ASSESSMENT OF PRINCIPALS’ VIOLATION OF STUDENTS’ RIGHTS IN SECONDARY SCHOOL ADMINISTRATION


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ASSESSMENT OF PRINCIPALS’ VIOLATION OF STUDENTS’ RIGHTS IN SECONDARY SCHOOL ADMINISTRATION IN KOGI STATE, NIGERIA 2010 – 2015  

ABSTRACT

The study was designed to assess principals’ violation of students’ rights in secondary schools, in Kogi State Nigeria. It aims at finding out the extent to which the principals are aware of students rights, assess the extent to which students right to life, dignity of human person, right to personal liberty, right to fair hearing are being violated by principals. The design used for the study is descriptive survey. Six research questions and six hypotheses guided the study. The target population for the study was 47,388 students, teachers and principals from 345 schools in Kogi State. The sampled population was 6,191 comprising 138 principals, 1,794 teachers and 4,259 students from 138 sampled schools. The instrument used for the study was the (PASRVQ) Principals’ Awareness of Students’ Rights Violation Questionnaire. Means and standard deviation were used to answer the research questions. The internal constituency and reliability of the instrument was determined using Cronbach Alpha method. The reliability coefficient of the instrument obtained from cluster A-F is 0.83, 0.69, 0.81, 0.75, 0.92, and 0.87 respectively. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Scheffe test were used to test the null hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance. The study among others revealed that to a great extent principals are not generally aware of students rights and therefore violate students right to life, dignity of human person, right to personal liberty and right to fair hearing. Accordingly the study recommended that: principals should be made properly aware of students rights, through the conferences, seminars, workshops and further studies. School rules should be made public, school plant facilities should be made safe for use, students are to be given opportunity to express opinions and be involved in decision making process. Teacher capacity building curriculum should incorporate element of education law and human rights education should be incorporated in secondary school curriculum. 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION 

Background of the Study 

The school as a social institution has the social and constitutional responsibilities of educating the students and protecting them from the abuse of their rights and privileges. Effective students’ personnel administration demands that various administrative activities and services should be carried out by the school, within the established rules and regulations, in order to ensure total development of the students Bassey, Arop, Akpama & Ayang, (2012). This means that school administrators shall not only be knowledgeable about students’ rights, but should also be proficient in the protection and promotion of these rights (Nakpodia, 2011). 

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The principal co-ordinates and ensures that the various process of administrative activities and services are carried out by the school within an established rules and regulations so as to ensure total development of the students in a given school. According to Nakpodia (2009) principals are also Teachers in Nigerian schools system, who in their position in-loco-parentis to the children in their charge act, reasonably in this capacity, provided their actions are in accordance with general and approved educational practice,,, The principal is the leader of secondary school or Chief Executive Officer of secondary school administration. Principals as leaders have the key for achieving sustainable enormous education reforms like accountability, standard, test, enhancing legal rights of students, site based management, school climate and turning schools into professional learning communities Fullan(2002). As leaders he manages the teachers, students and non-academic staff of the school. He develops and leads programmes. The principal sets high standards and knows how to motivate staff to achieve the desired goals. He works with people as a team and cherishes high decisional participation. The principal ensures teachers commitment to school task through an atmosphere of respect and trust. 

Principals, according to Peretomode (1995) have a critical responsibility to direct and control the activities of the human and non human resources in order to achieve educational goals and objectives. He stated further that the present system of secondary education in Nigeria poses a lot of new challenges to the secondary school principal, and to meet these challenges, the school principal as an administrator will have to equip himself with the knowledge, skills and attitude which will make him proficient in his administrative and professional duties and help him achieve the goals of the institution.

Igwe (1990) also described the principal as that administrator who is supposed to have a proven quality and the knowledge to achieve his administrative roles as the chief custodian of their various schools. The Author stressed further that principals are the uncompromising leaders of their schools as well as administrators in whose hands lie the future of these institutions. Ogbonnaya (2003) in his related view sees the principal; as the chief executive charged with the day-to-day running of secondary schools in Nigeria. They implement the educational programmes in secondary schools, keep statutory records as well as create a conducive atmosphere for teaching and learning in schools.  

