THE PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS OF PRESS CLUB IN SECONDARY SCHOOLSIN NIGERIA
1.1 Background to the Study
In recent years,
educational researchers have emphasized the critical role of the
principal in creating an effective school environment which involves the
development of a strong school culture that prescribes specific goals,
roles and behaviours by educators in and out of class settings (Parkay
& Hall, 2009). The effect of extracurricular activities such as the
press club, drama club, civic society, debate clubs, sports etc on
secondary school learners justifies their existence and proper
management in secondary schools (Craig, 2000). These activities exist to
complement the school’s academic curriculum, augment the learner’s
educational experience and provide a setting for them to become involved
and to interact with other learners. Such involvement extends to
broader community life which implies that the primary goal of
extracurricular activities encapsulate the individual learner, the
institution and broader community (Helfgot, 2005).
In general the
architecture of secondary schools emphasizes sameness including standard
timetables, age-graded classes, extracurricular participation and
teacher expectations. National policies and institutional practices
expect principals and learners to conform to the ideal norm of best
practices without considering different contexts. The effect is that the
sameness in schools makes differences in surroundings, the latter which
is responsible for making each school a distinctive place of its own
(Christie, Butler & Potterton, 2007). Related to best practice is
the notion of using the academic grid against which all school
evaluations are measured. The demands for standardised academic output
result in extreme prioritising of the academic curriculum (Dickeson,
2009). As is the case with school principals in general, principals of
secondary schools are under constant pressure to improve academic
programmes in order to strengthen and sustain their overall achievement
reputation (Masteralexis et al., 2005).
For every human society the successful
conduct of her internal/external affairs depends largely on the extent
of the reliability of government apparatus and the government
successfully communicating, understanding and accepting themselves in a
mutual and symbiotic relationship”- Obaze .A et al (2004).
The need for information through the
establishment of a concrete press club in secondary schools is such that
man can hardly function or determine his course of life without
communication. On account of this, the influential role of the media is
cited in her caprice to direct, redirect, and shoulder the course of
altitude change and instilling/building public perception towards
societal affair.There is no modern society that can dispense with the
press especially newspapers and television. The newspapers especially to
places where there are no radio stations rapidly spread important news.
The newspapers give us reliable information about towns and countries.
Many social tools are exposed in one newspaper to attract the attention
of the government, police and the citizens as a whole so that such evils
may be immediately combated. Many articles written by intelligent
people and carried by newspapers contain good ideas with which we can
experiment in our bid to reform the society. These articles have
suggested ways and means by which we can combat tribalism, fraud,
serious crimes, avarice, greed, and extravagance, which are
disintegrating forces in the society.
By impacting meaningfully through the
involvement of Nigeria press vis-à-vis as a social system in society
positioning, it is her duty, responsibility and obligation to enhance
the survival of the vital ingredient of society demand. Which are unity;
structure; inter-dependence; compliance, commitment and conformity; and
transmission of social norms, culture and value. The media is by this
gear towards enhancing the continuity and survival of the total social
The print media, particularly the medium
of newspaper has become the major source of information dissemination
over the years, and also the major means of political mobilization in
Nigeria. Newspaper has the ability to inform, educate, entertain,
enlighten and mobilize the public. That is why the government and other
private bodies give much attention to it. The ability of newspaper to
also mobilize the people and make them behave in a given manner and to
perform certain actions has made it a tool in the hands of the
government. The medium serves as an intermediary between the government
and the people, because it assists the government in getting it plans
and policies across to the people, and the people in return gets their
response, feeling and plight back to the government.Footnoting this
trend on the national scale, the challenges that confront us as young
democracy nation in a country of diverse ethnic divide, is to establish
an ideological and structural homogeneity with a common political
destiny and purpose among our diverse ethnic groups, forthwith, the
media being an institution of the larger society is virtually needed to
shoulder this course.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
In order for secondary
schools to be effective in delivering a quality service to their
students, their education programmes need to be managed effectively.
