Head teacher’s Perception on the Strategies for Management of Public Primary Schools in Uyo Local government area
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).
Management is in fact the coordination of human and material resources to achieve organization objectives in a way that is acceptable to society (Jasbi, 20011). Leadership, as one of the important tasks of management, comprises the science and art of influencing people in order to achieve objectives (Klalkliali 2011). Leadership strategies determines the atmosphere, culture, and strategies based on four factors: valves, trusting, employees, leadership orientation and a sense of security shaped in important situations (Ming–ten, 2011), when communicating with the followers the leader’s communication is a mixture of attributes, skill and behaviors collectively called leadership style. Effectiveness and success of any organization is highly dependent upon the head on manager of such an enterprise. In education, in school for behavior modification and enforcing teaching effectiveness among school teachers (Adegbesan 2001).
Head teacher’s Perception on the Strategies for Management of Public Primary Schools
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 leadership style 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).
Good and effective leadership is experienced or felt in observable terms, within the awesome nature of the horizons within the organization or society in which a management relationship is cordial, accommodating and serene. Every rich but effective Management atmosphere, culture, is established with strategies based on four factors. These factors include, regard for values, respect and trust of the employees, leadership orientation and a sense of security, which shapes every important situation (Ming-Ten, 2011).
Leadership is a functional exercise or experience of communicating with the followers, by which an involuntary diagnosis of the employees is attained through the leader’s communication and interaction, as well as accessibility to his subordinates. Of course, leadership is a mixture of attributes, skills and behaviors collectively called leadership style.
The functionality and effectiveness or success of any organization is highly dependent upon the head, boss or the manager of such an organization.
In education, leadership is an instrument used in school for behaviour modification and enforcing teaching effectiveness among school teachers (Adegbesan, 2001). The leadership style of the Head- teacher determines the goals of a school and means of accomplishing has been seen as what motivates others towards the achievement of specific goals of the organization. However, followership is the essence of leadership.
In other words, it is the willingness of people to follow that makes a person a leader. Moreover, people follow those perceived to be providing means of achieving their own desires, wants and needs. A leader should be able to address difficult issues or problems at different points in time.
Furthermore, strategic leadership is the leader’s ability to anticipate, create a vision, empower others and exercise flexibility, to create a strategic and viable future of the organization (Kleijnen et al., 2009). Leaders who are strategic leaders formulate the goals and strategies for the organization. They do this by developing structures and processes that impact the present and future performance of the organization (Boal and Hooijberg, 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 members of the Board of Governors, the head teacher, deputy head teacher and the senior master as the school leaders. They come up with specific policies relevant to the internal functioning of the school. The principal 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 principal conducted by a stakeholder group in Ireland, the top two persuading factors of teachers who intended to become principals 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 principals 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 principals seem to find it difficult to effectively administer their schools. As such, leadership styles 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 students, 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 Uyo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State
Head teacher’s Perception on the Strategies for Management of Public Primary Schools
1.2 Statement of the Problem
There has been clear indication of the declining quality of public primary school education as a result of large numbers of students, 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. This study investigated the Head teacher’s Perception on the Strategies for Management of Public Primary Schools in Uyo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.