INSTRUCTIONAL FACILITIES CHALLENGES IN THE MANAGEMENT OF PRIMARY SCHOOLS IN YOLA SOUTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF ADAMAWA STATE, NIGERIA

 

ZainabBardeSalihu

College of Nursing and Midwifery, Yola, Nigeria

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

ABSTRACT

The study examined the instructional facilities challenges encountered by administrators in the management of primary schools in Yola South Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Nigeria. One research question was answered and one null hypothesis tested. Descriptive survey research design was used in which a structured questionnaire collected data from 110 primary school heads (administrators) and 202 teachers. Mean and standard deviation were used to answer the research question, while the Z-test statistic tested the null hypothesis at 0.05 level of significance. Findings of the study revealed that administrators of primary schools in Yola South Local Government Area of Adamawa State faced instructional facilities challenges in areas of insufficient and inadequate number of the instructional facilities, poor knowledge and use of the instructional facilities by teachers, lack of improvisation, theft of the instructional facilities, and poor maintenance culture. The study also found that a significant difference did not exist between the mean responses of administrators and teachers on the instructional facilities challenges in the management of the primary schools in the Local Government Area. The study recommended among others, that instructional facilities needed to be supplied in adequate number by government and the communities in which the primary schools were located, and the instructional facilities supplied needed to be properly maintained. This would be achieved when administrators of the primary schools conscientiously supervise the way and manner the instructional facilities were received, stored, issued out for use and returned.

 

Key words: Challenges     Instructional facilities      Management               Primary schools

 

INTRODUCTION

            Education, the world over, has been viewed as the tool for a nation’s development. According to the Nigerian National Policy on Education (Federal Republic of Nigeria, FRN, 2004), education is an instrument for promotion of national development as well as effecting desirable social change. National development is therefore, achieved when citizens are educated and manage their nation’s natural resources properly.

Primary education, upon which this study is based, forms the foundation for any educational endeavours, structures, policies and progress of a nation (Adepoju, 1997). The author stressed that the success of the entire educational system of a nation is fundamentally depended on this level of education. Any nation that plays with its primary education is undoubtedly playing with the future of its citizens. It is therefore, necessary that this type of education be given a serious consideration. Consequently, the Nigerian National Policy on Education (FRN, 2004) which stipulates six years of primary education, gave the goals of this level of education to include inculcating permanent literacy and numeracy and ability to communicate effectively, laying a sound basis for scientific and reflective thinking,giving citizenship education premium as a basis for effective participation in and contribution to the life of the society, as well as moulding the character and developing sound attitude in children.

In order to achieve the goals of primary education, primary schools need to be properly managed. The term management is the search for the best use of resources, i.e. men, money, materials, and methodologies (Aliu, 2001). Buttressing this point,Oloko (2001) defined management as “the utilization of physical and human resources through cooperative efforts and it is accomplished by performing the functions of planning, organizing, staffing, directing and

 

controlling.” In context of this paper, management can be defined as the utilization of human and material resources of a primary school for the achievement of the goals of primary education. School heads (head masters) and teachers are saddled with the responsibility of managing the primary schools (Okeke, 2001; Edem, 2006; Okoro, 2006). They are however, assisted by teachers.

           For effective instructional delivery, the learning environment must be made conducive. To make the learning environment conducive, certain things need to be provided. One of such things is instructional facilities. According to Adeboyeje (1999), instructional facilities are school physical facilities which include the school site, classrooms, libraries, toilets, tools and instructional materials. They refer to all those physical resource inputs that make the implementation of school curriculum easy (Abdulkareem, 2003a). There is however, a challenge confronting instructional facilities in schools which deals with the availability, adequacy and level of utilization by teachers, as attested to by several writers on the subject. For instance, Ogunyemi (1999), Ngada (2001), Esomonu (2002) argued that there is poor supply of instructional facilities in schools across Nigeria. Similarly, available instructional facilities are inadequate (Sa’ad, 2001; Ayodele, 2001; Igwe (2004). The research by Abdulkareem (2003b) on the provision and management of facilities in Kwara State primary schools, attest to this development. In Yola North Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Nigeria, the situation calls for an enquiry. If this enquiry is not carried out, the state of instructional facilities in the Local Government Area will degenerate. Administrators (School heads) of the primary schools will not be able to manage the schools effectively. The overall consequence will be poor performance on the part of teachers and pupils, thereby blocking the realization of the goals of primary education.

