THE EFFECT OF PRINCIPAL’S LEADERSHIP STYLE IN ACHIEVING EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN ENUGU EAST LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
This study is design to find out the effect of principal leadership style in achieving effective administration in secondary schools in Enugu East local Government Area of Enugu state. The purpose of this research work is to identify the effect of principal leadership style on school-community relationship and also to identify whether principal leadership styles affect the student’s academic performance in secondary school in Enugu East Local Government Area of Enugu State. The researcher adopts a descriptive survey research design approach in which three research questions were formulated. The population of the study consisted of 378 respondent from eighteen (18) government secondary schools in Enugu East Local Government Area, out of which (8) schools were randomly sampled for the study. From the (8) sampled schools, random sampling was also used to sample 160 teachers and 8 principals. Questionnaire of four point rating scales was used as the method of data collection. The instrument was adequately validated by three experts in measurement and evaluation. Data collected were analysis using means score; the study revealed that principal’s leadership style effects secondary schools administration in Enugu East Local Government Area. Based on the findings, the following recommendations were made: respect, love and praises should be made top priority in secondary schools. Those leaders should understand the individual strengths and weaknesses. That the principal should always leads by example; by coming to school early, dresses well, admits when they make mistakes and make those people around them better.
Background of the Study
The issue of leadership style is considered a major and basic concern for all organizations and institutions in various countries. It has been widely accepted that the administrators in all type of organization in the modern world has a significant effect on the people under them. Different countries around the world have been attempting to highlight and stress the concept of effective leadership styles in various ways in their daily organizational activities, programs and performance. In Nigeria, there is a rapid and increasing awareness in various sectors and fields including the educational institutions such as Universities, Colleges, Secondary Schools etc, on the impart of effective leadership styles. In the country secondary schools administrators are called principals. They are responsible for the three ‘Ps’ in the schools system, the People, the Programme and the Plant. Halpin (2001) pointed out the need to conduct research on the leadership styles are associated with administrative effectiveness. With this knowledge a better job can be done in training future administrators.
The word leadership has been used in various aspects of human endeavour such as politics, businesses, academics, social works, etc. Previous views about leadership show it as personal ability. Messick and Kramer (2004) argued that the degree to which the individual exhibits leadership traits depends not only on his characteristics and personal abilities, but also on the characteristics of the situation and environment in which he finds himself. Since human beings could become members of an organization in other to achieve certain personal objectives, the extent to which they are active members depends on how they are convinced that their membership will enable them to achieve their predetermined objectives.
The leadership capacity needed to develop a supporting culture is both attention demanding and complex. According to Sackney and Walker (2006) school principals need skills in group process facilitation, communication, conflict negotiation, inquiry and data management.
Principals function as managers and instructional leaders. They have the primary responsibility of accomplishing the nation’s aims and objectives of Secondary Education as stipulated in the National Policy on Education (NPE). In doing this, they play a number of important roles among which is providing effective leadership in secondary schools aimed at enhancing better job performance of teachers and in essence promoting students’ academic achievements in schools.
The role of a principal in relation to school administration is a topic that has been subjected to close investigation.
In the secondary school situation, the principle is the leader. His role involves managing the students and staff personnel in a way that will maximize learning outcome. How the teachers will perform their roles which depend on how they see the school principal as a leader, and how they perceive and relate to the school climate.
In this case quality leadership styles performed by a principal are considered as the most important tool for achieving and determining the excellence and success of a school performance especially pertaining to students’ performance in curricula and co-curricular activities. The principal has always been looked upon as a leader. Complex organizations such as schools need principals with leadership characteristics to play an active role in steering the organization towards excellence. According to Beare, Brian and Millikan (2002), outstanding leadership has invariably emerged as key characteristics of outstanding schools. There is no doubt that those seeking quality in education must ensure its presence and the development of potential leaders must be given high priority.
In contemporary affairs, governments or companies that prosper are said to enjoy good leadership whereas in those that fail, the leaders are to be blamed and held accountable. Getting a job well done requires good leadership and management of available resources.
Leadership in any organization especially secondary schools implies the action and interaction with persons and things with a view to attaining a specific objective. This is the ability, to plan, control, direct and co-ordinate the activities of school involving both human and material resources for the achievement of school goals. It is a process through which persons or groups intentionally influence others in the attainment of group goals. This concept can be enlarged to involve not only the willingness to work but also the willingness to work with zeal and confidence Ashibogwu (2008).
As Adeyemi and Bolarinwa (2013) remark, that it is the functional behaviour of a leader in relation with subordinates to facilitate the accomplishment of group goals. These views are however contrary to the arguments made by Akerele (2009) who defines leadership as a projected feeling from one individual (the leader) towards goal setting and goal achievement. The impact of this discourse on leadership points to the fact that any meaningful and sustainable definition of leadership must contain certain elements such as group to be led which must have a set of laid down objectives and a conscious effort to influence the behaviour of such groups. At the same time, there must be a willingness of subordinates to carry out the action of the leader.
In his day to day leadership role, the principal constantly interacts with the teachers. He is supposed to guide, assist and direct the teachers to achieve the aim of the organization. He sets the environment in which the staff and the students work. In studying the behavior of the principals, what matters so much is not how the principals see their own performance but how the teachers perceive their principal and the school climate. It is this perception that will largely influence the teacher’s attitude to work. For the teacher, the school climate could be facilitative or alienative.
