CORRELATES OF MANAGEMENT PRACTICES OF PRIMARY SCHOOL HEADTEACHERS IN PROMOTING CHILD-FRIENDLY SCHOOL ENVIRONMENTS IN SOUTH-EAST, NIGERIA


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CORRELATES OF MANAGEMENT PRACTICES OF PRIMARY SCHOOL HEADTEACHERS IN PROMOTING CHILD-FRIENDLY SCHOOL ENVIRONMENTS IN SOUTH-EAST, NIGERIA

ABSTRACT

The study examined the Correlates of Management Practices of Primary School Head Teachers in South East Nigeria in Promoting Child friendly School Environment and the factors that have relationship with these practices. The study sought to determine the demographic correlates of the management practices of head teachers in: (i) the provision of facilities and equipments in primary schools,

(ii) the protection of the rights of children, (iii) the promotion of healthful environment for pupil, (iv) the promotion of gender equality, (v) fostering collaborative relationship between schools, parents and communities and (vi) encouraging pupils inter-personal relationships with staff Twelve research questions and six null hypotheses guided the study. A corelational survey research design was adopted. The sample of 192 was selected from the population of 5,714 primary school head teachers in South East Nigeria using proportionate stratified random sampling technique. A 58 – item instrument titled Correlates of Management Practices of Primary School Head Teachers in South East Nigeria in Promoting Child-friendly School Environment Questionnaire (MAPOT) and an Observational Rating Scale (ORS) were used for data collection. Data were analyzed using the statistical package for social sciences version 20. Percentages, means, standard deviations and Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient were used to answer the research question, while t-test, ANOVA and multiple regressions were used to test the null hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance. Findings revealed that the state of facilities, equipment and materials for instruction are grossly inadequate. Findings also revealed that head teachers in public primary schools in South East Nigeria promote child-friendly school environment to some extent. Results also indicated that significant relationships existed between some demographic variables of state, location, gender, experience, age and the management practices of head teachers in the promotion of child- friendly school environment. It was recommended among others, that existing head teacher development programme should be intensified to improve the management skills of head teachers for effective adoption of child-friendly school environment. Capacity building workshops should be organized for retraining of head teachers by different states with a view to making the head teachers independent, proactive and creative school administrators.

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CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION

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

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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 effective primary 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 for members of the school to participate in decision making

about issues that affect the school, practices that demonstrate the head teachers expectations for excellence, quality, and or high performance on the part of teachers, practices that distribute the responsibility for thinking about organization effectiveness broadly among teachers and shared vision about the school culture. These are summed up by Education Sector Support Program in Nigeria (ESSPIN, 2010) into eight areas namely planning for school improvement, leading teaching and learning, managing teachers, managing resources, managing finance, strengthening community link, accountability and promoting pupils welfare. Stoner (2002) noted that supervision of teaching and learning process, decision making, record keeping, communication, financial management, public relations and compliance to legal stipulations are critical aspect of school management. In this study, the following aspect of management practices namely: leading teaching and learning, management of facilities and equipment, pupil personnel services, (rights of children), healthful environment, gender equity, school community relations and staff-pupil relation are considered in this study.

Leading teaching and learning has to do with what the head teacher does to promote or direct teaching and learning in the school. These according to Mgbodile (2004) involve the task of ensuring that organized teaching and learning is effective in the school. The essence of leading teaching and learning is to support teachers with the ideas and suggestion that will improve the instructional delivery as well as identify their needs and problems. Similarly ESSPIN (2010) observed

that learning achievement in primary school is influenced by head teachers’ management practices in the promotion of child-friendly school environment.

Facilities and equipment in this study are the instructional resources which influence teaching and learning such as classrooms, staffrooms, compound, laboratories, games/sports facilities, toilet facilities, water supply and materials for curriculum studies. These facilities if not properly provided by the state and if not properly managed by the head teachers could dilapidate and wear out to the extent that the school will not derive optimum benefits from it. The head teacher in addition to other duties is expected to utilize, safeguard and maintain instructional facilities and equipment which help in the promotion of child-friendly school environment.

Adherence to legal status is another important area of responsibility for the school head teacher. Proper understanding of their roles and codes of conduct as they impact on the rights and responsibilities of teachers, pupils and other stakeholders in the school afford them the opportunity to define the limits of their individual behaviors, provide understanding, injects respectability and mutuality of interest for the smooth running of the school towards the achievement of educational goals (Kalagbor, 2004). The relationship between the head teacher demographic variables in the protection of the rights of children will be determined in this study.

