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INFLUENCE OF COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION ON THE ADMINISTRATION OF PUBLIC SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN BENUE STATE

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Nov 9, 2020 Comments Off on INFLUENCE OF COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION ON THE ADMINISTRATION OF PUBLIC SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN BENUE STATE OpenBook

INFLUENCE OF COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION ON THE ADMINISTRATION OF PUBLIC SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN BENUE STATE

ABSTRACT

This study investigated influence of community participation on the administration of public secondary schools in Benue State. The study focused on community participation in provision of funds, infrastructural facilities, maintenance of discipline, decision-making processes and provision of personnel. The study reviews literatures that are related to the study. The review was carried out under: theoretical framework, conceptual framework, related empirical studies and summary of literature review. Five research questions and five null hypotheses guided the study. This study used the survey research design. The population of the study was 4,536 while the sample was 368 respondents. Multi-stage sampling technique was used to determine the sample size of 368 respondents. The instrument for data collection was self-structured questionnaire titled “Influence of Community Participation on the Administration of Public Secondary Schools Questionnaire” (ICPAPSSQ)”. Five experts validated the instrument used for the study, three in Educational Administration and Planning, and two from Measurement and Evaluation, all from the Department of Educational Foundations and General Studies, University of Agriculture, Makurdi. The instrument was trial tested on 30 respondents in Buruku L.G.A of Benue state. The data collected were analyzed using Cronbach Alpha to compute the reliability estimate and the overall reliability coefficient of 0.77 was obtained. Mean and standard deviation were used to answer the research questions that guided the study, while Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was used to test the null hypotheses formulated for the study at 0.05 level of significance. The major finding of the study were that communities to a great extent participate in the administration of public secondary schools in Benue State in provision of funds, infrastructural facilities, maintenance of discipline, decision-making processes and provision of personnel. Findings also revealed that there is no statistically significant difference in the mean ratings of the respondents on the influence of community participation in the administration of public secondary schools in Benue State. Based on the findings of the study, it was recommended among others that the school as a matter of fact should reciprocate by playing active roles in the community such as in organizing adult educational programmes that can help to solve community problems. Finally, conclusions were made, the limitations of the study were highlighted and suggestions were made for further studies.

 

1.0                                                                                              INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

Secondary school education occupies a very unique position in the educational system in Nigeria, because it is that level that determines the academic and professional career of students. Education at secondary school level is defined by Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN, 2004), as the form of education children receive after primary education and before the tertiary stage. The aim of secondary education is to prepare the individuals for useful living within the society; and for higher education. Nigeria as a country is faced with a lot of crises in her educational industry Ogundele (2008) in Ijamu, (2015). These crises had been attributed to inadequate funding, poor and irregular payment of salaries, students’ population explosion, poor teachers’ job satisfaction, and inadequate supply of educational facilities and needed equipment for effective teaching-learning process. The result of this brings about low quality and fallen standard of education in our secondary school system.

 Due to the inability of Government to attend to these issues, involvement of community participation in the administration of public secondary schools becomes inevitable. According to Bondesio (2000), influence is the ability to cause desirable and measurable actions and outcomes. It seems that community can participate in secondary school administration in Nigeria. Influence of community in the study refers to the actions exerted by the communities that cause positive change and bring about efficient and effective secondary school administration in Benue state. In this context, the study is used to determine the influence of community participation in the administration of public secondary school in Benue state.

The extent to which the secondary school system is able to accomplish its objectives is determined by efficient and effective administration. Secondary schools in the study refer to all the secondary schools that are owned, financed and managed by the Benue State government. The school is the agent of socialization after the home. Therefore, the school exists for the community and the community exists and acts as clients to the school. Administration is the ability to put persons into working order and telling them what to do and how to do it so that a specified end will be accomplished. Administration is generally defined as the process of working with and through others to efficiently accomplish organizational goals (Aguba, 2009). In the words of Veig (2001) in Olowe (2007), administration is a determined action taken in pursuit of conscious purpose. It is the matching of available labour and materials in order to gain that which is desired at the harvest cost of energy, time and money (Famade, 2004).

The central purpose of administration in general is the coordination of human and material resources towards the attainment of some predetermined objectives. Administration of secondary school in this study refers to the extent to which secondary schools achieve its goals by producing students who have gained knowledge, who are disciplined and have developed appropriate skills and moral value system that can make them function in the society through effective school administration. It entails working with and through teachers, non-teaching staff and students to get things done effectively.

In Nigeria and indeed in many other African countries, the typical image of a community is that of a medium sized rural village with a close-knit group of inhabitants, largely, self-contained with everybody knowing and standing in accepted relationship with one another (Amujiri, 2000).No school is situated in an island. Every school is found in a community (Abraham, 2003). This is because the community makes the catchment area of the school. Ngoka (2003) observes that a community is a body of people living in the same locality and having a common religion, race cultural and historical heritage and the willingness to work together.

