A CASE STUDY OF SOME SELECTED GOVERNMENT SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN AGUATA LOCAL FACTORS AFFECTING THE EFFICIENT MANAGEMENT OF STUDENT ACADEMIC RECORDS
Management of students’ records is critical for all secondary schools because they rely on their information for future decision-making and secondary school growth; however, in Nigerian secondary schools today, it appears that little or no attention is paid to students’ record management, particularly in the registry, which is the bedrock of students’ records.
This study looked at the factors that influence efficient student record management among record management personnel at Holy Secondary School. For the study, a survey design was used. The population consisted of all the registry staff at Holy Secondary School, with a total of 102 staff serving as the study’s sample.
To collect data, a self-structured questionnaire titled (FAEMSR) with the Likert four point scale in order of strongly Agree = 4, Agree = 3, disagree = 2, strongly Disagree = 1, and two point scales of yes or No and Attended or Not Attended were used; all staff participated in the study, and the study was analyzed using descriptive statistics.
The findings confirmed that the registry has a small number of employees with records management qualifications or who have taken related courses. It also demonstrates negative factors associated with efficient management of students’ records in
Holy secondary school, such as: negative attitude of staff, poorly implemented record management system, insecurity of records, use of paper convention, lack of training, manual operation, insufficient computer terminal and resources to ineffective retrieving, retention, and disposition schedule, and lack of policy and filing procedure manual.
The study concluded that a major factor impeding efficient management of students’ records is the fact that a large number of personnel in the registry lack the necessary qualifications in records management to work in the registry. As a result, the study recommended that all registry staff have basic qualifications in records management or related fields, and that regular training be conducted on a semester basis for all department personnel.
1.1 STUDY BACKGROUND
Records are evidences of business transactions between two people or groups of people. Records are “assets” because a single mishandled copy can destroy both an individual and an organization (Oyebo, 2016). According to Read and Ginn (2011), records are “stored information made or received by an organization that is evidence of its operations and has value requiring its retention for a specific period of time.” The records of students are critical in achieving secondary school goals and objectives. The importance of records management in educational institutions cannot be overstated. It is difficult to progress without records.
According to the Government Records Service (2011), records are valuable assets of organizations. Good records management not only protects records but also improves the operational efficiency of organizations. Record management, particularly in secondary school settings, brings to light the school’s longevity; in that the school’s continuity is solely dependent on the availability of useful records and past activities. Due to the volume of available information in secondary school, it is also impossible to keep every piece of information in the brain, so records must be kept.
The importance of record keeping/management predates the existence of man. For example, in the holy books Genesis 1 and 2, God kept a chronological and historical record of all his work during creation, from the first day when he created heaven and earth to the seventh day when he rested from his works that he created. Secondary schools, in the same vein, keep chronological records that keep the institution alive in terms of academic record.
According to Fadokun (2004) and Tower (2004), adequate security, storage facilities, and funds are required for good record management. Then, according to Nwaomah (2015), academic/educational records refer to information or data relating to students in
both paper and electronic formats that provides evidence of and information about the actions or events that occurred in educational institutions such as a secondary school. These events are created through various processes such as admission, matriculation, examination, and convocation, to name a few. The secondary school’s future will be jeopardized if these records are not properly managed.
According to Research Clue (2014), record management is the practice of maintaining an organization’s records from the time they are created until they are eventually disposed of: this may include classifying, storing, securing, and destroying (or, in some cases, archival preparation) of records. Records management is primarily concerned with the preservation of evidence of an organization’s activity and is typically applied based on the value of the records rather than their physical format.
According to Omoha (2013), the purpose of record management is to ensure that accurate and proper records of students’ achievement and growth, information on school activities, and matters that will promote the efficiency and effectiveness of the school system, among other things, are kept.
A proper records management program coordinates and protects the records of institutions, sharpens the effectiveness of records as a management memory that controls the times, equipment, and space allotted to records, and aids in the simplification of intra-organizational and communication problems. Secondary school record management, like that of any other organization, is a cyclical process involving registry staff.
According to Nwaomah (2015), who cited Popoola (2000), Atulomah (2011), and (JISC IfoNet, 2007), information and records management are fundamental to business activity. Management’s planning and decision-making processes can be hampered by a lack of information. This is especially true for secondary school records management in terms of student records.
