THE USES OF COMMITTEES AND GROUP MEETINGS IN ENHANCING DECISION MAKING IN NIGERIA
PUBLIC SERVICE, (A CASE STUDY OF
UNIVERSITY BASIC EDUCATION
BOARD, AWKA, ANAMBRA STATE)
McKenna and Flenning (1977) defined committee as “group of individuals which is formed to consider and report various matters which have been referred to them”. At the unset, it will be necessary to explain in a compendium the two major terms of the topic for better understanding.
A committee can be for an important issue and in that, it is responsible to the body which forms it and infact reports to it at the end of its assignment.
While there is a specific and special connotation on the formation of committees towards the performance of their indentified and specific task. A meeting according to Shas (1965) is an assembly of persons and such assembly may arise in circumstance infinitely diverse in their character and combination. From these definitions, a group meeting is just a meeting of a group of people with common objectives and interest, and in that sense, it may be a committee.
The primary pre-occupation of Universal Basic Education Board (UBEB) anywhere is basically looking after the affairs of the primary school students in the state, this is because through them, the states can ascertain the condition of things comprehensively but only through their board of directors and such meetings decisions can be reached on its varied functions.
Since the organization time is limited, matters to be dealt with most times are either technical or highly specialized. The need therefore arises to form a committee to solve the problem. This is exactly the case in the Universal Basic Education Board, Awka, Anambra State, while a body of many members concentrate on discussing the principles the committee of few members are formed to discuss the details of the proposal and report back to the full body of the organization with recommendations.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The uses of committees and group meetings is a very important issue and that is the reason for the creation of the committees for the organization. They have the power to coordinate the activities of the state primary school. It aims at pushing the local people on the path to educational development. It means that committees and group meetings has to do with the group of elite or selected people superimposed authority to see affairs, social well being of the state primary school. The existence of committees and group meetings in the Universal Basic Education Board must not stand on its own, they must be dependent on the chairman of the board or have the total delegated power or authority from the chairman for smooth functioning. Most often, some matters in the organization requires expertise and specialist knowledge such matters are handle better of committee who in turn reports to the board who takes the final decision. A committee must have a chairperson or can be headed by a chairman who directs the meetings proceedings.
The research study is concerned with the effect on the uses of committees and group meetings in enhancing decision making in the Universal Basic Education Board, Awka, Anambra State. A close look at the evolutionary trend of the committee and group meetings in enhancing decision making in the Universal Basic Education Board. The Universal Basic Education Board programme was established in Nigeria with an act of the national assembly in 1999 during the general Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration. This led to the re-organization of the Board to focus on promoting education and providing formal basic education encompassing the first nine (9) years of schooling, i.e. primary and junior secondary education for all children in Anambra State. For this reason, the board was renamed, the state Universal Basic Education Board and this has equally led to the board forming a committee with the commissioner for education among the committee members to establish and manage schools, and provide formal education to local communities as well as provides facilities and enabling environment for early stimulation of the young child.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEMS
The Universal Basic Education Board in Anambra State has been facing a lot of problems. The major reasons in which the Universal Basic Education Board was established are for administrative efficiency, provisions of education as well as provisions of social amenities. Unfortunately, most of the Universal Basic Education Boards in Nigeria have not been able to perform those assigned functions expected of them. This ugly situation was caused by the following factors.
a. Inadequate funds for the Universal Basic Education to execute some of its projects in the state. Inadequate revenue from both the external source and that of internally generated revenue.
b. There is lack of skilled man-power to implement policies aimed at achieving educational development, all these factors are combined to affect the quality of education.
c. Corruption among officials: It is also instructive to note that the phenomenon of corruption is compounding the problem of shortage of funds in the implementation of the UBA programme. Even, where the allocated funds is not enough, the little that is made available is usually embezzled by corrupt officials working in the board.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The general purpose of this study is to examine the use of committees and group meetings in enhancing decision making in the Universal Basic Education Board, Awka, Anambra State.
1. To know the extent to which committees and group meetings has helped in enhancing decision making in the Universal Basic Education Board in Anambra State.
2. To determine the factors militating against the effectiveness of committees and group meetings in enhancing decision making in the Universal Basic Education Board, Anambra State.
3. To proffer solutions to the problems facing the effective and efficient committee and group meetings in Anambra State Universal Basic Education Board.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The significance of this study will contribute immensely to the enthronement of efficient and effective management in the uses of committees and group meetings towards enhancing decision making in Anambra State Universal Basic Education Board.
To students and researchers, the findings will serve as reference materials when embarking on related research work of this nature. And to the general public, this study will serve as an “eye opener” to them in order to determine the major impact of the uses of committees and group meeting in enhancing decision making in the society.
Finally, the government of the country will generally benefit immensely from the study as it will substantially enable them to understand better how to use committees and group meetings top enhance decision making across the country’s public service.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
To arrive at the realistic finding, the researcher sought out the following research questions which are very relevant to the purpose of this study.
1. To what extent has committees and group meetings helped in enhancing decision making in the Universal Basic Education Board?
2. What are the factors militating against the effective committees and group meetings in enhancing decision making the Universal Basic Education Board?
3. How can the problems facing the effectiveness and efficiency of committees and group meetings be solved in Anambra State Universal Basic Education Board?
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This research work is mainly carried out to discover how efficient and effective is committees and group meetings in enhancing decision making in the Universal Basic Education Board, with particular reference to UBE, Awka, Anambra State.
1.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The researcher faced time constraints and was enable to carryout a comprehensive research and visit as many Universal Basic Education Board as possible.
Also, there was inadequate fund for the effective financing of the research work. The reluctance of the people to divulge informations was also a major limitation. Despite the limitations, the researcher did a thorough study.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
1. ORGANIZATION: It is a body or association of persons united by common purpose, having various functions to perform.
2. DEVELOPMENT: This is a widely participation process of directing social changes in a society. It aimed at bringing both social and material advancement for the majority of the people through their gaining greater controls over their environment.
3. COMMITTEE: A group of individual which is formed to consider and report on various matter which have been referred or assigned to them.
4. BASIC: Forming the part of something that most necessary and from which other thing develop.
5. EDUCATION: A process of teaching, training and learning especially in school or colleges to improve knowledge and develop skills.
6. BOARD: A group of people who have power to make decision and control. A company or other organization.
7. COMMITTEES AND GROUP MEETINGS:
Committees are sessions and compositions of individuals or exports, set up to deal with issues in the organization at the formative state or to tackle other matters which are better discussed in camera/secret by a few people.
The committees in the Universal Basic Education Board are mainly but the most outstanding ones are as follows:
a. The standing committee
b. The committee of wages and means
c. The selected committee.
Their major importance rest in their capabilities to arrive at decision within speed and precision and to address issues for which they are established.
8. UNIVERSAL BASIC EDUCATION BOARD:
The Universal Basic Education Board is the composition of people who are gainful employed into the civil service for comprehensive administration of the primary school students affairs in the state. The individuals who make up the board are admitted through examination or interviews.