Contributions of Parents-Teachers Association to Secondary School Management in Nigeria: Principals Perceptions

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Contributions of Parents-Teachers’ Association to Secondary School

Management in Nigeria: Principals’ Perceptions

1

Eziuzo, Gloria O. and

2

Enueme, Chika Peace

1

Bishop’s Court, Nnewi. Anambra State, Nigeria.

2

Federal College of Education (T) Asaba,

Delta State, Nigeria.

Correspondence Author: Eziuzo, Gloria O

_______________________________________________________________________________________ Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the contributions of the Parents Teachers Association to the management of secondary schools in Anambra State as perceived by the principals. The study, which covered all the 261 principals in government-owned secondary schools in Anambra state, was based on two research questions and two null hypotheses. The survey design was adopted and a researcher-developed questionnaire was used to collect data. There was no sample rather, the entire 112 male and 149 female principals in the population, participated in the study. The researchers used 25-item questionnaire titled–Parents Teachers Association’s Contributions to the Management of Secondary Schools Questionnaire (PTACMSSQ) to collect data from the principals with the help of three research assistants. Mean scores were used in answering the research questions while the z-test was used in testing all the null hypotheses. The findings of the study revealed that the in the perceptions of male and female principals, PTA contributed to school plant to a little extent, but made great extents of contributions to raising the moral tone of the school. This finding would be of immense benefit to the government, parents and guardians, educational administrators, teachers, students and the society to evolve strategies for improving the contributions of the PTA in secondary education. Based on the findings, it was recommended among other things that the PTA and school principals should make concerted efforts to improve and sustain the contributions of the PTA in raising school’s moral tones.

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Keywords: partnership, parents, teachers, school facilities, moral tone, educational management. _________________________________________________________________________________________ INTRODUCTION

Parents Teachers Association (P.T.A.) is a familiar phrase in the present day secondary school educational system in Nigeria. The PTA is a formal establishment in the school system which is made up of parents whose children are currently registered as students in the school, together with teachers in the school. The aim of the PTA is to enhance the collective participation of parents and teachers in the education of children (Garry, 2007). According to Onderi and Makori (2013), PTAs provide a link through which parents and the rest of community assumes a partnership responsibility and in that way participate in the education of their children. The Federal Republic of Nigeria in its National Policy on Education (FRN, 2004:55) recognised the importance of parents in the school management when it stated that “the local people particularly parents will be encouraged to participate in school management”. Across several countries of the world, the PTA plays several roles in schools (Onderi & Makori, 2013). For instance, in the USA, Lin (2010) reports that PTAs are involving parents in classroom decisions, promoting communication, social events and fundraising, and lobbying the state and national legislation on behalf of the students. In Kenya PTAs are involved in monitoring implementation of school

programmes, monitoring education services and mobilising additional resources (Republic of Kenya, 2005). Also in South Africa and other contexts PTAs have been involved in providing personal hygiene facilities such as wash basins and stands and soap in classrooms and toilet rolls in latrines (UNICEF, 2009; Van Wyk. N (2007). In Ghana, Dunne, Akyeampong and Hamphreys (2007) reported a specific situation where in one school PTAs made an effort to contact parents whose children had missed school for a long time and encouraged them to send their children back to school. In Hong Kong, Chang (1995:4) noted that the PTA:

provides a means for the parents and teachers to work together, a channel to articulate their needs, a forum for the exchange of educational views. an urge for the school to make a parent policy, an opportunity for them to participate in the educational process of their children, a means to pool the parents' strength in supporting the school development, a network for the parents to meet and exchange their views on the education of their children... and many other positive considerations. In general. PTA is recognized as an effective means for the enhancement of parental involvement in the educational process.

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Perhaps it is for this reason that Okendo (2012) regards PTA as one of the community agency in the education system. According to Obi (2003:186), the PTA is expected to contribute to school management in Nigeria in the following ways.

1. To show intimate interest in and concern for activities for the school as to ensure the achievement of high moral standards and academic excellence in cooperation with the Board of Governors or the school Committee as the case may be.

2. To promote effective link between the home and the school.

3. To assist the Board of Governors or the school Committee in ensuring cordial relationship between the school and the community. 4. To give moral and financial support to the

school.

5. The P.T.A. may make representatives to the government authorities in the interest of the welfare and progress of the school, its student or staff, but shall not otherwise directly interfere with day-to-day administration of the school.

Consequently, the P.T.A. is expected to contribute to the management of school plant, fund rasing and raising the moral tone of the school among other things. In the management of school plants, the PTA is expected to contribute to the maintenance of school buildings, equipping of libraries with books, provision of office equipment and stationeries, and provision of other range of schools facilities. The PTA should contribute to raising the moral tone of the school by assisting in checking students’ indiscipline and participating in developing school rules and regulations.

