1.1 Background to the Study
The concepts of school effectiveness practice came from the article written by James Coleman from the office of education in the United State of America (US) in the early 1970s and observed why “Public schools had made little difference in students’ success whereas families’ background and socio-economic condition according to Association of the Effective Schools, (ASES 2013) were the key determinant to the students’ success.
Investigation on school management practices and school effectiveness has continued for a long time with a closer look at what constitutes an effective school. Scheeners, (2004) refers to school management practice as an enhancing school’s conditions under all the contextual variables like effective teaching and learning, effective determinant to management such as adequate staffing, proper planning, budgeting, and parents’ involvement into school activities. Consequently, Toronto District School Board, (TDSB, 2015) identified two strategic ways of making schools effective; these include: identifying the determinant to disadvantages and to intervene appropriately. Creemers & Reezigt, (2005) argues that school effectiveness is more directed to finding out what works in education and why schools’ improvement practices and policies had intended to make changes in desired direction.
According to UNESCO (2009) school effectiveness could be viewed from the extent to which the school is able to meet the expectation and requirement of the society where it is founded. Nigeria before her independence in 1960 had been committed to providing free primary education for her citizen and providing them with the necessary instructional materials to aid their teaching and learning. Before gaining independence, school effectiveness was the concern of the early missionaries which is now evident as some the early schools founded by these missionaries are still a force to be reckoned with in the country today. The early missionaries in their effort to ensure effective school management practice in the country, they were involved in financing education, construction classrooms, regular inspection of the schools, provision of instructional materials, and training of teachers who could meet the quality of education of the time (Fountain Publishers, 1997).
However, in some developing nations like Nigeria, the primary education quality and quantity are in declining. To address the situation, the country has been working for the attainment of the millennium educational objectives for primary education. One of the goals is the provision of quality education to 100% of children who are of the school age. This educational goal is aimed at ensuring access of elementary education by children by guarding against dropouts and ultimately reducing crime rate in the country.
Therefore, to ensure the success rate by the Nigerian government on the numbers of primary school enrolment in the country, the school management practice needs to be investigated. Also, how to improve internal effectiveness of educational system must be considered. What factors to take into account to improve the quality and quantity of academic success in primary schools? In many educational systems of developed countries (USA, China, UK, Germany, France, Canada, Japan), the use of research in improving school effectiveness has guided several educational reforms. In this way, some reforms were positively affected the economic, social and industrial development of these countries. For example, in 1998 the results of the U.S. federal program showed that “harmonization of educational management practices affecting the various components of the school, especially of the class brings an improvement of 55 percent of students’ performance” (Gauthier, Bissonnette, Richard, and Djibo, 2003, p. 22). In developing countries as Nigeria, the study of influencing factors in student outcomes has not been seen as a national priority. The school governance reforms are initiated without referring to research results. This study properly made explicit examination on primary school management practices for effective performance of pupils by using Ilesa East, Osun State as a case study.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Before Nigeria got independence in 1960, there has been different policies in place to make education accessible, improve transition, quality, completion and retention rates to all her citizens. Among these policies included: school-feeding programme and free education for every south western child which was initiated in the late 1950s by Obafemi Awolowo for primary school children, policies to increase primary school enrolment and combat school pressures that limit educational opportunities for girls as was the tradition then for females not to be educated as they will later end up in the catch when they eventually get married. In spite of this development, the problem of low performance persisted in schools because the school feeding programme effect on attendance appeared to have been totally forgotten about.
However, the government are still making effort to ensure that every child who is of school age gets back to the classroom. Unfortunately, there has been poor level of academic performance of pupils in many of the Nigerian primary schools today due to poor management practice of primary school in the country. Therefore, this study will seek to examine primary school management practices for effective performance of pupils by using Ilesa East, Osun State as a case study.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The objective of this study is to examine primary school management practices for effective performance of pupils by using Ilesa East, Osun State as a case study. However, the specific objectives include:
i) To investigate how the involvement of teachers in school management influence pupils’ academic performance
ii) To assess how the involvement of pupils in school management influence pupils’ academic performance
iii) To understand the relationship between budgeting and primary school effectiveness in Ilesa East
1.4 Research Questions
This study will provide answers to the following research questions:
i) Does the involvement of teachers in school management influence pupils’ academic performance?
ii) How does the involvement of pupils in school management influence pupils’ academic performance?
iii) What is the relationship between budgeting and primary school effectiveness in Ilesa East?
1.5 Research Hypothesis
i) There is no significant relationship between the involvement of teachers in school management and pupils’ academic performance
ii) There is no significant correlation between the involvement of pupils in school management and pupils’ academic performance
iii) There is a significant relationship between budgeting and primary school effectiveness in Ilesa East
1.6 Significance of the study
This study hoped to provide head teachers with vital information on management practices for effective performance of pupils in Ilesa East, Osun State, and it would help them get ways of addressing the challenges of school ineffectiveness in primary schools.
This study may contribute to addition of knowledge to Education policy makers and implementers such Education Administrators, Head teachers, teachers and students studying education administration and planning. The study may shed light on the relationship between participative leadership style of head teachers and the schools’ performance. This would be useful to authorities who appoint and deploy school head teachers in Nigeria.
The study would also act as a basis for further research in the teaching profession. The findings may also be used by those involved in support supervision and monitoring of schools, where special emphasis may be placed on the factors which influence the performance of primary school pupils in Nigeria. The political leaders in the Ministry of education may also benefit from the study, because the findings may guide them in prioritizing the allocation of resources.
By focusing on the specific leadership factors which influence school performance, the study might motivate future researchers to identify other factors with a view to establishing the role each factor plays in the overall school performance in the school. In terms of the system of performance appraisal of school managers, the findings of the study may also indicate the strength of participative management practice, and its contribution to the welfare and performance of the schools.
1.8 Limitations of the Study
According to Mugenda and Mugenda (1999), a limitation is an aspect of research that may influence the results negatively but over which the researcher has no control of. The following are the limitations of the study. The design of the study cannot allow drawing of conclusions on cause and effect, that is, that one variable causes the other. The concept of management practice is a subjective term, limited to the perceptions of the researcher. The researcher heavily depended on the co-operation and honesty of the respondents which in turn is likely to affect the response rate.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The study covered teachers, head teachers, pupils and School Management Committees (SMC) in public primary schools in 10 sampled primary schools in Ilesa East, Osun State. Though there were several groups of people who ought to be involved in school management, the study focused on parents, pupils, teachers and the School Management Committees. This means that the findings of the study may not be generalized to the whole country. In this study, only class 4 pupils from both classes 4 and 5 from 10 primary schools were sampled. Making a total number of 40 pupils while 60 respondents from teachers, head teachers and School Management Committees make up 100 respondents for this study.
1.9 Definition of Terms
The following terms used in the course of carrying out this study:
Head teacher: refers to a person appointed as the administrative head of a primary school.
Primary school: refers to an institution of learning which is basic and pupils receive regular instructions for eight years. School management refers to a system of school administration.
Teacher: refers to a leader or a guide who attempts to shape or mould the behaviour of another person though instruction and practical example.