Effect of Unethical Practices on the Effective Management of Colleges of Education in Anambra State
1.1 Background of the study
Nigerian Colleges of Education (COEs) are the third cadre in the hierarchy of tertiary education. The mandate of the colleges is to provide quality teacher education services for citizens of the country with regard to the awarding of the Nigerian Certificate in Education (NCE). The Federal Republic of Nigeria (2004) highlighted the goals of colleges of education as: producing highly motivated, conscientious, and efficient classroom teachers for all levels of our education system; encouraging further the spirit of enquiry and creativity in teachers; helping teachers to fit into the social life of the community and society at large; providing teachers with the intellectual and professional background adequate for their assignment and making them adaptable to changing situations; and enhancing teachers’ commitment to the teaching profession.
However, since teaching, in particular, deals with the moulding of the character of humanity, it must rest on a solid, tested and proven ethical framework that guarantees the very best atmosphere and trust in the teaching-learning process (TRCN, 2013). This means that for effective management of teacher education institutions – colleges of education, inclusive – they must maintain good working ethics and high moral standards. In most situations, one finds a situation (s) or extreme cases where ethics in the workplace are highly bridged and unethical practices flourish. Ethics can simply be referred to as a set of principles relating to morals, especially as they apply to human conduct. In specific terms, work ethics is about what is morally correct, honourable, and acceptable to the larger majority of the people of an organization, society, or group. Ethical issues relate to issues concerning rape, indiscipline, dishonesty, gangterism, staff criticism, gossip, sexual harassment and molestation related to abuse of office, plagiarism, drug abuse, cultism, intimidation, bribery and corruption, embezzlement of funds, greed, stealing, murder, assault, slander, fraud, examination malpractices and any kind of malpractice of any sort, kidnapping, among others.
In view of this worrisome trend and situation, the management of teacher education institutions, including those in Anambra State, is put in jeopardy. There are, however, several causes and factors responsible for these unethical practices in tertiary education institutions. Researchers reported several acts of indiscipline which had their roots in socio-cultural patterns in the political process, economic system, psychological orientation, family background, leadership behaviour, value system, legal/judicial system, and modernization process, majorly due to management slacks, lack of motivation, and lack of commitment to religious tenets. This, however, has made the attainment of national development goals via teacher education through college of education difficult and equally resulted in the low performance of the teaching professions in Nigeria.
1.2 Statement of the problem
One of the major issues affecting the management of colleges of education in the Nigerian education system is the problem of ethics. Educational management has a very strong link with educational management. In fact, if teacher education is to fulfill its purpose of catering to aspects of societal needs, it must, of necessity, be involved with morality to a very high degree, otherwise it will do more harm than good to society. This is what is happening in the Nigerian education system and most other African countries where there is a fall in ethical standards. The persistent presence of unethical practices in colleges of education has resultant effects, influence and consequences on the development and management of these institutions. Unethical practices or issues could be observed in various human activities in the COEs, featuring cases of indiscipline, cultism, gangterism, disrespect and negligence of duty, corruption and bribery, examination malpractices and misconduct, office misconduct, theft, kidnapping and assault, among others. There is a cogent need to find lasting solutions in order to curtail these unethical activities because they have influenced the quality of education, teaching and learning effectiveness, and management practices provided in the school system. Thus, it is against this backdrop that this study seeks to examine the effect of unethical practices on the effective management of colleges of education.
1.3 Objective of the study
The main focus of this study is to examine the effect of unethical practices on the effective management of Colleges Of Education. Specifically the study seeks
- To investigate the prevalent unethical practices influencing the management of Colleges of Education
- To determine the causes of the prevalent unethical practices in College of Education
- To investigate if unethical practices has any significant effect on the management of Colleges of Education.
- To suggest possible solutions towards preventing the prevalent unethical practices in COEs.
1.4 Research Hypothesis
H01: The extent of unethical practices in college of educations is low
H1: The extent of unethical practices in college of educations is high
H02: Unethical practices has no significant effect on the management of Colleges of Education
HI: Unethical practices has a significant effect on the management of Colleges of Education
1.5 Significance of the study
Findings from the study will be relevant to management and leadership of college of educations. This will enlighten them on the need for them operate an open system which promotes good work ethical culture, standards and value system in the COEs in order to prevent the influence of the prevalent unethical practices on the effective management of the institutions. More so other strategies such as inculcating the right value system through education and teaching, use of effective sanctions on offenders, building a good organizational culture, leadership effectiveness in the management of staff and students, infrastructural development, combating examination malpractice, among others, can be adopted as means of controlling the prevalent unethical practices in the institutions.The study will also enlighten the government on the need to pay attention to college of education in other to help them fulfil the goal of teacher education. The study will contribute to the general body of Knowledge and serve as a reference material for student and other researchers in conducting further studies on related field of study.
1.6 Scope of the study
The scope of the study borders on the the effect of unethical practices on the effective management of Colleges Of Education. The study is however limited to selected college of education in Anambra State.
1.7 Limitation of the study
The following factors poses to be a limitation during the course of this research
Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
Respondent attitude: The majority of respondents failed to collect the questionnaires, and those who do collect them pay close attention to filling out and returning them, while others do not return theirs at all. Others were less accommodating and may have provided untrustworthy information because they were afraid of being exposed, despite the researcher’s promise that all information would be treated with the utmost secrecy and only for education purposes.
1.8 Definition of terms
Unethical Practices: Unethical behavior is an action that falls outside of what is considered right or proper for a person, a profession or an industry.
Management: Management is a process of planning, decision making, organizing, leading, motivation and controlling the human resources, financial, physical, and information resources of an organization to reach its goals efficiently and effectively.