Factors Affecting The Efficient Management Of Students Academic Records A Case Study Of Some Selected Government Secondary Schools In Aguata Local Government
Management of students’ records is crucial to all secondary schools as they rely on their information for future decision making and secondary school growth; unfortunately in Nigerian secondary schools today, it seems little or no attention is given to students’ record management especially in registry which is the bedrock of students’ records. This study examined the factors affecting efficient management of students’ record among record management personnel in Holy secondary school. A survey design was employed for the study. The population consisted of all the registry staff of Holy secondary school with a total number of 102 staff who served as the sample for the study. 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 to gather data validated with overall Cronbach alpha reliability coefficient of 0.97; all the staff participated in the study and subsequently, the study was analyzed using descriptive statistics. Findings certified that there is little number of staff in the registry with records management qualification or with related courses. It also show negative factors associated with efficient management of students’ records in Holy secondary school as: negative attitude of staff, badly implemented record management system, insecurity of records, use of paper convention, lack of training, manual operation, inadequate computer terminal and resources to ineffective retrieving, retention and disposition schedule, as well as lack of policy and filing procedure manual. The study concluded that a major factor that militate against efficient management of students’ record rests on the fact that high number of personnel in the registry are yet to have requisite qualifications in records management to work in registry. Therefore, the study recommended that all registry staff should have basic qualifications in records management or related fields, and a regular training be carried out on a semester basis for all the personnel in the department.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Records are evidences of business transactions between one person and another or with group of persons. Records are “assets” as single copy of it mismanaged can destroy both an individual and organization (Oyebo, 2016). The term records, as defined by Read and Ginn (2011), “are stored information, regard less of media or characteristics, made or received by an organization that is evidence of its operations and has value requiring its retention for specific period of time”. Students’ records are critical in achieving secondary school’s goals and objectives. The role of records management in education institutions cannot be over-emphasized. It is difficult to attain development without records.
Government Records Service (2011) sees records as valuable assets of organizations. Good records management not only helps protect records but also enhances organizations’ operational efficiency. Record management especially in secondary school set-up brings to bare the longevity of that school; in that the continuity of the school solely depends on availability of useful records and past activities. In a secondary school environment also, it is absolutely impossible to keep every information in the brain owing to the volume of available information, and as such, records must be kept.
Record keeping/management is so important that it predated the existence of man. For instance, in the holy book Genesis 1 and 2 God kept a chronological and historical record of all his work during creation from day one when he created heaven and earth to the seventh day when he rested from his works which he made. In the same vein, secondary schools keep chronological records that keep the institution alive in terms of academic record. Fadokun (2004) and Tower (2004) who states that adequate security, storage facilities and funds serves as necessities for good record management. Then Nwaomah, (2015) asserts that in educational institutions such as a secondary school, academic/educational records refers to information or data relating to students both in paper and electronic formats that provides evidence of and information about the actions or events that happened. These events are created through the processes of admission, matriculation, examination and convocation to mention but a few. Without proper management of these records, the future of the secondary school will be dimmed.
According to Research Clue (2014), record management is the practice of maintaining the records of an organization from the time they are created up to their eventual disposal: this may include classifying, storing, securing and destruction (or in some cases, archival preparation) of records. Records management is primarily concerned with the evidence of an organizations activity and is usually applied according to the value of the records rather than their physical format. Furthermore, Omoha (2013) adds, 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 efficiency and effectiveness of the school system are kept, among others. Adequate records management programme co-ordinates and protects institutions’ records, sharpens the effectiveness of records as a management memory which controls the times, equipment and space allocated to records and helps to simplify intra- organizational and communication problems. The management of students’ records in secondary schools, like in any other organization, is a cyclic process involving categorically registry staff.
