Human beings depend upon one another for the satisfaction and fulfillment of their needs and development of a healthy society. It should be remembered that society is not static and motionless; the change in society is inevitable and changing conditions involve new demands. If an individual has to maintain satisfactory relations in society, he has to make adjustment to social changes. Individuals make institutions, so the above-mentioned rule is applied to them. (Dudley, 1994).
Education is the best way of bringing the disordered society on the right path or track; and the source to apply this in education is the administrative staff and the teachers of the institution. Thus, this chapter presents a background on the effect of administrative staff on students’ academic achievement in secondary schools.
1.2 Background of the Study
The nature of work in post-industrial society is changing significantly and this change affects the role of educational leader. Understanding the role and the nature of preparation for it must be based on recognition of how work is being defined and organized in the 21st century. Across Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member countries, “school systems and individual schools are experimenting with new approaches to management that seek to run schools in ways that are right for the 21st century.” (OECD, 2001).
Presently, the tendency to employ a democratic approach is increasing. The leader and institutions; having more democratic approach or behavior, are more successful now-a-days. Newman stated that democratic or flexible administration provides the employees an opportunity for active participation in the planning of a large part of their energies. This is advocated as an essential aspect of consisting democratic society as a means of developing balance personalities. (Susan and Martin, 1995). According to Girard and Koch (1996) in Muhammad, Kamran and Shaheen (2012), the exercise of authority seemed to be desirable for the purpose of administration to all concerned including pupils, teachers, board of education and the public that the individuals occupying the portions of authority were competent to exercise.
Education has remained a systematic process through which a child or an adult acquires knowledge, experience, skill and sound attitude. It makes an individual civilized, refined, cultured and educated (Ikegbusi, 2012). According to her, for a civilized and socialized society, education is the only means; its goal is to make an individual perfect. According to Adesina (2011), education is a major force in the economic, intellectual, social and cultural empowerment. He further stresses that education has the capacity to bring about character and attitudinal change, as well as restructure capabilities for desired development. The achievement of the right to education requires that young people be given the opportunity necessary for the acquisition of the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values which will enable them lead happy and productive lives as individuals and discharge their social duties for the betterment of life in the society (Fafunwa, 2002). Nigeria, having realized the effectiveness of education as a powerful instrument for national progress and development, adjusted her educational philosophy and methodology to match the ideals and challenges of changing economic and social structure of modern society (National Policy on Education, 2004).
Consequently, it is not a gainsaying that secondary education is very important and unique in the Nigerian education system. Secondary education is the second in the tripod of education starting from the primary, secondary and tertiary stages in ascending order of magnitude (Amaghionyeodiwe & Osinubi, 2006). The importance of secondary education in educational system cannot be overemphasized. A major factor that necessitates the acquisition of secondary education in Nigeria is that the education being provided at the primary level is proving to be insufficient for a child to acquire permanent literacy, communicative and numeracy skills expected from him/her at the end of the training (Chinelo, 2011).
Heads of secondary schools are tasked with the implications of these objectives which include; preparation for useful living within the society (self-employment), preparation for higher education and providing technical knowledge and vocational skills, necessary for agricultural, industrial, commercial, and economic development (National Policy on Education, 2004). The success of secondary school education rests on a good administration involving the local communities, adequate and well qualified teachers, adequate funds for infrastructural facilities, together with interested parents supplying children’s material needs and bringing home training to supplement the efforts of the teachers at school. For heads of secondary schools to succeed in the administration of secondary schools, they need the collaboration and sustenance of the parents, teachers, the Post Primary Schools Service Commission and the Ministry of Education.
In spite of the roles of secondary education, Ajayi (2014) reported of public crises of various dimensions such as poor funding, poor educational infrastructure—which include inadequate classrooms, inadequate and low quality teachers, and polluted learning environment. In a school, where these infrastructures and amenities are not well provided, heads of secondary schools efforts to administer schools diligently will be disenchanted. Probable outcomes of this kind of situation comprise unruly and disorderly students, non-literate population and an unresponsive teaching workforce (Ikegbusi, 2014). These hinder the fulfillment of educational objectives. Many secondary schools in Anambra state are not excused from this bitter state of matters. Many are confronted by a constant outburst of rowdy behavior on the part of students, a constant lack of educational amenities as well as an overpopulation of students.
Administration according to Peretomode (2003) is the component part of the management concerned with facilitating accomplishment of the objectives of an organization like school through the systematic management of constraints and careful utilization of the available limited resources like human, material, finance and so on. Okeke (2014) sees secondary school administration as involving the provision and maintenance of the necessary manpower to those who teach children with a view to bring about the desired change in the children’s behaviour. The school principals face numerous administrative problems which militate against operative running of their schools. These include inadequate and low quality teachers, inadequate funding to maintain schools and paying teachers’ salaries, intrusion by parents. Others are lack of accommodation for students, indiscipline behaviours on the part of teachers and students and uncooperative assertiveness of other school staff. Where the heads fail to arrest these situations and problems, the smooth running of secondary school is conceded. Etuk (2007) outlined the following under listed functions of school administration as staff personnel administration, student personnel administration, finance and physical resources, and school community relationship management.