Effective principal provides strong leadership, establish violent-free school climate conducive to learning, emphasize the important of basic skills to staff and students, install an expectation for high achievement in the school and monitor the teaching process as well as student’s achievement.
Thus, how the teachers perceive the principals could to a large extent affect their attitude to their job and, by implicating the school environment. It is suggested that successful principals combine an effective influence mode with influence activities to provide the consents and constraints within their schools that affect the way teachers manage their classroom and the achievement of students.
Statement of the Problem
One of the greatest complaints against Enugu State school system especially Enugu East local government area is the high incidence of failure of her students in both internal and external examinations. In schools settings, there is unrest arising from several petitions against the principals by some communities. Investigations nearly always reveal that these petitions are masterminded by some teacher in various affected schools.
Teachers tend to be apathetic to work as they exhibit lateness and truancy in the school. Among the students, there is high incidence of malingering, truancy, examination malpractice and other mal-adjusted behaviors. That these problems tend to pervade our schools raise serious questions as to the type of leadership style being exhibited by the principal in our secondary schools.
School principal are generally expected to establish a good measure of rapport with their teachers. A good degree of rapport between the principal and his teachers generally creates a facilitative climate which engenders confidence, trust, mutual respect, love and dedication to duty.
The problem become all the more glaring when one reflects on the criteria adopted by the Enugu state Government especially in Enugu East Local government In the selection of principals. In Enugu state schools system, appointment of principals is based on seniority without regard to adequate training in administration or administrative experience. This made it possible to study the leadership style of secondary school principals in Enugu State as they really exist. It is such an objective assessment that would be used in making appropriate recommendations for improvement of techniques adopted in the appointment of principals. Since the principal is the pivot on which the activities of the school revolves for good or for bad, studying the leadership style of our secondary School principal as they interact with the teachers and the assessment of the impact of such interaction becomes necessary. Since the general complaints tend to indicate that the climate of the preponderance of our schools is alienative, the problem then is whether there are any relationships between the leadership style of the principals and the organizational climate of the schools.
This atmosphere of constant misunderstanding will infinitely hamper the job performance of the teachers. The teachers are supposed to be dedicated to their duties; they know the rules and regulations of the organization. They are supposed to come to school early, teach their subjects and even be involved in other extra-curricular activities if the atmosphere is conducive. But the opposite is the case with a principal who is not friendly. The teachers are forced to show nonchalant attitude to work. This therefore attracts the attention of the researcher to look into how the leadership styles of principals have helped or discourage teachers from putting in their best.
Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of the study is to critically investigate the effect of principal’s leadership style in achieving effective administration in secondary schools in Enugu East Local Government Area.
Specifically, this study will attempt to:
(a) Identify the effect of principals, leadership style on school community relation.
(b) Find out the effect of leadership style on staff personnel administration.
(c) Identify whether principal leadership styles affect the student’s academic performance in secondary school.
Significance of the Study
The researcher hopes that the result of this research work shall be beneficial to the following: The Principals, Teachers, Students and the Society at large.
The principals: Educational administrators like the principals, vice principals and head masters will gain immensely from this study because it will points outs both good and bad leadership styles and a way the principals will achieve effective administration in secondary schools.
The principal as the head of the school authority should be example to other teachers and student. For example the principal should always be at school on time which will enable the teacher and student to emulate the attitude of the principal.
With the help of this research work the principal will see the needs of coming to school early, which will help teachers and even the student to emulate the punctuality of the principal.
It is generally assumed that the success of a school depends on the leader behavior to a considerable extent, on the leadership style projected by its principal who has much effect on the teacher in the dissemination of knowledge to students. A school will succeed and make progress under the good leadership of the principal. On the other hand, it will fail and degenerate under poor or bad leadership.
The teachers: The study will be significant to the teachers because any leadership style adopted or projected by the principal whether good or bad will immensely affects the teacher’s job performances and the dissemination of knowledge to students. A good degree of rapport between the principal and his teachers will generally creates a facilitative climate which engenders confidence, trust, mutual respect, love and dedication to duty.
The students: This study will be most significant to secondary school students because the students and youths are seen as leaders of tomorrow, and whatever they see is what they learn. When good or bad leadership style is projected by the principal to teachers or the students it will surely reflect to their academic achievements/ performance.
The society: The study will also be of great value to the society since the principal sees the school as an organization designed to serve the needs of the society and individuals that make it up. The content will help to advice the society on the effect of bad principal’s leadership style and the benefit of the good principal’s leadership styles as well.
Scope of the Study
The geographical scope of the study will be limited to eight (8) Secondary Schools in Enugu East Local Government Area.
The study covers the five administrative task areas, in Enugu East namely:
- Academic and Instructional Management
- Staff personnel Administration
- Student personnel administration
- Physical and financial management
- School community relationship
The following questions are formulated to guide the study:
- To what extent does the principal’s leadership style affects school-community relationship?
- What influence do school locations have on leadership style of school principals?
- To what extent does the principal’s leadership style affects teachers and student’s educational achievement/ job performance.