1.1 Background of the study.
Education is seen as the backbone of development in any nation. It improves the quality of life of a society through refinement of its potentials. Education further enhances the application of man’s achievement towards improvement of his environment. In every known great nation, therefore, national development was preceded and accomplished by educational advancement. Today, there is an increasing faith in the casual relationship between education and economic development especially in the developing countries like Nigeria. Education has been seen as a vehicle for economic, social-cultural and political development of nations and individual (Obayan, 2006). Education is a social process in which one achieves societal competence and individual growth. Education s the art of learning about one-self and one’s environment for the purpose of self-development (Oyedeji, 1998).
Education is a tool for building a united, independent, wealthy and egalitarian society that can maintain its’ tradition and values. In the past however, there was no well-planned and programmed educational system and this was precisely 1882, when most schools were mainly being maintained, owned and financed by the missionaries. Historically, Western type of education came to Nigeria in 1842 by the missionaries which led to the establishment of the first school called “the Nursery of the Infants’ Church” at Badagry in 1843. (Muraina, 2012; Jacob and Weigman, 1973). This ownership of school by the missionaries has not given room for inclusion of principalship into educational system. Even most of the schools then were being headed by the missionaries with the sole aim of teaching Nigerians the gospel of evangelism and inclusion of reading, writing and Arithmetic (3Rs) in their curriculum; not until when the first and most acceptable educational ordinance was passed across, that is 1887 education ordinance, which among others paved way for proper planning of the schools, standardization of schools, grants-in-aids, setting procedures for opening and closing of schools, division of schools into private and public schools, etc. This thereby give rise to government inclusion of principals into the secondary schools in the country. Thus, the origin of the principalship in secondary education could be traced to 1887 when the government began to finance, established and own some secondary schools as a result of the 1887 Education Ordinance. The secondary school system is however a very crucial level of educational system. It is a gateway to the tertiary education and a ripe age for developing students’ potentials. Its benefits should be commensurate with the cost, for this reason, the performance at this level is of significant importance to educational planners and managers. The school as a formal organization is the centre for all teaching-learning processes. The principals and teachers as human resources are significant in goal achievement of the school instructional leadership, pupils relationship, academic achievement of the students, manipulation of facilities and other areas of teaching task must be performed at the school building and within the community level.
Oyedeji (1998), observed that of all the major functions of the school principals are called upon to play, while speaking on the supervising skills of the principals, no one is greater than their functions as supervisors, instruction and curriculum planners. Supervision includes supporting services to teachers, in that, it helps the teachers to learn what their problems are and then seek the best methods of solving them. Good’s Dictionary of Education (1998) defined supervision as all efforts designed to school officials towards providing leadership to the teacher and other educational workers in the improvement of instruction. Ojo (1991) defined supervision in the school context as “a process which dynamic and on-gong in outlook towards realizing the creative ability of children, teacher and the community for the development of the best possible educational programmes. The principals are however, the overall supervision of the school programmes and will help to influence the administrative effectives of principals as a whole. The supervising skills of the principals will help in rating teachers, help the teachers to use various measures of self-evaluation and to a large extent make the principal to provide suitable enabling environment for teaching/learning activities.
Talking on principals’ communication skills and administrative effectiveness, Mbiti (2000) remarked that communication is the life blood of any organization. No institution can meet the need of its people without proper communication. Information has to flow from the school management to the staff and students, head of department must be briefed by the principals before disseminating the news to other members of staff and students. Principals should however make judicious use of communication skills to encourage good communication between the school and community, establish close relationship between parents by holding meeting with them at intervals, building parent teacher link. The importance of communication skills in administrative effectiveness of the principals cannot be over emphasized perhaps, that is why Morgan (2002) lamented that; possibly the most vital and fundamental element in the management process is based on working with people, which is done through some forms of communication. He stated further that the success of managerial actions depends to a large extent on the effective use of communication process. Nwankwo and Luisggel (2002), also stated that keeping everyone informed is a positive way of ensuring effective leadership, co-operation, co-ordination, support and commitment.
1.2 Statement of the problem.
A school principal must function in various capacities ranging from the instructional leadership to students guidance and management of school facilities. A good principal should contributes to the formulation and attainment of school goals. He should have good human relationship and staff discipline, which are the yardsticks for measuring his administrative effectiveness. Therefore, there is need to examine the relationship between principals’ managerial skills and their administrative effectiveness on secondary schools in Rivers state.
1.3 Objective of the study.
The main objective of the study is to examine environmental influence on the principal role performance in the administration of secondary schools in River state.
1.4 Research questions.
What is education?
What are the environmental factors influencing the principal role performance in the administration of secondary schools in River state?
1.5 Significance of the study.
This study will help in determining the environmental factors that influence the principal role performance in the administration of secondary schools in River state. Also, the study will help in finding solution to the problem.
1.6 Scope of the study.
The study is focus on environmental influence on the principal role performance in the administration of secondary schools in River state.
1.7 Limitation of the study.
The study is limited to secondary schools in River state.
Good, C.V. (1998). Dictionary of Education. New York, McGraw hill book loy.
Jacob, L. and Weigman (1973). The Principalship. New perspective: Practical Hall Inc. New Jersey: Eagle wood cliff.
Muraina, M. B. (2012). An introduction to history and policy of education in Nigeria. Ilorin: Website prints.
Morgan, J.F. (2002). Principle of administration and supervision management. New Jersey: Prentice hall. Nwanwko, J.I. and Luisegged, A.M. (2002). Effective management executives. Ibadan: Durapres Ltd.
Obayan, P.A. (2006). Revitalizing Education in Africa. Ibadan: Striling Horden Publishers. Nigeria. Ojo, A.O. (1991). Supervision of instructional programmes. In tella, Awoyele and Alani (Eds). Introduction to administration in education. Lagos: Basic book Publishers.
Oyedeji, N.B. (1998). Management in education, principles and practice. Lagos: Aras Publishers.