PRINCIPAL S LEADERSHIP BEHAVIOUR AS A DETERMINANT OF EFFECTIVENESS OF SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN NIGERIA.

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1 Europan Journal of Educational Studies 2(1), Ozean Publication PRINCIPAL S LEADERSHIP BEHAVIOUR AS A DETERMINANT OF EFFECTIVENESS OF SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN NIGERIA. Dr. EKUNDAYO Haastrup Timilehin Department of Educational Foundations & Management Faculty of Education University of Ado-Ekiti Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria. address for correspondence: Abstract : This study examined the relationship between principal s leadership behaviour and effectiveness of secondary schools in Nigeria. The descriptive research design of the survey type was adopted. The population consisted of all the teachers and principals in the public secondary schools in South West Nigeria. The sample was however made up of 1200 teachers and 60 principals from 60 secondary schools across 3 states in the region. Multistage, simple and proportionate stratified random sampling techniques were used to select the states, schools and the teachers used for the study. Two sets of instruments were used to collect the data for the study. The data were analysed using frequency counts, percentage scores and Pearson product moment correlation. The hypothesis formulated was tested at 0.05 level of significance. The study revealed that the behaviour of principals in the area covered was satisfactorily encouraging. The study also showed that the schools were effective in the affective and the psychomotor domains but not all that effective in the cognitive domain. The study further showed significant relationship between principals leadership behaviour and secondary school effectiveness. Based on the findings, it was recommended that the principals of schools should not relent in sustaining the tempo of their leadership behaviour. It was also recommended that all the stakeholders in the secondary school education as well as the government should try to uphold the level of performance of students in the affective and the psychomotor domains while efforts should be geared towards improving upon the students performance in the cognitive domain. INTRODUCTION The role of secondary school in the development of other sectors of the educational system cannot be overemphasized. It provides primary school leavers opportunity for qualitative education, and it is the supply based from which higher institutions draw students for admission into their various programmes. The Federal Government of Nigeria (2004) in the National Policy on education highlighted the broad aims of secondary education as preparing students for useful living within the society and preparing them for higher education. The precarious state of Nigerian secondary schools calls for concern. It has been observed in the recent past that secondary schools have derailed in the provision of qualitative education expected of them. A lot of problems seem to bedevil the system thereby making it ineffective. Schools need to be effective in order to meet the yearnings and aspirations of the society. The extent to which the school system is able to accomplish its stated objectives determines its level of effectiveness. Effectiveness in this context transcends beyond students passing an examination. It encompasses students attainment in other domains of learning namely the affective and the psychomotor domains. Bandele (2002) posited that the combination of the three domains of learning makes the recipient of the education lived a fulfilled life and contribute meaningfully to the society he lives. It has however been observed that the schools are not doing well in these domains of learning and this seem to 25

2 make the society lose confidence in the system. For instance, the students academic performance which members of the society used mainly to measure the effectiveness of schools has witnessed unprecedented set back. Ajayi (2002), WAEC (2007), Adeyemi (2008) have shown in their studies the extent of poor performance of students in public examination. The most recent was seen in the Punch Newspaper (September 27, 2008) where it was reported that 83% of the candidates that sat for May/June 2008 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) failed. This is disheartening. Besides, it has again been observed that students of secondary schools lack morals. High rate of indiscipline which manifests in form of absence from school, lateness to school, stealing, insubordination to school authority, smoking, cheating in examinations and among others are daily happenings in the schools. This raises a fundamental question as to the extent to which the schools are producing disciplined or morally upright school leavers into the larger society. Oladele (2003) argued that the cause of the moral decadence among the youth is traceable to the non-teaching of ethics in the secondary schools. Personal experience has also shown that very few secondary school leavers can communicate effectively or exhibit evidence of good and solid education background. It appears the students lack requisite technical skills to be able to function effectively in the society. All these scenario are pointers to the fact that the secondary school system is in a state of despair. Several factors have been attributed to the perceived ineffectiveness of the secondary schools among which are teacher factor, parental factor, economic factor, societal factor and principals leadership behaviour but this study was limited to the principals leadership behaviour as a potent factor for school ineffectiveness. It has been observed that many secondary school principals do not involve their subordinates in their daily routine administrative duties and as a result do a lot of things themselves. Personal experience have shown that many principals of secondary schools do not provide good leadership of the school system. Some do not motivate their teachers very well, some do not even relate very well with the teachers let alone students. It appears some member of teaching staff do not feel comfortable with the ways their principals behave in schools. This seems to be the reasons why most teachers put up non-challant attitude towards their job and consequently leads to ineffectiveness of the schools. The behaviour of leaders has been identified as one of the major factors influencing the productivity of subordinates in any organization in which the school system is not an exemption (Babayemi, 2006). Ibukun (1997) remarked that without leadership, an organization can best be described as a scene of confusion and chaos. According to the author, when leadership in an organization is effective, there is progress, but when the leadership is defective, the organization declines and decays. Purkey and Smith (1983), Cruz (1995) submitted that in order to build strong teacher commitment towards the realization of school goals, principals must provide strong, directive leadership in setting and developing school goals, creating a unity of purpose, facilitating communication and managing instruction Weber (1971) and Scheerens and Creemers (1989) submitted that strong leadership embodied in the principal was instrumental in setting the tone of the school. It can be inferred from the foregoing that principal s leadership behaviour has a very positive relationship with school effectiveness. It was again this backdrop that the present study found out the relationship between principal s leadership behaviour and effectiveness of secondary schools in Nigeria. PURPOSE OF THE STUDY The purpose of this study was to find out the relationship between principal s leadership behaviour and the effectiveness of secondary schools in Nigeria. The study investigated the extent of principal s leadership behaviour in the secondary schools and the extent of effectiveness of the schools in the three domains of learning. Based on the findings, recommendations were made on how to improve the effectiveness of the secondary schools. 26