In view of all the above it is expected that the principal must be competent enough in his administrative duties, so as to ensure successful operation of secondary schools. In so doing he maintains educational standards and goals established by the policy makers, supervise and support students, monitor students educational moral progress, manage career counseling and other student services. Unfortunately, it is obvious that many challenges facing secondary schools today are traceable to principals, who as chief executives are expected to be in total control of all aspects of school administration. These challenges include the ability of principals: - to keep students motivated and safe in an increasely apathetic and violent school environment; to administer quality education to all students including those with special needs; to keep abreast of and implement modern reforms while introducing new technologies. Peretomode (1992) noted that many principals have abdicated their administrative roles.  

Violation is another term for an offence or an infringement. A violation is a breach, infringement, or transgression as of law, rule or promise. The term generally means an act of disobeying a law or a legal order. There are several categories of violations that exist at various levels of the legal system. These levels of violations include willful violation which is a violation in which the violator either knowingly failed to comply with a legal requirement or acted with plain indifference to safety of clients.   Serious violation exists when the environment for learning is in hazard condition which could cause an accident or illness that would most likely result in death or serious physical harm. Committing violations can result in a variety of consequences depending on the type of disobedient behaviour. When a person acts illegally he violates the law and may be held accountable (Wisegeek, 2013). Longman (2009) also sees violation as an action that breaks a law agreement or principles. Nakopodia (2011) stated that there are practices in the school system that tends to violate the fundamental human rights of students. He stated further that in section 32-42 of chapter IV of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is enshrined the fundamental human rights of the citizens. He therefore summarized that, it is of great importance that education administrators and teachers should have knowledge of the constitutional rights of the citizen and the knowledge of the students’ fundamental human rights. The trend of student right violation in public schools go to a large extent to reveal that violation of students rights are important variable that should be addressed.  

Secondary school is an educational institution meant for children over eleven years and above. In Nigeria, Britain, France, India, Canada and United State of America they exist to provide opportunity for education to enable students live a more perceptive and fulfilling life. The aim of secondary school education is to prepare students for useful living within the society and for higher institutions, to raise a generation of people who can think for themselves, respect the views and fillings of others, respect dignity of labour and live as good citizens. According to Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN, 2004), secondary education is the education children receive after primary education and before the tertiary stage. It has six years duration, the junior secondary stage and senior secondary stage. Each is of three years duration. The secondary education level occupies an important and critical position in the set up of the educational system as a transitional stage between basic and tertiary education. Ideally the secondary schools are to cater for the needs of educating and training middle level technicians and skilled workers.

According to Nkwoh (2011) who opined that secondary education occupies a strategic position in the national education system, that it bridges the gap between the primary and tertiary levels of education in Nigeria. He further stated that it absorbs the primary level and prepares them for the tertiary which is the manpower based of the nation. From the above view, the secondary school is an agent of socialization, an institution or a human industry established for refining human beings in terms of skills, behavior and all round excellence. To achieve the objective of secondary schools, an efficient and effective administrator must head such an institution. Most secondary schools are either owned by public or private whose managers are generally regarded as the principal and in Nigeria he heads the institutions. As stipulated in the Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN 2004), secondary school system in Nigeria has the following objectives: 

Provide an increasing number of school pupils with opportunity for education of a quality, irrespective of sex, or social, religious and ethnic background. Diversify its curriculum to cater for the differences in talents, opportunities and roles possessed by open to students after their secondary school course. Equip students to live effectively in our modern age of science and technology. Develop and project Nigeria culture art and languages as well as the world’s cultural heritage. Raise a generation of people who can think more themselves, respect the views and feelings of others, respect the dignity of labour, and appreciate those valves specified under our broad national aims and live as good citizens, foster Nigerian unity with an emphasis on the common ties that unite us in our diversity. Inspire its students with a desire for achievement and self improvement both at and her later life. In this regard the secondary education occupies a strategic position in the national education system. This implies that the secondary sector is the bridge between the primary and tertiary sectors. It absolves the products of primary education and also produces candidates for higher education as earlier stated. Pg. 18 – 19. 

