Challenges to Effective Management and Utilization of Teaching Resources in Nigerian Schools

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1 Challenges to Effective Management and Utilization of Teaching Resources in Nigerian Schools Uloma Onuoha Chidiebere Department of Curriculum and Teacher Education, Abia State University, Uturu , Abstract The paper examined the meaning and categories of teaching resources. It highlighted the means by which teaching resources can be managed and utilized. Challenges affecting effective management and utilization were also considered. The paper made some recommendations such as proper keeping of statistical data of teachers and students will enhance the management of teaching resources; improvisation on the part of teachers and students which will help to reduce lack of teaching resources and improve in their skill acquisition and participation. Equally teachers should be encouraged to attend professional development programmes such as seminars, workshops, conferences to increase their knowledge on innovative teaching resources. Keywords: Teaching Resources, Management and Utilization Introduction The success or failure of any organization, business or enterprise depends highly on the proper management and utilization of human and material resources. Effective management and utilization increase productivity. Nwadiani (1998:21) noted that management would enhance the achievement of organizational goals with minimum cost if it is effective. It is the organization and coordination of the activities of an enterprise in accordance with certain policies and in achievement of defined objectives. Management and utilization involve planning, organizing, staffing, directing, coordinating, reporting, budgeting and to mention but a few. In the context of this paper with regard to education organization, management and utilization of teaching resources can be referred to as the process of planning, organizing and coordinating of teaching resources available in schools for the attainment of educational goals and objectives. In line with this, Nwadiani (1998:19) observed that; The main causes of apparent failure of school system is lack of real or/and poor management. The resources for education are always in short supply, the leaderships are untrained while the policies that are poorly formulated are never implemented. Based on this, effective management and utilization of teaching resources in Nigerian schools become imperative. The focus of this paper is on the challenges to effective management and utilization of teaching resources in Nigerian schools. 118

2 Meaning and Categories of Teaching Resources Teaching resources are the different kinds of materials or resources that teachers and classes use in the teaching-learning processes in order to make it more effective and productive. Sometimes the term teaching resource is used interchangeably with other terms like teaching-learning materials, instructional materials, instructional aids, instructional resources, audio-visual aids, curriculum materials, educational materials and so on. Although, slight differences may exist among these terms. One element tends to unite them and that lies in their use. They are all used to make teaching and learning effective. Teaching resources are equipment and materials which the teacher can use to achieve his/her lesson objectives (Maduabum, 1989). Ofoegbu (2009) defines teaching resources as those resources that facilitate the achievement of goals of education. According to Balogun (2001) teaching resources are the materials or objects which help the teacher to make a lesson explicit to learners. They transmit information and ideas to the learners and disseminate information in such a way that their aptitude, habits and practice will be modified in a complex task. In a general sense, teaching resources usually supplement rather than substitute in a lesson. Teaching resources according to this paper can be defined as equipment or materials employed by the teacher to facilitate learning and retention in the learners in order to achieve the stated objectives. The teaching resources are categorized under human and non-human or material resources. Human Resources: They are different categories of personnel that provide different services in the teaching and learning processes. They can be grouped into professionals and nonprofessional a. Professionals: These include; i. Specialists in specific subject matters like English Language, Mathematics, Biology and other school subjects. They are professional teachers with teaching qualifications. ii. iii. Highly skilled and experienced staff that provide administrative and other services, example; Bursars, Guidance Counselors, Typists, Librarians and other supporting staff. Some of these people can give learners talk on various vocations or help in the day to day running of the school. Other professionals like medical doctors, lawyers, business executives such as general manager and managing directors of companies and factories can also help to educate learners through talks and seminars on choice of career. b. Non-Professionals: They are those who lack adequate professional skill of the job they do, but still provide services in the teaching and learning processes. For example, auxiliary teachers, casual workers, cleaners, and messengers. Material or Non-Human Resources: These can be grouped into three as follows a. Funds: They are required to acquire other resources b. Physical Facilities: Which include i. Buildings such as classroom, lecture theatre, laboratories, and auditoria. ii. iii. Furniture such as chairs, tables, and shelves. Play grounds such as football field, lawn tennis pitches. 119

