ROLE OF HEADTEACHERS IN MOBILIZING COMMUNITY SUPPORT FOR QUALITY PRIMARY PUPILS’ ACHIEVEMENT IN PANKSHIN L.G.A OF PLATEAU STATE
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The school as a social organization is structured towards the training and development of human resources in the society. For any organization to effectively achieve its aims and objectives there must be a leader, under whose leadership, the school activities will be directed towards goal achievement. The educational leader at the primary school system in Nigeria is the headteacher who is in charge of all the school activities. Ozigi in Udabor O.F. 2010 recommended that the Headteacher can be called by a variety of titles; leader of the school, Headteacher, Principal, School Father/Mother, Adviser, Chief Administrative Executive, Public Relations-Officer, curriculum director, policy maker, organizer, Communicator, School Authority Educator, Projectionist, Philosopher, Provost.
The importance of headteachers in improving quality education and producing useful citizenry through the acquisition of appropriate skills, abilities and competences cannot be over emphasized. Headteachers assume role of supervisors, chief accounting officers, liaison officers, judges and mail runners of their schools. Primary school heads also possess adequate knowledge and skills for effective coordination of the activities of their establishments to discipline and influence goals, policies as well as programmes and strategies for procuring and managing available resources needed to achieve the goals of the school. Headteachers as the key administrators of their schools have to use different leadership styles in order to partner with the community in managing their schools.
There are different leadership style in managing the schools. Tolutope in Oyetunde, Aliyu, Haggai, & Musa (2010), identified major types of leadership styles which are, autocratic, democratic, transactional and liaissez-faire. By using these various styles of leadership, headteachers will enhance cordial relationship between their school and community and this will encourage community participation in the school activities hence lead to general development of the school. Henderson, Mapp, Johnson and Davies (2007), noted that the more the relationship between families and the school, the greater the student’s achievement. Where schools engage families in ways that are linked to improve students learning, students (pupils) make greater gains. When families are engaged in positive ways rather than labeled as problems, schools can be transformed from place where only certain students prosper to one where all children do well. Wekesa (1993), however noted that, if students are to get quality education in their schools the management of the schools need to be improved under the leadership of their headteachers.
The headteacher is seen as one who mobilizes and coordinates all the school stakeholders and resources towards the achievement of school goals. The headteachers also collaborates with the community to participate in various activities of the school, through involvement of parents from all backgrounds. The school provides information to parents on its reforms, policies and goals. The school invites parents to discuss concerns about their children and provide regular opportunities for them to inform the school authorities about events at home or in the community. Similarly, Oyetunji (2006), agreed that parents are very important partners in the management of schools. He further noted that the headteachers should be the individuals to initiate and facilitate parental involvement in schools. The headteachers initiate projects such as building of new structures, renovation and general maintenance of the school facilities through P.T.A. Federal Republic of Nigeria (N.P.E 2009), that there should be close participation and involvement of the communities in the administration and management of their schools. Involvement of communities by Headteachers in managing schools promotes quality pupil’s achievement.
However, headteachers as any other leaders in a formal organization are confronted with numerous challenges which hinder the school from achieving quality education. These challenges have therefore led to a gradual decline in the quality of primary school pupil’s achievement in Nigeria. Obi (2003), said that, it is now about three decades that there has been a steady decline in the level of academic performance of school children as reflected in their poor performance in public examinations. Some of these problems are due to acute shortage of qualified teachers, neglect of the sector by successive governments (both military and civilian) which manifest in inadequate funding, poor remuneration of teachers, lack of infrastructures and inadequacy of teaching materials. Saraki (2008) agitated for a state of emergency in the education sector because of his concern about the steady decline in the quality of education in the country. His reasons range from poor teaching facilities to the condition of teachers in the country. Dukku (2008), also identified acute shortage of qualified teachers, who are poorly motivated, ill equipped, unskilled and have poor welfare among other reasons being responsible for the decline in the standard of education in Nigeria. Amadi cited in Gyang (2009), stated that the irregular payment of salaries is one of the major problems facing the teaching profession in Nigeria. Lack of payment of salaries and other fringe benefits demoralize teachers. Headteachers should therefore mobilize the community to support schools because of the numerous challenges schools are faced with in order to achieve quality education.
In addition, not all headteachers in Nigerian primary schools are performing their roles satisfactorily, this may either be as a result of incompetence, poor training, lack of knowledge of educational administration or even failure to adhere to the defined roles of leadership. Nwankwo (1982) opined that, a poor administrative leader may render ineffective services even where there are best school programmes, adequate resources and highly motivated staff, good students and well coordinated community. This situation may result in poor communication network, inability to manage conflict, non-challant attitude to work, rigid decision making and lack of implementation by school heads thereby causing imbalance in achieving quality education in the school system. Others include poor accountability and transparency, poor interpersonal relationship between headteachers and their subordinates, with staff, students and the community. These problems will as well result in poor community mobilization, by school heads which will in turn lead to poor pupil’s achievement in primary schools.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Evidence from the introduction has revealed that headteachers are confronted with numerous problems while carrying out their role of mobilizing community support for quality pupil’s achievement, which has led to gradual decline in quality education in Nigeria. The statement of the problem therefore, is to look into roles that headteachers can play in mobilizing community support for quality pupils’ achievement in primary schools.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The research work is set to investigate into the role of headteachers in mobilizing community support for quality primary pupils’ achievement in Pankshin L.G.A.