3 METHODOLOGY This study was a descriptive research of the survey type. The population of the study consisted of all the teachers and principals of public secondary schools in South-West, Nigeria. The sample was made up of 1200 teachers and 60 principals selected from 60 secondary schools. Multistage, simple and stratified random sampling techniques were used to select the sample. The first stage involved the use of a simple random sampling to select three out of the six states in the South-West. The states randomly selected were Ekiti, Ondo and Osun States. The second stage involved the use of proportionate stratified random sampling technique to determine the number of schools per state and the third stage was also a simple random sampling technique used to select 20 teachers per school. In addition, all the principals of the selected schools were included in the sample. Two sets of instruments were used for the study. The first instrument was a questionnaire titled Secondary School Effectiveness Questionnaire (SSEQ) and the second instrument was a profoma designed to collect students result in the senior school certificate examination for 3 years ( ) from the schools. SSEQ had three sections, Section A sought the background information of the respondents, Section B contained 14 items designed to elicit information on principals leadership behaviour and Section C had 17 items designed to collect information on school effectiveness. The SSEQ and the proforma were administered on the teachers and principals respectively. The instrument was validated by research experts in the areas of educational planning and tests and measurements both within and outside the University of Ado-Ekiti. The test-retest method of reliability was adopted for SSEQ while Pearson product moment correlation was used to determine the reliability co-efficient which stood at The data for the study were analysed using frequency counts, percentage scores and pearson product moment correlation. The hypothesis formulated was tested at 0.05 alpha-level. RESULTS The results of the study were presented as follows Extent of principals leadership behaviour in secondary schools: In order to determine the extent of principals leadership behaviour, frequency counts and percentage scores were used to analyse the responses on items 1-14 of Section B of SSEQ. The result was presented in table 1. 27

4 S/N My principal: Table 1: Principals leadership behaviour Items Agree % Disagree % 1. Provides good leadership of the school system Sees to members of staff welfare Relates very well with his teachers Relates very well with his students Involves teachers in decision-making Feels every members of staff is relevant in the school system Praises hardworking teacher Encourage teachers to use their initiatives on their job Makes the teachers have a sense of belonging Is accessible to teachers Makes available teaching materials Gives approval when teachers want to go for inservice training Sometimes delegates duties to teachers Allows teachers to freely express their opinions in the meeting Mean Results in table 1 shows that 96% of the respondents agreed that the principal relates very well with the teachers. While 95.2% of the respondents agreed that the principals provide good leadership of the school system, 94.3% of them agreed that the principal is always accessible to teachers. At the same time, 94.2% of the respondents agreed that the principal relates very well with his students. Of the respondents, 94.1% agreed that the principal encourages the staff the use their initiatives in their jobs, 93.4% agreed that the principal feels every member of staff is relevant in the school system, while 93.4% also agreed that the principal praises hardworking teacher. The table also shows that 92.7% of the respondents agreed that the principal makes the teachers have a sense of belonging in the system, while 92.3% of them agreed that the principal sees to teachers welfare. Again, 91.9% of the respondents agreed that principals sometime delegates duties to teachers. By and large, it is shown in the table that 89.9% of the respondents agreed that the principal allows his members of staff to freely express their opinions in the meeting. 88.3% of them agreed that principals involve teachers in decision making. While 87.3% of the respondents agreed that principal; gives approval when teachers want to go for in-service training, 78.7% of them agreed that the principal makes available teaching materials. On the average, 91.6% of the respondents agreed that the behaviour of the principals towards the teachers as well as the job is very encouraging. Extent of secondary school effectiveness: In analyzing the extent of secondary school effectiveness in the three domains of learning (cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains), Section C of SSEQ and the SSCE results for the three years ( ) were used to analyse the responses on items 1-17 of section C of SSEQ in addition to the SSCE results. To determine whether or not the schools were effective, the mean responses were scored and tabulated and as for the cognitive domain, the average score for the three years were scored and tabulated. The result as revealed in table 2. 28

