in Nigeria has experienced frequent management problems that have been linked to communication. In the management schools in Nigeria, two important variables are employed, that is, human resources management and effective communication in a particular cultural setting. Managing human resources in the school is not an easy task.
For a staff to able to give learning instructions, effective communication process is needed for a desired output. Human resources person must have the skills, knowledge and teaching methods which are carried out through communication in the system. Hence, to guide the investigation communication and human resources management and their compliance with culture in Nigeria schools system. This study will therefore examine Principals’ communication strategies and teachers’ productivity in public secondary school.
1.3 Research Objectives
The general objective or main objective of this study is to examine Principals’ communication strategies and teachers’ productivity in public secondary school.
The specific objectives are:
- To examine the effects of communication on teachers’ productivity
- To identify the roles of effective communication in the educational sector
- To find out the modes of communication preferred by teachers in secondary schools in Nigeria
- To determine the prevailing conditions which reduce effective communication between the Principals and the rest of the school community
1.4 Research Questions
The following are some of the questions which this study intends to answer:
- What are the effects of communication on teachers’ productivity?
- What are the roles of effective communication in the educational sector?
- What are the modes of communication preferred by teachers in secondary schools in Nigeria?
- What are the prevailing conditions which reduce effective communication between the Principals and the rest of the school community?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following hypotheses were postulated to guide the conduct of this study;
- There is a significant correlation between Principal’s effective communication and teachers’ productivity
- There is no significant influence of communication strategies employed by Principals on teachers’ performance
1.6 Significance of the Study
The findings of this research will be beneficial to the Principals for it makes suggestions for improvement in communicating effectively in the schools. The Principals will also be made aware of the effects of communication on academic performance.
The content of the findings will also be a source of information for students, teachers in colleges and universities. The Nigerian Union of Teachers will use this information to identify the areas, which need to be addressed when offering in-service courses to Principals. The knowledge gained will be useful in promoting good relationship between Principals, teachers and students through appropriate communication.
1.7 Limitation of the Study
This study had some limitations which include the problem of diverse coverage of locations of the schools as they are spread around the country. There was also the problem of time and uncompromising attitudes of some respondents encountered during the study as some respondents refused to fill the questionnaire while some respondents were not available to answer the questions despite several visits.
1.8 Definition of Terms
The following terms were used in the course of this study:
Refers to the forms or modes of passing information from the source to the receiver. The mode can either be verbal, non-verbal or written.
The exchange of information and meaning between two or more parties.
Refers to a school manager or executive male or female in charge of running of the school.
Discussion of Findings, Conclusion and Recommendations
5.1 Discussion of Findings
In this research study influence of communication on teachers productivity in secondary schools in Nsukka education Zone of Enugu State, the opinions of the respondents male and female teachers and principals were sought on the following areas:
- Communication strategies used by male secondary school principals.
- Communication strategies used by female secondary schools.
- Problems that impede effective communication in secondary schools.
- Methods of improving effective communication in secondary schools.
- The question on the methods of communication adopted by male secondary school principals are presented in chapter four, table 1.
The result shows that the male secondary school principals use reminders, circular letters and notice boards in the dissemination of information in schools. This is aimed at ensuing healthy atmosphere in the school to promote teaching and learning. The mean ratings of the respondents form items 1 to 7 ranked positive. His means that they are all above the criterion level of acceptance of 2.50. Other methods used are the organization of workshops, seminars to inform both the teachers and the students through staff meetings but this item is no regular as expected in the school. The findings is in line with Okeke (2006) who opined that all these methods are used by the male secondary school principals in their routine activities in the school to promote teaching and learning.
The second research questions hinge on the communication strategies used by female secondary school principals in schools. The findings show that the female secondary school principals uses item statements 8 and 14 for communicating in schools. This is because all ranked above the criterion level of 2.50. Just like their male counterparts, they use notice boards, suggestion box, club meetings as medias for disseminating information in the school. This is to carry every body along in the administration of the school. It is in this line that Bass (2005) asserts that effective communication in school is necessary so as to organize both man and materials resources to ensure the attainment of the stipulated objectives. Also, Okunamiri (2007) asserted that the communication pattern adopted by female schools principals includes circulars, notices boards, conferences, workshops etc. This according to him is to ensure that information or ideas flows in and out the secondary schools to enhance teaching and learning.