Purpose of the Study

To ascertain the instructional facilities challenges encountered by administrators in primary school management in Yola South Local Government Area of Adamawa State.

Research Question

What are the instructional facilities challenges encountered by administrators in primary school management in Yola South Local Government Area of Adamawa State?

Test of Hypotheses

The following hypotheses was stated and tested at 0.05 level of significance:

There is no significant difference between the mean scores of the responses of administrators and teachers on the instructional facilities challenges encountered by administrators in primary school management in Yola South Local Government Area of Adamawa State.

 

LITERATURE REVIEW

Management is an administrative function geared towards utilization of human and material resources. According to Adebayo (1992), management refers toorganizing and directing persons with a view to accomplishing a specific purpose.Eregie and Ogiamen (2007) defined management as the ability to manage, instruct, direct and supervise human and material resources for achieving organizational goals. Simply put, management is defined as the art of organizing, directing, guiding and supervising people and material in order for the organization to achieve set objectives.Primary school management is therefore, the process whereby methods, principles and practices are used to establish, develop and execute educational goals, plans and policies towards the attainment of set goals in primary school education. There are several components of school management identified by Kochhar (2002). They include providing the human equipment, preparing the curriculum for the different classes, preparing the time table, maintaining discipline, organization of health and physical education, organization of guidance service and supervision of school work. All these components, when effectively utilized, will lead to the realization of the goals of the school.

Availability and adequacy of educational facilities are crucial in the effective management of primary schools. However, Aghenta (1996) lamented that the present state of primary schools

 

regarding infrastructure and materials is worrisome. Buttressing this point, Ede (2000) pointed out that educational institutions in Nigeria are today in chaos. Worse hit is the public primary sector. Ede argued that public primary schools are poorly staffed, with dilapidated buildings and unkempt environments. The classrooms are often vandalized; most essential teaching and learning materials are absent.

Instructional facilities enhance students’ performance (Mkpa 2001). However, non-availability as well as inadequacy of the facilities have led to a decline in students’ performances, as most of the schools are unable to meet acceptable standards of performance, as there is a close link between students’ performance and facilities (Okoro, 2006). Consequently, the availability and adequacy of instructional facilities in primary schools require assessment as is currently being done in this study.

The poor use of instructional materials in schools is responsible for the downward trend in learning in most nations of the world. This has affected students’ performances in the schools. To deal with this, there has been an intensive search for teaching aids to make teaching and learning easy. According to Mohammed (2007), there has been great emphasis on educational materials utilization as a result of their direct effect on the knowledge passed across to the learner.

It is obvious that the teaching of most subjects in the primary school requires many and varied teaching resources and activities that represent the various facets of human behaviour. Consequently, teachers are often encouraged to use suitable and appropriate teaching aids (Famwang&Isha, 1991). However, in order for teachers to be effective in their lesson delivery, Eule (2000) argued that the following conditions need to be met, among others: 1) Adequate facilities 2) Adequate supply of materials and equipment 3) Adequate teaching aids and resources for learning 4) Support facilities for practicing teachers 5) Teachers’ confidence in holding practical activity. Buttressing this position, Mamman (2000) and Aggarwal (2002) agreed that teachers need to take the following steps for effective instructional delivery, among others: Selection of facilities in line with behavioural and instructional objectives, presentation in which teachers themselves are familiar with instructional facilities and their use, and physical control in which teachers carefully handle instructional materials such as to guarantee re-use in the next lesson.

The teacher, according to Ogbuegbuna-Okwenu (1998), is a key factor in educational facilities utilization for effective instructional delivery, stressing that the facilities on their own do not provide any meaningful value. Their importance depends on what the teacher is able to make of them. According to Ogbuegbuna-Okwenu, a teacher’s knowledge and use of certain educational facilities may be limited. The consequence of this is that students are definitely ill-prepared in the instructional process.

