In recent times, education stakeholders have expressed their concerned over the poor performance of students in the school certificate examination. 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 organizational management has correlation with the academic achievement of the students. Leith (2004). The school principal who is the manager has a lot of roles to play in the academic achievement of the students. Ruth et all (1979) Wekessa (1997) Olagboye (2004) noted that to improve student’s performance, principals or managers are required first to improve the management of the schools. This can be done if the principal set a clear vision for the schools, exhibit instructional leadership, and also allow for team spirit in the school. Lack of vision in the management of school often lead to imbalance in the allocation of and use of resources. This is why Ayot and Briggs (1992) noted that academic achievement of students depends on effective leadership. The principal is the chief executive of the school. He has some administrative tasks to perform such as supervision of instructional programs in the school, management of school personnel, management of school finance, maintenance of student welfare services and establishment of good community relations. His or her failure to perform these tasks effectively and efficiently will affect the tone of the school and achievement of academic goals.
(Nwankwo 1982 and Peretomode 1991). In the discharge of these tasks, the manager is expected to plan, control, organize, coordinate and direct human and non-human resources in the organization in order to achieve the goals of the organization. (Adeleke 2001 and Onifade 2004) Nigeria education system is largely examination oriented. Hence poor performance of students in examination is always attributed to the school administration where the principal is at the helm of affairs.
Report of academic performance of students in the Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) conducted by the West African Council (WAEC) and the National Examination Council (NECO) were poor in Nigeria between 2007 and 2010. The percentage of students who obtained credit level passes in five subjects and above including English language and Mathematics was about 25% in Nigeria. (Quality Education Assurance Agency, 2010). In 2011, only 30.9% of the 1,540,250 candidates obtained credit level passes in five subjects including English and Mathematics while in the 2011 June/July NECO SSCE only 22.34% of the 1,160,561 candidates obtained credit level passes and above in English Language and 25.14% in Mathematics in the 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (Owadie, 2011 and Okpala 2011). In 2012 May/June West African Senior School Certificate Examination, 649,156 candidates (38.81%) of the 1,677224 candidates that sat for the examination obtained 5 credit level passes and above in subjects including English Language and Mathematics in the 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (Owadie, 2011). In the states noted for good performance in the past, the performance of students in senior Secondary Certificate Examination (SSCE) was relatively low during the period under discussion.
The results in Ondo. Osun Ogun and Ekiti states for instance showed poor performances which perhaps could be attributed to poor management strategies of some principals and teachers in the performance of their administrative tasks. The poor performance of students in these examinations had been largely attributed to poor management of the principals. It appears that most principals fail to monitor, and disseminate current information on educational issues and modern teaching techniques to teachers in the schools. This has been a source of concern to the government and education stakeholders. Observation shows that most schools both in rural and urban are not well equipped of learning materials, enough teachers, computers were not available which could have prepared the students for electronic examination in future Even in some urban schools where computers were available the epileptic supply of electricity has limited their use. A consideration of the above posed a challenge to the administrative effectiveness of the principal. The inability of some principals to encourage team spirit, among teachers, poor human relations with teachers and inconsistent classroom visitations are all hindrance to effective learning and teaching. Research findings showed that principals can significantly contribute to the academic performance of students if attention is given to teaching, methods, class management, size of the school, patterns of discipline and characteristics of school climate (Rutter, et. al 1979). A principal who properly exercises his or her leadership responsibility will enable his or her school to realize good academic achievement. This augments the fact that effective management of organization is a prime contributory factor in achievement (Chitiavi, 2002). Teachers are not exempted from the controversy on the poor performance of students in secondary school examinations. The poor attitude of teachers to teaching and lack of professional development contribute to poor academic performance of students.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The dwindling performance of students of secondary schools in Nigeria in senior secondary certificate examinations in core subject of the school curriculum such as English, Mathematics and Sciences has been a major concern to stake holders in education (Ministry of Education, 2010). Poor performance of students in senior secondary school examination has persisted despite the fact secondary schools are assumed to have capable students from primary schools and also trained and qualified principals. The reasons for poor performance cannot be easily discerned without focused investigation. This implies that much work is being expected to be performed by teachers and principals in order to improve the level of students’ academic performance in secondary schools. This study therefore aimed at focusing on the impact of leadership and management on the academic performance of secondary schools, using Akoko South-West LGA as a case study.
1.3 Objective of the Study
The main objective of this study is to find out the impact of leadership and management on the academic performance of secondary schools, specifically the study intends to:
1. Find factors that determine the competency of school principal leadership and management
2. Analyze the impact of leadership and management on the academic performance of secondary schools
3. Examine the challenges that school management faces or has been facing in its endeavor to improve school academic performance.
4. Find out how principal leadership and management style can improve academic performance
1.4 Research Question
1. What are the factors that determine the competency of school principal leadership and management?
2. Is there any significant impact of leadership and management on the academic performance of secondary schools?
3. Examine the challenges that school management faces or has been facing in its endeavor to improve school academic performance?
4. How can principal leadership and management style can improve academic performance?
1.5 Research Hypothesis
Ho: there is no significant impact of leadership and management on the academic performance of secondary schools
Hi: there is significant impact of leadership and management on the academic performance of secondary schools
1.6 Significance of the Study
This research will generate information on the roles that school management play in enhancing academic performance in secondary schools, it would also reveal the challenges secondary schools face in terms of their management and recommend some alternatives measures for dealing with them to improve performance. The findings from the study will be useful as source of secondary data references for the researchers who may wish to study the same areas. The study also is useful for policy makers, education stakeholders such as heads of schools.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This research work will be conducted in Akoko South West LGA in Ondo state, three public and one private school will be selected for the research.
1.8 Delimitation of the Study
Finance for the general research work will be a challenge during the course of study. Correspondents also might not be able to complete or willing to submit the questionnaires given to them.
However, it is believed that these constraints will be worked on by making the best use of the available materials and spending more than the necessary time in the research work. Therefore, it is strongly believed that despite these constraint, its effect on this research report will be minimal, thus, making the objective and significance of the study achievable.
1.9 Definition of Terms
Management: the coordinated utilization of physical and human resources through cooperative efforts in order to realize the established objectives of a given organization namely school.
Leadership: an interactive process between members of the group whereby the leader, within the process has the authority of influencing the activities of an organized group towards goal setting and goal accomplishment.
Administration: the process of formulating policies, mobilizing the resources under the jurisdiction of the administrator and getting the job done through policies and objectives of the organization. In this study the focus is secondary schools.