School community relation is another management practice of primary school head teachers. It underscores the need to establish good rapport and human

relations between the schools and the various stakeholders (parents, school based management committee, pupils and wider community) (Sherlaker, 2005). This demands that the head teacher seeks appropriate means of relating with the public on issues of mutual interest. Performance of these function according to Worlu (2007) could be by operating an open door policy where the head teacher can easily be accessed, regularly sending news letters to parents, helping establishing Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and SBMC and working cooperatively with them by holding regular meetings where parents, teachers and community discuss issues relating to the school improvement, identifying school needs, making appeals to philanthropists in the locality and inviting the community to important school functions such as prize giving day, graduation ceremony, exhibitions of pupils work and end-of-year events. By this the school will endear itself to the public and will attract support and assistance in various ways (Bender, 2008). The extent head teacher foster collaborative relationship between parents and communities are considered as an aspect of management practices in the promotion child-friendly school environment.

Primary schools in Nigeria are besieged by colossal problems such as poor funding, poor educational infrastructure and poor learning environment. Enueme (2002) and Ogbuagu (2004) lamented that most of the Nigerian public primary schools are characterized by inadequate and over-crowded classrooms, lack of equipment, furniture, teaching and learning materials and poorly motivated teachers. The media stakeholders, civil society and faith-based organizations have

observed with concern, “the poor learning environment, inadequate school supervision, absence of teaching aids, lack of qualified teachers, lack of community involvement and participation in the management of schools in Enugu State (ESSPIN, 2010). Edike and Mbakwe (2011) reported that Enugu State Government has been called upon to urgently rehabilitate primary schools in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MGDs) in the education sector. Odia and Omofonwam (2007) state that education in Nigeria is besieged by colossal problems such as poor funding, poor educational infrastructure- including inadequate classrooms, lack of committed/devoted teachers and polluted learning environment. In the face of a dismal lack of this vital resources head teachers’ effort to administer schools diligently will be thwarted. Many primary schools in South-east Nigeria are not exempted from this poor state of affairs. Many are challenged by a constant outbreak of unruly behavior on the part of pupils, a constant lack of educational amenities as well as over population of pupils. Where the heads fail to arrest these situations the smooth running of primary school is compromised. How far the above problems exist and their effects on the administration of primary school is the focus of this study. Federal Government of Nigeria/United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund/United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (1997) national survey reports on the status of basic education in Nigeria revealed that the environment for teaching and learning is far from optimal. It also revealed that lack of suitable school environment constituted a major impediment to effective teaching and learning at

the basic education level, and that resource inadequacy has been shown to be a feature of Nigerian primary schools. These resource inadequacies, poor school environment, lateness to school, truancy, disruptive behaviors on the part of pupils and associated poor academic achievement go a long way to confirm the degenerating status of primary education. Education Sector Support Programme in Nigeria (ESSPIN, 2010) in its School Improvement Programme (SIP) survey across the 6 ESSPIN partnering states (Enugu, Lagos, Jigawa, Kwara, Kaduna and Kano) revealed that two thirds of head teachers’ time is spent on activities that are not connected to leading teaching and managing the school.

The apparent lack of good management practices appear to be responsible for the various ills in our schools. It is pertinent to state that education at the primary school level needs to be child-friendly in order to produce the best out of the child. UNICEF recommended some common elements that are seen as reflecting quality education and positive learning which together form the child- friendly school.

A child-friendly school is where the environment is conducive, the staffs are friendly to children, the health and safety needs of the children are adequately met. Thus, the school is community based, takes cognizance of the rights of all children, irrespective of gender, religion and ethnic affiliation, physical and mental abilities/disabilities and other peculiarities (UNICEF, 2008: 4).

UNICEF (2000) developed a framework for rights-based child-friendly education (CFE) and schools. The framework (Appendix A, page 241) comprises of 5 – essential aspects as follows: It is inclusive of children, effective for learning, healthy and protective of children, gender-sensitive, involved with children, families and communities

Inclusiveness is about meeting the learning needs of all children, acknowledging and respecting groups that are often marginalized because of their gender, disability, ethnicity, HIV status, poverty etc. Schools must adopt practices that ensure a welcoming classroom environment for all kinds of learners and must develop teaching skills to be able to meet individual needs of pupils. To be appraised in this study is the initiative on children’s right to inclusive education in a child-friendly school irrespective of abilities /disabilities. Inclusive education according to Okeke (2009) is an educational placement which de-emphasizes exclusion and emphasizes the restructuring of schools, classrooms and approaches to instruction to meet the needs of all learners. United Nations Educational and Cultural Organization (UNESCO, 2003) explains that inclusive education involves changes and modification in content, approaches, with a common conviction that  it is the responsibility of the regular citizen to educate all children. There is need

for continuous appraisal of CFS status of public primary schools in South East Nigeria with respect to head teachers’ management practices in the promotion of child-friendly school environment.

