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1.1 Background to the study

One widely held aim of education is to equip students with knowledge, skills, attitudes and competences that enable them to render useful services to themselves and to the society at large. The formal education system of a nation is a principal institutional mechanism used for developing human skills and knowledge. Education is, therefore viewed as an indispensable catalyst that strongly influences the development, and economic fortunes of a nation and the quality of life of its people. The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organizations (UNESCO, 1994) recognized education as one of the basic human rights.

Conscious of the fact that success in the realization of educational goals depends largely on the teacher, the National Policy on Education, FRN (2004), recognizes that the quality of education is guaranteed by teacher effectiveness. The teacher’s task is to teach, educate, provide educational guidance, promote the quest for scientific knowledge and conduct regular assessment (FRN, 2004). In view of the important and diverse nature of the teacher’s job, the necessary resources and conducive working environment must be provided to facilitate the effective execution of his/her task. The provision of favourable physical and psychological working environment is the task of school administrators.

The issue of effective administration has become critical in education that is expanding enrolments and in nations with constrained resources. The most important factor in teaching is the teacher, not technique methods or curriculum because the teacher translates all these into meaningful learning experiences for students (Abiogu and Ugwuja 2007). Next to the quality of the teacher is the quality of administrative services provided in schools to enhance effective teaching and learning process. By implication, teacher effectiveness goes along with the quality of administrative services provided, a teacher here refers to one who guides and tutors another towards the acquisition of desired knowledge and skills. Success in increasing access to basic education has often led to declining quality of administration. However, in searching for the factors that promote quality, national programs and literature have increasingly emphasized teachers, schools, and communities as the engines of quality, with special attention to teacher quality identified as a primary focus. UNESCO (2003, 2004) asserts that the growing emphasis on the need for quality administration to accompany the expansion of education, however, remains stubbornly secondary to the persistent drive for quality education.

            Kajo (2005) opined that there are various challenges that educational administrators face in their day to day running of schools. In addition to essential teaching skills, institutional leaders have to provide focused instructional leadership. They must exhibit exemplary and effective classroom practice so that they can make accurate judgment and give useful feedback to the teachers with whom they work with. They also have to be result-oriented leaders since among the factors responsible for the failure of the educational policies and programmes is leadership that lack managerial and administrative skills required to succeed. The head teachers in secondary schools are supposed to plan, organize, direct, control and command in order to achieve academic excellence. Success depends on the manager’s ability to use the resources available both human and material in the best way possible. The educational system still lacks the necessary funds and materials to implement the various programmes in schools (Kajo 2005). There are myriad challenges that surround the administration of secondary schools in Langtang-North Local Government Area. Although the Nigerian government has made efforts to address issues of leadership, training and appointments to those positions of authority through in-service courses for persons newly appointed as heads of secondary schools, in particular point to the fact that measures need to be put in place to ensure better performance. The above scenario is probably an indication that head teachers are encountering administrative challenges that impede them from performing to their maximum capacities.

Conceptualizing school administration as a social process concerned with identifying, maintaining, stimulating, controlling, and unifying formally or informally organized human; and material energies within an interpreted system, (Okli, 2014). School administration is specifically concerned with students, teachers, rules & regulations and policies that govern the school system. School administration is a difficult task involving sensitive and challenging functions relating to the supervision of teachers, school personnel, instructional programme, school plants and statutory records. In the school system, supervision is as antique as the teaching profession and has undergone series of evolution since the colonial era. It is directed towards sustaining and ameliorating the teaching-learning process in the educational system because education plays an essential role in the growth and development of any nation socially, politically, and economically.

There are number of administrative processes that exist to assist the administrator in carrying out his day-to-day activities. An administrator who ignores these processes is likely to encounter problems in the task of school administration. Hence, administration is seen as a collection of processes dealing with the various ways in which human and material resources are utilized to achieve set goals in an organization. These processes include such elements as planning, decision making, organizing, coordinating, motivating, directing, evaluating, staffing, and budgeting. Enyi in Ogbonnaya (2013) stressed that administrative process can therefore be regarded as the sum total of the various processes of planning, organizing, stimulating, coordinating, staffing, budgeting, communication and evaluating, which aid administrators in the utilization of resources in the achievement of organizational goals.

Within the school system, virtually all the various aspect of the school programmes and activities should be planned. According to Oboegbulem (2011) planning is the process of deciding in advance, the methods and procedures which an individual, group or organization intends to follow in order to accomplish its outlined objectives. The important thing in planning is to decide, in advance, the objectives to be achieved and how to utilize the available resources in achieving these objectives. In other words, to plan is to decide in advance what is to be done and how to do it. The scarcity of resources makes the need more necessary, since the little available resources have to be evenly spread to reach every competing segment. No administrator can function alone without the assistance of others. Thus, in other to achieve the set educational objectives, the administrator must have a frame work or structure for his school on which posts are created and assigned to people. Enyi (2014) sees organizing in schools as an administrative process of having a structure and assigning people to the posts for the purpose of performing specific duties. It is sometimes seen as a process on which an administrator identifies and groups the work to be done in smaller units, and assigns people to the various units with relevant materials and authority. Organizing in schools enables the principal to assign duties to academic and non-academic staff according to competence and it tends to minimize conflict in schools, since each person knows what to do. Organizing helps the principal to coordinate the various organizational activities, since he is aware of the various assignments given to individuals.



