Analysis Of Resource Allocation In Primary Schools In Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria (Msc)

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ANALYSIS OF RESOURCE ALLOCATION IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS IN AKWA IBOM STATE, NIGERIA (MSC)

INTRODUCTION

1.1  Background to the Study

In the world today, resource allocation especially at the primary level of education has become a global phenomenon. This stems from the fact that a sound education at that level makes a lasting impression on the minds of the learners. Supporting this view, Nwadiani (1998) described management of primary education as a variety of sequential and related activities that are designed and carried out inv order to effectively and efficiently achieve the goals of teaching and learning in relation t o the needs of the society. An understanding of what resource allocation involves would serve as a parameter to the present study.

Resource allocation is the pivot of a successful organization. It refers to the adequate allocation and utilization of available resources as well as the infrastructural maintenance in the education system and it is the central responsibility of the educational managers (Adeyemi, 2009). Resource allocation is used to assign the available resources in an economic way. It is part of resource management (en.wilipedia.org/wiki/Resource_ allocation).

Gbadamosi (2007) defined resource management as a process by which organizations achieved their goals and objectives through the effective planning, organizing and controlling of resources as well as the motivation of staff to arouse their loyalty, dedication and commitment. To this end, resource allocation involves efficient and effective decision making process in order to reasonably dispense the scarce human and material resources according to the needs and not the demands of the various primary schools. Babalola (2006) defined it as careful and effective handling of educational resources in terms of allocating and utilizing especially money, material and machines put under the educational managers for efficient educational services.

It has been observed that resource allocation at the primary level of education is problem-ridden. Researchers have identified some management problems in primary schools. They include; inadequate preparation by teachers, over crowded classrooms, poor state of facilities for pupils and teachers, inadequate non-teaching staff, inadequate instructional supervision, change in curriculum, geographical  location of schools and they type of supervising climate in schools and teachers experience, ((Oghuvbu, 2009; Ogunbowale, 1984; Ogunsanju, 1983).

Emerson (1970) cited Akpan (2003) identified some management problems in education to include; staffing, finance, structure and responsibility, information, communication, human relation, consultation, co-ordination and decision-making procedures. Cox (1996) stated pointedly, that the main problem confronting education in less developed countries is the inability to co-ordinate and effectively manage available resources.

Presently, head of primary schools in Akwa Ibom State are faced with the problem of population explosion of pupils’ enrolment over very lean and scarcely available facilities. Eddy and Akpan (2009) study on the prospect of UBE programme in Akwa Ibom State revealed among other things that inadequate facilities was the bane of successful implementation of the programme. This is consistent with the conclusion of Oghuvbu (2009) that availability or non-availability of facilities in schools affect the academic performance of pupils/students.

The current teachers’ statistic in primary schools in Akwa Ibom State showed 15,296 teachers to 906,256 pupils resulting into teacher/pupil ratio of 1:59 (SME, 2010). This is quite high and far above “the approved standard of 1:35 teacher-pupil ratio” (FRN, 2004:16). The school heads are further faced with the following challenges in the effective management of primary schools:

  1. Improving the ratio of male and female teachers. Out of 15,296 teachers, there are more females (10,562(69.1%) than males (4,734(30.9%) teachers in schools, which means that there are more working mothers (SME, 2008). This implies that most often the working mothers are granted maternity leave while the schools are still in session which inhibits effective curriculum implementation and positive academic achievement.
  2. Changing personal values of teachers such as low moral standard, low motivation, hard economic situation and so on.
  3. Lack of appreciation for merit and hardwork in schools (Okoh, 1998).

Besides, education, to all intents and purposes, is said to be child-centred (World Bank, 1997; Asuquo, Inaja, David & Bassey, 2005). The purpose is to help in the discovery and development of the innate abilities in the learner. The primary school is an institution which offers to the child basic knowledge of literacy, numeracy, communicative and manipulative skills for further educational advancement including preparation for trades and crafts of the locality (Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN) 2004).

Primary education is regarded as the bedrock of a country’s educational system. It is indeed a major determinant of the quality of a nation’s educational system as well as a catalyst for growth and development in a country’s social, political and economic systems (Edame, 2001). The researcher sees primary education as the entry point to education which serves to ignite the potentials, thoughts, imaginations and dreams in the child’s mind and heart. It also opens doors to modernization and national development. As such, this level of education should be given a high premium in the scheme of things in terms of the provision of adequate resources.

Resources can be categorized into human and material resources. According to Adeogun (2002), human resources in education are the pupils, teaching staff, non-teaching staff, – librarians, laboratory attendants, clerks, messengers, gatekeepers, as well as educational planners and administrators. Material resources include textbooks, charts, maps, audio-visual and electronic instructional materials.