Effective for learning implies that there should be improvement in educational management, teaching skills, school infrastructure and learning materials. It involves carrying out planned activities to improve the quality of teaching and children's learning in the school. Ibukun (2011) viewed head  teacher’s performance in leading teaching and learning as the ability of head teachers to manage and observe teachers teach and support them attain educational goals in cheapest possible manner.

Healthy and protective of children mean that secure and safe learning environment will enhance the learning process and encourage children to attend school. Schools need to be well designed, well-built and well-maintained. There should be the necessary teaching and learning resources, and adequate water supply and toilet facilities to meet the needs of the children and their teachers. Children tend to imbibe the habit of good hygiene especially when the school environment offers the opportunity. United States of America (US) Environmental agency (2010) stated that poor school environment could result in an intensified sickness among children thereby resulting in absenteeism and ineffectiveness in learning, whereas a good school environment improves children’s participation and performance. UNICEF guidelines on CFS therefore insist that schools should provide a conducive and healthy environment in the child’s learning environment.

The approach to health and safety education focuses on the development of relevant knowledge, attitude, values and life skills that inculcate health habits to children. These according to UNESCO (2006) will enable the pupils learn and act in the most appropriate manner in health related issues thereby creating a safe and healthy school for the child to operate. The correlate of head teacher management practices and the relationship between the demographic variables will be determined in this study.

Gender sensitivity refers to the idea that educational systems do offer the same type of opportunities for upward mobility to both sexes equally. Thus gender- sensitivity is the state of being sensitive to the needs of both sexes. UNICEF  (2009) contends that every individual, male or female, is capable of achieving an excellence in any career, giving required opportunity without jeopardizing their basic biological functions. UNICEF (2011) knows that individuals male or female are free to express their individuality and those boys and girls must learn to live together in harmony. In South east Nigeria the extent head teachers’ management practices enhance the promotion of gender equity among boys and girls were considered.

Schools that are involved with children, families and communities are concerned with improving relationship with the community. The support family members or other caregivers provide to pupils have a significant impact on the motivation children bring to the learning environment and their willingness to behave responsibly in school. In addition, students, parents and guardians provide

valuable information regarding how students perceive their school experience and what they need to be maximally successful at school. Therefore, when schools are involved with these groups, they facilitate instruction. Head teachers can take lead in this approach through interaction with community groups, parents and agencies that provides services for children. The correlation between the head teacher management practices and the promotion of school community relations is considered in this study.

The Universal Basic Education (UBE) programme launched in September 1999 marks the beginning of a carefully thought out programme of restoration in the education sector. According to the Federal Ministry of Education (2001), the aim of UBE programme, among others include reducing illiteracy rate, universalizing access to basic education, establishing a conducive and child- friendly school environment for effective teaching and learning. Therefore, the success of the UBE programme in ensuring quantitative and qualitative improvement in education depends largely on the provision of child-friendly school environment. There is need to determine the extent of the provision of child-friendly school environment by head teachers. The head teachers’ demographic variables may relate to organizational effectiveness. Demographic variables as noted by Peretomode (2001) are those factors in a population that gives a characteristic overview of the people that make up the population. Such characteristic may include age distribution, sex, living location, educational qualification, age of school, state of origin, experience and so on. Demographic

variables considered in this study include state, location, gender experience and age of school.

State is an area carved out of a bigger locality or a group of localities with well defined and identifiable boundaries. The South-East States namely; Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo have similar features in their cultural, educational and social development. The citizens have a lot of interest and love for learning which make them to be ranked as educationally advanced. It appears that one of the serious constraints’ facing public primary schools in the area relates to inadequate facilities that hinder the promotion of child-friendly school environment. Education in the state is guided by the National Policy on Education (2004) in terms of philosophy, goals and objectives. In South east states various aspects of the national policy are implemented by the Ministry of Education (MoE) and the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) to facilitate the attainment of Millennium Development Goal (MDGs).The state make policies which are implemented in the school level, provides facilities, training and programmes to improve the education service delivery. The extent the state relates head teacher management practices in the promotion of child-friendly school environment is considered in this study.