In the face of gross inadequacy of instructional facilities, especially for instructional purposes, improvisation is inevitable. Improvisation, according to Muhammad (2007), is the act of production of similar instructional materials to facilitate learning. It is the production of a substitute made from locally or readily available raw materials for real or original equipment or materials. Improvisation of instructional materials is important in that such teaching resources enable teachers to do a number of things in the learning process, such as developing problem-solving skills and scientific thinking in students, acquiring scientific appreciation and interest, and developing functional knowledge and manipulative skills. Improvised materials provide the necessary stimuli that elicit the expected responses from learners when they are well designed and presented (Bugaje, 2008). Bugaje listed the roles of improvised materials as follows: 1) They make students to participate in creative and analytical thinking when they are involved in their production; 2) Concepts taught with improvised materials become clearer to learners since the concepts are learnt through play; 3) They encourage a systematic integration of a variety of resources in the teaching and learning process; 4) Being actively involved in improvisation, the working principles are learnt and this way, pupils acquire problem-solving skills; and 5) With improvisation, there a reduction in cost

The method of producing instructional facilities may be easy for some and it may be difficult for others. Whatever is the case, effort must be made by all and sundry to improvise

 

instructional materials when such materials are in short supply or are out of stock. In this connection, Mkpa (2001) listed six ways for the acquisition of teaching and learning resources, among which are: 1) Production process by teachers and learners – Teachers of various subjects, and learners may undertake to produce some of the cheap low technology materials they need for their lessons; 2) Collection of environmental prints for the locality – These may include empty packets of containers of biscuits, detergents, beverages and calendars for teaching certain aspects of a subject; 3) Distribution to schools by government and non-governmental organizations – It is usual for government to acquire and distribute to schools various types of instructional resources such as charts, maps, globes, text books and other sophisticated workshop and laboratory equipment. Non-governmental organizations such as UNESCO, UNDP and UNICEF assist schools and the non-formal education sector with various forms of instructional materials; 4) Donations from several sources – Educational institutions may sometimes acquire teaching and learning materials from philanthropists with the school’s community, town unions, old students associations or the Parent-Teacher Association; and 5) Distribution of productions by students of tertiary institutions – These will include students’ course work practical designs and final year practical products

It is worrisome when considering the way and manner instructional facilities are managed in institutions in Nigerian schools. One fundamental aspect of this worry is that Nigerians have a poor attitude to maintenance of public infrastructure. Consequently, most facilities, according to Dalha (1996), are left to waste away because many times, government purchased the facilities even when the workshops and laboratories to house them are yet to be erected. Onyejemezi (2001) pointed out that schools in Nigeria experience dearth of tools, equipment and instructional materials because of neglect. Buttressing this point, Idriss, Ejikeme and Ijebor (2005) argued that negligence, corruption, government’s bad image and sabotage are responsible for the way and manner instructional materials are handled in educational institutions. To deal with this problem, instructional facilities supplied in or outside the school however, need to be carefully handled to avoid damage, misuse or theft.

 

METHODOLOGY

Descriptive survey research design was used for the study. It was found appropriate in collecting data that were used to determine the instructional facilities challenges in the management of primary schools in Yola South Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Nigeria. Yola South Local Area of Adamawa State is one of the 21 Local Government Areas of the State which is located between altitude 80N and 110N. The target population of the study was 2,266 respondents, consisting of 148 school administrators and 2,118 teaching staff, drawn from 74 public primary schools. A 10-item structured questionnaire, designed by the researcher, and validated by experts in the field of Educational Management, collected data from a sample of 312 respondents, made up of 110 administrators and 201 teachers. The items in the questionnaire were rated on the Likert Scale as follows:

Strongly Agree                   -                  5 points

Agree                               -                  4 points

Undecided                         -                  3 points

Disagree                           -                  2 points

Strongly Disagree               -                  1 point

Both groups of respondents, namely, primary school administrators and teachers, were required to answer the items in the questionnaire.

Mean ( ) and standard deviation (б) were used to answer the research question, while Z-test was employed to test the hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance. The true limits of real numbers were used in taking decision for answering the research question in which a mean score ( ) of 3.50 and above was accepted as “Agree”. A mean score of between 2.50 and 3.49 was regarded as “Undecided”, while a mean score of less than 2.50 was regarded as “Disagree” The

 

decision rule for the Z-test was to reject the null hypothesis if the calculated Z-test exceeded the tabulated Z-test; otherwise the null hypothesis was upheld on the contrary.

