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SURVEY OF THE PROBLEMS INHERENT IN THE TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT OF A SECRETARY IN A DEPRESSED ECONOMY

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ABSTRACT

This research work aims at finding out the problems inherent in the training and development of secretaries in a depressed economy. The main purpose of this study is to survey these problems and find out management problems in the training and development of secretaries. The background of the study was discussed in chapter one. In the literature review the problems were outlined and discussed by many authors. The research instruments used consist of questionnaire and interview, the data analysis was presented in percentage form. From the findings, it was clear that management do not show interest in the training and development of secretaries and that secretaries are not adequately equipped with modern technological equipment. It was recommended that the management of the tertiary institutions should look into these problems and improve the conditions.

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY 

A secretary is an indispensable asset to any organization or institution. No tertiary institution whether government or private can in any way thrive in isolation of secretarial duties. The duties of a secretary in any tertiary institution is an inescapable practice or function. They play major role in both private and government tertiary institutions. Private and government tertiary institutions are found in Enugu metropolis Enugu occupied an enviable political and economic position in the history of Nigeria. It was the seat of government of the defunct east central state, old Anambra state and presently Enugu state or Nigeria.

According to Austin (1998), a secretary is a person who has acquired the basic secretarial skill of shorthand and typewriting plus enough knowledge and practical experience in office work to be able to cope with filling simple office machine and reception duties. Secretaries are trained in tertiary institutions especially in polytechnics. Considering the special nature of secretarial courses, peculiar instrument or equipment are normally used in secretarial training. Lack of exposure to these special equipment makes a graduate of secretarial studies uncomfortable and unprepared to face squarely the challenges of the job and office automation as a result of technological advancement. Osuala (1999) agrees that a secretary has to grow with technology in order not to be displaced from the job. For secretaries job to be more efficiently and effectively done, government tertiary institutions should be training and developing their secretaries with the machine, like computer, word processor etc to enable their secretaries fit into the modern office. But the remains that most of the government tertiary institutions today lack some of the equipment needed in training and developing secretaries.

Adeyonye (1990) said that ‘many government institutions no doubt consider the question of insufficient fund to be the main bottle-neck in training and developing secretaries’. Finance is of course, utterly important to success in business. Some tertiary institutions find it difficult to train their secretaries due to lack of fund. Another problem inherent in training and development of a secretary is in non-promotion of the secretary after undergoing an advancement training in secretarial duties. Osuala, (1999) agrees that the constraints to the training and development of a secretary became alarming and worrisome, with the depression in the Nigerian economy. Before the oil glut, the constraints were passable, but since then, petroleum was no longer attracting the anticipated revenue, the country’s external reserve became depleted, the local currency was devalued to an insignificant position, unemployment became pronounced with major reductions in social spending. Training and development of a secretary was not spared. Appraisal at the adequate time also frustrated secretarial training and development. Management fail to see the job of a secretary as the center wheel that turn any organization and that is the reason, some tertiary institutions especially the institute of management and technology, Enugu, finds it difficult to sent them on training. This research therefore is designed to set out as concisely as possible, the problems inherent in training and development of a secretary in tertiary institutions especially in the Institution of Management and Technology, Enugu, in a depressed economy.

1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Effective secretarial training and development strategy should be comprehensive, future oriented, continuous and implementable with a formal framework. There appears to be a shortage or inadequacy of well trained secretaries to cope with the new trend of technological development in tertiary institutions.  Moreover, there are less potential secretaries in tertiary institutions that have attained the required training and development considering the present technological development. Therefore, it is in the light of these observed inefficiencies that inspired the researcher to survey such problems that are encountered in the training and development of a secretary in tertiary institutions.

1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

The major purpose of this study is to find out the problems inherent in the training and development of a secretary. Specifically, the study will

1. Find out management problems in the training and development of secretaries.

2. Ascertain problems secretaries encounter in undergoing training.

3. Find out the effect of untrained secretaries in tertiary institutions.

4. Identify the efforts the management have made to eliminate these problems.

1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The researcher believed that this study will be of great importance to secretaries and managers of tertiary institutions, for this will enable them to identify clearly the part to play in order to eradicate the problems inherent in training and development of secretaries. The study will help the administrations of higher institutions to see the areas which call for their attention and this will help promote inter-personnel relationship between the employers and their secretaries when their needs are supplied. Finally, the study will help future researchers in this field or related areas, as the information contained herein will be a reference point.

1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY

The researcher is centering mainly on the problems inherent in the training and development of a secretary in a depressed economy using the Institute of Management (IMT) Enugu as a case study.

1.6 RESEARCH QUESTION

1. What are the problems inherent in the training and development of a secretary?

2. What are the management problems inherent in the course of training and development of their secretary?

3. What are the effects of untrained secretaries in tertiary institutions?

4. What are the efforts made by management to eradicate such problems?

1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS

In the course of this research, the following terms are frequently used and will be defined here, so as to help the reader to better appreciate and understand the relevance of this research work.

SECRETARY: An executive assistant who possesses a mastery of skills, who demonstrates the ability to assume responsibility without direct supervision; who exercise initiative and judgement and who makes decisions within the scope of assigned authority.
TRAINING: It is the systematic process of altering the behaviour of an employee to increase organizational goals.
DEVELOPMENT: This deals with the activities undertaken to expose an employee to perform additional duties and assume position of importance in the organizational hierarchy.
DEPRESSED ECONOMY: This is when the economy is not functioning at full capacity, that is, there is absence of balance between income, savings, investment and output.
OFFICE EQUIPMENT: These equipment generally refer to all relevant and vital equipment used in business offices towards efficiency of its operation. Summarily, it includes al labour saving devices commonly used in an office, which goes by various identity, like office appliance, office machines etc.

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