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1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
The school administrator has the responsibility of seeing to the smooth running of a school. The extent to which he succeeds in carrying out this responsibility depends on a number of factors and one of them has to do with the records that he is expected to keep. These records give a lot of information about the school that will enable him to take decisions and also assess the progress of the school. National policy on education requires that some of the records should be kept appropriately.
FRN (2004) Different people such as the headmaster, the class teacher, and the local government education authority keep different records about the school. School records are official documents, books and files containing essential and crucial information on actions and events which are kept and preserved in the school offices for utilization and retrieval of information when needed (Durosaro, 2002). Such records are kept by principals, teachers, counsellors are administrative staff. Some of the major school records include; students’ personal files, staff record book, the log book, visitors book and inventories book, among others. The purpose of record keeping and management is to ensure that accurate and proper records of students’ achievement and growth, information on school activities and matters that will promote efficiency and effectiveness of the school system are kept, among others.
According to Durosaro (2002), records are important tools for effective planning and administration of a school. School records occupy strategic position in the effective and efficient organization and administration of the school. It helps for effective planning and implementation of appropriate course of actions, thereby introducing proper monitoring of school activities tasks. Records are important because they serve as major information tool that sustain the school and aid in achieving educational goals and objectives.
Records engender teaching competence and maintain the trend in the history of teaching and learning processes. Egwunyenga (2009) observed that not all information can be considered as records until they satisfy such characteristics as genuinety and authenticity, that is, the information that records give must be true, correct and original; records must be comprehensive, accessible and secured. School records are grouped into statutory and non-statutory.
Statutory records are those prescribed by education law and so must be owned by every school and should be produced on demand by constituted authorities. Examples of statutory records include: admission/withdrawal register, attendance register, scheme of work, time-table, school diary, log book, finance record books, continuous assessments records, etc. Non-statutory records are of private use to schools that find them useful. These include: cash book, stock book, punishment book, school calendar, inventory book, staff minutes book, school magazine, inspection/supervision report file, confidential report forms and requisition book.
All the above records are commonly keep in schools presently. Records management is the application of systematic and scientific control of recorded information that is required for the operation of the school (Bosah, 2007). Such control is exercised over the distribution, utilization, retention, storage, retrieval, protection, preservation and final disposition of all types of records within the school.
The aim of records management is to achieve the best storage, retrieval and exploitation of school records in the school system and also to improve the efficiency of record making and keeping processes. A school head must have accurate information to help him/her assess meaningfully the progress of the school. All school records are very useful, school records must be complete and be made available when the need arises. Records, which are not regularly kept, will be incomplete and misleading, badly kept records can hinder the progress of the school. The school leader must see that school records are devoid of exaggerated reports or untrue statements.
According to Idoko (2005), school records management can only be properly maintained if the school administrators employ desirable strategies for improving school records management. These strategies could be; to place priority on the supply of necessary school records, funds ear-marked for records management should be retired accordingly, opportunity for professional training by staff through in-service professional training course should given to school administrators, timely supply of school records, among others.
Records management helps to control the quality and quantity of information that is created in a manner that effectively serves the need of the school (Akabue, 2001). School record management according to Fasasi (2004), is meant to enhance the performance of secondary school administrators. Adequate records management programme co-ordinates and protects 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 schools, like in any other organization, is a cyclic process involving the principals, teachers, students, messengers, cleaners and other categories of staff. The bulk of records are handled by principals which are most often kept manually thus the processing, retrieval and utilization of records are not easy. Iwhiwhu (2005) stresses the poor quality and quantity of manpower in records management in the school system. He emphasized that manpower is employed without prejudice to qualitative records management.
Information and data generated from an effective and efficient records management programme aids the school to plan and make useful decisions, preserve facts and figures for future references, thereby enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of the organization and administration of the school. The adequate provision of quality manpower, funds and equipment would ensure optimum management of school records; however, inadequate or non-availability of these resources would bring about problems and challenges in the efficient and effective management of records.
Asogwa (2004) asserts that records and data generated in the course of execution of legitimate function of an organization or school should be kept and managed properly. However, despite the overwhelming importance of school records, it has been observed that they are poorly kept. Since all schools are expected to keep records for effective and efficient achievement of educational goals and objectives, it becomes pertinent to examine the impact of records management on pupils’ enrollment, retention and completion of studies in government primary schools in Gwagwalada area council, Abuja.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Despite the importance of school records in the achievement of educational objectives, these records do not seem to be adequately managed by principals. From observation, reliable records are not properly managed. This suggests that records management practice in Nigeria has a number of problems which may include insufficient skilled and experienced record management personnel and possibly low priority attention to records management in the scheme of things. This low priority attention to records management often manifest on the area of missing files and records, falsification of records (change of declaration of age), missing school plan and destruction of records to cover up something. Despite the core value of effective record keeping in school system, many secondary schools in Gwagwalada area council still leave much to be desired in terms of effective records management. Many principals have complained of falsification of data among staff, and several times, supervisors from state ministry of education and local government education authority have also recorded high falsification of school data by school heads and teachers. It has been observed that principals most often do not provide accurate number of students on enrolment during P.T.A levy account, among others. Finally, several researches has been carried out on factors affecting school record management on pupils but not even a single research has been carried out on the impact of school records management on pupils enrollment, retention and completion of studies in government primary schools in Gwagwalada area council, Abuja.
1.3 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
The main aim of the study is to determine the impact of school records management on pupils’ enrollment, retention and completion of studies. Other specific objective of the study includes;
1. to determine the extent to which school records management affects pupils enrollment, retention and completion of studies in government primary schools.
2. to determine the factors affecting school records management and its effects on pupil enrollment, retention and completion o studies in government primary schools.
3. to determine the effect of school records management on pupils enrollment, retention and completion of studies in government primary schools.
4. to proffer possible solutions to the problems.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1 What is the extent to which school records management affects pupils’ enrollment, retention and completion of studies in government primary schools?
2 What are the factors affecting school records management and its effects on pupil enrollment, retention and completion o studies in government primary schools?
3 What is the effect of school records management on pupils’ enrollment, retention and completion of studies in government primary schools?
4 What are the possible solutions to the problems?
1.5 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
H0: School record management has no significant effect on pupils enrollment, retention and completion of studies in government primary schools.
H1: School record management has a significant effect on pupils’ enrollment, retention and completion of studies in government primary schools.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The study on the impact of school records management on pupils enrollment, retention and completion of studies will be of immense benefit to the entire government primary schools in Gwagwalada area council, Abuja in the sense that it will educate the school administrators on the result of this study will help teachers appreciate their important position in school records management. This will therefore motivate them to cooperate with the principals in documentation of reliable data for professional growth and quality delivery in school. Similarly, the findings will serve as an eye-opener to teachers even principals on the necessary school information needed to record for office use. The study will also present with students the importance of effective record keeping in the school management thereby, helping them provide necessary and reliable data/information for accurate school documentation. Finally, the study will contribute to the body of existing literature and knowledge to this field of studies and basis for further research.
1.7 SCOPE OF STUDY
The study on the impact of school records management on pupils’ enrollment, retention and completion of studies in government primary schools is limited to Gwagwalada area council, Abuja.
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- 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 research work.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
ImpactA marked effect or influence.
School Records Management School records contain data and information about various aspects of a school’s operations, including data about its students, teachers, classes, facilities and finances.
Pupil Enrolment: It’s the number of pupils that are registered in the school.
RetentionThe action of absorbing and continuing to hold a substance.
CompletionThe action or process of completing or finishing something.
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