1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Educational Management in secondary schools involves the application of management principles in designing, developing and effecting resources towards achievement of educational goals. Today, the demand for effective management of schools is rapidly taking centre stage more than ever the world over (Okumbe, 1999). This effectiveness is judged by the extent to which schools acquire the necessary instructional materials and teachers, and how they provide a congenial organizational climate and generally meet the expectations of the society within which they are established (Okumbe, 1999). It is in our schools that education takes place and it is there that the success or failure of the national educational objectives will be determined (Orora, 1997). To achieve this objective, school executives are expected to apply appropriate management skills. The head teacher of any secondary school has a crucial obligation in discharging management duties in the school. Therefore, the overall management of schools rests with the head teacher working with and through the teachers to maximize their capabilities in the profession and achieve the desired educational goals.
School inspection is a vital service in all schools, which can be used to ensure improvement of academic achievement in schools. The impact of the school inspection however, depends on how it is done, and whether the recommendations by school inspectors are used as a tool to impel improvement of school performance. If observation during school inspection is not effectively communicated to all stakeholders and if feedback and follow up is lacking and there is no implementation of inspectors’ recommendations then school inspection will be a waste of time and resources.
School supervision is a continuous process of providing guidance and support to teachers in order to improve the provision of education. In Nigeria supervision in secondary schools is conducted by heads of schools, deputy heads of schools, academic coordinators and heads of departments. In secondary schools, school inspection is provided by the zonal inspectorate office. (Ministry of Education, 1978).
Inspection and supervision are sometimes used interchangeably; however they have slightly different interpretations. According to Colin (2001), inspection involves observing work in schools, collecting evidence from a variety of other sources and reporting judgment. For him, inspection therefore involves making judgment about the significance and worth of what is observed, collected and reported.
However, Aiyepeku (1987) argues that inspection, is not so much on judging teachers but on assessing teaching and identifying educational problems with teachers in order to help them to find solutions to the problems.
Supervision may also be described as the exercise of general superintendence over the activities of functionaries in an establishment. This involves a system of mobilizing staff through the provision of guidance, advice, encouragement and motivation, in the discharge of their duties (Whawo, 1995; Institute of Education University of Ibadan, 1981). Supervision involves an in-house helping relationship in which the supervisor constantly and continuously guides and assists the teachers to meet set targets while school inspection involves a cooperative relationship whereby the school inspector comes into the school from outside to check and ensure that set targets are being met by both teachers and in-house supervisors (Olagboye
2004). The schools of thought on supervision and inspection by Aiyepeku (1987), (Whawo 1995) and Olagboye (2004) show that both activities focus on the schools areas of weaknesses and provide solutions or recommend on possible remedies to the weaknesses.
Both school inspection and school supervision identify the shortcomings in the school setting and either passes judgement or provides remedial guidance and support to stakeholders. All stakeholders (school authorities, parents, students, school supervisors and school inspectors) support quality education. School inspectors and school supervisors work towards reducing the shortcomings in the school setting. Where the shortcomings are kept to a minimum, academic achievement and performance will be enhanced.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Education is a sound investment that is expected to enhance economic growth of individuals and the society. It is a known fact that education is a strong factor of social mobility which implies that education has the ability to influence a person’s future economic status in the society.
Disappointingly, this all important sector is faced with myriad of problems. Prominent among the problem area that brings to light the poor show of the sector is the abysmal outing of students in SSCE. The woeful performance in WAEC and NECO has been a source of worry to Parents and other stakeholders in the
Sector considering the resources Parents and Government invest in educating the learners without any commensurate performance to match the vast investment. Ogun state shares in this predicament of the education sector in spite of the financial involvement of State Government in the Sector. There is a growing concern of the society about the realization of secondary education objectives due to doubt that there have been steady decline in teachers’ instructional task performance and students’ academic performance which depicts non-realization of quality assurance in secondary schools (Adeniji,2002).
Based on the roles and expectations of the society on the importance of school inspection and its impact on academic achievement, the government of Nigeria spends some of taxpayers’ money to support school inspection processes. One way to justify the taxpayers’ money expenditures is to measure the impact of school inspection. Under this circumstance it was important to investigate the impact of school inspection on the level of academic achievement whereby this situation is still a challenge because lots of the government schools are still operating below standard by measuring the student’s academic performance.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The general objective of this study is to examine the Impact of school inspection on the students’ academic achievement in Ogun state, a case study of Ifo LGA. The specific objectives include the following:
1. To find out the practice of inspections in secondary schools in Ogun state.
2. To ascertain the influence of inspections on the performance of teachers in secondary schools in Ogun state.
3. To compare students’ academic achievement in schools before and after regular inspections.
4. To investigate the contribution of school inspection on academic Achievement.
5. To examine the role of the government in improving school inspection in secondary schools in Ogun state.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The relevant research questions related to this study include the following:
1. Is there a practice of inspections in secondary schools in Ogun state?
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