Education remains the biggest instrument for academic progress, social mobilization, political survival and effective national development of any country, it constitutes the largest enterprise/industry in Nigeria that is why, the government continues to ensure that funds, school facilities, instructional materials, teaching personnel and a beneficial learning environment are made available for the sector in Nasarawa State. The state Government has also continuously encouraged secondary education by adopting a social demand approach towards planning the education sector by subsidizing the SSCE fee in the state since 2012 in line with Archibong’s (2013) position that quality education does not just occur miraculously but can be achieved through continuous improvement efforts by the stakeholders in the education enterprise. Ehindero, Aladejana and Jegede (2009:12) define education as a process of critical, analytical and continuous re-assessment, readjustment and rediscovery of self, society and culture in the total contexts of life and living”. Education should enable those who consume it learn marketable skills to earn a job, learn to think, have an informed decision making which is cognizance of moral ethics as the component of life. It also entails personal development, and not just knowledge orientation or vocational. Relatedly, education is a process of providing knowledge, skills, competence or desirable qualities of behavior or character being so provided especially in a formal course of study, institution or training (Akpa, 2002). Education goes on all through one’s life, deepening and broadening one’s vision with expectant benefits to him as a person and the entire society. The individual’s advancement in education is without doubt improved knowledge, skills and capacities on which the roots of development are anchored. The development of society is therefore couched on the level of its educational attainment. Martin Luther King Jr. is quoted by Akpa (2002:25) as saying “The prosperity of a country depends not on the abundance of its revenues nor in the strength of its fortification. It consists in the number of its cultivated citizens in its men and women enlightenment and character”. The natural resources are mobilized, exploited to create a market by the humans. Thus economic development of any society begins with the mind of men and not with goods through education, organization and discipline (Udoh and Akpa 2001). Without education, all other resources remain latent untapped potentials; thus it is an indisputable tool for national development.
In recent times, education stakeholders have expressed their concern over the poor performance of students in the SSCE. Some blamed the school administrators (principals) and the teachers while some blamed the students themselves and the parents. Whoever to be blamed, the fact remains that, the school and its administration organization has correlation with the academic achievement of the students. (Olaleye, 2013). Sule (2013) in a response to critics on the quality of education and as a measure of improvement on the glaring downward trend on educational achievement opined that school supervision (internal or external) has become a veritable instrument for checking teachers’ job performance. School administration occupies a unique place in the entire education system and it becomes absolutely expedient to give it prominent attention. In a contemporary Nigeria, effective administration is regarded as the process of enhancing the professional growth of the teachers, the curriculum and improving the techniques of teaching in the classroom through democratic interactions between the Teacher and the Supervisor (Okendu, 2012). Nakpodia (2006) asserts that, instructional supervision in the modern era centers on the improvement of the teaching-learning situation to the benefits of both the teachers and learners, helps in the identification of areas of strength and weaknesses of teachers, follow-up activities that should be directed at the improvement of identified areas of teachers’ weaknesses and give recognition to the teachers and create a cordial working atmosphere based on good human relations. National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN, 2006) observed that effective administration provides opportunities for teachers to be groomed through critical study of instructional processes and classroom interactions to carry out their teaching tasks in line with professional codes of conduct. If schools are not supervised adequately, it will have inimical effects on the students’ output and the educational objectives may not be achieved, consequently various instructional supervisory techniques should be employed to ensure qualitative and quantities service delivery by the teachers.
Performance of students in examinations is attributed to a number of factors; these include provision of physical facilities, classroom size, effective school discipline policies, administrative support and effective leadership. Studies in Botswana, Nigeria, and Papua New Guinea concur to this (Muli, 2005). Good administration provides necessary guidance, clarity of direction and rewards for effective performance of students. Okumbe (1998) pointed out that, in any organization human resources are the most important resources it has and therefore, the success of the organization depends entirely on how effectively its workers are managed. This means that sustained effort is needed to achieve integration where all the members are involved and work together with a sense of common purpose of achieving the organization’s goals. It is important to conceptualize school administration as a social process. A social system involves two classes of phenomena which are independent and interactive. The first class consists of the institution, its roles and expectations which are in line with the goals of the system. The second class consists of the individuals inhabiting the system with their personalities and dispositions (Okumbe, 1998). A school consists of the principal, teachers, non-teaching staff and students who interact with each other to accomplish predetermined goals. For a school organization to be kept together, effective administrative and efficient management skills are required (Farrant, 1997). Effective administration in school has been widely noted as a factor that will make a difference between achievers and non-achievers. Dramatic changes noted in a work environment will result due to a visionary leadership who encourages and persuades rather than commands followers towards common goals. Bukar, Ibi and Abdullahi (2015) emphasize that principal are directly involved in influencing the activities of the students and school towards goal setting and goal attainment. In light of the foregoing, the study examined the school administrative styles as it relates with students’ academic performance in Nassarawa State senior secondary schools
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Education is a sound investment that is expected to enhance economic growth of individuals and the society. It is a known fact that education is a strong factor of social mobility which implies that education has the ability to influence a person’s future economic status in the society. Disappointingly, this all important sector is faced with myriad of problems. Prominent among the problem area that brings to light the poor show of the sector is the abysmal outing of students in SSCE. The woeful performance in WAEC and NECO has been a source of worry to Parents and other stakeholders in the Sector considering the resources Parents and Government invest in educating the learners without any commensurate performance to match the vast investment. Nasarawa state shares in this predicament of the education sector in spite of the financial involvement of State Government in the Sector. There is a growing concern of the society about the realization of secondary education objectives due to doubt that there have been steady decline in teachers’ instructional task performance and students’ academic performance which depicts non-realization of quality assurance in secondary schools (Adeniji,2002). The performance of students in the SSCE administered by WAEC and NECO in the recent has indicated a massive failure rate of 72, 74, 74 and 75 percent in 2008,2009,2010,2011 respectively (Ugochi, 2011) .This trend of failure by students and a sign of poor job performance by teachers is unacceptable to relevant stakeholders of the education sector in Nasarawa state considering the towering investment on education. More worrisome is Ugochi’s (2011) finding that out of 102 secondary schools selected across the Federation for evaluation using the quality assurance instrument for Basic and Secondary Education in Nigeria, only 6 schools were rated good,28 schools fair,65 schools poor and 3 were rated very poor. The rating evaluation of leadership administration and management in the schools indicated that none of the schools was outstanding while 13 were rated good,51 adjudged fair and 37 very poor.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this study is to find out the impact of effective administration of secondary school on students’ academic performance; specifically the study intends to
1. To establish the relationship between effective administration and student’s academic performance in SSCE.
2. To ascertain if evaluation of effective administration is regularly carried out in Secondary Schools in Nasarawa State.
3. To establish the influence of effective administration on Teachers’ performance in Secondary Schools in Nasarawa State.
4. To adduce recommendations on strategies to improve administration of the Teaching-Learning process, and the general performance of students in Secondary Schools of Nasarawa State.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTION
1. Is there any relationship between effective administration and student’s academic performance in SSCE?
2. Does evaluation of effective administration regularly carried out in Secondary Schools in Nasarawa State?