Community Participation in school administration is the process by which communities assume responsibility for their own welfare and develop a capacity to contribute to the development of their schools by being involved in the decision-making processes in determining goals and pursuing issues of importance to them (Greenwood, 2009). The author notes further that community participation is the process by which consultation in decision making, goal setting, teamwork and other such measures through which the community tries to increase its members’ commitment to collective objectives is enhanced and achieved. The community members in the study is made up of the Parent Teachers Association (PTA), the Board of Governors (BOG), the School Based Management Committee (SBMC), Old-Student Association, social clubs, and women Association. However, this study focuses only on Parent Teacher Association (PTA), Board of Governors (BOG) and the school principals.

Community involvement in schools takes the form of managing of schools through representations of the Parent Teachers Association (PTA), Board of Governors (BOG), School Based Management Committee (SBMC), in designing curriculum, serving as resource persons to teach about some culture-oriented themes, protecting and maintaining school property, supervising and monitoring pupils` attendance at school, increasing pupils` access to basic education through enrolment drives, motivating teachers to improve their effectiveness and supervising pupils` studies at home. The purpose of school board is to determine the feasibility of adopting the community involvement model for lifelong learning. PTA, BOG, and Principal constitute part of the formal structures of governance through which parents and the community are enabled to participate in the education of their children.

Parent Teachers Association may be described as a voluntary organization whose membership consists of teachers in an individual school and the parents of the students who attend the school they support (Bagin, 2001). In terms of composition, it is made of between six to ten executive members who are selected at a general PTA meeting of a school involving all parents or guardians in the community who have their children in the school. Board of Governors on the other hand, is voluntary in nature with a legal mandate. In both developed and developing countries and especially within the last thirty years there has been a growing move through legislation to involve communities in the education of their children through school governing bodies. Through legislative reforms, school governors received a legal backing, decision-making was devolved to school governing bodies (Wilson, 2001).The role of principal as the educational manager is foremost in the development of positive school community relationship (Van Velsor and Orozco, 2006). The school principal as the chief executive officer plays a vital role in maintaining healthy relationships between the schools and the communities. They are responsible for creating trust between the parents, communities and the school. Supporting this, Coladric (2002) notes that the principal is responsible for encouraging participation of the community representatives in school activities and decision-making process.

In education, participatory decision-making is based on the idea that active involvement of teachers, community members in school decisions will lead to good school administration. This gesture made some community members actively involved and they contributed meaningfully to the growth and development of the schools ranging from the provision of infrastructural facilities to the supply of the needed manpower (part-time staff) resources of the schools. They also significantly contribute in the enforcement of discipline in such schools, among others. Onyene (2006) carried out a study on community participation in secondary school administration and found that communities do actively participate in secondary school administration through funding of school projects. Ogbonnaya (2000), described fund as a sum of money made available for a particular purpose. This fund could be physical cash, credit facilities, discounts received different expenses and distributed profits. Okpala (2003) reports that community through parents’ teachers association (PTA) assist in the funding of education through fees and other channels.  When money is provided for education expenditure, funding has taken place and this is one of the means in which community participate in the administration of secondary schools. Idike (2011) carried out a study on strategies for enhancing community participation in funding of secondary schools in Nsukka Education Zone of Enugu state and reported that community to a great extent participated in the provision of funds through PTA levies in the public secondary schools in Nsukka Education Zone of Enugu state. The question is could communities in Benue state do the same? This is what this study is set out to investigate.

Communities assist in the provision of necessary educational resources and infrastructures for proper administration of the school such as classroom, libraries, hostel accommodation, and also maintained facilities through its various activities like educational endowment funds, construction of new buildings, provision of reading materials, repairs and maintenance of existing structures and provision of necessary social amenities (Ofougwuka, 2005). Ofougwuka maintained further that communities also carry out fencing of the school compound and provisions of public conveniences such as toilet in the school. In the view of Harb and El-shaarawi (2006), communities under the umbrella of Parents Teachers Association (P.T.A) provide classroom, laboratory and office blocks adequately.

Also, community through the Parent Teachers Association and Board of Governors renders enormous functions which include maintenance of discipline in the school (Ugwu, 2000). In the study of Udensi (2003) on community participation in secondary school administration in Lagos State, it was discovered that community assisted in the maintenance of discipline in schools. Discipline is important for the maintenance of an effective learning situation in the school and it needs a high involvement of community. Shamrock (2002) argues that there is need for school to maintain close contact with parents in the community to identify the overall problems of the child at home and at school. This indicates that the interaction of school and community are very important for maintaining discipline in the school as this will enhance secondary schools administration. But the question is, do communities where schools are situated participate in maintenance of discipline in public secondary school administration in Benue state? This is one of the questions the researcher wants to find out.