Another demographic variable that has engaged the interest of the researcher is the issue of location of CFS. Maduewesi (2005) and Igbuzor (2006) contend that children in CFS are faced with the challenge of not being safe due to remote location as well as nearness of schools to busy roads, markets, amongst others

which pose danger to the lives of children. Enyi (2000) posits that there were variations in the existence of resources between urban and rural schools in favor of the urban location. Similarly the findings of Edozie (2000) showed there are differences in urban and rural head teacher disposition to changes and innovations in educational system. These findings tend to indicate that location of school has influence on the extent to which certain educational programs are implemented. However there is paucity of empirical evidence to ascertain if location influence head teachers’ management practices in the promotion of child-friendly school environment. Therefore there is the need to examine the relationship between location and head teacher management practices in the promotion of child-friendly school environment in South-East Nigeria.

Experience in this study refers to the number of years the head teacher has put in the current employment. Head Teachers had various teaching experiences which may range from 1-35 years. Since the development of behavior is influenced by time it could be possible that variations in the management practices may exist among the Head Teachers in their current work which has direct relationship in the promotion of child-friendly school environment. The general proposition is that younger head teacher exhibit better management practices than older head teachers since individuals tend to gradually disengage from active work with age (Feldman, 1990). This was buttressed by Oredien (2004) that showed a positive relationship between head teachers productivity and age of service. However in a study Domina (2005) found that there was no significance relationship between head teachers

experience and administrative performance. Due to this inconsistencies it has become necessary to determine the extent to which experience relate to head teachers management practices to the promotion of child-friendly school environment.

Gender refers to the social roles, responsibilities and expectation of men and women, boys and girls in a specific community or society at a specific time. One could find categories of head teachers who may be either male or female sharing different management practices in the promotion of child-friendly school environment. While some research studies showed evidence of male superiority in task performance (Uko, 2002) some others reported that females perform better in school administration (Deresh and Male, 2000). Following this disagreement over which gender performs better this work seems to contribute in resolving this controversy on gender as it affects practices in the promotion of child-friendly school environment.

Age of school refers to the year a school was established. Data on school age are obtained for several purposes. School age is an important variable for planning requirements as the measurement of potential school population. Age of school is a variable in calculating trends that account for changes in the school population such as progression, repetition and enrolment rates. Age of school can determine the quality of head teachers, teachers and other facilities that are made available to the school. This may have relationship with the management practices adopted by head teachers of public primary schools in South East, Nigeria. Therefore there is

need to examine the relationship between the age of school and head teacher management practices in the promotion of child-friendly school environment.

The school heads serves as a custodian of child-friendly school values and is a mentor, supporting the staff’s professional development and helping to cultivate the most appropriate behavior and teaching practices. As a leader and team builder the school head guides the school as an institution and plays a pivotal role in creating and maintaining its ethos. With proper management both human and material resources are properly harnessed towards the realization of child-friendly school environments.

A child-friendly school environment is where the learning environment is conducive, the staffs are friendly to the children and the health and safety needs of the children are adequately provided good management practices that are in place. Unfortunately conducive learning environment, provision of children and staff health and safety needs as correlates of management practices of head teachers are not in place in schools requiring empirical evidence to support it. Against this background, the researcher was motivated to determine the correlates of head teacher management practices that can promote child-friendly school environment.

Statement of the Problem

In spite of huge investment in the education sector by the Nigerian government there is still public outcry on the quality of education provision. The performance of head teachers in the management of primary school remains

questionable. In public primary schools there has been evidence of poor learning achievement among pupils, dilapidated facilities, teachers’ poor attitude to work, unconducive learning environment and indiscipline among teachers and pupils in South-East Nigeria. The school environment has been child-unfriendly. This has been attributed in part to professional incompetency of head teachers. The success or failure of the schools depends on the head teachers, as the chief executives, whose actions can make or mar the schools.

In South-East Nigeria, appointment of head teachers is usually from a pool of teachers without considering the demographic factors which can influence their performance. Their selection is largely based on their seniority as classroom teachers, salary grade level and possession of some tertiary level qualification such as Nigerian Certificate in Education or a First degree in education. In some cases many teachers who have not gained any experience are upgraded to the position of head teachers to learn on the job, while many who have served as an assistant head teacher still remain in this position unremembered. This selection process may influence the capacity of the head teachers to endanger child-friendly-school environment.