3 c. Instructional materials or Education Media: Instructional materials are tools and devices through which stimuli can be passed on or obtained. Omiko (2011) observed that teaching materials can be used to record, store, preserve and transmit or retrieve information. They are also known as information carriers. Having explained the meaning and categories of teaching resources, what then is management of teaching resources? Management of Teaching Resources Management is the process of organizing and coordinating people to achieve the desired goals and objectives with the available resources. There is need for proper management of teaching resources in teaching-learning processes in order to achieve the educational goals and objectives. In the context of this paper, management of teaching resources is the process concerned with planning, organizing, creating, maintaining, stimulating, controlling and unifying teaching resources in order to achieve predetermined educational objectives in teaching and learning. Teaching materials should be preserved and protected in the shelves, drawers and even in the store room. These will help us to reduce dust, dirt, damage by the students, misplacement of materials and proper accountability and management of the teaching resources. Some of the teaching resources to be managed include; Human Resources, Physical Facilities and Fund a. Human Resources Human resources refer to human beings. They include professionals and nonprofessionals. According to Ndu (1991:105), human resources include all the knowledge, skills and expertise in technical, mechanical, managerial, social and other areas potentially available for utilization in various ways in operating social and economic institutions and enterprises. She further observed that human resources do not come by chance. They are created and developed in order to achieve the overall goals of the various sectors of national economy. There is need for proper management of professional and non professional human resources in order to enhance learners performance and achieve the educational objectives. Baikie (2002:6) observed that: Education deals with human resources, which have to be properly managed, so as to achieve educational goals. No matter how good the teachers are and no matter how abundant the facilities are provided and regardless of how well education is funded, not much will be achieved unless there are good educational managers. Mgbako-Ezennia in Nwadiani, (1998:154) had also observed that; Within an organization, there are inputs and outputs. Inputs include all kinds of resources; materials and human that undergo certain defined processes to produce the outputs. How effectively this is done rests with the nature of the organization of human and material resources. Indeed, human resources should be effectively deployed in teaching and learning processes in order to achieve the desired objectives of a lesson. Human resources can be managed by ensuring that teachers are enough for teaching and 120

4 students are well organized and arranged in the classes. Professionals and nonprofessionals should be used effectively and efficiently in order to make teaching and learning fruitful. b. Physical Facilities Facilities are very important in teaching and learning processes. Effective management of physical facilities can yield good result. According to Ehiametalor (2001:305) facilities are those factors which enable production workers to achieve the goals of an organization. In a school where the buildings are not enough, the classes will be overcrowded. In a situation where seats are inadequate, children are forced to sit on the floor, thus learning becomes difficult. Facilities just like human resources need to be managed to increase productivity. Ehiametalor (2001:305) further noted that; School facilities are the operational inputs of every instructional programme. The school is like a manufacturing organization where plants and equipment must be in a top operational shape to produce result. Efficiency in the production function depends on how well the plants have been maintained. Effectiveness in the use of materials is dictated largely by the operationality of facilities. Schools that have well managed facilities and instructional materials such as libraries with books, equipped laboratories, teaching and learning materials both visual and audio-visual will perform better than where the facilities are not available or where they are available but not properly managed. This is because learners learn better with their five senses. They will like to see, hear, touch, smell and taste. In fact, facilities should be provided to schools. The schools should make sure that the facilities are properly managed. This is because without effective and efficient management of teaching resources, the objectives of education will not be achieved. c. Management of Fund Apart from human resources and physical facilities, another resource that needs to be managed is the fund. No organization functions effectively without fund. There is need to raise and manage fund appropriately in teaching and learning. Fund is required for purchasing of teaching materials. Poor management of fund leads to inefficiency and low production of teaching resources in schools. Having looked at some of the teaching resources to be managed, it may be pertinent to discuss ways to utilize them? Utilization of Teaching Resources In the utilization of teaching resources in the classroom setting, there are some plans and principles identified by Ughamadu (2006:197) to be followed by the teacher, which include; a. Preparing himself/herself: For the classroom teacher to make effective use of teaching resources, he/she should always prepare himself/herself adequately well in advance. The teacher should be physically, mentally and psychologically fit to analyze teaching resources in the classroom setting. In addition, the teacher should be 121