 

ANALYSIS OF RESULTS

Research Question

What are the instructional facilities challenges encountered by administrators in primary school management in Yola South Local Government Area of Adamawa State?

 

Table 1 provides data that answered this research question.

Table 1: Mean and Standard Deviation of the Responses of Administrators and Teachers on the Instructional Facilities Challenges Encountered by Administrators in Primary School Management

 

Items

Admin.

nA=110

Teachers

nT=202

Grand Mean

Remarks

S/N

 

A

БA

T

БT

G

 

1

Most instructional facilities are not available

3.56

2.01

3.65

1.91

3,62

Agree

2

Available instructional facilities are inadequate

3.98

0.93

3.87

1.03

3.91

Agree

3

Teachers have poor knowledge of instructional facilities

3.73

1.01

4.02

0.93

3.92

Agree

4

Teachers have poor skills in the use of instructional facilities

3.99

0.87

3.73

1.01

3.82

Agree

5

Poor skill in instructional facilities selection

2.56

1.02

3.24

1.13

3.00

Undecided

6

Teachers lack confidence in using instructional facilities in the class

3.55

2.02

3.66

1.02

3.62

Agree

7

Lack of improvisation of instructional facilities by teachers

3.74

1.05

3.81

1.21

3.79

Agree

8

Poor maintenance culture

4.02

0.92

3.95

1.04

3.95

Agree

9

High cost of instructional facilities

4.10

0.90

3.80

0.97

3.91

Agree

10

Pilfering with instructional facilities

2.42

2.01

3.43

1.03

3.07

Undecided

 

Grand mean

3.57

 

3.72

 

3.67

Agree

KEY

nA       =       No. of administrators

nT       =       No. of teachers

A         =       Mean score of administrators

T         =       Mean score of teachers

БA           =       Standard deviation score of administrators

БT           =       Standard deviation score of teachers

 

Table 1 presents the mean and standard deviation of the responses of administrators and teachers on the instructional facilities challenges encountered by administrators in primary school management. The grand mean scores of the individual items on the table ranged between 3.00 and 3.95. Out of the 10 items presented, respondents were undecided on two items, namely items 5 and 10. Both teachers and administrators however, agreed with the remaining eight items,

 

among which are 1, 3, 6, 8, and 9. The grand mean score of the table stood at 3.67. Applying our decision rule, this figure shows that responses agreed with the items on the table as being the instructional facilities challenges encountered by administrators in primary school management. The standard deviation scores of respondents ranged between 0.87 and 2.02, an indication that the mean responses of respondents were not far from the grand mean score.

Test of Hypothesis

There is no significant difference between the mean scores of the responses of administrators and teachers on the instructional facilities challenges encountered by administrators in primary school management in Yola South Local Government Area of Adamawa State.

 

Data that tested this hypothesis are presented in Table 2.

Table 2: z–Test of Difference Between the Mean Scores of the Responses of Administrators and Teachers on the Instructional Facilities Challenges Encountered by Administrators in Primary School Management

Respondent

Category                 Mean            SD      N        df       SE      z-cal    z-cri Remarks

          Administrators                   3.57            1.12     110    

                                                                             310     0.13    1.15    1.96   NS

Teachers                 3.72             1.50   202    

                  

          KEY

          NS = Not Significant

 

The data of Table 2 provide the result when hypothesis 1 was tested at a 0.05 level of significance. The calculated z (z-cal) stood at 1.15. The critical value of z, i.e., z-crit is 1.96. Since z-cal is lower than z-crit, the result shows that there is no significant difference between the mean responses of administrators and teachers on the instructional facilities challenges in primary school management in Yola South Local Government Area of Adamawa State. The null hypothesis is therefore, upheld.

FINDINGS OF THE STUDY

Based on the analysis of the results, the following findings are made:

  1. Instructional facilities challenges included insufficient and inadequate instructional facilities, poor knowledge and use of instructional facilities by teachers, poor maintenance culture, lack of improvisation and theft of instructional facilities.
  2. There was no significant difference between the mean responses of administrators and teachers on the instructional facilities challenges in primary school management in Yola South Local Government Area of Adamawa State. The null hypothesis, Ho1, was therefore, upheld.