A child-friendly school environment is where the learning environment is conducive, the staffs are friendly to the children and the health and safety needs of the children are adequately provided. The promotion of child-friendly school environment requires the adoption of good management practices by the head teachers. There is no study, to the best knowledge of the researcher that

investigated factors that are related to the management practices of head teachers  in promoting child-friendly school environment. The problem of the study is what demographic variables (state, location, gender, experience, and age of schools) predict the head teacher management practices in the promotion of child-friendly school environment in South-East Nigeria?

Purpose of the Study

The study is designed to examine the demographic correlates of head teachers management practices in the promotion of child-friendly school environments. Specifically the study was to find out:

1. The state of physical facilities and equipment in the primary schools in South East, Nigeria.

2. The extent to which the head teachers ensure that the rights of children are protected.

3. The extent to which the head teachers provide a healthful environment for children.

4. The extent the head teachers promote gender equality.

5. The extent the head teachers foster collaborative relationships between the pupils, parents and the community.

6. The extent the head teachers encourage pupils interpersonal relationship with the staff.

7. How the demographic variables (state, location, gender, experience, and age of schools) predict the head teachers’ management practices in the provision of facilities and equipment in primary schools.

8. How the demographic variables (state, location, gender, experience and age of schools) predict the head teachers’ management practices in ensuring that the rights of children are protected in South-East Nigeria.

9. How the demographic variables (state, location, gender, experience and age of schools) predict the head teachers’ management practices in providing healthful environments for the pupils in South-East Nigeria.

10. How the demographic variables (state, location, gender, experience and age of schools) predict the head teachers’ management practices in promoting gender equality among pupils in South-East Nigeria.

11. How the demographic variables (state, location, gender, experience and age of schools) predict the head teachers’ management practices in fostering collaborative relationship between schools, parents and communities in South-East Nigeria.

12. How the demographic variables (state, location, gender, experience and age of schools) predict the head teachers’ management practices in encouraging pupils inter-personal relationships with staff South-East Nigeria.

Significance of the Study

This study has both theoretical and practical significance. Theoretically, the findings of the study could provide supportive evidence to Maslow’s theory of need. Maslow’s theory of need was based on two assumptions. First human being have needs that are different in nature ranging from biological needs at the lower level to psychological needs at upper level. The second assumption is that these lower needs must be satisfied before higher needs. Maslows theory has been considered important as it has made the management of primary schools aware of the various needs of pupils. The management of an organization such as school has the role of ensuring that it creates an environment where pupils can enroll, attend regularly and participate in teaching and learning process in schools. This is possible if the head teachers adopt management practices that will promote child- friendly school environment. The findings of this study would indicate the extent head teachers provide for the various needs of their pupils through the adoption of management practices that promote child-friendly school environment.

Practically the findings of the study would be useful to the head teachers, education/school managers, school children, Universal Basic Education Board, State Ministries of Education, UNICEF and other stakeholders in the education industry. It is expected that the findings of the study will provide information on the state of facilities and equipment in public primary schools in South East Nigeria. As an indicator of the state of the schools, the findings could guide Ministries of Education and Universal Basic Education Board in the provision of facilities in the school. The findings could help the State Ministries of Education in

the South East in policy formulation aimed at equipping the schools and improving efficiency and productivity.

The findings could enable the head teachers understand the impact of their actions on children’s rights. These would ensure that the best practices in promoting children’s right and building child-friendly school environment are adhered to by the head teachers. The findings of this study, if used to retrain teachers could reposition them to be more effective in improving learning.

On the promotion of healthful school environments, the findings of the study could provide data to the Universal Basic Education Boards that could help reduce morbidity among boys and girls and thus improve retention and achievement in schools. The results of the study if published would provide data or information to health agencies on how to provide conducive learning environments in schools.

The findings of this study would help the Education Boards understand how demographic variables relate to organizational effectiveness. The information could help them understand the adjustment necessary in respect of demographic variables in relation to head teacher management practices in the promotion of child-friendly school environment. It could guide appointment and deployment of head teachers. The information could help SUBEB evaluate the effectiveness of head teachers in schools and make adjustment that would improve the schools by ways of manipulating the demographic variables to ensure effectiveness.