5 innovative and resourceful and be well acquainted with the procedures for utilization in the classroom. b. Preparing the Environment: Effective utilization of teaching resources demands that the teacher should put the learning environment in order and make sure that all required materials are ready. For instance, if an overhead projector is to be used, the teacher should ensure that it is reserved, properly set up and ready for use at the appropriate time. c. Preparing the Class: The classroom should be prepared by having the students well arranged, seated and free from all hindrances to learning. The teacher should introduce the students to the teaching resource to be used and make them to appreciate why it should be used. The students should be given a brief description on what the teaching resource covers, with emphasis placed on what is vital to be learned from it. d. Utilizing the Teaching Resources: This demands the proper utilization of a particular teaching resource by the teacher. If film for instance is to be used, it should be shown properly. Images should be in proper focus and projected above the heads of the class viewers. In the use of sound, for instance, the volume and tune should be properly adjusted so that all members of the class may hear, understand, enjoy and appreciate the message Some useful principles that will guide teachers in the utilization of teaching resources has also been outlined by Ughamadu (2006:199) as follows: a. The selection of teaching resources to be used should be based on valid learning objectives and the unique characteristics of the learners. b. The use of teaching resources should essentially be followed by the development of adequate learner readiness. This will make for effective learner participation. c. All necessary physical facilities and conditions for using teaching resources should be arranged by the classroom teacher in a manner that provides for economy of time and optimum learner attention and participation. d. The teacher should of necessity guide learners in their responses to experiences with teaching resources. e. The teacher should on a continuous basis subject various forms of teaching resources to evaluation. In fact, the teacher should ensure effective and judicious use of teaching resources. Resourceful teacher can utilize teaching resource at the onset of a lesson, at the middle or at the end to summarize a lesson. As a matter of fact, teaching resources can be utilized at anytime during the teaching and learning processes to motivate the students, clear any misconception, transmit and explain information. Having examined the utilization of teaching resources, what are the challenges to effective management and utilization of teaching resources? 122

6 Challenges to Effective Management and Utilization of Teaching Resources There are many challenges to effective management and utilization of teaching resources. These challenges include: a. Funds: Ocho (2005:296) observed that to create suitable environment for teaching and learning and produce the materials and equipment for teaching, financial outlay is a necessity. Ukeje (1991:39) highlighted the centrality of financial provision in the advancement of educational objectives, when he observed that the issue of educational financing is clearly the central pivot. This is so because the vital issue of the nature, quantity, quality and efficacy of educational system largely depend on the level as well as the appropriateness and management of the financial provision. b. Lack of Accurate Statistical Data of the Teaching Resources: Accurate statistical data of teaching resources are very important in the educational sector. Proper records of teaching resources (human and material) will help in effective management utilization and achievement of educational objectives. Some administrators fail to provide accurate and reliable data on the number of staff, learners enrolled and even materials available. These militate against effective management and utilization of teaching resources. Unreliable information on the number of teachers, learners and materials available affect planning and decision making. c. Poor Maintenance Culture: Facilities and instructional materials are not adequately maintained. Some administrators prefer building new classroom instead of maintaining the old ones. Laboratories and their equipment are allowed to waste, text books and other instructional materials are allowed to rot away in the cartons, instead of displaying them on the shelves for easy retrieval and usage. The management and utilization of these teaching resources are not encouraging. There is need to re-dress the situation for effective learning to take place. d. Policy on Maintenance, Management and Utilization of Teaching Resources: Policy provides guidelines on the type of action to be taken on any issue. Where there is no policy, administrators will act without a guide. Ehiametalor (2001:308) noted that in Nigeria, there has not been a clearly defined policy on maintenance culture, either in educational infrastructural facilities or instructional materials. This implies interlia, that lack of policy on maintenance, management and utilization of teaching resources affect the achievement of educational goals and objectives. e. Inadequate Facilities and Instructional Materials: Students learn better when the facilities like buildings, comfortable seats for teachers and students, equipment, electricity and good water supply and instructional materials like good libraries with books, visual and audio-visual materials are available. When these facilities are lacking, learners cannot learn well and these affect the achievement of educational objectives. The available teaching resources should be managed and utilized properly. f. Capacity of Teachers to manage and use Teaching Resources: Most teachers are unable to update their knowledge through exposure to conferences, workshops and seminars. They do not have access to current journals, textbooks, internet facilities. They, therefore, rely on their old textbooks, notes and materials. This lack of exposure on the part of the teacher affects his/her management and utilization of teaching materials. He/she impacts outdated knowledge to the learners. The teacher should be capable of managing and using teaching resources for effective learning to take place. g. Shortage of Teachers to manage and use the Teaching Resources: This is very critical in teaching and learning in schools. Lack of teachers affects effective 123

