FACTORS MILITATING AGAINST EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT OF SCHOOL RECORDS BY SECONDARY SCHOOL PRINCIPALS
Information is every organization’s most basic and essential asset and in common with any other business assets recorded information requires effective management.
In the past, “record management” was used to refer only to the management of records which are no longer in everyday use but still needed to be kept “semi current” records often stored in basement or offsite. More recent usage tends to refer to the entire “life circle” of records from the point of creation right until their eventual disposal. This school records are official documents, books and file containing essential and crucial information of actions and events which are kept and preserved in the school office for utilization and retrieval of information when needed.
However, record management is defined as the field of management responsible for the efficient and systemic control of the creation receipt, maintenance, use and disposition of records, including the process for capturing and maintaining evidence of and information about business activities transactions in the firm of records. These school records are kept and managed by the school principals, teachers, counselors or administrative staff.
Record management is one of the most important administrative elements of any school organization in which the school administrator or principal must adhere to. Hence, the purpose of record keeping and management is to ensure that accurate and proper records of students achievements and growth, information on school activities and matters that will promote efficiency and effectiveness of the school activities are kept.
Record management can also be defined as the application of systematic and scientific control of recorded information that is required for the operation of the school. Such control is exercised over the distribution, utilization, retention, storage retrieval, protection, preservation and final deposition of all types of records within the school. According to Durosara (2002), records are important tools for effective planning and administration of school, so it is impossible to effectively plan and administer any formal organization which records are either not kept or mismanaged. The education system as a social organization has numerous sub-systems or levels that are managed to ensure some coherence and continuity. To successfully achieve this, records must be safely kept and managed.
Egwumyega, (2005) suggested that not all information can be considered as records until they satisfy such characteristics geniueity and authenticity, that is the information that the records given must be time, correct, and original, records must be comprehensive available, accessible and secured.
Records that are kept in any educational system are numerous some are mandatory and others are optional or discretional such records are grouped into statutory and non statutory records. Statutory records includes admission or withdrawal register, attendance register, scheme of work, time table, log book, visitors book, time movement books, school diary, lesson plan note for teachers, examination record book etc. non statutory records includes cash book, staff minutes book, school magazine, stock book, punishment book, school calendar, inventory book, inspection or supervision report file, confidential report firms and requisite book.
The aim of record management is to achieve the best retrieval and exploitation of school record in the school system and also to improve the efficiency of record making and keeping process. Record management helps to control the quality and quantity of information that is created in a manner that effectively serves the need of the school (Akube, 1991 and Fasasi 2004). School record management according to Fasasi (2004) is meant to enhance the performance of secondary school administrators. Adequate record management co-ordinators and protects an institutions records, sharpens the effectiveness of records as a management memory which controls the times equipment and space allocated to records and helps to simplify intra-organizational and communication problems.
The management of records in secondary school, just like in any other organization is a cyclic process involving the principals, teachers, students, messenger and cleaners but the bulk of records are handled by principals which are kept manually, thus processing, retrieval and utilization of records is not easy. Since proper management of school records is essential for smooth administration of schools, it is pertinent to examine those factors that mutilates against the proper management of school records by secondary school principals using the secondary schools in Oredo local Government Area of Edo state as a case study.
Statement of the Problem
Irrespective of the importance of school records in the achievement of educational objectives, these records do not seem to be adequately managed by school principals. In Nigeria today getting accurate and reliable data has been a long letting problem. Agbaje (1982) pointed out that Nigeria have been meddling without facts and figures in schools.
From observation, it becomes obvious that fulfill-evidential requirements are being created but not properly managed. Egwunojenga (2009) emphasized that record management practice in Nigerian Secondary Schools has a number of factors militating against it. These factors includes: insufficient skilled and experienced record management personnel, Law priority of record management in the scheme of things. Undurable and bulky materials for records, inadequate storage space. However, many principals complains of shortage of trained personnel, funds and materials resources. All these could possibly have serious effect on management of school records by Secondary school principals in Oredo local Government Area of Edo State.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study was to identify the major factors militating against the management of school records by principal and to suggest possible solutions which might help to eliminate or at least reduce the number of duet factors. It was also hoped that the study would be of assistance to other persons who might be interested in conducting research in this field in future.
Research Question 1: What are the perceived problems associated with record keeping by the secondary school principals in Oredo Local Government Area, Edo State?
Research Question 2: What are the causes of improper record keeping in Secondary Schools in Oredo Local Government Area in Edo State?
Research Question 3: What record keeping techniques are adopted by the secondary school principals in Oredo Local Government Area?
Research Question 4: These adopted techniques effectively aid record keeping in these secondary schools
Significance of Study
According to John Dewey (1919), “the ultimate aim of Education other than the creation of human beings is the recreation of the society. The essence of record management is that it facilitates research activities that would promote efficiency and effectiveness in the school system, provide useful information to an employer of labour who may want to recruit people for jobs as requires in testimonials, transcript, certificates and reference letters. Finally, to provide useful information to the educational planners and administrators.
It is hoped that the study would identify the major problems facing the management of school records by school principal and to suggest possible solutions to tackle these problems. This study would be also be of help to those who may want to research into this very problem in the future.
Scope of the Study
The study covered all the secondary schools in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State.
This study was designed to cover all the secondary schools in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State Area due to insufficient fund and time is the researcher chose to reduce the Area of study tom just Oredo Local Government Area.
Definition of Terms
The researcher has decided to assign meaning to the following terms for the purpose of this research. These terms includes: Local Government Area, factors, insufficient, inadequate, inexperience and undurable.
Local Government Area:
Is a convenient grouping of villages and towns by the government for the purpose of easy administration in a specified geographical location, Each Local Government Area has and administrative headquarter with a resident chairman.
The term “factors” here signifies things that causes or influences the poor management of school records
This term refers to the necessary factors needed for effective management of school records.
Also refers to the necessary factors needed for effective management of records not being enough for the purpose it was meant to serve.
This refers to one having little knowledge or experience about something.
The term “Undurable” refers to materials used for record storage wearing out within a short period of time owing to the inferiority of those materials.