Upon enrolment, the student becomes a member of the school community and thereby accepts both the rights and responsibilities associated with that membership. As members of the school community, students have the rights either as citizens or students (Howe & Covel, 2000). Unfortunately, unlike in Canada, Britain and United States of America Peretomode (1992) observed that students in secondary school in Nigeria are not yet aware of their general rights let alone their right in classrooms or of challenging anybody who tries to deprive them of their rights. Such students legal rights includes right to life, personal liberty, dignity of human person, private life and fair hearing. In view of the increase in violation of students legal right in Nigerian secondary schools it becomes pertinent to carry out a study not only to acquaint students with knowledge of their rights but also for staff to become aware.   

Administration constitutes the most important human activities of all organizations. Every human organization ranging from Educational Institutions to other industrial firms, churches and business enterprises need to be properly managed and administered for the achievement of stated objectives. Administration has to do with other concepts as leadership, authority, performance, productivity, planning, decision making and implementation.

The major area of administration that relates to this study is educational administration. According to Nwankwo (2011) educational administration is the arrangement of the human and material resources and programmes available for education and carefully using them systematically for the achievement of articulated objectives. This definition is in line with Edem (1982) who see educational administration as involving the planning and organization of activities and resources which aimed at fulfilling the goals of an educational institution. He further stated that these educational administrative activities includes describing activities to be performed to achieve certain objectives, assigning these tasks to carefully selected and trained personnel, making the personnel perform efficiently by using the tools provided for them, co-ordinating some formal structure, which permits a hierarchical allocation of responsibilities with a communication flow, in line with the fact that educational administration involves the planning, organization, coordination and control of human and material resources to attain pre-determined objectives. Igwe (2005) defines administration as a way of working with people and materials to accomplish the purpose of an enterprise. It is the act of mobilizing the efforts of a number of people in an establishment towards the achievement of a common goal. It is the guidance, leadership, and control of the effort of a group of individuals towards some common goal.      

Peretomode (1996) in his own view maintained that administration is concerned with the performance of policies and decision to fulfill day to day running of an organization. This definition implies that administration involves not just the implementation of policies and programmes of an organization but also its day to day functioning.     

School administration as it relates to this study involves all the processes through which resources are mobilized in educational institutions to accomplish the goals of education. It is a process of mobilizing school resources towards achievement of desirable educational goals. School administration is an activity process that requires expertise and training in educational principles and practices in ensuring proper management of school general activities for achieving results in education. Chima (2012) observed that: “There is wide assumption by many that school administration is an easy activity especially in small private institutions where a man and his wife operate a kindergarten, nursery or primary school without requisite knowledge on school administrative concepts that forms the background for effective running of school”. 

This implies that for effective school administration, one has to be trained on the principles and practices of education as to understand the basic classroom instructional methods and management, trained on educational management concepts that provide administrative skills that model behaviours and motivation in achieving academic goals. It is obvious that most school today, have not meet the requirement of a good school in terms of administrative training, staff quality and quantity, infrastructural and instructional facilities thereby violating rights of students in achieving educational goals      

From the above articulated definition of administration by various authors, administration in relation to school implies therefore the process of planning, organizing, staffing, directing and co-ordinating the school activities; both human and material resources towards the realization of educational goals. It is the principals’ ability to harness the resources within and outside the school environment for the purpose of realizing the school objectives. 

Assessment involves the use of empirical data on student learning to refine programmes and improve student learning. Assessment is the process of gathering and discussing information from multiple and diverse sources in order to develop a deep understanding of what students know, understand, and can do with their knowledge as a result of their educational experiences: the process culminates with assessment results which are used to improve subsequent learning.