1.2 Statement of the Problem

            Administrative challenges are the hindrances to the process of school administration. That is, the problems encountered by principals in the course of carrying out their responsibilities and which could affect the attainment of school goals. Life is full of challenges and how well a person is able to cope and subdue such challenges will determine the success of the person.

            The principal as the head of administration in most secondary schools is often faced with myriads of challenges in performing his or her duties which could lead to non-accomplishment of stated goals. Some of these challenges are insufficient physical facilities, insufficient funds, teachers’ incompetence, ill-equipped library/laboratory, indiscipline among teachers and students, incessant teachers’ transfer among others. Okeke (2008) summed it up that secondary schools in Nigeria are characterized by dilapidated infrastructures, obsolete equipment, out-dated books and journals and, above all, irrelevant curricula. All these factors make it impossible for the effective realization of their goals.

            Ideally, secondary school administration is expected to promote quality assurance in Education of the citizens for national development. It is the expectation of the government, parents and even students that quality education is received by students in Nigerian secondary schools through the adoption of appropriate administrative process/strategies by the administrators. However, observations have shown that there seems to be poor administrative process/strategies which have led to poor quality education in secondary schools. This can be seen in the areas of inadequate funding, inadequate facilities, poor instructional supervision, conflict among teachers, poor vision of the administrators, poor principal teacher relationship and poor administrative style of the principals among others. These situations seem to have led to poor academic achievement among the secondary school students, high drop-out rate, and high rate of examination malpractice, poor reading and writing cultures among others.

            Poor administrative practices affect curriculum delivery, leading to poor performance among the secondary schools, truancy among the teachers and students. The educational system still lacks the necessary funds and materials to implement the various programmes in school. If schools are not supervised adequately, it will have empirical effects on the students output and the educational objectives may not be achieved. Some school administrators in secondary schools seem to lack vision, there appears to be inadequate job analysis and work plan with poor instructional supervision which culminated into poor curriculum delivery in schools and consequently poor academic performance by the students. As far as the position of a principal is concerned, the issue of “gender” is very crucial because a principal could either be a male (man) or female (female).

It is therefore suggested that principals as catalysts should facilitate the implementation of the various sets of instructional activities geared towards an effective, viable, vibrant and qualitative educational system that will improve the teaching-learning situation in the input – process – output framework.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to find out the factors affecting the effective administration in public secondary schools in Langtang-North Local Government Area of Plateau state. Specifically, the study intends;

  • To find out the administrative challenges affecting the effective administration of secondary schools in Langtang-North Local Government Area.
  • To find out the extent to which finance is an administrative challenge that affects the effective administration of secondary school in Langtang-North Local Government Area
  • To find out how instructional supervision as an administrative responsibility constitutes constraints to teacher effectiveness in Langtang-North Local Government Area.
  • To find out lasting solution to the factors affecting the effective administration of secondary schools in Langtang-North Local Government Area
    • Research Questions
  1. What are the administrative challenges affecting the effective administration of public secondary schools in Langtang-North Local Government Area?
  2. To what extent is finance an administrative challenge that affects the effective administration of public secondary school in Langtang-North Local Government Area?
  • To what extent do instructional supervision as an administrative responsibility constitute constraints to teacher effectiveness in Langtang-North Local Government Area?
  1. What are the lasting solution to the factors affecting the effective administration of public secondary schools in Langtang-North Local Government Area?
    • Research Hypotheses
  2. H0 There is no significant difference between finance as an administrative challenge and the effective administration of public secondary school in Langtang-North Local Government Area

H1 There is a significant difference between finance as an administrative challenge and the effective administration of public secondary school in Langtang-North Local Government Area

1.6 Significance of the Study

It is believed that the findings of this study will be of important to the following: government, ministry of education, principals, teachers, students and researchers in secondary schools in Langtang-North local government and elsewhere.

The findings of the study will also help the Ministry of education and the government to make efforts to offer in-service training and seminars on effective administration and supervision to be made available to school principals and adequate staffing so that principals do not teach the same number of lessons teachers have so as to carry out the role of supervising. It hopes that the principals will gain knowledge, facts and strategies that are required for effective and efficient teacher’s supervision.

In identifying instructional supervision problems, this research work may also help principals and instructional supervisors to improve their supervisory practices. This may benefit the rural students as they may be better placed to compete with their counterparts in the urban schools and may be of benefit to future researchers who will pick up on other aspects of administration that hinder teacher effectiveness or cause job dissatisfaction that are not covered by this study.

1.7 Scope and Deliminations of the Study

The study of factors affecting the effective administration in this research work is limited to some selected public secondary schools in Langtang-North Local Government Area located in the southern senatorial zone of plateau which include; Government Secondary School Dadur, Government Secondary School Zamko, Government Secondary School Pangna, Government Secondary School Lipchok, Government Secondary School Gazum, Government Secondary School Kwanpe, Government Secondary School Shishiri, Government Model Secondary School Langtang, Federal Government Girls College Langtang-north, and Government College Langtang.

The study will examine how administration influences teachers in public secondary schools, it will also find out if teachers and students achieve their performances effectively. Only teachers and principals will constitute the respondents.

1.8 Limitation of the Study

            A research work is hardly completed without constraints especially, where there is inadequate material or information and inaccurate of statistical data. The scarcity of the related literature materials for the reviewing of the literature in this research work was a serious limitation to this research work.

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