Specifically the study aims at achieving the following objectives:
i. To identify the relationship between school and community.
ii. To identify leadership styles used by headteachers in community mobilization for quality achievement of pupils’ in the primary schools.
iii. To identify the role of community for effective quality achievement of pupils’ in primary schools.
iv. To identify the roles of headteachers in community mobilization for quality pupils’ achievement.
v. To identify the factors or challenges hindering headteachers in performing their role as community mobilizers to achieve quality education in the primary school.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
i. What is the relationship between school and community?
ii. To what extent does the leadership style of headteachers aid in community mobilization for quality primary pupils’ achievement?
iii. To what extent does community play its role in effective quality pupils’ achievement in the primary schools?
iv. To what extent do headteachers play their role as community mobilizers for quality primary pupils’ achievement?
v. To what extent are headteachers hindered from performing their roles as community mobilizers for quality primary pupils’ achievement?
Ho1: There is no significant relationship between the role of headteachers and community in quality primary pupil’s achievement.
Ha1: There is a significant relationship between the role of headteachers and community in quality primary pupil’s achievement.
Ho2: There is no significant relationship between the role of headteachers and their leadership style in mobilizing community support for pupils’ achievement.
Ha2: There is a significant relationship between the role of headteachers and their leadership style in mobilizing community support for pupils’ achievement.
1.6 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
This work will be based on situational theory of Fieldler, Vroom & Vettem (1967). This theory focus on many conditions that affect leadership. According to them, leadership is not a product of only one variable operating within the system. These could be the leader, the tasks and the role incumbent.
Among the proponents of this situational theory is Fieldler, who stated that leadership is determined by the quality of relationship between the leader and the followers and also the degree to which the task structure and position power of the leader relates. In essence, decision making context is much determined by situational variables.
They also proposed that situational analysis involves asking relevant questions by the leader about the nature of problems and whether or not to solve the problems alone or to involve the participation of other members. They came out with five leadership styles cluttered into three pillars.
a. Autocratic: Making decision alone and using whatever information available.
b. Consultative: Sharing problems with relevant members of the group on one to one basis to get their ideas and suggestions before presenting the ideas at a forum for final decision making.
c. Group: Leader acts as a chairman at a meeting of the group shares the problem with members to reach consensus on group decision and express opinion but not try to sell a particular view or manipulate the group.
The theory indicates that, under one set of circumstance, one type of leadership is effective, and under another set of circumstance, however a different type of leadership is needed. The believe is that different leadership skills and traits are required in different situations in order to be successful as a leader and that no single type of personality or trait can be related or associated with success in leadership.
The reason of adopting this leadership theory in this study is because it is concerned about the relationship between the leader and the followers and also the degree to which the task structure and position power of the leader relates. In a school system, it is the leadership role of the headteacher that will determine the relationship between the school and the community. The way the headteacher relates with the community and how initiative he is in carrying out projects that will have positive bearing to the school will encourage the community to partner with the school to achieve quality education.
1.7 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study will be useful to the following school members, headteachers/principals, community members and school supervisors. It will be useful to headteachers since it will help them to identify factors that hinder them in performing their role as community mobilizers and how it affects quality school achievement. It will also help them to identify leadership qualities and role desirable for effective community mobilization in order to achieve quality education in primary schools.
The study will also help community members understand that they need to identify with the school in their community in order to support it. Furthermore, the study will help school supervisors to understand the problems faced by headteachers and how they can help the headteachers perform their role as mobilizers of their communities to achieve quality primary pupils’ performance
The study is limited to the role of the headteachers in community mobilization for quality primary school achievement only and not any other roles of headteachers.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Role: The ability to perform function, tasks or duties. It could also mean responsibilities given to an individual to carryout.
Headteacher: A leader of primary school, he is also the chief accounting officer of the school.
Mobilization: The ability to work together in order to achieve particular objectives. It is also the ability to partner with another person for support.
Quality: The standard of education in a school as compare to other schools in a different community or country.
Achievement: Producing successful results in a school(s) or the ability to attain the desired objectives.
Primary School: An institution where learning takes place for children between ages 6-11 and above.
Leadership: Is a process involving two or more people in which one attempts to influence the others, behaviour towards goal achievementROLE OF HEADTEACHERS IN MOBILIZING COMMUNITY SUPPORT FOR QUALITY PRIMARY PUPILS’ ACHIEVEMENT IN PANKSHIN L.G.A OF PLATEAU STATE