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1.1 Background to the Study
Secondary education system in Nigeria is charged with setting standards of knowledge and skills to be attained by teachers and reviewing the standards from time to time. It ensures the application of the curriculum at school through supervision and inspection exercises. In addition to that, it prescribes methods of testing the students at the end of their training so as to ensure quality products. It also initiates and promotes researches. It formulates policies for secondary education and practice in the country.
The principals of secondary schools are the custodians of secondary education. They ensure the implementation of all the programmes developed through the National Policy on Education. The roles of the principals of secondary schools are therefore, not different from the roles of heads of other educational institutions. The role performance of the principals of secondary schools should include interpreting policy, executing curriculum programme, seeing to students and staff welfare, Also maintenance of equipments, physical facilities and training of staff, maintaining effective school community relations, interpersonal relationship, record management, communication, decision-making process and several others are required of the principals that will effectively lead to influence commitment and effectiveness.
The principal being the Chief Executive of the school should ensure that the policies and objectives, regarding the programme of the school are implemented and strictly adhered to. He/she also has the responsibility of promoting effective teaching and learning in the school. He must ensure that his employer appoints qualified and competents teachers to the school. It is part of the principal‟s duty to orientate new staff members to school life. The information provided would help the new staff to adjust to the new environment, and make the work easier to accomplish.
Another role performance of the secondary school Principal is the maintenance of discipline for both staff and students. It was in view of this that Musaazi (1982) in Magama (2006) stated that discipline is orderliness, which is essential for good teaching and learning in school. A disciplined person is orderly, responsible, delightful, sympathetic, cooperative, honest, and considerate always tries to do what is right and good at all time. The principals also perform the duty of controlling finances of their institutions. In support of the above assumption, Alabi (1991) in Magama (2006), stated that the success of any educational system depends partly on the total funds allocated to it at that level; and the supervisory role of the principal is to ensure the utilization of the funds effectively.
The principal is the key person in the administration of the school where he/she performs specific tasks. All his/her activities and those of the staff are geared towards the training of the learner. The principal supervises and guides the students. He must see to it that the students are punctual, properly dressed in their correct uniforms, honest and dedicated to their studies. Principal partakes in the discipline of the students where necessary. It is believed that the functions of the principal are synonymous with the administrative functions as posit by management theorists. How effective the incumbents of certain positions perform depends on how they are capable of handling the numerous administrative challenges before them.
Secondary school principals must have strong interpersonal and leadership skills. Good interpersonal relationship is one of the keys to the success of any organization. School principals must find it challenging to promote interpersonal relationship within and outside the organization. They must be seen to encourage sharing of ideas between individuals and organizations. It is the psychological aspect of administration in any organization. Probably that was why Follett (1964) in Peretomode (2006) stated that it is not just the production and distribution of manufactured articles but to give opportunity for individual development and self-actualization through better organization of human relationships. Communication serves as a lubricator fostering the smooth operation of the management process. In support of the above assertion, it is stated in Bagobiri and Kassah (2006), communication helps managerial planning to be performed effectively.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The roles of principals cover many different areas including leadership, interpersonal relationship, record management, school-community relationship, communication, decision-making process, staff development, maintenance of school facilities, staff-students discipline, internal supervision, teacher evaluation, review of policies and procedures, schedule setting, hiring new teachers, delegating, implementing and routines. It is also the responsibilities of the principals to direct available resources towards actualization of educational goals. They plan classrooms and out of classroom activities for teachers and students. They co-ordinate the school activities in order to ensure that many programmes go on at the same time without one conflicting the other.
Change in societal values pose serious challenge to the school managers therefore, little attention is being paid to educational pursuit. Attention is more on acquisition of wealth. This developments, which is true in the present as it was in the past is making school administration complex. This situation has led to a breakdown of law and order in schools. Therefore, assessment of the role performance of principals becomes imperative in order to enhance professionalism and explore ways of tackling any emerging problems. The managerial staff are experiencing a considerable increase in their responsibilities and workloads. They must be able to structure, implement and manage a wide range of school and business projects. A good principal is balanced within all his roles and work hard to ensure that he is doing what he feels is best for all constituents involved. An effective leader steps up to fill in holes as needed, even if it is not a part of his daily routine (Jenlink, 2000).
The focus of this research is targeted at proffering solutions to the problems of inadequate human relation skills, such as unfriendliness, uncheerfulness and unsociable. This erodes the moral and psychological energy of the teachers. In agreement with the above assertion, Ijewere (2005) stated that in the pursuit of profit, they tend to forget that their workers‟ happiness helps to create the right attitude to work and encourage productivity. Records are poorly kept and managed, accurate, reliable and trustworthy records that fulfill evidential requirements are being created but not properly managed (Egwunyenga, 2009). Despite the importance of school records in the achievement of educational objectives, these records do not seem to be adequately managed by principals. From observation, it becomes obvious that accurate, reliable and trustworthy records are not properly kept, while some are not kept at all. For instance, many public secondary schools in Enugu State do not have copies of education law and National Policy on Education in their schools. It was in view of this that Edem (2006) stated that records should be seen as a tool for attainment of school objectives and as a routinized ritual with no useful purpose in view. In addition, teachers do not have an understanding of record keeping process. Undoubtedly, planning done with falsified records cannot be accurate and this will not augur well for the nation‟s educational development. Also shortage of trained personnel, funds, material resources could possibly have serious connotations on management of school record by principals in secondary schools in the North-West Geo-political zone of Nigeria.