The opinions of teachers and principals, both male and females were also sought by the researcher on the problem that militate against effective communication in secondary schools in Nsukka Education Zone of Enugu State. All the item statements (15-19) ranked positive as their means were all above the criterion level of 2.50. This shows that they are actually the problems that amperes effectives communication in the administration of secondary schools. Those identified problems are mistrust among the principals male and female alike. Other problems associated with ineffective communication network of principals of secondary schools in Nsukka Education Zone are excessive use of power by principals and poor leadership qualities depicted by both the male and female principals.
This similar problem of communication distortion mars effective flow of ideas or information in secondary schools. This assertion was based open by Ugwu (2003) when the asserts that distortions in communication could lead to break down of effectiveness and efficiency in administrating secondary schools by principals. Also Edem (2008) identified poor delegation of authority from principals to teachers as one of the problems hampering effectives communication in secondary schools Nsukka Zone. The problem of mistrust or towards the performance of her functions. The above opinion were shared by Harrison (2003) and Aderson (2003). All these arises due to poor leadership style adopted by secondary school principals in schools. This will make it difficult for teaching and learning to take place in schools as identified by the respondents.
5.2 Conclusion and Recommendation
The implications of the study will be focused on the consequences of the findings of this research study as it relates to the influence of communication the teachers productivity in secondary schools in Nsukka Education Zone of Enugu State. The strategies used by male secondary school principals to communicate in schools are use of reminders, club meetings, use of suggestion boxes, electronic medias such as radio etc. All theseare meant to ensure that there is a free flow of information from the principals to teachers as well as to the students. This will invariably lead to improve teaching and learning and condusive teachers productivity. Other methods employed by male secondary school principals includes use of workshops and conferences in schools to share ideas or information among all the people in the school. All these findings are in line with the opinions of Okeke (2006), Ogunsaya (2003) Dickie (2004 and
The above opinions were also shared by the respondents when the assert that females secondary school principals also make use of similar media in communicating to teachers and students in the school. Such methods as use of notice boards, suggestion box, holding of staff meeting played an important role in dissemination of information in secondary schools by female secondary school principals. Other methods used by them are use of reminders, circular letter, P.T.A. forum to circulate information within and outside the confirms of the schools. This helps to ensure favourable teachers productivity for improved teaching and learning in schools.
Secondary school male and female teachers agreed that the obstacles to effective communication in secondary schools inNsukka Education Zone included mistrust between the teachers and the principals, lack of delegation of duties by principals, role conflict in schools. Other identified obstacles are information distortions along information distribution network in the schools, excessive exhibition of power by the principals, poor leadership quality among others constitute problems to effective communication in secondary schools.
Poor encoding and decoding of information, misconception of information by both the teachers, students and principals, inappropriate settings of the information, emotional state of the principals, noise pollution among others.
It is therefore expected that the government should wakeup from her slumber to save the secondary school system for decay by employing all the necessary gadgets in the school to ensure free flow of information in schools to enable the school principal play her role in proving teaching and learning in schools.
The following recommendations have been made in the light of the findings, the discussions that followed and the various implications which have been highlighted.
All secondary school principals in Nsukka Education Zone of Enugu State should be encouraged to use a wide range of media of communication in secondary schools.
The post primary school management board (PPSMB) through Enugu State Government should provide schools with sufficient stationeries and equipment for adequate coverage of information in secondary school.
The state government should provide the secondary schools with communication gadgets like radios, television, telephones. This is important since it would enable theprincipals and teachers send and receive information in the schools.
The P.P.S.M. should organize seminars, conferences and workshops from time to time for all the stakeholders in secondary schools on the importance of effective communication in schools. Such workshops should focuses on ideals techniques of communication in secondary schools and the strategies for improving communication behaviour of secondary school principals.
The secondary school principals should delegate functions to vice principals to ensure free flow of information.
The leadership style of principals should transformational and transactional to ensure free access of information in schools.
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