1.3 Statement of the Research Problem
Public schools around the world are expected to prepare students academically so they can compete on a global level, as well as be held accountable by legislation, such as No Child Left Behind (NCLB). NCLB is a federal attempt to measure student learning through high-stakes testing. As part of holding schools accountable for student achievement, teachers are required to become “highly-qualified” in the subject area they teach. Very few qualifications are placed on administrators to be “highly-qualified” in maintaining the success of the educational system.
Much of the current literature studying school leadership posits that leadership has a minimal direct impact on student achievement (Ross & Gray, 2006). Kruger, Witziers and Sleegers (2007), postulated that leadership is no longer proposed as having a direct influence on academic outcomes, but indirectly influences instructional organization and culture. It is important to research the extent to which school administrators and leadership styles impact student success. Effective leadership or administration and school communities can play a large role in interpersonal relationships in students’ academic motivation, and achievement. (Martin & Dowson, 2009). It is to this effect the present study seeks to examine the effect of administrative staff on students’ academic achievement in government secondary schools in Jalingo metropolis of Taraba state.
1.4 Research Hypothesis
H01: There is no significant relationship between administrative styles and students’ academic achievements
H02: Administrative staff have no significant effect on students’ academic achievement
1.5 Research Questions
In attempt to investigate the study, the following research questions were raised:
i. What are the administrative style used by administrative staff in government secondary schools?
ii. What are the factors affecting administrative staff as regards students’ academic achievement?
iii. What is the relationship between administrative styles and students’ academic achievements?
iv. What are the ways administration can improve students’ academic achievement in government secondary schools?
v. What are the effect of administrative staff on students’ academic achievement?
1.6 Objective of the Study
Objectives of the study were as follows:
i. To identify effective administrative style used by administrative staff of government secondary schools
ii. To determine the factors affecting administrative staff as regards students’ academic achievement
iii. To find out relationship between administrative styles and students’ academic achievements
iv. To proffer ways administration can improve students’ academic achievement in government secondary schools.
v. To determine the effect of administrative staff on students’ academic achievement
1.7 Significance of the Study
This study will enable various governments become very much aware that the importance of administration and administrative staff in secondary schools. The research study will have some significance to schools and institutions combating with administrative challenges.
The study will create awareness to the general public on the effect of administrative staff in government schools and the challenges they face. This study provides insight with the realization of the relationship of school administration and students’ achievement.
1.8 Scope and Limitation
The research was designed to examine the effect of administrative staff on students’ academic achievement in government secondary schools in Jalingo metropolis, Taraba state.
However, the major limitations of this research were that of time factor, as the time frame within the scope of this research was limited, the researcher could spend sleepless night to make sure the research work meet the specified time,
Also Financial constraint was one of the major challenges as the researcher would use transport fare, put in money sourcing for materials such as publications, articles, journals, as there was no adequate finance for transportation within the metropolis at the time of the research.
Family was also a limitation, where attention of the researcher could also be demanded as a mother/wife to attend to some family demands. Nevertheless, the researcher was able to overcome some of the aforementioned limitations in spite of all this limitations/frustrations, the researcher manage the resources at her disposal to come out with this work as it is a success today.
1.9 Operational Development of Terms/Concepts
- i. Administration
The word ‘administration’ has been derived from the Latin word ‘minister’ which means, ‘service rendered to others for their welfare. The classical and medieval meanings of the terra ‘administration were - perform, take charge of or accomplish’. The recent dictionary defines it as direction or management.
The term ‘Educational Administration’ is very comprehensive. It is concerned with the formulation, execution and appraisal of educational policies. A school comes into being through the process of organizing. Then comes its administration. Running or functioning of the school is the job of the head of tire institution. 'This does not mean that only the Head and none else is responsible for administration. In fact, administration is a job of many minds and many heads. All combined into one. The Head of the institution is the leader who is to make all other follow him. Thus educational administration is more or less a co-operative undertaking and in the language of economic it is a nonprofit making enterprise’. Education administration has been defined variously. Some of the important definitions are given below: American Association of School Administration describes administration as “the total of the processes through which appropriate human and material resources are made available and made effective for accomplishing the purpose of an enterprise.”
- ii. Academic achievement
Also known as (academic) performance is the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has achieved their short or long-term educational goals. Cumulative GPA and completion of educational benchmarks such as secondary school diplomas and bachelor's degrees represent academic achievement.
Academic achievement is commonly measured through examinations or continuous assessments but there is no general agreement on how it is best evaluated or which aspects are most important—procedural knowledge such as skills or declarative knowledge such as facts (Ward, Stoker; and Murray-Ward, 1996). Furthermore, there are inconclusive results over which individual factors successfully predict academic performance, elements such as test anxiety, environment, motivation, and emotions require consideration when developing models of school achievement. Now, schools are receiving money based on its students’ academic achievements. A school with more academic achievements would receive more money than a school with less achievements (Ziedner, 1998).
- iii. Management:
F.W. Taylor - “Art of knowing what you want to do and then seeing that it is done the best and cheapest way”.
Henry Fayol – “To Manage is to forecast, to plan, to organize, to command, to co-ordinate and to control”.
Peter F. Drucker –”Management is work and as such it has its own skills, its own tools and its own techniques”. Management is the art of getting things done through and with people.