7 management and utilization of teaching resources. The shortage of teachers leads to available materials not to be used in classroom. For instance, Mathematics, which is one of the core and compulsory subjects in schools, has shortage of teachers. Nwokoro (2008), rightly observed that in Abia State, the total numbers of secondary schools were 189 and the total number of qualified Mathematics teachers were 170. This simply means that Mathematics teachers were not enough for the teaching and learning of the subject. Obviously, management and utilization of teaching resources in this subject becomes difficult. The table below illustrated the distribution of Mathematics teachers in Abia State (2008) Table 1: Distribution of Mathematics Teachers in Abia State S/n Educational Zone No. of Local Govt. Areas No. of Secondary School No. of Mathematics Teachers 1. Aba Ohafia Umuahia GRAND TOTAL Source: Secondary Education Management Board, Umuahia (SEMB, 2008) This affects the performance of learners. Recruitment of more qualified teachers will help in the management and utilization of the resources available in schools. h. Allocated Time: This is a big challenge in the utilization of teaching resources. In the school time table, the time given for teaching and utilization of teaching materials are very short. In fact, the teacher concentrates on the theoretical aspects and pay less attention to practical aspects. This affects the performance of the learners. The teaching-learning processes will be teacher centered instead of learners centered as stipulated in Federal Republic of Nigeria s (2004:9), National Policy on Education that educational activities shall be centered on the learners for maximum selfdevelopment and self-fulfillment. i. Overcrowded Curriculum: When the curriculum is overcrowded with topics, management and utilization of teaching resources become difficult. The teacher will be rushing to cover the topics in the curriculum and no attention will be given to teaching resources in the class. According to Ivowi (2005), the concent of the curriculum is satisfactory though overloaded. The issue is not the large content presented to the learners but the availability of time and resources for the coverage of the content. This implies that, when the curriculum is overloaded, management and utilization of teaching resources become ineffective. 124

8 Conclusion Teaching resource is one of the tools that makes teaching and learning interesting and attractive. There is need for different teaching resources to achieve educational objectives. The use of teaching resources in the teaching and learning processes help both the teacher and the learners. It reduces much talking and increases efficiency on the part of the teacher while the learners concretize what they learnt. Management and Utilization of teaching resources will help to achieve the objectives of educational programme. Suggestions for the way forward Based on the above discussion, the following suggestions are made; a. Proper keeping of statistical data of teachers and learners will enhance effective management and utilization of teaching resources. b. Funds allocated for the procurement of teaching resources should not be misused by teachers or school administrators. This will go a long way to ensure that enough teaching resources are in schools. c. There should be policy on maintenance management and utilization for proper accountability. d. Teachers should be encouraged to attend professional development programmes to increase their knowledge on the innovative teaching resources. e. Government should provide adequate infrastructure and teaching resources to make learning profitable and thereby encourage learners in the classroom. f. Teachers and learners should be encouraged to improvise teaching materials using materials from their local community to reduce lack of materials and improve on their skill acquisition and participation in class. g. More qualified teachers should be recruited to reduce the work loads on the few qualified teachers and increase the ability to manage and use teaching resources. h. School administrators and teachers should be encouraged to make use of resource persons in the class to clarify issues and make learning concrete. 125

9 References Baikie, A. **(2002), A look at education in Northern Nigeria, The teaching chronicle. 3 (2) Balogun, D. A. (2001), The use of Audio materials in geography teaching in post primary schools in Nigeria. West African journal of education. 2(1): Ehiametalor, E. T. (2001), School facilities management practice in Nigeria. In Nwagwu, N. A., Ehiemetalor E.T., Ogunu M. A., and Nwadiani M. (eds) Current issues in educational practice in Nigeria. Benin Federal Republic of Nigeria (2004), National Policy on Education. Lagos: NERDC Press Ivowi, U. M. O. (2005); An address of welcome on curriculum implementation and rethinking Nigeria Educational Forum 5 (1) 1-5 Maduabum, M. A. (1989), Teaching Integrated Science Effectively. Onitsha: Brano Graphic Publishers. Ndu, A. N. (1991), Educational planning and human resource development in Uwazurike, C. N (ed) Education planning and national development; A Nigerian perspective. Awka: Mekslink Publisher Nwadiani, M. (1998), Educational Management for Sub-Saharan Africa. Nigerian society for educational planning in association with Monose amalgamates. Benin Nwokoro, U. (2008), Professional competencies, needed by senior secondary school mathematics teachers in Abia State. Unpublished M.ed dissertation, Abia State University, Uturu Ocho L. O. (2005), Issues and Concerns in Education and Life. Enugu Institute for the development studies. University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus. Ofoegbu, T. O. (2009), Teaching and learning resources in Ivowi U.M.O., Nwufo, K., Nwagbara, C., Ukwungwu, J., Emah, I. E., Uya, G. (Eds) Curriculum theory and practice. Published by Curriculum Organization of Nigeria (CON) Omiko, A. (2011), Reforming science and technology curriculum to meet the challenges of the emerging world order. 52 nd Anunual Conference Proceedings of the Science Teachers Association of Nigeria (STAN), Secondary Education Management Board, Umuahia (SEMB, 2008) 126

10 Ughamadu, K. A. (2006), Curriculum Concept, Development and Implementation. Onitsha: Lincel Publisher. Unachukwu, G. C. (1990), Methodology of Instruction. Owerri: Totan Publisher. Ukeje, B. O. (1991), Financing education in Nigeria In Ohuche, R. O. (ed), Moving education in Nigeria towards the year

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