HEAD-TEACHER’S PERCEPTION ON THE STRATEGIES FOR MANAGEMENT OF PUBLIC PRIMARY SCHOOLS IN IKONO LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
The study was conducted to examine head-teacher’s perception on the strategies for management of public primary schools in Ikono Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. To achieve the specific objectives of the study, three research questions and research hypotheses were formulated and tested. The literatures related to the study were reviewed. The population of this study consisted of all the head teachers and deputy head teachers in 13 public primary schools in the study area. A total of 20 head teachers and deputy head teachers were purposively selected from the 13 public primary schools in the population of the study. The major instruments used for this study were a fifteen (15) item questionnaire titled “Questionnaire on Head Teacher Perception on the Strategies for Management of Schools (QHTPSM)”.
The survey research design was adopted in the study. The simple percentage and independent t-test statistical method was adopted to analyze the data collected. Findings revealed that autocratic head teacher’s management strategy give the head teachers the opportunity to monitor teachers’ work and make teachers to be committed to their duties to avoid criticism from the head teacher and this increase effective management of the schools.
Findings also revealed that head teacher’s democratic management strategy affect the teaching effectiveness of teachers, this is because teachers’ participation in decision making, views acceptance and concern for teachers’ plights increases teachers’ involvement in the teaching/learning process. In summary, the autocratic management strategy, democratic management strategy and laisse-fair management strategy of the head teacher influence to a large extent the effective management of the schools, teaching effectiveness and academic achievement of pupils in public primary schools in Ikono Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
Head-Teachers Perception on the Strategies for Management of Public Primary Schools
1.1 Background to the Study
A leader as a person who motivates a group of people to achieve its tasks and maintain team unity throughout the process (Sheikh, 2015). While leadership is the process of influencing people to act for the accomplishment of specified objectives (Beach and Dale, 2010). Leadership is not only a personality trait, but the quality of bringing together the people of diversified opinions together with those of similar opinions (Avolio and Bass, 2012).
Effective head teachers’ management strategies create an environment that can be conducive for both teaching and learning, while ineffective head teachers’ management strategies often create chaos. Teachers are often faced with some challenges from a student or the entire class that makes them to find new ways of dealing with the situations. The school setting has an evolving nature and teachers have responsibilities as they are required to create a safe learning environment for students. This is an overwhelming responsibility though it is not totally impossible.
The interaction between the teachers and students or group of pupils is hindered due to a variety of internal and external factors within learning context, these factors enable teachers to use and apply some specific skills and strategies to maintain order in the school environment in most case a head teacher specific style may not help or may not be necessary suitable for all school environment he/she must learn to be selective to use the most appropriate styles. Teachers can enhance the success of their style when they combine them with other strategies so as to overcome disruptive behaviours such as disruptive talking inaudible responses, sleeping in school, poor attendance, cheating in exams, unwillingness to speak in the target language (Salzer and Morling. 2000).
Management is a fundamental system of organization which revolves around the head, the authorities under the watch of the head and the workforce, otherwise known as the subordinates therein. These three compartments form a system in which none of the compartments can function or succeed without the other. The progress of any of the systems depends on the development of management system or the totality of the impact generated by the Head, otherwise called The Leader within the Management System.
The role of The Heads and their subordinates, called employees can however, not be underestimated. From this perspective therefore, Management is the coordination of human and material resources to achieve organizational objectives in a way that is acceptable to the society (Jasbi, 2011). The fundamental task of an effective Management depends on the degree of leadership and management strategy in the Management System. Leadership therefore, is one of the important tasks of Management which consists in the science and art of influencing people in order to achieve objectives (Khalkhali, 2011).
A primary goal of a strategic leader is to gain a better understanding of the business conditions, the environment and other aspects that identify the challenges of the future. Strategic leadership is marked by a systemic concern for the whole organization, its evolution, changing aims as well as the selection, development and maintenance of the requisite resources and capabilities to enable it to compete (Quong and Walker 2010). The right planning results in the right work structures resulting in the development of cohesion amongst team members, which results in the positive output.
An important correlate of effective performance is cohesiveness of the group. Development of alignment among team members is an important part of team management. The planning is derived from the goals and objectives of all the stakeholders of the school. The strategy on the other hand is guided by the leadership of the organization. The synergy between the two components results in the success of the organization (Nyamboga et al., 2014).