In Nigeria, in the past, Aderomo (1980) noted that the Parents Teachers Association have participated in providing resources and counselling services to school children through the advices they give to their children, ensuring adequate family environment, visiting schools as resource person to counsel children or even liaising with teachers and school counsellors to curb students’ maladaptive behaviour. Obi (2003) stated that the PTA, where they are functional built classroom blocks, provided funds for schools activities, recruited staff for schools, and participated in schools decision-making. These efforts of the PTA members greatly helped in the provision and management of resources in secondary schools.

STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

The current trend in many secondary schools in Anambra State tends to makes one to wonder if the P.T.A. is still making useful contributions to school management. A number of incidents like students going to school as late as 10.am; hanging about in

school uniforms during school hours in obscure places; dilapidated structures in the schools; lack of libraries, well equipped laboratories, adequate classroom blocks and essential amenities (Uzoechina & Obidike, 2007), make it appear that the PTA has not been very useful in the management of school plant and raising the moral tone of the school. Some parents show indifference and disregard to the PTA. They remain weak and poorly linked in the chain, and have not accepted Parents- Teachers Association as an instrument for educational progress. Such parents only pay the P.T.A levy when forced and go on to complain that the school administration extorts money from them. When meetings are conveyed, many teachers and fathers absent themselves, leaving only mothers or their house helps who might have nothing to contribute to the meeting. The extent to which such parents would contribute to school management is doubtful.

OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The main objective of this paper is therefore to ascertain through the opinion of male and female principals in Anambra State secondary schools, the extent to which P.T.A. contributes in the management of secondary schools. Specifically, the paper sought to determine the contributions of the PTA to school plant management and raising the moral tone of the school as perceived by principals. RESEARCH QUESTIONS

The following research questions guided the study: 1. To what extent does the P.T.A. contribute to

school plant management in secondary schools in Anambra State as perceived by male and female principals?

2. To what extent does the P.T.A. contribute to raising the moral tones of secondary schools in Anambra State as perceived by male and female principals?

Null Hypotheses

The following null hypotheses were formulated and guided the study. They were tested at 0.05 level of significance.

1. There is no significant difference between the mean ratings of male and female principals on the extent of P.T.A’s contribution to school plant management. 2. There is no significant difference between

the mean ratings of male and female principals on the extent of P.T.A’s contributions to curriculum management. Research Design

The descriptive survey research design was used in the study. This research design is considered appropriate by the researcher since it deals with studying a group of people by collecting and analyzing data from only a few people regarded to be

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representative of the entire group. Descriptive research design aims at collecting data on, and describing in a systematic manner, the characteristics, features or facts about a given population. This research design is suitable for this study in that the researcher collected data from secondary male and female principals on the contributions of the Parents-Teachers Association in the management of secondary schools in Anambra State.

Population of the Study

Two hundred and sixty-one principals of senior secondary schools constituted the population and sample for this study. Based on data collected from the Anambra State Post Primary School Service Commission at Awka in August, 2013, the population for this study was made up of all the 112 male and 149 female principals of the 261 government-owned senior secondary schools in the state. There was no sampling for the study. Since the population of the study is small, the entire two hundred and sixty-one principals were involved in the study.

Instrument for Data Collection

The researchers used a questionnaire of two parts titled –Parents Teachers Association’s Contributions to the Management of Secondary Schools Questionnaire (PTACMSSQ). Part A contained two items on the personal data of respondents. In this part, the respondent is required to tick in the appropriate box. Part B consists of 25 items separated into 2 clusters. Cluster I had 13 items on school plant management, while Cluster II had 12 items on school moral tone. The items were structured on a 4-point scale weighted as follows: Very Great Extent (4 points), Great Extent (3 points), Little Extent (2 points) and Very little Extent (1 point).

Validation of the Instrument

The validity of the instrument was established by three experts from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka; one in Educational Administration, one in Research and Statistics and the project supervisor. These experts were evaluated the instrument in terms of its content, relevance and construction. They were also requested to evaluate the instrument in respect to the purpose of the study, the research questions and hypotheses. The purpose of the study, research questions, and null hypotheses were given to them as a guide. They made useful suggestions, which the researchers adhered to, in the final construction of the questionnaire.