Assessment is the systematic basis for making inferences about the learning and development of students. It is the process of defining, selecting, designing, collecting, analyzing, interpreting and using information to increase students learning and development. Assessment is also the systematic collection, review, and use of information about educational programmes emanating from the purpose of improving students learning and development (Palomba & Banta, 1999). They further maintain that the term “assessment” may be defined in multiple ways by different individuals or institutions, perhaps with different goals. To them it is the action or an instance of assessing, a systematic collection, review and use of information about educational programs undertaken for the purpose of improving student learning and development. Assessment from the above is an ongoing process aimed at understanding and improving student learning. It has to involve making our expectations explicit and public, setting appropriate criteria and high standards for learning quality, systematically, gathering, analyzing and interpreting evidence to determine how well performance matches those expectations and standards, and using the resulting information to document, explain and improve performance. 

Rights have been generally described as the liberty of a person to act or abstain from acting in a certain manner. Arop (2009) defined human rights as freedoms and entitlements granted to man by reason of his being human, which also constitute the inherent and inalienable rights that all men without discrimination or deprivation are entitled to, in protection of their human dignity. The rights are applicable to everyone, irrespective of age, sex, religion, and any other factors. Right may also mean that, to which a person has a just and valid claim, whether it is a property or privilege of doing or saying something. 

In Nigeria, these rights are designated as Fundamental Human Rights, and are entrenched in the constitution (FRN, 1999) as rights to life, right to personal liberty, right to freedom of religion, right to freedom of expression, right to peaceful assembly and association and right to freedom from discrimination. The above implies that the rights of students are also protected by law. Infact, in the past, school based problem were viewed as domestic issues and were therefore, usually settled out of court. Today, the situation is changing owing to the growing complexity of educational management, increasing politicization of education and citizen’s greater awareness of their constitutional, legal and fundamental human rights. Consequently, school administrators are now being caught up and confronted with the legal implications of their job. Furthermore, the ‘in-loco-parentis’, (in place of the parents) status of school administrators and teachers endows them the statutory responsibilities making them answerable to parents of the student, to their employer and to the society especially where their negligent conduct results to students injury, disability, or death. Example of principal/teacher-students conflict that was referred to Nigeria court includes those involving: Akinjide vs Demola, Boniface Ujonkwu vs Idike Nwonkwo and the State vs Principals. In particular, the repulsive case of Miss Grace Okon Akpan, a 12 yr form 1 students of Duke Town Secondary School, Calabar Cross State, who was flogged by her teacher to a state of unconsciousness and ultimate death (Peretomode, 1992). Also are cases of barring students from writing an external examination the students had duly registered for, it is also common to find trend to human life in school premises as a result of dirty and bushy environment infested with reptiles, dilapidated buildings, and overcrowded classrooms which constitute high risk and health hazards. 

  Even in Nigeria, the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Youths Development (2001), specified the basic principles of children’s (students’) right to include: every child is free to belong to any association or assembly according to the law; no child should suffer any discrimination, irrespective of ethnic origin, birth, color, sex, language, religion, political or social beliefs, status or ability.

For the purpose of this study, rights refer to the various privileges which are legally allowed or owed to school children, and will be limited to rights to life, personal liberty, hearing and freedom from discrimination. Despite the various provisions for the protection of human rights generally, the violation of students’ rights, in particular, appears to be an issue of both global and national concerns. Globally, the (UNCRC) United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (2010) has alerted that there are serious concerns and questions pertaining to children’s lack of access to school, use of corporal punishment in schools, stigmatization, discriminations, child exploitation, accusations of witchcraft against school children, varieties of these violations exist in different countries.  In Uganda, for example, there is denial of admission or dismissal of HIV-infected child (UNAIDS, 2011). Those of them, who are allowed to stay, are stigmatized and discriminated against. In Sri Lanka, the Tamil children are denied educational rights by the Sri Lankan education authorities, because it is alleged that their parents are supporting the Tamil Tigers which is a rebel group fighting the government (Sri Lanka, 2009).  In Mexico, the Michoacan Community, violates the school-aged children’s human rights by even prohibiting formal schooling, and also refusing teachers to enter their walled cities (Foxnews, 2012). In a related case, it is common in the Islamic Republic of Iran to arrest and detain students and teachers for peacefully expressing their opinions, while students’ gatherings, publications and associations, have been permanently prohibited (Iran, 2012).