It is equally hoped that the findings of the study could help enhance teacher- pupil relationship. When relationship is cordial pupils develop positive attitudes

towards schooling and they may be more motivated to engage in school tasks and other pro-social behaviors. On the part of teachers, working together will help solve pupils’ problems and promote learning achievement of the pupils. Therefore, the findings could provide data to guide the head teachers and education boards to organize workshop on the promotion of teacher-pupil relationships.

Parents and the communities could benefit from the findings of the study. The result would help them know their level of participation in the collaborative relationships between pupils, parents and community. This could be useful in helping the pupils, parents and the communities to adjust in order to enhance inter- personal relationship through enlightenment to be organized by the school based management committee or the Parents, Teachers Association.

The findings of the study would be useful to Ministries of Education, Universal Basic Education Boards and UNICEF by providing data on management practices of head teachers in relation to promoting child-friendly school environments. These agencies could make use of the information in providing interventions to improve the child-friendly environment of the schools.

The relationship between some variables such as state, location, gender, experience and age of school would indicate those variables that could predict head teachers promotion of child-friendly environment. This is with a view to assisting Universal Basic Education officials to put in place strategies for ensuring conducive school environment. Through seminars, workshops and lectures organized by National and International agencies, head teachers could be better

educated to promote child-friendly environments in their schools. Through the manipulation of these variables, the Universal Basic Education Boards could post head teachers to where they would be most effective.

The findings of this study would serve as a reference material to the general public, researchers and students in educational administration and related fields of study.

Scope of the Study

The study was de-limited to head teachers of public primary schools in the five states of South-East Nigeria namely Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo states. The study focused on demographic variables (state, location, gender, experience and age of school) as correlates of head teachers management practices in the promotion of child-friendly school environment namely: provisions of facilities and equipment, pupil personnel services (rights of the child, healthful environment, gender equity), school community relations and teacher-pupil relationships.

Research Questions

The following research questions guided the study.

1. What is the state of facilities, equipment and materials in the primary  schools in South-East Nigeria?

2. To what extent do head teachers ensure that the rights of children in South- East Nigeria are protected?

3. To what extent do head teachers provide a healthful environment for the pupils in South-East Nigeria?

4. In what ways do head teachers promote gender equality between pupils in South-East Nigeria?

5. To what extent do the head teachers foster collaborative relationship between pupils, parents and communities in South-East Nigeria?

6. To what extent do head teachers encourage pupils’ interpersonal relationships with staff in South-East Nigeria?

7. What are the relationships between the demographic variables (state, location, gender, experience and age of schools) and the head teachers’ management practice of provision of facilities and equipment in primary schools South-East Nigeria?

8. What are the relationships between the demographic variables (state, location, gender, experience and age of schools) and the head teachers’ management practices in promoting the rights of children in South-East Nigeria?

9. What are the relationships between the demographic variables (state, location, gender, experience and age of schools) and the head teachers’ management practices in the provision of healthful environments for the pupils in South-East Nigeria?

10. What are the relationships between the demographic variables (state, location, gender, experience and age of schools) and the head teachers’

management practices in promotion of gender equality among pupils in South-East Nigeria?

11. What are the relationships between the demographic variables (State, location, gender, experience and age of schools) and the head teachers’ management practices in fostering collaborative relationships between schools, parents and communities South-East Nigeria?

12. What are the relationships between the demographic variables (state, location, gender, experience and age of schools) and the head teachers’ management practices in encouraging pupils’ interpersonal relationship with staff in South-East Nigeria?

Hypotheses

The following hypotheses were tested at p<.05

H01: State, location, gender, experience of head teachers and age of school do not significantly predict the head teacher management practices in the provision of facilities and equipment in primary school.

H02: State, location, gender, experience of head teachers and age of school do not significantly predict the head teacher management practices in the protection of the rights of children.

H03: State, location, gender, experience of head teachers and age of school do not significantly predict the head teacher management practices in the promotion of healthful environments for pupils.

H04: State, location, gender, experience of head teachers and age of school do not significantly predict the head teacher management practices in the promotion of gender equality.

H05: State, location, gender, experience of head teachers and age of school do not significantly predict the head teacher management practices in fostering collaborative relationships between the pupils, families and communities.

H06: State, location, gender, experience of head teachers and age of school do not significantly predict the head teacher management practices in encouraging pupils’ interpersonal relationship with staff.

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CORRELATES OF MANAGEMENT PRACTICES OF PRIMARY SCHOOL HEADTEACHERS IN PROMOTING CHILD-FRIENDLY SCHOOL ENVIRONMENTS IN SOUTH-EAST, NIGERIA


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