Reliability of the Instrument

The split half method was used to ascertain the reliability of the questionnaire items. This involved administering the same copies of the questionnaire on

five principals in secondary schools in Anambra State, which were, not included in the final study. The scores obtained from the respondents were split into odd and even numbers of 12 and 13 items respectively. Correlation of the sets of scores for the items using Pearson product moment correlation gave a reliability of 0.85 for the entire items, which the researchers considered satisfactory for the study. Method of Data Collection

Copies of the questionnaire were administered face to face to the respondents by the researcher and three research assistants. The researcher and the assistants visited the schools and administered copies of the questionnaire on the principals in their offices. They retrieved the questionnaire copies after the principals filled them.

Method of Data Analysis

In analyzing the data, which were obtained in the study, mean scores were used in answering the research questions. Based on the 4-point rating scale, the mean of the scale is 2.5. The means scores equal to or above 2.5 were considered satisfactory whereas those below 2.5 were regarded as not being satisfactory. The z-test was used in testing the null hypotheses at the 0.5 level of significance. This involved comparing the mean of male and female principals in all the variables as well as computing the standard deviations.

In table 1, only six items (1, 2,7,8,9 and 11) have mean ratings up to and above 2.50, suggesting that in the perceptions of male and female principals, the PTA contributes in the areas of school plant management listed in these items. The remaining seven items have mean ratings below 2.50. This indicates that the principals did not consider the PTA as contributing in those areas. The table equally had an average mean of 2.35 and 2.31 from the mean ratings of male and female principals respectively. The finding is that in the perceptions of male and female principals, the PTA contributes in school plant management to a little extent.

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Table 1: Opinion of male and female principals on P.T.A contributions to school plant management in secondary schools

S/N ITEMS Mean

The PTA contributes to : Male

principals N=112

Female principals

N=149 Comment

1. Maintenance of school buildings. 3.32 3.65 Great Extent 2. Building of blocks of classrooms and school halls 2.53 2.66 Great Extent 3. Provision of boreholes. 1.26 1.04 Little Extent 4 Sponsorship of seminars and enlightenment

programmes.

1.20 1.48 Little Extent 5 Equipping of Libraries with Books 2.45 2.43 Little Extent 6 Provision of office equipment and stationeries 2.44 2.35 Little Extent 7 Construction of toilets 3.25 3.12 Great extent 8 Provision of sports facilities 3.19 2.58 Great extent 9 Donation of school prizes 3.19 3.00 Great extent 10 Maintenance of toilets 1.03 1.03 Little extent 11 Donation of generating sets 3.00 2.59 Great extent 12 Sustenance of power supply 2.49 2.44 Little extent 13 Provision of school vehicles 1.17 1.65 Little extent Average mean 2.35 2.31 Little extent

Table 2: Opinion of male and female principals on the extent to which the P.T.A. contributes in raising schools’ moral tone

S/N ITEMS Mean

The PTA contributes in: Male

principals N=112

Female principals

N=149 Comment 14. reporting students caught at cyber cafes during

schools to the principal.

2.64 2.53 Great Extent

15 participating in developing school rules and regulations

3.41 3.52 Great Extent

16 reporting teachers that collect illegal levies or request bribery from students.

3.76 3.82 Great Extent

17 Visiting schools to check teacher attendance to classes

2.41 2.43 Little Extent

18 Warning their children against loitering in the streets during school hours.

3.16 3.23 Great extent

19 Controlling examination malpractice 2.42 2.43 Little extent

20 Ensuring that students are always properly dressed.

3.25 3.81 Great extent

21 Accepting punishment of their children in good faith.

2.78 2.83 Great Extent

22 Visiting morning assembly and talking to students on good moral conducts.

1.06 1.04 Little extent

23 Bringing information to the school about students that register for “outside WAEC” in miracle centres.

1.07 1.11 Little extent

24 Honouring staff invitations to discuss their children’s misbehaviours.

3.62 3.93 Great extent

25 Insisting that their children repeat classes upon poor performance

2.56 2.50 Great extent

Average mean 2.67 2.77 Great extent

The analysis from table 2 shows that 8 out of the 12 items obtain mean ratings that exceed 2.50. This shows that the PTA contributes to a great extent in raising school moral tone as far as these items are concerned. The mean ratings of the remaining five items are below 2.50, suggesting that with regard to these items, the contributions of the PTA are little. The table equally has an average mean of 2.67 and 2.77 respectively. The finding is that P.T.A. assists in raising the moral tone of the school to a great extent.

Table 3: Z-test on the mean ratings of male and female principals on the contributions of P.T.A. in school plant management

Gender of respondent No Mean SD Df Cal z Critical z Male principals 112 2.35 1.44 259 0.24 1.96 Female principals 149 2.31 1.24

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From the table, the calculated z-test value of 0.24 is less than the critical value of 1.96 at 0.05 level of significance and 259 degrees of freedom. This leads to the acceptance of the null hypothesis. The researcher therefore concludes that the mean ratings of male and female principals with regard to the extent of PTA contributions to school plant management do not differ significantly.

