The major purpose of this study was to investigate material resources management skills needed by preschool teachers in Ondo State. Specifically, it determined skills needed by preschool teachers for planning, organizing, controlling and evaluating the use of material resources in their classrooms. Four research questions and four null hypotheses guided the study. Descriptive survey research design was adopted. The area of the study was Ondo State. The population for the study consist of 892 respondents. These include 196 Headmasters/mistress, 679 preschool teachers and 17 Home Economics lecturers from tertiary institutions in the State. Multi-stage sampling technique was adopted in selecting the 197 respondents which include 90 preschool teachers, 90 preschool management members and the entire 17 Home Economics lecturers in tertiary institutions in the State. The instrument for data collection is a 68-item structured questionnaire titled: “Resources Managem ent Skill Needs Questionnaire (RMSNQ). The instrument was subjected to face validation by three experts. To obtain the reliability of the instrument, 20 copies of the questionnaire were trial tested on 20 similar respondents from Ekiti State. The data collected from the trial testing were analysed using Cronbach Alpha reliability method in which a reliability coefficient of 0.75 was obtained for the entire instrument. The data for the study were collected by the researcher with the help of three research assistants. Out of the 197 copies of the questionnaire distributed to the respondents across the state, 186 copies were completely filled and retrieved representing about 94% return rate. The data collected were analyzed using mean for answering the research questions while analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used for testing the hypotheses at p≤0.05 level of significance. Findings of the study include: 68 material resources management skills needed by preschool teachers in Ondo State which specifically include: 15 material resource planning, 14 material resource organizing, 19 material resource controlling and 20 material resource evaluation skills. There were no significant differences in the mean ratings of the responses of preschool teachers, preschool management and Home Economics lecturers on the materials resource skills needed by preschool teachers in Ondo State. Based on these findings, the following recommendations among others were made that: the educational administrators in the state should ensure that preschool teachers are skilled in planning, organizing, controlling and evaluation of the use of material resources in preschools in the state; that the identified skills in planning, organizing, controlling and material resource evaluation that are required by preschool teachers should be made a focus to organize conference and workshops for preschool teachers for skill update in material resource use evaluation.
Background of the Study
Pre-school education is education given to a group of children between the ages of three and five in preparation for primary schools. According to Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) (2004), pre-school education includes the crèche, the nursery and the kindergarten. It is an early childhood programme that should be ran by professionally trained adults (Barnett, 2003). A pre-schooler according to Lindberg (2009) is a child between the ages of 3 to 6 admitted into elementary school for educational group experience. The characteristic needs of a child at the pre-schooling age which the school should be able to provide for include creative play, social interaction and natural expression. A pre-schooler is also expected to be taught social skills and provided with an academic foundation for first grade.
The objectives of pre-school are given in the National Policy on Education 2004 to include: providing effective a smooth transition form home to the school; preparing the child for the primary level of education; providing adequate care and supervision for the children while their parents are at work; inculcating social norms in the child and inculcating in the child the spirit of enquiring and creativity through playing among others (FGN, 2004). To achieve these laudable objectives, efforts must be made by the major stakeholders in preschool education to ensure adequate management of the required resources.