The community where the school is situated forms a focus point of getting involved in decision-making process in the school. Decision making is the process of defining problems, generating alternative solution, choosing one alternative, and implementing it (Holt, 2004). The school principal, PTAs, BOGs and elected community representatives together make decision on the total educational program for their schools. These stakeholders shared decision-making programme and controls this own budgets to focus on curriculum and programme planning, collegial decision-making and strategic planning (Donald, 2005). There is need for communities to be carried along by secondary school principals in the decision-making process in public secondary schools in Benue state. This will enhance and strengthening school-community relation to make the communities have sense of belonging and this will aid effective school administration. The researcher therefore wants to find out the influence of community participation in the decision-making processes in public secondary school administration in Benue state to determine the extent of their involvement.

Community also provides security to safeguard the school plant for effective administration of government secondary schools in Nigeria. Communities usually make necessary contributions towards the growth of the school by providing personnel who offers security services, serve as messengers and help in the maintenance of school plant in order for facilities to retain it aesthetics (Grander, 2006). Ugwuanyi (2013) carried out a study on community participation in the administration of secondary schools in Nsukka Education Zone of Enugu State and report that communities do actively participate in the provision of personnel. Whawo (2002) opines that the schools cannot do the job alone and parents cannot delegate their responsibility for guiding their children. All existing link such as the Parent Teachers Association, Old Students Association and community Association are valuable. Frankly speaking, providing personnel such as auxiliary staff for public secondary schools within a community is one of the major roles of the community to the schools in their locality. Because, the school exists for the community and community exists for school. Therefore, there is need to examine the influence of community participation on the administration of public secondary school in Benue state and to determine the extent of their participation. 

Many public secondary schools in Benue state lack adequate material resources for development and maintenance of the existing facilities such as classroom blocks, classroom chairs and tables, laboratories among others as noted by Ijamu (2015). Some of the students learn under shade of tree, (especially in the rural areas) and where there are classroom blocks, one discovers that most of their roofs are blown off by rain storm, other schools have potholes in the greater portion of the classroom begging for repairs or renovation. Worst still, a greater percentage of the students sit and write on the bare floor for insufficient classroom seat and desk. This situation doubtless, cannot promote students learning ability and subsequently better performance in their class work including examination.

In this era of economics recession and globalization, the government or the school administrators cannot manage schools alone, there is therefore the need for community to participate in the administration of government secondary schools in Benue state. This is because the administration of schools has become very difficult with its unique problems as posited by Obi (2003). According to Obi this problems range from such areas like increase in cost of education, technological influence, explosive students’ enrolment, and school-community conflicts and staff and students indiscipline among others.(Ijamu, 2015), who carried out a study on the appraisal of community participation in the administration of public secondary schools in education zone “C” area of Benue State, ascertained that community participation in the administration of secondary schools has been very minimal, these include providing infrastructural facilities, provision of games facilities and maintenance, build classrooms, laboratory buildings and office blocks, equipping the laboratories and library with needed materials, provision of computer and its accessory, providing electricity, generator for school use, building quarters for the school staff and in maintenance of discipline.

Generally in Nigeria, Olaitan (2001) notes that the community plays vital role in taking part in the decision making of the school in order to know exactly how the school is being managed and operated since their children are there to bring glory home. Abdulkareem (2011) observes that before and shortly after independence in Nigeria, schools were adequately funded while available physical facilities were sufficient for staff and students, but, presently due to some numerous challenges in the Nigerian education sector, it becomes paramount for communities to participate in the administration of secondary schools to assist in solving their problems. In the light of the above, there is the need to critically examine the influence of community participation on the administration of public secondary schools in Benue state.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Administration of secondary schools in Nigeria is becoming very tedious for principals due to lack of materials, non-payment of teachers’ salaries on time, over-crowded classrooms; explosion in students enrolment, truancy and lack of discipline on the part of the students, non-provision of teaching equipment for science and technical subjects in schools and motivational problems among others. These problems could cause a non-challant attitude on the part of the teachers in carrying out their primary assignment in the school which is teaching. As a result of this, quality education is sacrificed and standard fall. These problems have become a recurring decimal in the history of Nigerian education as noted by Ijamu, (2015).

Government sometimes provides these needs, but they are grossly inadequate in supply. (Ugwuanyi, 2013) notes that government alone cannot solve all the problems of school administration. Since government could not solve the aforementioned problems, could community participation in the administration of public secondary schools alleviate these problems? The problem of the study therefore is to examine the influence of community participation on the administration of public secondary schools in Benue state.