 

DISCUSSION OF THE FINDINGS

            The study found that instructional facilities challenges included insufficient and inadequate instructional facilities, poor knowledge and use of instructional facilities by teachers, poor maintenance culture, lack of improvisation and theft of instructional facilities. This finding is supported by Aghenta (1996) who lamented that the present state of primary schools regarding infrastructure and materials is worrisome. Ede (2000) also lamented that public primary schools were poorly staffed, with dilapidated buildings and unkempt environments. The classrooms are often vandalized; most essential teaching and learning materials are absent. The study is also supported by Ezegu (2000) who found that the roofs of classrooms were blown up and workshops and laboratories were not available to house vitals instructional facilities. Similarly, due to non-availability and inadequacy of the facilities most schools were unable to meet acceptable standards of performance (Okoro, 2006). Furthermore, the finding is supported by Igwebika

 

(1996) who held that the poor use of instructional materials in schools is responsible for the downward trend in learning. This has affected students’ performances in the schools. Manabete (2015) also found that facilities in schools were not adequately managed by school heads.

The finding of this study is also supported by Abdulkareem (2003b) who undertook a study on “An Analysis of the Provision and Management of Facilities in Kwara State Primary Schools”. The study employed a descriptive survey design and covered all the 1078 public primary schools in the 16 Local Government Areas of Kwara State. Questionnaire and interview were used to collect data from respondents. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data collected to answer the 6 research questions. Findings of the study revealed that supply of school facilities was not adequate. Even those facilities that were supplied were not adequately managed. The study recommended among others, that parents and non-governmental organizations should complement government efforts at providing school facilities.

The study found that there was no significant difference between the mean responses of administrators and teachers on the instructional facilities challengesencountered by administrators in the management of primary schools. This finding is by the work of Ikhiabekhe (2014) who found that a significant difference did not exist between the mean responses of administrators and teachers on the extent to which available instructional materials were adequate for the teaching of students. Again, Ikhiabekhe’s study found that there was no significant difference between the mean responses of administrators and teachers on the extent to which teachers used instructional materials for the preparation of students. The finding is further supported by Ibitoye (2003) who discovered that there was a significant relationship between availability, utilization and students’ academic performance.

 

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

          In order for effective instructional delivery to take place in a primary school, certain steps need to be taken which could result in the effective management of the primary schools. One of such steps is the provision of instructional facilities. It was on this basis that the study investigated the instructional facilities challenges encountered by administrators in the management of primary schools in Yola South Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Nigeria.

          Descriptive survey research design was used in which a structured questionnaire collected data from primary school heads (administrators) and teachers. Mean and standard deviation were used to answer the research question, while the Z-test statistic tested the null hypothesis at 0.05 level of significance. The findings of the study found the basis for drawing the following conclusion. Administrators of primary schools in Yola South Local Government Area of Adamawa State faced instructional facilities challenges which were apparent in areas of insufficient and inadequate number of the instructional facilities, poor knowledge and use of the instructional facilities by teachers, lack of improvisation, theft, and poor maintenance culture. A significant difference did not exist between the mean responses of administrators and teachers on the instructional facilities challenges in the management of the primary schools in the Local Government Area, a clear indication that both administrators and teachers were unanimous on the instructional facilities challenges confronting the management of the primary schools.

          Based on the findings of the study, the following recommendations were made:

  1. Administrators of primary schools in Yola South Local Government Area need to be provided with relevant instructional facilities, in their required number and adequate for use so that they can manage their schools better.
  2. The instructional facilities provided need to be conscientiously maintained to ensure their continuous use.
  3. Administrators of primary schools must make concerted effort to supervise the way and manner the instructional facilities are received, stored, issued out for use, returned and maintained.

 

 

 

  1. Communities and well-to-do individuals in the locality in which the primary schools are located need to assist school heads in the management of the primary schools by donating useful instructional facilities to the schools.

Primary schools form the foundation upon which the future of education for any nation is hinged. This level of education must be given all the attention it deserves. A vital way to do this is to pay attention to the instructional facilities needs of the primary schools. Therefore, by implementing the recommendations of this paper, there is no doubt that administrators of primary schools in Yola North Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Nigeria, will be better equipped to manage the schools.

 

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