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THE EFFECTS OF CAPACITY BUILDING OF SCHOOL HEADS IN ENHANCING STUDENTS ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS
1.1 Background to the Study
Education in all countries of the world is seen as the corner stone of development. It forms the basis for literacy, skills acquisition, technological advancement as well as the ability to harness the natural resources of the environment for development (Adeyemi, 2012).
However, in most cases, the societal expectations in terms of the achievement of these goals are hardly met and part of the explanation is linked to the absence of adequate student personnel services and academic environment of most secondary schools in Nigeria is not conducive to prepare students for effective teaching and learning. The absence of effective personnel services creates situations that constitute bottle necks to the achievement of goals and objectives of secondary school education. To achieve this objective, adequate provision of certain services to students should be made for effective teaching and learning to take place. Among these are effective student personnel services. Student personnel services according to Oboegbulem (2007) refers to all the activities and services that are rendered to students by the school and its staff, outside the normal classroom instructions for the achievement of the educational objectives. Specifically student personnel services seek to provide orientation for students to facilitate adjustment to campus life, perform individual inventory and testing to aid towards self-knowledge and self-realization, perform individual and group counselling, provide placement and follow-up services, provide adequate assistance to students on finance, health, food, and housing, provide variety of co-curricular activities, approve and monitor activities of recognized student organizations, implement students code of conduct and recommend the appropriate disciplinary action to the proper school authorities (Francis, 2002). It is aimed at the satisfaction of learners’ needs in the areas of provision of admission, registration, orientation, hostel accommodation, health services, orientation and other services to cater for the welfare and wellbeing of students. Student personnel services in this context, refers to all the non-academic services rendered to the students at the schools setting outside the formal classroom instruction, for the purpose of healthy, physical, emotional, social and moral development as part of their preparation for a responsible and productive adult life.
Unfortunately, many scholars have observed that principals were unable to effectively perform their student personnel responsibilities creditably. This is evident from the views of Barbara (2011) who stated that the provision of welfare services in secondary schools is inadequate and seemed to be responsible for learners' low level of satisfaction and performance, incessant students’ unrest and other acts of indiscipline and poor motivation to learning. Ejionueme (2010) noted that student personnel services rendered to students by school principals appear not only inadequate, but appear neglected and in effective. He stated that hostel accommodations are deplorable and unconducive and this affects the students’ academic performance and their all-round development. Capacity building is one of the ways of equipping school principals with the capacities required for effective student personnel services job performance creditably. According to Mestry and Grobler (2004), capacity building is the process of equipping individuals with the understanding, skills and access to information, knowledge and training to increase their abilities to
(a) Perform core functions, solve problems, define and achieve objectives and
(b) Understand and deal with their job performance needs and in a sustainable manner.
Lambert (2003) stated that it focuses on efforts geared towards improving the level of knowledge, skills and attitudes possessed by individuals for proficiency in a given task or job. Capacity building, according to King and Newman (2001) is the process of developing human capacities (knowledge, skills, attitudes, potentials and practice –KSAPP) through different methods (training, management development, organization development, career planning and development among others) and time bound organized learning experiences, to improve the productivity of the people in order to achieve organizational goals more effectively and efficiently. In the context of this study, capacity building refers to efforts (strategies and methodologies) taken towards improving the level of knowledge, skills and attitudes possessed by the school principals for proficiency in their student personnel responsibilities aimed at enhancing his/her capabilities to effectively handle responsibilities as the man/woman in charge of all that happens in the school. The effective provision of student personnel services requires that the capacities of school principals in student personnel management must be constantly improved through access to capacity building opportunities. According to Stern (2004), capacity building will equip principals with capacities in student personnel management to identify and address students’ welfare needs. It is the opinion of this researcher that principals need capacity to provide to students effective guidance and counselling services, management recreational facilities, classifications of students, adequate accommodation, among others to make students relax and prepare for teaching and learning in schools.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Statistics from available JSSCE and WAEC results and research findings show that students have been performing poorly in these external examinations and the objectives of secondary education are far from been achieved. This unfortunate development has been a great concern amongst parents and the public who usually put the blame of poor performance and increasing incidence of students’ drop out, indiscipline and bad behaviors on poor and inadequate services rendered to students by the school principals. The academic climate and culture of most of our schools is not conducive for effective teaching and learning. There are incidences of lateness, absenteeism and general lack of direction in student personnel services’ tasks performance in secondary school in South East Nigeria. These problems result to poor academic climate and culture not conducive for effective teaching and learning and continued poor performance of students in certification examinations, poor learning outcomes and products quality.
Research efforts have shown that the problem was caused by poor training and appointment of principal into Nigeria secondary schools. It is obvious that principals who were appointed to manage the schools are incompetent and lacked the required capacities to effectively cope with the myriads of students’ personnel management roles, challenges and problems facing Nigerian secondary schools. They, therefore, require additional training to perform the expected student personnel services tasks. It is not clear if government agencies have developed and made available the required capacities necessary to render effective student personnel services to students and guide student personnel management in schools.
1.3 Objective of the Study
The main objective of this study is to find out the effect of capacity building of school heads in enhancing students’ academic performance, specifically the study intends to;
1. Find out the capacity building or training required by school heads to manage the school effectively
2. Analyze the effect of capacity building of school heads in enhancing students’ academic performance
3. Examine the capacities required by school principals for effective student personnel management
4. Find out the challenges of capacity building among school heads
1.4 Research Question
1. What are the capacity building or training required by school heads to manage the school effectively?
2. Is there any significance effect of capacity building of school heads in enhancing students’ academic performance
3. What are the capacities required by school principals for effective student personnel management
4. Is there any challenges of capacity building among school heads
1.5 Research Hypothesis
Ho: there is no significance effect of capacity building of school heads in enhancing students’ academic performance
Hi: there is significance effect of capacity building of school heads in enhancing students’ academic performance
1.6 Significance of the Study
The findings of the study will be of great benefit to the following group of persons: educational planners, State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) officials, school principals, teachers and students of basic schools, and society, at large, the research will expose each stakeholder to the capacity building or training needed or required for effective management of school settings.
This research will also serve as a guide or reference points for other researchers who will embark on the same research.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The scope of this research will comprise of head teachers and principals of public secondary schools in Ikeja LGA.
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.
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