5 Table 2: Extent of effectiveness of secondary schools in Nigeria. Variables Effective (%) Not Effective (%) Total Cognitive Affective Psychomotor Mean Table 2 shows the extent of effectiveness of secondary schools in the area covered. The result as revealed in table 2 showed that the schools were effective in the affective domain (74.3%) and the psychomotor domain (60.3%) but not effective in the cognitive domain (22.1%). Relationship between principal s leadership behaviour and secondary school effectiveness This relationship was examined using the items 1-14 of Section B of SSEQ and items 1-17 of the same SSEQ in addition to the SSCE results. The result was presented in table 3. Table 3: Test of relationship between principal s leadership behaviour and secondary school effectiveness. Variables N r-cal r-tab Principal s leadership behaviour 60 School effectiveness P < 0.05 Table 3 shows the relationship between principal s leadership behaviour and school effectiveness. The result obtained from the analysis shows that the value of r-cal (0.351) is greater than r-table value (0.250) of 0.05 level of significance. This implies that there is significant relationship between principal s leadership behaviour and school effectiveness. Therefore the null hypothesis is rejected. DISCUSSION The study showed that the principal s leadership behaviour in secondary schools is to a very large extent encouraging. The leadership behaviour of principals in the school sampled depicts a transformational leader who gets employees excited about organizational goals and causes them to be truly committed to the goals of the organization. This is in consonance with Scheerens and Creemers (1989), Ibukun (1997) and Babayemi (2006). The findings also showed that the secondary schools in the Southwest Nigeria were to a large extent effective in the affective and the psychomotor domains. The reverse is however the case in the cognitive domain. School being effective in the affective and psychomotor domains depicts a better future for the society and the students alike. This submission is in contrary to Oladele (2006) who submitted that the secondary schools are no longer effective. The result further showed that the students are not doing well in the cognitive domain (which is the academic performance). Poor performance of students in SSCE will definitely reduce the extent to which students will have access to University education. This might not be well with a developing nation like Nigeria which believes in human capital development for economic growth. This submission however confirms Ajayi (2002), WAEC (2007) and Adeyemi (2008). 29

6 The study also revealed that there was significant relationship between principal s leadership behaviour and secondary school effectiveness. The reason for this might be due to the fact that principals are the men at the helms of the affairs of the schools and would always want the schools to achieve the goals for which they are established. Where the principals provide a good leadership of the school, sees to members of staff welfare, relates very well with both the teachers and the students, this will facilitate conducive environment for teaching and learning. This finding is in support of Purkey and Smith (1983) and Cruz (1985). CONCLUSION and RECOMMENDATIONS Based on the findings of this study, it was concluded that the leadership behaviour of the principals in secondary schools in southwest Nigeria is very encouraging which depicts the transformational leader. It was also concluded that the schools were effective in the affective and the psychomotor domains but not effective in the cognitive domain. It was recommended that school principals should not relent in their efforts in sustaining the leadership behaviour in the school system. It was also recommended that the government and all the stakeholders in the secondary education system should also try to uphold the tempo of the performance of the students in the affective and the psychomotor domains while frantic efforts should be made at improving upon the level of cognitive achievement of the students. High level of performance in the three domains of learning is what the schools must strive to achieve. REFERENCES Adeyemi, T. O. (2008). Predicting students performance in senior secondary certificate examination from performance in junior secondary certificate examinations in Ondo State, Nigeria. Humanity and Social Science Journal 3(1) Ajayi, I. A. (2002). Resource factors as correlates of secondary school effectiveness in Ekiti State. Nigeria Journal of Counselling and Applied Psychology 1(1) Babayemi, A. (2006). Principalship. In J. B. Babalola, A. O. Ayeni, S. O. Adedeji, A. A. Suleiman and M. O. Arike Wuyo (Eds) Educational Management: Thoughts and Practice. Ibadan: Codat publications Bandele, S. O. (2002). Administration of continuous assessment in tertiary institutions in Nigeria. Journal of Educational Foundations and Management 1(1) Cruz, P. A. (1995). The leadership actions of principals in schools that have experienced academic success with Hispanic students. Dissertation Abstracts International. Federal Government of Nigeria (2004). National Policy on education. Lagos: National Education Research Development Council. Ibukun, W. O. (1997). Educational Management: Theory and Practice. Lagos: Greenline publishers. Oladele, A. B. (2003). The justification for the inclusion of philosophy in Nigerian secondary school curriculum. Journal of Educational Foundation and Management 3(1) Purkey, S. C. & Smith, M. S. (1983). Effective schools: A review, Elementary School Journal 83(4) Scheerens, J. & Creemers, B. P.M. (1989). Conceptualizing school effectiveness. International Journal of Educational Research 13(7) Weber, G. (1971). Intercity children can be taught to read: Four successful schools. Washington D. C: Council for Basic Education. West African Examination Council (2007). Chief Examiner s report. 30

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