CORRELATES OF MANAGEMENT PRACTICES OF PRIMARY SCHOOL HEAD TEACHERS IN PROMOTING CHILDFRIENDLY SCHOOL ENVIRONMENTS IN SOUTH-EAST, NIGERIA
Background of Study
Primary education is a six-year form of education in Nigeria, which children receive before proceeding to secondary level of education. According to the National Policy on Education (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2013), primary education is the form of education attended by children before secondary education. Primary education exists within the ambits of the law and is empowered by the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) that oversees the management and supervision of primary education.
From the foregoing, it is safe to say that primary education is very important in Nigerian education system. Quadiri (2001) presents the following intentions of primary education in Nigeria: to help the child to develop intellectually, physically, morally, socially and emotionally to provide well-qualified citizens that are capable of going to secondary and tertiary institutions to be trained as professionals in various services that are essential for the development of the country; and to assist primary school learners who cannot further their education to become useful citizens and the community at large. Primary education is the foundation upon which other strata of educational edifice are built. Adesina (2011) adds that primary education serves as foundational levels of all other education by providing children with a good preparatory ground for further education. These aims agree with the provisions of the National Policy on Education (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2013:21) on the specific objectives of primary education which are to:
develop in the child the ability to adapt to his changing environment giving the child opportunities for developing manipulative skill to enable him function effectively in the society within the limit of his capacity; and providing basic tools for further educational advancement including preparation for trades and crafts of the locality. For the attainment of these objectives primary school curricular which have been developed to suit such desires are implemented by the primary school administrators with the cooperation of the teachers.
Heads of primary schools are tasked with the implications of these objectives. The success of primary school education therefore rests on effectiveprimary school administration which involves the participation of the local communities, well qualified and contented staff. Consequently, the administrators need the cooperation and support of the parents, teachers, the State Universal Education Board, Local Government Education Authorities and the Ministry of Education.
The authority of the head teacher according to Nwaham (2008) is viewed in the position occupied as well as task and responsibilities performed. Head teachers develop and implement school development plan, provide facilities and equipments, keeps records both statutory and non-statutory in addition to leading teaching and learning in schools. Leithwood & Jantzi (1999) classified these roles and responsibilities: as collaborative decision making providing both informal and formal opportunities.