In schools there are the head teacher, deputy head teacher and the teachers as the school leaders. They come up with specific policies relevant to the internal functioning of the school. The head teacher is therefore charged with the responsibility of seeing that decisions made in the school are in line with the school policies. These policies have to be implemented without deviating from the overall education policy in the country (Martin, 2011).
Head teacher creates an atmosphere in which teachers are considered professionals and have opportunities to continue their professional development both within and without the school they teach in, leads teachers towards excellence. There should be a climate of high expectations in which the staff believes and demonstrates that all learners can obtain mastery of the school’s essential curriculum (Steyn & Wolhuter, 2010).
An effective head teacher communicates the school’s mission and vision, by persistently creating a shared sense of purpose and establishing a set of common core values among the instructional staff. There is an orderly, purposeful, business-like atmosphere, which is free from the threat of physical harm. School climate is not oppressive, parents understand and support the basic mission of the school and are given opportunities to play important roles in helping the school to achieve its mission (Rautiola, 2009).
In Canada, Begley et al. (2010) found that intrinsic motivation including a commitment to lifelong learning and wanting to make a difference were strong attractors to school leadership positions. In line with these results, Beaudin et al.’s (2012) findings from the United States confirm that nearly 50% of administrators and 39% of teachers were attracted to leadership positions because they presented a new challenge and an opportunity to make a difference. In a 2014 survey on attitudes towards the role of the primary head teacher conducted by a stakeholder group in Ireland, the top two persuading factors of teachers who intended to become head teachers were “keen to influence school culture” and “desire to become a leader of a school community” (IPPN, 2016).
In Africa, head teachers are scarcely prepared for their leadership tasks (Bush and Oduro, 2010). Ozuruoke et al., (2011) study on public schools in Nigeria indicates that many head teachers have not considered their styles and types of leadership as determinants of teachers’ job performance in their schools. Hence, they further pointed out that some of head teachers seem to find it difficult to effectively administer their schools. As such, management strategies and types occupy an important position in school management in Nigeria.
Back home in Nigeria, there has been clear indication of the declining quality of public primary school education as a result of large numbers of pupils, a disproportionate teacher-student ratio and highly inadequate financial and physical resources. This has led to the increase in private schools. These schools are a growing trend especially in the urban areas due to their growing demand among those that are seeking quality education. This is because these institutions are performance oriented owing to the increased competition among the private schools.
Teachers in these schools are committed and motivated unlike those in public schools. Better pay and better working conditions topping the list. It is estimated that in public schools 1 out of 10 teachers is absent from work on any given day. That means that these schools operate with 70% of the teaching staff in any given day (Njuguna, 2013). This study investigated the Head teacher’s Perception on the Strategies for Management of Public Primary Schools in Ikono Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State
Head-Teachers Perception on the Strategies for Management of Public Primary Schools
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Head-teacher’s management strategy has always been one of the foremost problems for teachers. The adequate control of a school organization is a pre-requisite to achieving instructional objectives and for safeguarding the well-being of pupils. Head-teachers’ management strategies are also of vital concern to pupils and parents.
There has been clear indication of the declining quality of public primary school education as a result of large numbers of pupils, a disproportionate teacher-student ratio and highly inadequate financial and physical resources. This has led to the increase in private schools. It has been observed that the decline in the pupils performance in public primary schools have pushed head teachers in private schools to develop all kinds of capabilities to enhance learning and therefore, good mean scores. Many head teachers have failed in school leadership hence many management problems related to institutional planning, human relations, discipline, instructional supervision and community relations experienced which ultimately impact on pupils ’performance.
Despite the efforts by schools to employ new approaches and strategies to achieve the desired high performance in academics, the efforts have not always led to the expected results in the schools performance. Good head teacher’s management strategies should be adopted in order to ameliorate attitudinal and behavioural problems. (Ayeni and Akinfolarin 2014), explains that to enhance the academic operation of pupils, head teachers should work on developing effective administrative strategies in schools. This study therefore examines the Head teacher’s Perception on the Strategies for Management of Public Primary Schools in Ikono Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
Lawson Peter – Chief Editor in Projectvilla Nigeria. A writer and academic researcher.