Problems Of School Management And Students’ Academic Performance In Secondary Schools

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Problems Of School Management And Students’ Academic Performance In Secondary Schools


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background Of Study

The basic requirement for effective school administration is inherent in the ability of the principal to positively influence teachers, students and other members of society in the realization of educational goals. The role of the school manager (who is often referred to as the principal in Nigeria’s secondary school system) equally includes being able to translate educational policies into programmes and actions in the school. The success or failure of the school depends to a large extent on its ability and capacity to affect desired educational goals. Thus, his role as an executive head of the school is enormous and therefore brings a lot of challenges in terms of being able to manage not only instructional programmes but also teachers and students of the school to bring about positive change. In terms of the specific duty of the principal, (Ocho, 2010) stressed that the principal’s scope of work is “vast and intricate, and demands a lot of time, energy, dedication and sacrifice”. He further outlined some of the principal’s pre-occupations, including the following; managing instructional programmes, staff personnel administration, student personnel administration, financial and physical resources management and school-community relationship management. In summary, the principal is seen as a setter of the tone of the school; an exemplar and, above all, a leader whose actions to a large degree determine the success of the school (Aja-Okorie, 2010). It can be added that one of the ways through which one can assess a good secondary school administrator is through the academic performance of students.

Academic performance refers to the rate at which educational objectives are being achieved by those within the school system (Owan, 2012). Therefore, students’ academic performance may be seen as the extent to which students are achieving educational goals and objectives. According to Erum and Zahoor (2011), students’ academic performance and graduation rates have been the area of interest, and investigation of factors related to the academic performance of secondary students has been a topic of much interest to scholars. This may be because the school was established for the students, and their performance can be used to judge the entire school system’s effectiveness.

Within the Calabar Education zone, secondary school students’ academic performance seems to be poor, dwindling or unstable. Many students are struggling academically, as revealed in their poor performance when they take some classroom or external examinations. This issue has raised the concern of parents, teachers, and policy makers, who have been questioning the effectiveness of the secondary school system not only within the zone, but also in Cross River State and Nigeria generally. In the past, secondary school students’ poor academic performance was tied to poor supply of infrastructure, poor parental involvement, and students’ study habits, among several other variables. However, with recent improvements in the raising and supply of buildings and other infrastructures by the government, non-governmental organizations, and other interested parties, coupled with the improved involvement of parents in their children’s education, one expects to see a corresponding improvement in the academic performance of secondary school students. Where this has not been clearly achieved, it indicates that there are other problems within or outside the school system which may be contributing to such academic performance. On this note, the researcher considers problems associated with school management as having a link to secondary school students’ academic performance. Problems of school management refer to those impediments that hinder the effective design, control and smooth running of the school system towards achieving predetermined objectives. There are many factors responsible for the poor management of schools in Nigeria. These include: leadership styles, communication patterns, teachers’ behaviour, infrastructural provision, adequacy of teachers, external supervision, and community interference. However, this study focused on analyzing school management problems and their effect on the academic performance of secondary school students.


1.2 Statement Of Problem

To achieve the goals of secondary education in Nigeria, there is a need for increased academic performance of students in the secondary school system. In an ideal situation, efforts were supposed to be made by all those concerned to improve students’ academic performance. The government is supposed to provide all the relevant materials and infrastructure, incentives and other services that will promote good academic performance of students. The school principals were expected to use their expertise and professionalism to make the school environment conducive for teachers and students in order to boost their effectiveness and promote students’ academic performance. Unfortunately, the quality of students’ academic performance, especially in the Calabar Education Zone of Cross River State, has been an issue of serious debate. Many students in the area don’t seem to be performing well academically, as indicated by their performance in internal and external examinations. Apart from poor performance in examinations, many secondary school students in the Calabar Education Zone can not read and write. As a result, they engage in serious examination malpractices as a means to passing their examinations. This trend has not only affected the secondary school system, it has also eaten deep into the quality of graduates produced for the tertiary education level. The government has made efforts to send quality supervisors to schools for routine checks and inspection. They have improved their consistency in payment of teachers’ salaries, more infrastructure and now in supply to schools and so on. Many parents are now actively involved in the training of their children through regular payment of fees, supervision at home, and in ensuring that students are not at home during school hours. All these new measures were lacking in time past, but with these efforts made by the government, teachers, and parents, to improve students’ academic performance, there has not been any evident improvement in the performance of secondary school students within the education zone corresponding to the efforts made. It is based on these lingering issues that has made the researcher to wonder whether problems with school management such as disciplinary control, classroom management, and teachers’ motivation could be contributing to secondary school students’ academic performance in Calabar education. The main question raised by this study is how much problems with school management, such as disciplinary control, classroom management, and teacher motivation, affect secondary school students’ academic performance. An attempt to investigate and provide an answer to this question necessitated the study.


1.3 Objective Of The Study

The general purpose of this study was to investigate problems of school management and secondary school students’ academic performance.

The specific objectives include;

  1. Identify school factors which affect students’ academic performance in the study area.
  2. Investigate the extent to which those factors affect secondary students’ academic performance in Calabar.
  3. Examine the impact of disciplinary control, classroom management, and teacher motivation on the academic performance of secondary students.

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions were developed to guide this study.

  1. What are the school factors which affect students’ academic performance in Calabar?
  2. To what extent do those factors affect secondary students’ academic performance in Calabar?
  3. Does disciplinary control, classroom management, and teachers’ motivation influence secondary students’ academic performance?

1.5 Significance Of The Study

The following are the significance of this study:

  1. The outcome of this study will educate the general public and the government on the quality of management of secondary schools in Nigeria with a view of identifying the shortfalls and preferring solutions to them.
  2. This research will be a contribution to the body of literature in the area of the effect of personality traits on students’ academic performance, thereby constituting the empirical literature for future research in the subject area.

1.6 Scope Of The Study

This study is limited and channeled to the identification of school factors which affect students’ academic performance in the study area, investigation into the extent to which those factors affect secondary students’ academic performance in Calabar and assess the influence of disciplinary control, classroom management, and teachers’ motivation on secondary students’ academic performance. Upon this background, this study is therefore delimited to Calabar, Rivers State.


1.7 Limitations Of The Study

Financial constraint-Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

Time constraint-The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted to research work..


1.8 Definitions Of Terms

School Management:

School management is a process of leading the school towards development through not only the optimum use of the human resources, physical sources, principles and concepts that help in achieving all the objectives of the school but also the proper coordination and adjustment among all of them.

Academic Performance:

Academic performance is the measurement of student achievement across various academic subjects. Teachers and education officials typically measure achievement using classroom performance, graduation rates and results from standardized tests

Secondary School:

Secondary school is an educational institution where the second stage of the three schooling periods, known as secondary education and usually compulsory up to a specified age takes place. It follows elementary or primary education, and is sometimes followed by university education.


Problems Of School Management And Students’ Academic Performance In Secondary Schools


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