This study, “Assessment of the Role Performance of Principals in Secondary Schools in North-West Geo-Political Zone, Nigeria was aimed at gathering information on the opinions of principals, teachers, MOE and PTA officials on role performance of principals in the administration of secondary schools. The objectives set to guide the study include assessing the role performance of principals on interpersonal relationship, record management, school-community relationship in secondary schools in North-West Geo-Political Zone, Nigeria. Research questions include how do principals perform roles on interpersonal relationship, record management, school-community relationship in secondary schools in North-West Geo-political zone, Nigeria were asked. Descriptive survey design was used for the study. A total of 36,434 population comprising 3955 principals, 32231 teachers, 56 MOE and 192 PTA officials were used. Respondents were randomly drawn from the population. Cluster sampling was used to distribute 768 samples among the four categories as follows: 260 principals, 380 teachers, 18 MOE officials and 110 PTA officials. The main instrument used for data collection was questionnaire using Likert scale measurement. The questionnaire was validated by experts in the Department and found to be reliable through pilot study carried out in Katsina and Jigawa States. All the nine hypotheses formulated were tested using One Way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). Six out of nine hypotheses were rejected while three were accepted and retained. The hypotheses were subjected to Scheffe test to determine the significant differences in the opinions of respondents. The major findings of this research indicated that the role performances of principals in most secondary schools were not carried out well. All the hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance. Conclusions, recommendations were offered such as principals should endeavour to promote internal supervision, principals and classroom administrators should develop a positive attitude towards record keeping. Since the study did not cover all aspects of the role performance of principals in secondary schools, suggestions for further research in role performance were highlighted
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 competent 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 and 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 the 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. Specifically, the principals perform the following administrative roles:
Resource and programme planning and policy making;
Provision and maintenance of funds and facilities;
Obtaining and development of personnel;
Improvement of instructional programmes;
Students‟ personnel services; and
Maintenance of effective interrelationship with the community and external agencies (Nwankwo, 1982).
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 work loads. 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 unsociable. This erodes the moral and psychological energy of the teachers. In agreement with the above assertion, Ogundele (2001) asserted that factors which motivate teachers are absent in schools.
Similarly, 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 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 can not 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 inspite 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).
There are wide gaps in school-community relation that need to be bridged in Nigerian educational system as a whole. The community sees school‟s properties as public properties, therefore, have little or no interest on them. Sharma (1992) asserted that school-community relation is appropriate only when there is a two-way school-community relationship in which the latter participates to a large degree in schools.
In some secondary schools, heavy and expensive school equipment lie unattended to. Some have never been installed and where installed, have never been used. In others, some of the materials used for construction of school buildings are faulty and consequently give room for constant replacement or adjustment. Lack of proper maintenance of school facilities can lead to shortages. It was in view of this that Lessa (1999) stated that poor maintenance culture has been the bane of Nigerian academic woes. Consequently, he affirms that shortages within a school system can be overcome by efficient maintenance practices such as preventive maintenance which consists of routine checks and regular servicing of equipment.
In disciplinary acts in schools have persisted over the years. Acts of indiscipline have either been carried out individually by the students or as a group which result to rioting, revolts or disrespect for school law. Students‟ indiscipline generally militates against effective teaching and learning and production of useful and acceptable members of the society. It is therefore, observed that some principals appear to have failed their managerial roles or responsibilities towards their students. One of the cardinal objectives of education as spelt out in the National Policy on Education (2004) is to inculcate right type of values and attitudes for the survival of the individual and Nigerian society.
Internal supervisory roles of the principals that is meant to ensure the attainment of the educational objectives, has largely been ignored. The negligence of these supervisory roles, such as checking class work, attendance of teachers, class visitation and many others may be one of the fundamental reasons for poor performance of students and teachers in our secondary schools.
Certain aspects of the principal‟s roles such as interpersonal relationships record keeping, school-community relationship, communication, decision-making process, staff development, maintenance of school facilities, maintenance of discipline, internal supervision and several others are not being properly handled by principals. Consequently, the effectiveness and efficiency of the schools system in achieving educational goals are affected. This is concurred in Knapp (2009) when he stated that without effective leadership, most of the goals of educational improvement will be very difficult to achieve.
It is in view of the need to develop appropriate management skills and techniques relevant to the Nigerian situation, which is capable of reversing the problems outlined above and even other problems that can be further identified in the educational system, that this study, wishes to address. Thus, the study focuses on role performance of principals in secondary schools in North-West Geopolitical zone of Nigeria.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The study is set to achieve the following objectives:
1. Assess role performance of principals on interpersonal relationship in secondary schools in the North-West Geo-Political Zone, Nigeria.
2. Determine role performance of principals on record management in secondary schools in North-West Geo-Political Zone, Nigeria
3. Ascertain role performance of principals on school-community relationship in secondary schools in North-West Geo-Political Zone, Nigeria.
4. Find out the role performance of Principals on communication in secondary schools in North-West Geo-Political Zone, Nigeria.
5. Examine role performance of principals on decision-making process in secondary schools in North-West Geo-Political Zone, Nigeria.
6. Determine role performance of principals on staff development in secondary schools in North-West Geo-Political Zone, Nigeria.
7. Ascertain role performance of principals on maintenance of school facilities in secondary schools in North-West Geo-Political Zone, Nigeria.
8. Assess role performance of principals on maintenance of discipline in secondary schools in North-West Geo-Political Zone, Nigeria.
9. Examine role performance of Principals on internal supervision in secondary schools in North-West Geo-Political Zone, Nigeria.
1.4 Research Questions
This study found answers to the following questions:
1. How do principals perform roles on interpersonal relationship in secondary schools in North-West Geo-Political Zone, Nigeria?
2. How do principals perform roles on record management in secondary schools in North-West Geo-Political Zone, Nigeria?
3. How do principals perform roles on school-community relationship in secondary schools in North-West Geo-Political Zone, Nigeria?
4. How do principals perform roles on communication in secondary schools in North-West Geo-Political Zone, Nigeria?
5. How do principals perform roles on decision-making process in secondary schools in North-West Geo-Political Zone, Nigeria?
6. How do principals perform roles on staff development in secondary schools in North-West Geo-Political Zone, Nigeria?
7. How do principals perform roles on maintenance of school facilities in secondary schools in North-West Geo-Political Zone, Nigeria?
8. How do principals perform roles on maintenance of discipline in secondary schools in North-West Geo-Political Zone, Nigeria?
9. How do principals perform roles on internal supervision in secondary schools in North-West Geo-Political Zone, Nigeria?
For the purpose of this study, the following null hypotheses were formulated:
i. There is no significant difference in the opinions of Principals, Teachers, Ministry of Education Officials (MOE) and Parent-Teachers Association (PTA) on principals‟ role performance on interpersonal relationship in secondary schools in
North-West Geo-Political Zone, Nigeria.
ii. There is no significant difference in the opinions of Principals, Teachers, Ministry of Education Officials (MOE) and Parent-Teachers Association (PTA) on principals‟ role performance on record management in secondary schools in
North-West Geo-Political Zone, Nigeria.