Violation of students’ rights is not an exclusive preserve of International Communities, it also exists in Nigeria. According to the United States Department of State (2011), Nigeria’s most contemporary serious human rights violation relate to the abuses committed by the militant sect; known as Boko Haram, which has been responsible for the killings, bombings and other attacks, resulting in numerous deaths, closure of schools, denial of children’s access to education, abduction of students from schools, example the Chibok girls 2014. Already, records show that Nigeria, along with such countries as Algeria, Brazil Ethiopia, Syria and Indonesia, is among the most human right violators in the world.  In the administration of schools, Tella (2004) noted that many Nigerian school principals are very capricious, unprocedural and arbitrary in dealing with students, especially on disciplinary matters. The author further observed that many principals fail to realize their limitations to punish students, and regard themselves as judicial officers of a court.  In apparent support of Tella’s (2004) position, Nwankwo (2011) noted that corporal punishments are arbitrarily and widely used by secondary school administrators in Ebonyi State. A visit to any primary or secondary school in Nigeria would reveal students being flogged, knelt down or undertaking one form of physical punishment or another. He rightly noted that arbitrary use of corporal punishment amounts to assault and violation of students’ right to human dignity, since the ingredients of these violations (for example, touching or striking a person without his due conscent) are found in the administration of corporal punishment. 

In a related dimension, Peretomode (1992), had earlier noted that it is common to find threats to human life in school environment as a result of bushy environments infested with reptiles, and overcrowded classrooms, which constitute high risk and health hazards. He further noted that the existence of oppressive and obnoxious school rules and regulations constitutes violations of students’ rights to fair hearing and expression. He particularly noted the existence of such a rule as “obey before complain,” which hinders students from expressing their opinions on some contentious issues. 

Lacroit, Shoenbery and Schonueld (1996), particularly noted the case of violation of students’ right to dignity when he noted that in many parts of Northern States of Nigeria, many parents entrust their children (including school aged ones) to strangers as “Almajiris” for religious teaching. These teachers, then force them to be beggars – a clear violation of children’s rights to dignity as persons. Infact, one of the basic provisions of the Child’s Rights Act (UNICEF, 2007), in which Nigeria is a signatory, is that no child should be used for the purposes of hawking, begging or prostitution. 

The above is corroborated by Tella (2004) in the case of Nigeria, where principals’ arbitrariness and unprocedural practices in handling students’ disciplinary cases, lead to insubordination and confrontation on the part of the students. Violation of students’ rights in any form can therefore be a major source of school disorderliness, because Bassey, Arop, Akama and Ayang (2012), rightly noted that conflicts erupt in schools when administrators’ behaviours fail to be in consonance with expected roles. This situation therefore creates the need to investigate how students’ rights are violated by school principals as a means of checking disorderly school environment. Fundamental Rights of the Students and Practices that tend to infringe upon their Rights in Schools includes: Corporal punishment or any other form of punishment that leads to the loss of student’s life or causes him permanent disfigurement, maintenance of attractive nuisance e.g. unsafe playground or dangerous condition of premises that may cause death or serious injury to students. Excessive or unreasonable corporal punishment, Such as shaving student’s hair or cutting student’s uniform to fit in school assembly or classroom in the name of grooming. Barring a student from taking an examination which he duly registered for. Barring a student from graduation ceremonies after satisfactory completion of studies, unreasonable detention of a student after school. Refusal to issue or sign transfer certificate in the form approved by the ministry of education to students. Punishing a student e.g. suspension expulsion etc without giving him the opportunity of defending himself/herself against the charges which should be made known to him in advance.  Reading the private mails/letters of students, before delivering them to the students. Asking students to submit their private letters to be mailed to a class teacher unsealed, who reads them before mailing them, if nothing bad is contained.  