1.3 Objective of the Study

This study examined the influence of community participation on the administration of government secondary schools in Benue state. Specifically, the study sought to:

  1. determine the influence of community participation in the provision of funds on the administration of public secondary schools in Benue state.
  2. examine the influence of community participation in the provision of infrastructural facilities on the administration of public secondary schools in Benue state.
  3. find out the influence of community participation in the maintenance of discipline on the administration of public secondary schools in Benue state.
  4. ascertain the influence of community participation in decision-making on the administration of public secondary schools in Benue state.
  5. determine the influence of community participation in the provision of personnel on the administration of public secondary schools in Benue state.

1.4 Research Questions

The following research questions guided the study.

  1. What are the mean ratings of PTA, BOGs and Principals on the influence of community participation in the provision of funds on the administration of public secondary schools in Benue state?
  2. What are the mean ratings of PTA, BOGs and Principals on the influence of community participation in the provision of infrastructural facilities on the administration of public secondary schools in Benue state?
  3. What are the mean ratings of PTA, BOGs and Principals on the influence of community participation in maintenance of discipline on the administration of public secondary schools in Benue state?
  4. What are the mean ratings of PTA, BOGs and Principals on the influence of community participation in decision-making on the administration of public secondary schools in Benue state?
  5. What are the mean ratings of PTA, BOGs and Principals on the influence of community participation in the provision of personnel on the administration of public secondary schools in Benue state?

1.5 Statement of Hypotheses

The following null hypotheses were formulated and were tested at 0.05 level of significance:

  1. There is no significant difference in the mean ratings of PTA, BOGs and principals on the influence of community participation in the provision of funds on the administration of public secondary schools in Benue State.
  2. There is no significant difference in the mean ratings of PTA, BOGs and principals on the influence of community participation in the provision of infrastructural facilities on the administration of public secondary schools in Benue State.
  3. There is no significant difference in the mean ratings of PTA, BOGs and principals on the influence of community participation in the maintenance of discipline on the administration of public secondary schools in Benue State.
  4. There is no significant difference in the mean ratings of PTA, BOGs and principals on the influence of community participation in decision making on the administration of public secondary schools in Benue State.
  5. There is no significant difference in the mean ratings of PTA, BOGs and principals on the influence of community participation in the provision of personnel on the administration of public secondary schools in Benue State.

1.6 Significance of the Study

The findings of this study will be of great importance to the following education stakeholders, the Principals, teachers, parents and guardians, students, Ministry of Education, Parent Teachers Association, Board of Governors (BOG), School Base Management Committee (SBMC), Government and the community in general.

The study will help to draw the attention of the principals to realize the importance of mutual understanding between the school and the community in the administration of schools. It will help them to solicit assistance and active role of the community in various school programmes. The teachers will also benefit from the study as they enjoy good working relationship from their host community.

The community which is made up of the parents and guardians of the students will also find this study significant because it will aid them to understand and appreciate their responsibilities towards the provision and maintenance of school plant in order to facilitate learning by the appreciation and rewards received from the school. The students will benefit from the information generated by this study as it will expose them to the roles community has to play in fostering their education in the society such as provision of well-equipped school library, provision of instructional materials like chalk board, chalk, textbooks, etc. which will aid them to learn effectively.

The Ministry of Education will utilize the result for effective planning and implementation of various educational policies and programmes. The study will also facilitate or promote effective school community relationship and be useful to the Board of Governors and SBMC. The findings of this study will also provide information to the state government on the extent to which communities are involved in the development of the state through their effective participation in the administration of secondary schools. Finally, the findings of this study may also serve as a source of information for future researchers in the area. This work can be accessed through publications and seminars.

1.7 Scope of the Study

The content area of the focuses on community participation in provision of funds, infrastructural facilities, personnel, maintenance of discipline and decision-making processes on the administration of public secondary schools in Benue state. The study covered two hundred and sixteen (216) public secondary schools in nine Local Government Areas from the three Education Zones of Benue State. The Local Governments include Kastina/Ala, Logo, Ushongo, Gwer-East, Makurdi, Gboko, Ogbadibo, Otukpo and Oju Local Government Area.The study was carried out among the members of Parents Teachers Association (PTA), Board of Governors (BOGs) and principals of public secondary schools in Benue State.

1.8 Definition of Terms:

The following terms are used in the context of this study and defined accordingly:

Influence: in this context influence means how far the members of the community have been contributing in the affairs of public secondary school administration as regards to provision of funds, infrastructural facilities, maintenance of discipline, decision-making processes and provision of personnel.

Community: community is a body of people living in the same locality and having a common cultural and historical heritage and the willingness to live together.

Community Participation: in this context community participation in school administration is the involvement of the community to achieve educational goals and objectives.

Administration: administration in this context means planning, organizing, staffing, coordinating controlling, directing and uniting people’s effort to achieve educational goals and objectives.

Public Secondary Schools: Public secondary schools in this context include secondary schools that are owned, finance and sponsored by the Benue state government.

 

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