The author further explained that other categories of material resources consist of paper supplies and writing materials. Physical resources include classrooms, lecture theatres, typing pools, administrative block, libraries; laboratories, workshops, assembly halls, staff quarters, and conveniences while financial resource are the monetary inputs available for and expended on the educational system. However, these resources need to be fully harnessed in the educational system in order to yield the expected results.

In this regard, Olubor and Unyimadu (2001) stated that resource allocation should take place at Federal, State and Local Government Areas as well as school and classroom levels. Supporting this view, Babalola (2006) asserted that resources in the education system should be carefully managed by the educational managers. The educational managers include: head teachers and classroom teachers at the primary school levels, State Universal Basic Education Board at the board level while the Commissioner of Education is at the helm of affairs in the Ministry of Education.

The State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) is an agency in the Ministry of Education in Akwa Ibom State that is responsible for the management of primary education in terms of both human and material resources. The board is in charge of the management needs for human resources to be provided and deployed. It is also concerned with the planning, monitoring, controlling and the distribution of facilities to the primary schools with the sole aim of attaining the objectives of primary education in the State. The board also has the responsibility of ensuring that objectives of primary education are achieved through efficient use of the resources provided as well as adequate planning, organizing, co-coordinating, directing and controlling of the activities of teaching and non-teaching staff in primary schools (Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Educaiton, 2008). To achieve the above outlined objectives, Peretomode (2006) noted that the effective and efficient implementation of such plans, policies and programmes for the benefit of education rests with the educational management board. Besides the State Universal Basic Education Board’s involvement in resource management in primary school, studies such as those conducted by Oyedeji (1998) and Adeyemi (2004) have shown that effective resource allocation in primary schools rests with the head teachers at the primary school level because they implement the act of teaching and deal directly with the learners.

Oyedeji (1998) submits that the main job of the head teachers as the school manager is to see that the pupils receive educational services through the effort of the teachers. The head teacher is therefore charged with the responsibilities of promoting the goals of the educational system. The head teacher tends to achieve greatly when he endeavours to understand his staff as individuals and as a group; when he respects the personality of all his subordinates by way of creating a favourable atmosphere. He should be concerned with the problems of his staff, understand their needs as well as consider their ideas and suggestions. The head teacher should also encourage staff participation in decision making and have confidence in staff’s ability to perform task.

At the classroom level, teachers constitute an important input in the management of both human and material resources. Their effectiveness is dependent on the degree to which they achieve desired effects on pupils. Teacher competence is important in the teaching and learning process because it is the proof of knowledge, affection and skills the individual teacher possesses. This is further demonstrated in the teachers’ job performance in terms of lesson preparation, lesson presentation, evaluation of learning and teacher’s job commitment, discipline ability over his classroom among others (Olubor & Unyimadu, 2001).

Olubor and Unyimadu (2001) therefore, suggested that head teachers and classroom teachers should seek help from professional colleagues where they are deficient. Also, they should be sponsored and encouraged to attend workshops, seminars and conferences, to update their knowledge in their subject areas, classroom management and effective school management. The new knowledge in turn, would contribute to the laying of sound foundation for other levels of education.

Incidentally, the primary level of education in Akwa Ibom State is problem-ridden in terms of adequate allocation of educational resources. This problem emanates from the prolonged years of abandonment the sector has suffered. This state of affairs was addressed by the present Commissioner of Education, that before the assumption of office by the present Governor, His Excellency, Chief Godswill Akpabio the educational sector especially at the primary level was in a state of decay because of long period of abandonment by the previous administration. This statement revealed that the sector was abandoned for about 20 years since the creation of the state.

This is indicative of the fact that many serving teachers have retired from public service while many others may have suffered from severs illnesses/accidents and eventually died or died naturally, thereby creating many vacuums in the sector. Many physical structures in the school system may have dilapidated sequel to years of usage without proper maintenance and replacement. Based on this, the extent of abandonment has manifested in inadequacies of manpower resources, material resources as well as in the allocation of the available resources in the primary schools in the state.

From the foregoing, the analysis of resource allocation in primary schools in Akwa Ibom State becomes a challenging ground to explore. Thus the researcher sought to analyze how human and material resources are allocated and utilize in the primary schools in Akwa Ibom State.

1.2  Statement of the Problem

There is a general perception of a decline in the quality of education in Akwa Ibom State as evidenced in the records of performance of pupils in primary six placement examinations from 2003 – 2008 in English Language, Mathematics and General Paper have shown abysmal failure at credit level (SME, 2009). The investigation by Eddy and Akpan (2009) on the prospect of UBE programme in Akwa Ibom State confirmed that there was a decline in the quality of education especially at the primary level in the State.