Table 4: z-test on the extent of PTA’s contributions in raising schools’ moral tone

Gender of respondent

No Mean SD Df Cal z Critical z

Male principals 112 2.67 1.02

259 0.67 1.96 Female principals 149 2.77 1.36

Table 4 has a z-cal of 0.67 which is less than critical z of 1.96 based on 259 degrees of freedom and 0.05 level of significance. This shows that the null hypothesis is not rejected because no significant difference exists between the mean ratings of the male and female principals on the extent of PTA’s contributions to raising schools’ moral tone.

DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS

One of the findings of the study is that the principals considered the PTA as contributing in school plant management in secondary schools to a little extent. In addition, male and female principals did not differ significantly with regards to the extent of the PTA contributions in school plant maintenance. In other words both male and female principals shared similar views on the issue. This indicates that the PTA appear not have contributed much to the provision of bore holes, sponsorship of seminars and enlightenment programmes, equipping of libraries with books, provision of office equipment and stationeries, maintenance of toilets, sustenance of power supply, and provision of school vehicle. In contrast with this finding, Ofougwuka (2005) found out that the PTA contributed in the provision of these school facilities to a great extent. The finding also differs from the Hong Kong and Kenyan situations where Chang (1995) and Onderi & Makori (2013) found that the PTA made significantly high contributions to the management of school plant. This finding might be attributed to the inflation and economic crisis in Nigeria, which might have made it difficult for the PTA to be committed in school plant management as they used to do. It could also be because principals have not done enough to mobilize the PTA towards increased participation in school plant management.

However, the PTA contributes in the construction of toilets provision of sports facilities, donation of school prizes and generating sets, maintenance of school buildings, and building of blocks of classrooms and school halls. This finding agrees with

an earlier finding by Famade (2004) that the PTA provides facilities in schools. In line with this finding, Obi (2003) stated that the PTA, where are functional have built classroom blocks, hostels. However, a look at the areas where the PTA were considered useful by the principals would suggest that although the PTA contributes in the provision of some school plant facilities, their contributions in the maintenance and sustenance of the school plant thus provided is very little. This explains why some secondary schools have buildings that could house higher institutions, but the buildings have deteriorated because of lack of maintenance. In some schools, generating sets provided by the PTA are not functional, because of lack of servicing. All these point to lack of maintenance culture and without maintaining school plant, no matter how good a facility is, the facility will deteriorate over time. This may be partly responsible for the poor state of libraries and near absence of laboratory facilities in secondary schools. Therefore, the PTA could be more useful to schools if they expand their attention to other areas of school plant maintenance.

Finally, it was found in this study that the P.T.A. contributed to raising the moral tone of the school to a moderate extent. No significant difference existed between the mean ratings of male and female principals, indicating that both group of principals considered the PTA to have contributed moderately in raising the moral tone of the school. Specifically, The PTA was considered useful in reporting students caught at cyber cafes during schools to the principal, participating in developing school rules and regulations, reporting teachers that collect illegal levies or request bribery from students, and ensuring that students are always properly dressed. Other areas of their contributions are accepting punishment of their children in good faith, honouring staff invitations to discuss their children’s misbehaviours, and insisting that their children repeat classes upon poor performance. This finding is encouraging because it shows that parents cared about their students’ moral standards and discipline. Ofougwuka (2005) also found out the PTA assists in developing adequate rules and regulations and helps in controlling loitering to a great extent.

However, the responses of male and female principals indicate that the PTA were not useful with regard to visiting schools to check teacher attendance to classes, controlling examination malpractice, visiting morning assembly and talking to students on good moral conducts and bringing information to the school about students that register for “outside WAEC” in miracle centres. This suggests that the PTA neglected these areas, a neglect that would not promote high moral tones for secondary schools. This is because the increase in cases of pornography viewing at cyber cafes, examination malpractice, and

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students’ rush for miracle centres has the potential to endanger national development if left unchecked. Jaiyeoba and Atanda (2004) noted that the problems of students such as examination malpractice require the concerted efforts of the school and the PTA for solutions. Therefore, for the PTA to be contribute less in solving the problems of examination malpractice explains why there is an increase in the prevalence of the problems. Even worse, Famade (2004) observed that parents and teachers also aid students in examination malpractice. Where this could lead in future, no one can tell.

IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS

The findings of this study have some implications for educational management and policy. One of such implications is that the PTA appears to have made little contributions to the provision of bore holes, sponsorship of seminars and enlightenment programmes, equipping of libraries with books, provision of office equipment and stationeries, procurement of land for the school, sustenance of power supply, and provision of school vehicle. This implies that the PTA has not performed quite impressively in school plant management in secondary schools. Therefore, the PTA could be more useful to schools if they expand their attention to these areas of school plant management.

For the PTA to make little contributions to problems of schools visitation and examination malpractice has the implication of increasing the incidences of teacher absence from classes and examination malpractice among students. The PTA could be more useful especially in visiting morning assembly and talking to students on good moral conducts, checking teacher attendance to classes, and reducing their children’s examination malpractice tendencies. CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS From the findings of the study, it was apparent that the PTA contributed to school plant management to a little extent. It was also found that the P.T.A. made moderate contributions in raising the moral tones of the secondary schools. Based on the findings of this study, the following recommendations are made: 1. The State Education Commission and Ministry of

Education in Anambra State should formulate relevant policies to compel school PTAs to be more useful to schools management.

2. The PTA and educational administrators should make concerted efforts to improve and sustain the contributions of the PTA in raising school’s moral tones.

3. Parents cannot delegate their responsibility of guiding their children. Therefore, the PTA should refuse situations where house helps are sent to represent parents in school programmes. Simply, the school authority and officers of the PTA knowing

individual homes and making personal contact with some of the parents would help this situation. 4. Government should implement some important

incentives such as publication of names of school PTAs that demonstrate outstanding contributions to the administration of secondary education, in order to motivate other school PTAs.

5.

6. Principals and teachers should encourage good rapport between them and the PTA. They should make PTA meetings a good avenue through which issues and strategies for effective PTA involvement in secondary education management should be formulated and explored.

7.

LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY

Some limitations, which might affect the wide applicability of the findings, include the following: 1. This study was limited to only the use of

questionnaire. The interview method was not used to further understand how the principals perceived PTA contributions to school management.

2. The study investigated only the contributions of the PTA based on the views of the principals. The views of teachers as members of the PTA were not investigated. In addition the determinants of such contributions and strategies for improving the extent of contributions were not investigated.

REFERENCES

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Dunne, M., Akyeampong, K., & Hamphreys (2007). School processes, local governance and community participation: understanding access. Consortium for research on education, acess, transition and equity. CREATE PATHWAYS to Access. Research Monograph, No. 6. Retrieved on 17th November 2013 from http://www.create,rpc.org/pdf_documents /PT6.pdf

Famade, O.A. (2004). Harnessing the potentials of stakeholders in the development of Nigerian Education System. In Famigbaye, E.O; Babalola, J.B, Fabunmi, M and Ayeni, A. (Eds.). Management of primary and secondary education in Nigeria. (pp 81-92) Ibadan: Codat Publications Limited.

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Federal Republic of Nigeria (2004). National policy on education. Lagos, Nigeria. NERDC press. Garry, J. D. (2007). Parental involvement in education. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Glatter, R., Preedy, M., Riches, C., & Masterton, M. (1988).

Jaiyeoba, A. O, & Atanda, A. I. (2004). Community participation in the provision of facilities in secondary schools in Nigeria. In E.O Famigbaye; J.B Babalola: M. Fabunmi, & A. Ayeni (Eds.). Management of primary and secondary education in Nigeria. Pp 263-270. Ibadan: Codat Publications Limited.

Lin, R. (2010). The role of parent teacher associations. Retrieved on 17th November 2013 from http://www.ehow.co.uk/about66772338role-... html

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Ofougwuka, A. (2005). Appraisal of the roles of PTA in primary school administration in Onitsha Zone. Unpublished M. Ed Thesis UNIZIK Awka.

Okendu J (2012). The role of school boards, schools heads and parents teacher association in effective management of public schools. Journal of education and practice (Online) 3(8)2012

Onderi, M. (2012) Differential perceptions, challenges, conflicts and tensions in the role of Board of Governors (BOG) and Parent-Teachers Association (PTA) in Sub-Saharan Africa: A case of Kenyan Secondary Schools. Educational Research. 3 (1) January 2012.

Onderi1, H. & Makori, A. (2013).Training needs of BoG and PTA on school leadership and management in Kenya’s secondary education: A study of a district in the Kisii County of Kenya. Global Advanced Research Journal of Social Science 2(3) 064-077 Republic of Kenya (2005). Kenya: Ministry of education: Education sector support programme 2005-2010: Delivery quality education and training to all Kenyans. Retrieved on 17th November 2013 from [http://www.planipolis.iiep.unesco.org/ upload/kenya/kenya%20KESS

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