In general, the creation and maintenance of records pertaining to an institution’s students is critical to managing the relationship between the institution and the student; providing support and other services and facilities to the students; controlling the students’ academic progress and measuring their achievement, both at the institution and later; and providing support to the students after they leave the institution.
With this development, one might wonder how important student records management is to the secondary school and its community. According to Ifedili and Agbaire (2011),
Educational researchers find educational/academic records useful for their research in order to contribute to knowledge.
Educational regulatory bodies rely heavily on education/academic records to assess an institution’s governance status and academic quality. As well as school administrators who rely on records to evaluate and reward students’ performance.
Furthermore, Anho (2006), citing Anderson and Dyke (1992) and Olagboye (2004), states that the importance of student records includes:
Data collection for planning and decision-making by school principals, the Ministry of Education, and other relevant authorities;
Facilitation of school administration continuity, research activities that promote efficiency and effectiveness; and
Ensuring that accurate and proper records of a student’s achievement and growth during his/her school days are kept and reported to parents/guardians, employers, and other institutions for admission or job placement.
As stated by Blink (2015), record management plays a strategic role in the efficient and effective management of secondary school systems. The goals of record management include ensuring that administrative records are appropriately managed, preserved, secured, and retrievable as needed.
It is critical that registry staff who are tasked with keeping track of students’ records become familiar with the legal and ethical requirements for record keeping in their specific professional context and jurisdiction. In general, record management must adhere to some level of confidentiality, proper maintenance, security, and preservation of the content and context, among other considerations (Uwaifo, 2004, Akporhonor and Iwhiwhu, 2007).
Regardless of the important role that records management plays, researchers agree that many organizations pay little attention to record management and handle recorded information carelessly, not realizing that records are a major resource when compared to finance, people, money, and equipment (Mnjama, 2004; Ngulube, 2004; Chinyemba & Ngulube, 2005; Egwunyenga, 2009 &Walala, 2010).
According to Fabunmi and Isah (n.d.), it has become a recurring issue for records to be irretrievable when required, particularly in Nigerian tertiary institutions (2015). More of these factors include: a lack of skilled and experienced record management personnel, a low priority of record management in the scheme of things, a lack of a record manual and filing guidelines, which results in the loss of vital information, and insufficient computer terminals.
/internet, difficulties in retrieving records, and poor policy formulation Other issues include inaccurate, unavailable/incomplete, and dishonest records, a negative attitude among staff toward record keeping, insufficient resources, a lack of record retention and deposition, a lack of cohesive continuity in secondary school affairs, and misplaced records.
1.2 PROBLEM STATEMENT
Management of student records is regarded as critical in secondary schools because it allows for the storage/preservation and retrieval of vital information required for secondary school growth. However, it appears that in Nigerian secondary schools today, little or no attention is paid to record management, particularly the registry, which houses the life histories of students’ records (admission, matriculation, registration, examination, and graduation, among others).
Instead, a number of setbacks are documented, including inadequate record security, insufficient resources, incompetent trained personnel, hiring and placing people based on who they know, the use of a manual system for recording and storing information, and a negative attitude among staff toward record keeping.
Without a doubt, students’ records are in jeopardy, and thus the purpose of this paper is to identify the factors influencing efficient management of students’ records among record management personnel (case study of Holy secondary school)
1.3 THE STUDY’S OBJECTIVE
The study’s overarching goal is to identify the factors influencing efficient management of students’ records among record management personnel at Holy Secondary School in Aguata LGA, Nigeria. The following are the study’s specific objectives:
To determine whether student records are effectively managed in terms of time, efficiency, and upkeep.
to determine the effectiveness of the personnel in the Holy Secondary School registry
To identify the issues that have arisen during the process of having an efficient management of students’ records in the Holy Secondary School Registry.
To propose solutions for improving student record management at Holy Secondary School.
To identify the records management programs that registry staff are exposed to in order to improve the effective management of student records.
1.4 QUESTIONS FOR RESEARCH
The following questions are raised in light of the foregoing indications.
Is the Holy Secondary School Registry effectively managing students’ records in terms of time, efficiency, and upkeep?
How effective is the Holy Secondary School Registry staff at managing students’ records?
What are the issues with efficient student record management in Holy Secondary School Registry?
What methods/options are available to improve student record management in the Holy Secondary School Registry?
What records management programs are the registry staff exposed to in order to improve the effective management of students’ records?
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