The problem appears to be engendered by inadequacies of human and material resources in the primary school system which tends to be necessitated by many years of neglect the sector has suffered (Akpan, 2008). But, the ugly situation seems to have been somewhat addressed by the present Governor, His Excellency, Chief Godswill Akpabio with the employment of more teachers and provision of physical and material resources instructional aids etc, to the primary schools with a view to ameliorating the quality of education at that level.

The problem of this study hinges on the proportional allocation and management of human and material resources as well as facilities maintenance in the primary level of education in Akwa Ibom State by the educational managers. This unhealthy situation in the allocation of resources by the board tends to have a debilitating impact on the quality of the foundational level of education in the State. The question to be addressed as the problem of the study is:

To what extent can the analysis of the resource allocation regarding primary schools lead to the unraveling of the seeming systematic failure associated with that level of education in Akwa Ibom State?

1.3  Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to analyze the allocation of human and material resources in primary schools by the educational managers.

The study is specifically designed to:

  1. Analyze the teacher/pupil ratio among schools;
  2. Determine the availability or otherwise of classrooms in the schools;
  3. Determine the distribution of pupils’ desks among schools;
  4. Analyze the distribution of teachers by qualification in schools among the educational zones;
  5. Analyze the distribution of non-teaching staff by qualification among schools.
  6. Analyze the indices of the disbursement of school subvention among schools.
  7. Determine the difference in the maintenance of school buildings in the primary schools among the educational zones.

1.4  Research Questions

The following research questions were formulated to guide the study:

  1. What is the teacher/pupil ratio in primary schools among the Educational Zones in Akwa Ibom State?
  2. To what extent are classrooms adequately distributed in schools according to pupils’ enrolment and among Educational Zones according to number of schools?
  3. What is the average number of pupils to a desk in primary schools in Akwa Ibom State?
  4. To what extent are teachers distributed to schools in the State in terms of qualifications?
  5. Is there any difference in the distribution of non-teaching staff in schools among the Educational Zones?
  6. Are subventions disbursed to schools in the State based on pupils’ enrolment?
  7. Is there any difference in the maintenance of school buildings in the primary schools among the Educational Zones?

1.5  Assumptions of the Study

The study is based on the following assumptions:

  1. Primary schools in Akwa Ibom State tend to be overcrowded and understaffed.
  2. Primary schools in Akwa Ibom State are faced with inadequate physical and material resources.

1.6  Significance of the Study

The findings of the study would be of great significance to the teachers, Head teachers, Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Education, the students in the Department of Educational Administration and Planning and the academia as it would provide an empirical body of literature on resource allocation and management in primary schools.

The findings of this study will contribute immensely to the awareness of the implications of adequate allocation or otherwise of the educational resources in terms of manpower resources, physical and material resources, financial resources etc. in the primary school system to Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Education and other policy makers.

The findings will expose the classroom teachers and Head teachers to their roles as educational managers at the primary level of education with the responsibility of coordinating and effectively allocating the available material resources and instructional aids etc, at their disposal to the benefit of the pupils.

The study will be beneficial to students in the department of educational administration and planning as the findings will serve as insight to the study of the implications of other new educational policy/programme.

Finally the research findings can as well serve as a catalyst to other researchers in the academia who may wish to analyze resource allocation in the secondary and higher levels of education.

1.7  Scope of the Study

This study is concerned with analyzing resource management in the primary schools in Akwa Ibom State. By implication, it will not include the privately owned primary schools or pre-primary institutions. The resources studied include pupils, teachers, non-teaching staff, classrooms, desks, subvention to schools and school building maintenance.

1.8  Limitations of the Study

This study was not without any limitations. Hence, the researcher encountered difficulties in eliciting reliable data from the State Universal Basic Education Board, freely and easily. Also, some school head teachers in the sampled schools were hesitant in releasing the required data. moreso, the scope of the study, time, inadequate finance and geographical factors were other constraints to the study.

1.9  Operational Definition of Terms

For the purpose of clarity, concepts and terms used in this study are operationally defined and should be understood as follows:

  1. Resource Allocation

The concept refers to effective distribution of the available human capacity and educational materials in the educational system in order to attain its pre-determined goals (Akpan, 2003).

  1. Educational Resources

This connotes human and material resources in the school system. Human resources in education are the pupils, teaching staff, non-teaching staff such as librarians, laboratory attendants, clerks, messengers, gatekeepers as well as educational planners and administrators. On the other hand, material resources include textbooks, charts, maps, audio-visual and electronic instructional aids, etc. physical resources include classrooms, typing pools, administrative blocks, libraries, laboratories, workshops, assembly halls, staff quarters, conveniences etc while financial resources are the monetary inputs available for and expended on the educational system (Adeogun, 2002).

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