1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE SUDY
Learning has been so much associated with the school that some people almost think that learning goes on only in schools. This view of learning has been greatly reinforced by such reference to schools as institutions of learning (Okoye, 2009). There is no doubting the fact that much learning goes on in school. The school is particularly and specifically arranged so as to facilitate effective learning. Unfortunately the poor condition of our schools, particularly the primary schools today in the nation raises a lot of anxiety. A cursory look at these school in spite of government efforts reveals schools dominated by dilapidated buildings, school void of good furniture and equipment, schools where instructional materials are either not provided or are inadequate; school that are under-staffed; schools, where teachers’ salaries and allowances are not promptly paid, schools that have not been inspected for the last 15 years; schools where there are no discipline among other things. The government, and especially the parents are very much concerned with the quality and volume of learning acquired by their children, wards and citizens as this is related to the quality and quantity of the contribution which the individual can make to his immediate family, community and the nation as a whole. (Thorndike, 2008). Several studies by Sociologist, Psychologists and Educationists showed that the type of schools a learner attends has profound influence on his academic achievement. For instance, Bibby and Peil (2010) noted that children who attended private primary schools performed better than pupils in public schools. This view is also supported by Lioyd (2008) as he contended further that the public schools which saw education as good thing, tended to leave the question of educational success or failure in the hands of the public and their parents. This implies that the business of education is not taken with all the seriousness it demands in the public schools. This of course is what may be regarded as the general apathy of the citizenry to government’s owned business or property. A situation that has resulted in lackadaisical attitude of government’s workers, including teachers in the public schools tend to believe that an intelligent child would succeed automatically at school without any active assistance coming from them.
Tess (2011), claimed that administrators must motivate staff to use their creativity and initiative as necessary in making inputs, towards the accomplishment of institutional goals. The principals play important leadership roles in establishing school discipline, both by effective administration and by personal example. Principals of well-disciplined students are usually highly visible models. They engage in what Duke describes as “management by walking around,” greeting students and teachers and informally monitoring possible problem areas. Effective principals are liked and respected, rather than feared, and communicate caring for students as well as willingness to impose punishment if necessary (NAESP 2008). Esen (2009) views discipline as the maintenance of the quantity of the atmosphere necessary for achievement of the school goals. (Akpan, & Okey & Esirah 2011)
Gobir (2012) identified three categories of private schools, private school owner’s especially secondary schools, who could not afford quality schools, efficient staff and up to date laboratories and libraries. Another category of private school which intend to maintain more conducive environment for learning, and third category which are good private secondary schools that provide a challenging education.
The administrative effectiveness of secondary school principal had been observed by Adegun (2012), as a factor inhibiting attainment of goals in secondary schools. Tess (2011), claimed that administrators must motivate staff to use their creativity and initiative as necessary in making inputs, towards the accomplishment of institutional goals. The principals play important leadership roles in establishing school discipline, both by effective administration and by personal example. Principals of well-disciplined students are usually highly visible models. They engage in what Duke describes as “management by walking around,” greeting students and teachers and informally monitoring possible problem areas.
The private schools on the other hand, are in better shape. According to Onyechere (2013) they have less instances of loitering, general indiscipline and examination malpractices, although it has to be noted that in some of these private schools, there is organized malpractice (2009). Embezzlement of funds and infrastructure decay are less rampant in private schools (Imam, 2008). The teachers to a larger extent cover their syllabus, mark the assignments and appear more committed than teachers in public schools. These raise questions about the effectiveness of the management of the public secondary schools. However this study is aimed to investigate the level of administrative effectiveness of principals in private and public secondary schools. It was also to find out the relationship between administrative effectiveness and students’ discipline.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
There is evidence in the statistics that private schools have become a major part of the nation’s school system and they are producing a good number of high school graduates every year. Besides some short papers and articles, research on private schools in Nigeria has been a neglected area. The government does not have an organized mechanism to keep track of private schools. Until very recently, the Ministry of Education and Culture’s (MOEC) national annual statistical report didn’t even include the number of private schools and the students enrolled in these schools. Certainly the expansion of private education has helped the country by supplying more classroom space to meet the increasing demand of education. But without a systematic examination or an evaluation process, the actual productivity of this large private sector is unknown. Thus, the evaluation of the education sector as a whole is incomplete without a thorough examination of private education in Nigeria. However, there has been tremendous development in the educational sector of the state. New public and private schools have been established to meet the educational demand of its citizenry (1st Ondo State Education Summit, 2009). The researcher observed that there is unimpressive performance of students in secondary school, although private schools are considered better than public schools, there is no comparative study conducted in Nigeria examining the differences between the two. This study hopes to fill that gap. In general, there are very few research studies conducted on school effectiveness in developing countries. There is a need to look at the causes of the success and effectiveness of these schools. In Nigeria, where public schools are supported partly by the community and private schools operate independently without the coordination and supervision of any particular agency, it is important that their students, teachers, administrators, management structure and operation be examined. The school culture and environment that exists in schools may be contributing to the success and effectiveness of these schools. Observations have shown that lot of people in our society prefer to send their children to private schools. It was believed that teachers in those schools show much dedication and appear to perform better on their job. It was being speculated that the principals in those private schools were effective on their job and they handle the staff effectively and make them to produce good result. It was observed that although public schools seem to have more qualified teachers and relatively better facilities, nevertheless, they did not attract much patronage especially from the elite, rich and even the government workers. The study is to examine the level of principal administrative effectiveness in each of public and private schools and also the difference in their level of administrative effectiveness. It was also to examine if there is any relationship between administrative effectiveness and student’s level of discipline.
1.2 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this study is to investigate and compare the managerial effectiveness of principal of public and private school in Awka south local government of Anambra state. While the specific objectives that guide the study is:
- To find out the level of principal administrative effectiveness in public and private secondary school
- To compare the level of administrative competency between the public and private school principal
- To find out the management strategies adopted by principals of public and private secondary schools in Anambra State, Nigeria
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research question will guide the researcher in the course of this research to achieve the stated objectives above:
- What is the level of principal administrative effectiveness in public and private secondary school?
- What is the level of administrative competency between the public and private school principal?
- What are the management strategies adopted by principals of public and private secondary schools in Anambra state, Nigeria?
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This research work will expose the students, teachers, parents, government at various levels the general public, school administrators on the information to reflect upon various factor that will help students in achieving their academic goals.
The findings of this study will also be useful to school proprietors, government school administrators and parents in understanding the impact of school principals on academic achievement of students. This study will also be of importance to students themselves as it will be made known to them the effects of their principal administrative strategy on their academic achievement. Finally, the findings of the study will act as a reference point to other interested scholars interested in this area of research.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study covers both the private and public schools in Awka south local government area of Anambra state.
1.7 DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The major problem faced during this research is time, the researcher has limited time to complete the research and also insufficient fund to finance the project also to visit more one local government.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERM
Comparative: involving the systematic observation of the similarities or dissimilarities between two or more branches of science or subjects of study.
Managerial: relating to management or managers
Effectiveness: the degree to which something is successful in producing a desired result; success.