Apart from the conflict prone situations arising from violation of students’ rights, there is increased litigations against schools, resulting in loss of time and distortion of academic time table. According to Nakpodia (2011), this is attributed to students’ and parent’s increased awareness of their rights, as well as school administrators’ lack of legal knowledge and inability to visualize more clearly, the results of their actions. Infact, Arop (2009) provided examples of principals versus student parents’ cases that were referred to Nigerian courts as a result of alleged violation of students’ rights by school administrators. The overall result of the above is that the time which should have been spent on academic activities is lost on litigations, arising from acts of negligence and ignorance of administrators. This situation creates the urgent need to investigate school administrators’ extent of violation of students’ rights as well as their awareness of these rights, as a means of checking the consequences of violating the rights. 

Awareness of a programme is a necessary condition for its implementation. Enyi (2004) noted with regret that many educational programmes in Nigeria (including the Universal Basic Education (UBE)) could not be successfully implemented due to administrators’ ignorance of progrmame objectives. As regards students’ rights, Ogunu (2000) has advised that it is of great importance that school administrators and teachers should have adequate knowledge of the constitutional rights of students if undue litigations must be avoided. But Nakpodia (2011) has regrettably observed that most principals and teachers are not even aware of their own rights, let alone those of their students. Similarly, he further observed that most of these administrators have never read the Nigerian constitution nor even the laws, rules and regulations governing the administration of their schools, in relation to their students. These lapses therefore create the critical need to investigate principals’ level of awareness of legal provisions for students’ rights, as a means of safe guarding these rights. 

It is obvious that many challenges facing secondary schools today are traceable to principals, who, as chief executives are expected to be in total control of all aspects of school administration. But as noted by Peretomode (1992) many principals have abdicated their administrative roles. 

As regards the violation of students’ rights in particular, Nakpodia (2011) noted that many principals do not take enough care in exercising their role of “in-loco-parentis” by safe guarding, the interests of students within the school system. The result is that many principals become bogged within numerous students’ related problems. In the past, school-based problems were viewed as domestic and were therefore usually settled out of the court. But today the situation, according to Bassey, et al (2012) is changing due to the growing complexity of educational management, increasing politicization of education and the citizens’ greater awareness of their constitutional, legal and fundamental human rights. As a result, principals as school administrators are now being caught up with the legal implications of their jobs. Even the “In-Loco-Parentis” (meaning in place of the parents) status, which gives the school administrator the statutory obligations to care for the students, places a greater responsibility on them to be answerable to the students, parents, employers and the general public. The choice of principals as the focal point of investigation in the violation of students’ rights in this study, is therefore justified, given their central position in school administration. It will be interesting to find out their level of awareness of legal provisions for students’ rights as well as the extent of their violation of these rights, as a means of suggesting remedial measures. 

Put together, the foregoing have shown that the incident of students’ rights violation is of global and national concern. Varieties of it with dangerous consequences exist in different areas, and school administrators are at the centre of them all. Given that no empirical evidence currently exists in Kogi State, to determine the extent and level of such violations by the principals, this study is undertaken to fill this critical gap. It will help to provide a more regional picture of what happens in the area of violation of students’ rights. 

Statement of the Problem 

Despite all the laudable goals and objectives of education and the various provisions for the protection of human rights generally, Nigerian secondary school students still suffer a lot of violation of rights from their principals which militate against their personal human rights. A critical examination of the operations of the secondary schools in Nigeria shows that the system is beset with numerous problems of violations. This violation appears to be an issue of both global and national concern. 

