AFFECTS ON THE EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT OF STUDENT ACADEMIC RECORDS
Record keeping is critical in any organizational setting and cannot be overstated. This is due to the fact that continuity is dependent on the availability of useful records of previous activities. Because the volume of information in a complex organization like the university is too large to keep every piece of information in the brain, records must be kept.
The practice of keeping records predates the existence of man. In Genesis 1 and 2, for example, God kept a chronological record of all his world creations, from the first day when he created the heavens and the earth to the seventh day when he rested from all his works that he had made.
According to Nigerian education law, every educational institution is required to keep certain school records such as a log book, admission register, visitors book, inventory book, account book, and so on. Record keeping is frequently organized around a life cycle that all records should follow, viz. creation, storage, retrieval (for use as needed), retention, and disposition, which includes the protection of all vital documents (records).
The International Organization for Standardization defines record as “information created, received, and maintained as evidence and information by an organization or person in pursuance of a legal obligation or in the transaction of business.”
Mbiti (1978) defines school records as “all the books, files, or other documents containing information about what happens in that school, who is in the school, and what type of property the school owns.”
A record, according to the Fund and Wagnalls Standard Desk Dictionary (2000), is a written or other permanent account that serves as a memorial or authentic evidence of facts or events. It is thought to be information that has been passed down or preserved.
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 categorizing, storing, securing, and destroying (or, in some cases, archival preservation) of records. Record management is primarily concerned with the documentation of an organization’s activities and is typically applied based on the value of the records rather than their physical format.
In the past, record management was sometimes used to refer to the management of records that were no longer in daily use but still needed to be kept (semi-current or inactive records), which were frequently stored in basements or offsite. More recent usage refers to the entire life cycle of records, beginning with their creation and ending with their disposal.
An academic record, also known as an academic transcript, is an official record of all academic results. It includes a complete listing of all courses, credit points earned for courses, and grade point average (G.P.A), if applicable, as well as a complete status if you have already graduated from your course. Additional information is provided to assist you in comprehending your academic record.
Every student who has ever enrolled at the university will have their achievements recorded in the university database; the official record of these achievements is known as an academic record or academic transcript; this record details your entire academic history with the university.
Record keeping plays an important role in the efficient and effective management of the university system. In fact, it is critical in the administration of educational institutions because it documents the planning and implementation of appropriate courses of services, allowing for work monitoring. Paper is still regarded as the material for records in administrative documentations in traditional paper-based organizations such as universities (Igwoku 2008).
The approach is for records created in the course of the universities’ day-to-day business to be saved and kept in hard copies as evidence of an action, decision, or process. However, the process of record keeping provides a framework for keeping, maintaining, and disposing of records and the information contained in them.
They are thus intended to benefit all members of staff by facilitating service continuity and evaluation while also protecting privacy. This framework is supported by guidelines intended to educate people about professional record keeping decisions. For example, the American Psychological Association (APA 2007) contains the â€oeethical principles of psychologist and code of conductâ€ that are generally required for the maintenance of appropriate psychological service records.
The nature and extent of the record in Nigeria, as in America, will vary depending on the purpose, setting, and context of the services. However, regardless of the record, it is critical that the staff become acquainted with the legal and ethical requirements for record keeping in their specific professional context and jurisdiction. In general, record keeping must be guided by some level of confidentiality, proper maintenance security, content and context preservation, and so on (Uwaifo 2004, Akporhonor and Iwhiwhu 2007).
Unfortunately, the Nigerian situation in record keeping and management, particularly in the university system, has not been very successful due to a lack of management components (Omeyi, 1997).
Ibiam (2004), writing in support of the preceding finding, noted that many years of neglect had done great harm to the education sector, and record keeping was no exception.
In his opinion, personnel (secretaries and filling clerks) who maintain the registry system with filling cabinets containing paper evidence of university business are inadequate and, in fact, ignorant of their responsibilities (Iginodala, 1998). This raises concerns about the dependability and authenticity of records kept in such a system.