Position in staff development in education globally remains very low in spite of successive effects of governments to address the issue of fall in standard. Rosser (2011) stated that most people in their working place do not understand the environment in which they work, the job they do and how to do it better. The balance between the process of production and welfare of the society is not achieved. There are no frequent meetings between superior and subordinates, no respect and consideration for their fellow human beings, inadequate mastery of the management of human materials, financial resources of the institution, inability to harmonize all the compliments towards attainment of the set goals and objectives (Adesina, 1981; Ayanniyi, 1999 & Zubaida, 2009).
Thus, the study focuses on the role of the principal in promoting teaching and learning in selected secondary schools in Enugu
1.3 Research Questions
This study found answers to the following questions:
1. What are the roles of the principals in promoting teaching and learning in Enugu State?
2. What are the barriers confronting principals in their roles of promoting teaching and learning in Enugu State?
3. What the solutions to the problems confronting principals in their roles of promoting teaching and learning in Enugu State?
1.4 Objectives of the Study
1. To ascertain the roles of principals in promoting teaching and learning in Enugu State.
2. To verify the barriers confronting principals in promoting teaching and learning in Enugu State.
3. To suggest how the principals can overcome some barriers in confronting them in promoting teaching and learning in Enugu State.
1.5 Statement of Research Hypotheses
H0: The principals in Enugu State have no roles to play in promoting teaching and learning in the state.
H1: H0: The principals in Enugu State have some roles to play in promoting teaching and learning in the state.
H0: There are no significant barriers militating against principals in promoting teaching and learning in Enugu State.
H1: There are no significant barriers militating against principals in promoting teaching and learning in Enugu State
H0: There are no significant remedies for the challenges facing principals in promoting teaching and learning in Enugu State.
H1: There are significant remedies for the challenges facing the principals in promoting teaching and learning in Enugu State.
1.6 Significance of the Study
Improper role performance of principals, especially in record management, school-community relationship, communication, decision-making process, maintenance of school facilities and internal supervision, are constraints to achievement of objectives in secondary education in the in Nigeria in general and in Enugu state in general. The study will benefit the principals by making them to know how they can perform their roles better. The study will also be of great benefit to the principals because it will enable them know the appropriate method to use towards the achievement of desired goals of the system. By this therefore, it is expected that principals, proprietors and proprietresses will have a clearer picture of the area that needs more attention for use in development plans.
It is hoped that in this way, Ministry of Education will be made to map out strategies for plans regarding ways to utilize human resources. It is also hope that this study will reveal appropriate techniques to use towards enhancing the image and confidence of staff and students in achieving desired objectives of the system.
It is also hoped that the finding of this study will be of great importance to parents and stakeholders. The findings will open the doors for positive interpersonal relationship in the system. It is expected that the findings of this study will enable government to take decisive actions on maintenance of school facilities. It is also hoped that findings of this study will open the doors for proper management of records.
It is hoped that findings at the end of this study will enable the government to give them funds towards staff development programmes. The findings will also help to enhance school-community relationship. It is hoped that findings of this study will enable principal to live up to their responsibility in terms of school based supervision.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This study focuses on the role of the principal in promoting teaching and learning in some selected secondary schools in Enugu metropolis. The researcher selected ten secondary schools of the states because it is the level of education where career development of the child is determined. The respondents are the principals, teachers, Ministry of Education officials and Parent Teachers Association. The schools are located in urban areas of the sampled state.
1.8 Operational Definition of Terms
Interpersonal relationship: This refers to the way in which two or more people behavetowards each other in an organization.
Record Management: Refers to educational data bank where information are stored andcan be retrieved and used for variety of important purposes.
School-Community Relationship: This refers to the way in which school andcommunity deal with each other.
Communication: Is a process of expressing ideas and feelings to give people information.
Decision-making process: This refers to the process whereby a choice has to be made between two or more different alternatives to determine about the future state of affairs in an organization.
Staff development: Is the training of persons to be fit in doing some job aimed atbringing a desirable change.
Maintenance of school facilities: This refers to the things one does to avoid damage inorder to keep the facilities useful.
Maintenance of discipline: This refers to training people to obey rules and regulationsand punishing them if they disobeyed in an organization which enhances the attainment of organizational goals.
Internal supervision: This is an act of watching someone carrying out a task to ensureefficiency and effectiveness.
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