The issue of rights violation is a source of worry to parents and the general public, especially when the major focus of the violations seem to be on the principals’ poor awareness of either their own rights or the rights of the students under their control. The principals’ violation of students’ right is the major concern of this study, therefore the problem of this study summarized in question form is: To what extent are students’ rights to life, personal liberty, dignity of human person, fair hearing and right to private life violated by principals in secondary schools in Kogi State? 

Purpose of Study

The main purpose of this study is to assess the extent of principals’ violation of students’ rights, in secondary schools administration in Kogi State. Specifically, this study sought to: 

1. find out the extent of principals’ awareness of students’ fundamental rights; 

2. ascertain the extent of principals’ violation of students’ right to life;

3. ascertain the extent to which students’ rights to dignity of human persons are being violated by principals; 

4. determine the extent students’ rights to personal liberty are being violated by principals; 

5. determine the extent students’ rights to fair hearing are being violated by principals; and 

6. determine the extent students’ fundamental human rights violation by principals can be reduced; 

Significance of the Study 

The significance of the study has both theoretical and practical dimensions. This work is anchored on the Systems Theory propounded by Ludwing Von Bartajlanffy (1936). A system is a unit with series of inter-related and inter-dependence parts such that the interplay of any part affects the whole. He further articulated that within every system are other smaller systems called sub-systems such as primary, secondary, and tertiary sub-systems as in educational system. The system theory is important or related to the present study because the entire educational set up is a system and the concept of interaction and inter-dependent of parts with one another is applicable. Practically, the findings of the study will be of immense significance to the following groups of beneficiaries, school administrators, public complaints commission, educational planners, students and researchers.

The findings of the study will help the school administrators by making them draw appropriate lessons and safeguard the future from manifestation of violation of students’ fundamental rights. Also the administrators’ decisions on students personnel matters will be much better in quality and strongly upheld in law courts whenever they are challenged. 

The Public Complain Commission will also benefit from this study because it will provide a range of violations of students’ rights by principals, some of which have not often come into current discourse of right violation in Nigeria and many of which have not found their way to public complain commission in form of petitions. The result of the study will serve as a data base from which planners of education system would get information in terms of principals’ violation of students’ rights. The study will be of significance to students and their sponsors who will enjoy the enduring reward from the peaceful co-existence of principals and the environment under which the study is carried out. This may obviously bring about excellent performance on the part of the students. The findings of the study will help researchers on academic, social, practical and economic rights of students so as to explore those elements that are likely to help school principals meet the challenges of managing their schools. 

Scope of the Study 

The study was carried out in Kogi State which is situated in the North Central Region of Nigeria. The study took into cognizance all the public secondary schools in the state. The study focused on such variables as principals’ violations of students’ rights in the areas of rights to life, dignity of human persons, personal liberty, fair hearing, principals’ awareness of students rights and possible solutions. 

Research Questions 

The following research questions were designed to guide the study. 

1. To what extent are principals aware of students’ fundamental rights? 

2. What is the extent of principals’ violation of students’ right to life? 

3. To what extent do principals violate students’ rights to dignity of human person? 

4. What is the extent of principals’ violation of students’ right to personal liberty? 

5. To what extent do principals violate students’ rights to fair hearings? 

Hypotheses 

The following null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study and were tested at .05 level of significance.

Ho1: There is no significant difference in the mean ratings of students, teachers, and principals’ on the extent principals are aware of students’ fundamental rights. 

Ho2: Students, teachers and principals would not significantly differ in their mean ratings on the extent students’ rights are violated by the school principals.

Ho3: There is no significant difference in the mean ratings of students; teachers and principals on the extent principals violate students’ right to dignity of human person. 

Ho4: There is no significant difference in the mean ratings of students, teachers on the extent the principals violate student right to personal liberty.

Ho5: There is no significant difference in the mean ratings of students, teachers and principals on the extent principals violate students’ rights to fair hearing.       

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ASSESSMENT OF PRINCIPALS’ VIOLATION OF STUDENTS’ RIGHTS IN SECONDARY SCHOOL ADMINISTRATION


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