According to Afolabi (1999), record management practice in Nigeria has a number of issues, including a lack of skilled and experienced record management personnel and, possibly, a low priority of record management in the scheme of things. Awe (2000) examined the problem of record keeping from the perspectives of these bodies: government, university administration, staff, and students.
He accused these organizations of being responsible for records that were unavailable, inaccurate/incomplete, and dishonest. And, according to (Ututlu 2001), these have a negative impact on the planning and provision of structures and facilities, adequate finding, proper policy formulation, and policy review. Other problems with record keeping identified in the Nigerian educational system include a lack of a record manual and filing guidelines, which leads to the loss of vital information (Egwunyenga 2005) and insufficient computer terminals (Oketunji, 20020).
Others include difficulties in retrieving records and a lack of appreciation by management and staff for the importance of well-controlled records (Egunleti 2001). As a result of the foregoing, there has been a high-profile failure in accountability.
The management of these issues would imply the development of efficient and effective options within and between universities, which would necessitate immediate attention. According to Ogundele (2001), there is a critical need for staff training.
Full implementation and maintenance of computer and internet services, as well as record management integration (Baje 1998; Fadokun 2004), are generally recommended for good record keeping (Tower 20040). It is hoped that if these options are implemented in the university system, most, if not all, of the issues associated with record keeping will be addressed.
Record keeping is critical in any organization because it aids in the storage/preservation and retrieval of vital information required for future purposes. Unfortunately, record keeping is not given much weight in Nigerian universities today. As a result, there is a scarcity of useful information required for the growth and expansion of these institutions.
Inadequately trained staff who are incompetent to be in charge of record keeping, the use of manual systems rather than computerized methods for storing vital information, the negative attitude of staff towards record keeping, improper security of records, a lack of record keeping policy, insufficient resources, and a lack of record retention and deposition schedules are all problems in Nigerian universities.
Without a doubt, keeping accurate records is critical to avoiding disconnects and ensuring cohesive continuity in the affairs of any organization, including Nigerian universities.
2.3 QUESTION FOR RESEARCH
For this study, the following research questions were proposed:
Does the workload of staff in charge of record keeping have an impact on the efficient management of students’ academic records at the University of Benin?
Does the level of qualification of those in charge of keeping records have an impact on the proper management of students’ academic records at the University of Benin?
Is it true that the experience of personnel in charge of students’ academic records has an impact on the efficient management of students’ academic records at the University of Benin?
Does the attitude of record-keeping staff toward continuous updating of methods of collecting and storing records have an impact on the proper management of students’ academic records at the University of Benin?
Does the use of computerized record-keeping methods have an impact on the efficient management of students’ academic records at the University of Benin?
Does proper entry of students’ academic results have an impact on the efficient management of students’ academic records at the University of Benin?
Does the efficient management of students’ academic records at the University of Benin depend on a proper proofreading and grading system?
Does the massive task of record keeping have an impact on the proper management of students’ academic records?
1.4 HYPOTHESES RESEARCH The study will be guided by the following null hypothesis:
In the University of Benin, there is no significant relationship between the workload of staff in charge of record keeping and the efficient management of students’ academic records.
In the University of Benin, there is no significant relationship between the level of qualification of personnel in charge of keeping records and the efficient management of students’ academic records.
In the University of Benin, there is no significant relationship between the experience of personnel in charge of students’ academic records and the efficient management of students’ academic records.
There is no significant relationship in the University of Benin between the attitude of staff in charge of record keeping toward continuous updating of methods for collecting and storing records and the efficient management of students’ academic records.
In the University of Benin, there is no significant relationship between the use of computerized record-keeping methods and the efficient management of students’ academic records.
In the University of Benin, there is no significant relationship between adequate entry of students’ academic results and proper management of students’ academic records.
In the University of Benin, there is no significant relationship between correct proofreading and grading systems and efficient management of students’ academic records.
In the University of Benin, there is no significant relationship between the enormous task of keeping records and the efficient management of students’ academic records.