This includes organising and facilitating of all learning activities so
that learners can achieve a rewarding and fulfilling educational
experience. To achieve this, the school principal needs to continuously
and systematically plan all educational programmes along side with extra
curriculum activities to boost academic performance of students
One of the factors
affecting proper planning and organising of extracurricular activities
in secondary schools are limited resources across the broad spectrum of
provisioning, namely human, financial and infrastructural resources
(Asmal, 2000:3). Some of these resources, for example financial
resources, are very scarce. Most secondary schools function on
shoestring budgets and are expected to fund fragmented extracurricular
events. This they have to do notwithstanding the criticism that the
money concerned could have been better utilised for purchasing learning
support materials like learners textbooks and classroom furniture or
improving teachers’ salaries and benefits and supplying them with
additional text books for consultation. An added problem is the lack of
interest on the part of learners attending secondary schools to
participate in extracurricular activities. This creates enormous
challenges for the school principal to develop and maintain a viable and
sustainable organisational structure for extracurricular activities
(Seefeldt & Ewing, 2009).
A lack of incentive to
improve their competencies in extracurricular coaching has a ripple
effect on teachers. Few have been in schools where the principal is an
extracurricular enthusiast and in many instances principals do not value
the contribution of sports activities for developing a healthy body to
contribute to the development of a healthy mind (Harrison, 2004). When
principals or teachers do have an interest in one particular sport, the
tendency is to focus on that resulting in neglect of other valuable
sporting activities. This leaves learners with no option but to
participate in the sport that is offered even if they may not have an
interest in it. Many may choose not to participate, with the detrimental
effects that follow. (Thomas & Moran, 2000).
Due to all the complexities related to
extracurricular provisioning in secondary schools, many principals give
up on the planning and implementation of an extracurricular programme in
their schools. Effective teaching for successful learning, however,
involves sharing and coordination of all activities that impact on
learners‟ lives in and out of class. Principals are therefore obliged to
motivate themselves and all other stakeholders to contribute to the
realisation of a viable extracurricular programme at school; such
motivation efforts form an integral part of the principal‟s managerial
responsibilities (Buck, Lund, Harrison & Cook, 2007:38).
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The main aim of the study is to examine
the problems and prospects of press club in secondary schools. Specific
objectives of the study are:
- To examine the problems of setting up and maintaining press clubs in secondary schools in Port-Harcourt.
- To assess the effectiveness of press clubs towards achieving its objectives in secondary schools in Port Harcourt.
- To determine the prospects of press clubs in secondary schools in Port Harcourt.
- To assess the effect of press clubs on academic performance of members in selected secondary schools in Port Harcourt.
1.4 Research Questions
- What are the problems of setting up and maintaining press clubs in secondary schools in Port-Harcourt?
- How effective are press clubs towards achieving its objectives in secondary schools in Port Harcourt?
- What are the prospects of press clubs in secondary schools in Port Harcourt?
- How have press clubs affected academic performance of members in selected secondary schools in Port Harcourt?
1.5 Research Hypothesis
HO: Press Clubs are not effective in achieving the overall objective it was established in secondary schools in Port Harcourt.
Hi: Press Clubs are effective in achieving the overall objective it was established in secondary schools in Port Harcourt.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The importance of setting up and
maintaining an effective press club in a secondary school cannot be over
emphasized. The benefits of a press club are enormous to be ignored by
policy makers in the education sector as this club adds more value to
secondary school education by preparing the minds of secondary school
students towards taking up journalism as a career.
Since the study is relatively new, the
study will serve as guide for student researchers that want to explore
more into the subject matter. Findings and recommendations from the
study will further guide students who may have interest in the subject
matter for further research.The study will also aid policy makers in the
education sector to streamline the academic calendar of secondary
schools to accommodate extra curriculum activities such as the press
club. Effective management of the academic calendar with extra
curriculum activities will bring out the best in students.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The study covers Three (3) secondary
schools in Port Harcourt, examining the problems and prospects of the
various press clubs in these secondary schools. All findings and
recommendations are based on results from these schools namely,
Community secondary schools Amadi-Ama, Community Secondary School Nkpolu
and Girls Seconarys Schools Orominike.
1.8 Limitation of the Study
Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in
sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in
the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The
researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic
work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the
1.9 Definition Of Terms
Press Club: A press club is an organization for journalists and others professionally engaged in the production and dissemination of news.
Secondary school: A secondary school is a school which provides secondary education, between the ages of 11 and 16 or 11 and 19, after primary school and before higher education.
Extra-Curricular Activity: Extracurricular activities or Extra Academic Activity (EAA) are those that fall outside the realm of the normal curriculum of school or university education, performed by students
Mass Media: The mass media is a diversified collection of media technologies that reach a large audience via mass communication.