Nwaomah (2015) citing Popoola (2000), Atulomah (2011), and (JISC IfoNet, 2007) indicated that information and records management are foundational to business activity. The absence of information can cripple the planning and decision making process of management. This fact is very applicable to a secondary school records management concerning its student records. From a broad perspective, the creation and maintenance of records relating to the students of an institution are essential 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 subsequently; providing support to the students after they leave the institution. With this development, one can ask, of what importance is students’ records management to the secondary school and its community? According to Ifedili and Agbaire (2011) add that:
- Educational researchers find relevance in educational/academic records for their researches towards contributing to knowledge
- Educational regulatory bodies rely so much on education/academic records to evaluate the status of governance of an institution and academic quality of schools. As well as
- School administrators who rely on records to evaluate students’ performance and reward
In addition, Further, Anho (2006), citing Anderson and Dyke (1992); Olagboye (2004), states that the significance of student records include:
- Provision of data for planning and decision making by school heads, ministry of education and other related authorities;
- Facilitation of continuity in the administration of a school, research activities that will promote efficiency and effectiveness; and
- Ensuring that accurate and proper records of student’s achievement and growth during his/her school days are kept and to report same to parents/guardians, employers, other institutions for students admission or job
Record management occupies a strategic position in the efficient and effective management of the secondary school systems as Blink (2015) stated, the goals of record management include ensuring that administrative records are appropriately managed, preserved, secured, and can be retrieved as needed. It is important that registry staff saddled with much responsibility of minding students records get familiar with the legal and ethical requirement for record keeping in their specific professional context and jurisdiction. Generally, record management must be guided by some level of confidentiality, proper maintenance, security, and preservation of the content and context etc (Uwaifo, 2004, Akporhonor and Iwhiwhu, 2007).
However, irrespective of the important role played by records management as indicated above, there is still a consensus amongst researchers that many organizations pay little attention to the management of records and handle recorded information carelessly without realizing that records constitute a major resource compared to finance, people, money and equipment (Mnjama, 2004; Ngulube, 2004; Chinyemba & Ngulube, 2005; Egwunyenga, 2009 &Walala, 2010). Fabunmi & Isah (n.d) assert that it has become a recurrent issue for records to be irretrievable when required specially in Nigerian tertiary institutions as noted by Nwaomah, (2015). More of these factors include: insufficient skilled and experienced record management personnel, low priority of record management in scheme of things, lack of record manual and filing guidelines which leads to loss of vital information, inadequate computer terminals
/internet, difficulty in record retrieval, and improper formulation of policies. Others are inaccurate, unavailable/incomplete and dishonest records, negative attitude of staff towards record keeping, inadequate resource, lack of record retention and deposition, lack of cohesive continuity in the affairs of the secondary school, and misplaced records.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Management of student record is viewed as very important in secondary schools as it enables storage/preservation and retrieval of vital information needed for secondary school growth. But unfortunately, it seems that in Nigerian secondary schools today, little or no attention is given to record management especially the registry which holds the life history of students’ records (admission, matriculation, registration, examination, and graduation, among others). Instead, handful of setbacks are recorded in terms of improper security of records, inadequate resource, incompetent trained personnel, hiring and placing of people based on who they know, use of manual system in recording and storing of information and negative attitude of staff towards record keeping. Considering the above no doubt, students’ records are in jeopardy and thus this paper to identify the factors affecting efficient management of students’ record among record management personnel (case study of Holy secondary school)
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The general objective of the study is to determine the factors affecting efficient management of students’ records among record management personnel in Holy secondary school, Aguata LGA, Nigeria. The specific objectives of the study include:
- To find out if students records are effectively managed in terms of time, efficiency, and up datedness
- To find out the efficiency of the personnel in Holy secondary school registry
- To find out the problems encountered in the process of having efficient management of students’ records in Holy secondary school registry
- To proffer solutions on how to improve the management of students’ records in Holy secondary school
- To identify the programs registry staff are exposed to on records management that enhances the effective management of students records
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
Based on the above indications, the following questions are raised
- Is students’ records effectively managed in terms of time, efficiency and up datedness in Holy secondary school registry?
- How efficient is the personnel in Holy secondary school registry in managing of students’ records?
- What are the problems associated with efficient management of students’ records in Holy secondary school Registry?
- What ways/options can be used to improve management of students’ records in Holy secondary school registry?
- What programmes are the registry staff exposed to on records management to enhance effective management of students’ records?