AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS AFFECTING PRINCIPAL PERFORMANCE IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF SECONDARY SCHOOLS
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Education is the greatest force that can be used to seek redress, according to the Federal Republic of Nigeria's National Policy on Education, Federal Ministry of Education (2004). It is also the greatest investment that any nation can make for rapid development of its economic, political, sociological, and human resources. This is to imply that qualitative and quantitative education is a pre-requisite for every society's or nation's political, economic, and social transformations. Education is often seen as the bedrock and cushion of economic growth and progress. The Nigerian government feels that the quality of education and its environment is the most important factor in surviving in the global economy. As a result of the preceding, this research believes that the quality of a school environment, which includes its prevailing atmosphere, surrounds, and other factors, is a morale booster and strengthener for its members' sentiments of belonging, caring, and goodwill. According to Harris and Lowery (2002), the school environment is a collection of features of the workplace that are experienced by employees and serve as a substantial influence on their working behavior. They went on to say that these qualities in the workplace include, but are not limited to, leadership, motivation, discipline, communication, school-community relations, facilities, materials, character, tone of the school, or the internal quality of a school as experienced by its members and observed by visitors. Shore Anoly (1995) identified seven key characteristics of excellent educational settings. Leadership, a clear and focused objective, a secure and orderly atmosphere with high expectations and discipline, regular monitoring of students' progress, strong home-school interactions and learning opportunities, and student time on task are just a few of them. The success or failure of a school is heavily influenced by the quality of its leadership. As a component of the school environment, school leadership's role is to influence the group toward achieving group objectives. Because no two leaders govern their schools in the same way, the problem of leadership becomes a critical component of the school environment for change. Educational-community connections are another aspect of the school environment. School community relations, according to Akpakwu Ibe (2008), may be defined as the degree of understanding and goodwill established between the school and the community. Principals face challenges in secondary school administration, including inadequate leadership styles, poor school-community ties, lack of discipline, and lack of enthusiasm for teachers and students, among other issues. This has resulted in pupils' low academic achievement and instructors' unwillingness to give their all. As the school's administrator, the school principle bears responsibility for the school's success or failure. The principal, on the other hand, must guarantee that the multifaceted issues confronting the newly founded secondary school do not obstruct effective service delivery and the production of high-quality products. Given the huge number of primary school leavers, newly constructed secondary schools have been established, and existing ones have been extended, the problem of administrative issues encountered by school administrators has become a major worry (Atieno Gladys,2010). Educational administrators encounter a variety of obstacles in the day-to-day operations of their institutions. The degree and efficacy of the school's management and administration are determined by these problems.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
If the educational sector, which functions as a reservoir, does not get the attention it deserves, the transfer of good values and collected knowledge from generation to generation would be jeopardized. In the absence of competent educational institutions, human resources that would have replenished the decreased manpower supply would be depleted (Atieno Gladys, 2010). This scholar believes that the expansion of education in Nigeria in recent years is unmatched in the country's educational history. The explosion has prompted a reconsideration of the quality of the school environment and its impact on school administration. A school principal is responsible for a variety of tasks, including instructional leadership, student mentoring, and facility administration. A competent principal should assist in the creation and achievement of school objectives (Atieno Gladys, 2010). He should have solid human relationships and staff discipline, since they are the yardsticks by which his administrative performance is measured. Therefore, there is need to examine the the environmental factors affecting the role of principal performance in the administration of secondary schools.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The general objective of the study is to examine the environmental factors affecting principal performance in the administration of secondary schools. Specifically, the study will be guided under the following:
To examine the effect of infrastructure on principals‘ performance of administrative duties in secondary schools.
To find out the environmental challenges affecting principals performance in the administration of secondary schools.
To evaluate influence of the community around the school on principals‘
performance of administrative duties
To make recommendation on how to improve principals administrative performance in secondary schools.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following questions have been prepared for the study:
Does infrastructure affects principals‘ performance of administrative duties in secondary schools?
What are the environmental challenges affecting principals performance in the administration of secondary schools?
Does the community around the school influence principals‘ performance in administrative duties?
What are the recommendation on how to improve principals administrative performance in secondary schools?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will be significant in the following ways:
This study will be significant to the school principals, the findings may highlight the factors that hinder principals‘ performance in their administrative tasks. This study may be of practical value in helping abate the challenges faced by the principals of the public day secondary schools hence enhance high quality management.
This study will also be significant to the ministry of education, the study findings may be of importance in establishing the challenges facing the public day secondary schools and hence come up with strategies for alleviating the challenges. The donors, financiers and well-wishers may use the findings of the study to identify areas they need to improve so that better mechanisms can be put in place to bettering education management and administration for effective running of the schools.
This study will be significant to the academic community as it will contribute to the existing literature on principals administrative skills
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study will examine the effect of infrastructure on principals‘ performance of administrative duties in secondary schools. The study will also find out the environmental challenges affecting principals performance in the administration of secondary schools. The study will further evaluate influence of the community around the school on principals‘ performance of administrative duties. Lastly, the study will make recommendation on how to improve principals administrative performance in secondary schools. Hence this study will be delimited to Kebbi state.
1.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire, and interview), which is why the researcher resorted to a moderate choice of sample size. More so, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Environment: the surroundings or conditions in which a person, animal, or plant lives or operates.
Performance: an act of presenting a play, concert, or other form of entertainment.
Administration: the process or activity of running a business, organization, etc.