AN ASSESSMENT OF THE ROLE OF PARENT TEACHERS’ ASSOCIATION (PTA) IN FUNDING PUBLIC SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN KADUNA STATE
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The Nigerian philosophy of education is based on the belief that education is an instrument for national development as well as a veritable tool for social, economic and political change (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2009:5). This is underscored by the fact that it transcends the social, cultural, political and the economic fabrics of the society. For education therefore, to be seen as successful, it requires huge investment either in terms of policy and implementation, infrastructure, human capacity development and of course funds which provide the purchasing capacity of the quality of education required and demanded by the various individuals of the society (Akpa, 2002).
The secondary education sector is a very crucial level of the early child education because people enter secondary school as children and leave it as young adults. Secondary school education is the education children receive after primary education and before the tertiary stage. Its broad goals include the preparation of individual children for useful living within the society and for higher education (National Policy on Education, 2014:14). For these reasons, huge investment is required in terms of funding so as to equip the sector with the adequate financial and material resources needed for the improvement of its quality and access towards the attainment of the set down goals of education and the much needed national development.
Educational funding in the context of this study therefore, can be defined as the financial resources or money being invested on education and how these financial resources (money) are adequately being appropriated by the concerned authorities towards improving the quality of public secondary school education in Kaduna Zone and the state as a whole. As a matter of fact, the success of any school depends upon the facilities and resources available to it. Money is very important in this respect because by it, all other vital elements in the school including the school learning facilities like buildings; purchase of teaching–learning resources such as textbooks, computers etc.; employment and payment of salaries of school personnel (teachers) and the effective day-to-day running of the school activities and programmes, can effectively be executed (Aghenta, 1984).
Adequate funding of education plays a very crucial role in the provision of school physical facilities, teaching-learning resources, school personnel, school activities and programmes, which are indicators for measuring educational effectiveness and achievement. This is because they are infrastructural facilities that when properly utilised may tremendously improve the quality of education.
By explanation, School physical facilities are those things that actually exist and can facilitate teaching and learning in school. They may include the school buildings like administrative offices, staffrooms, classrooms, staff-quarters, stores, laboratories, libraries, workshops plants & equipment, dormitories, school playgrounds, assembly/examination halls and various other equipment (Ajayi in Kittuu, 2012).
School teaching and learning resources are materials such as text-books, audio-visual materials, computer soft & hardware systems, writing materials and other electronic devices that teachers can use to assist students to cope with their learning challenges in the classroom (British-Columbia Government, 2013). While School Personnel on the hand, are the people employed or hired to teach the students and offer other services towards the smooth day-to-day running of the school. They may include: the teachers; principals; guidance counsellors & psychologists; health and social workers such as nurses, dispensers etc.; clerks; cleaners and other supporting staff who work actively towards improving education and achieving the set down goals of secondary school education (Kituu, 2012).
School activities and programme, are those things that provide students the opportunity to participate actively outside the traditional school period. These are also called co-curricular or extra-curricular activities. They may include excursions or fieldtrips, games & sports, essay & recitation competitions, arts & crafts, modelling, exhibitions, concerts, folksongs & singing competitions, clubs & society activities, school debates and dramatization, school Annual Speech and Prize giving day ceremonies, just to mention but a few. All these when adequately funded, would tremendously improve the quality of public secondary school education (Aggrawal in Kituu, 2012).
It is however important to note here that the expansion of secondary students’ enrolment in Nigeria since the attainment of independence followed by the enrolment explosion of the Universal Primary Education (UPE) Scheme in 1976 and the Universal Basic Education (UBE) programme in recent years, has made secondary school education a thorny responsibility for government alone to shoulder (Jaiyeoba and Atanda, 2003). Consequently, the Federal Republic of Nigeria (2009:65) in its National Policy on Education states clearly that “financing of education is a joint responsibility of government and the private sector” and that in this connection, individuals and other organisations such as the Parent Teachers’ Associations (PTAs) are to be actively involved. But unfortunately, the public secondary school education system generally in Kaduna state and particularly Kaduna Zone appears to be suffering from a myriad of problems and series of setbacks due to poor or inadequate funding of the sector by government and the unwilling negative attitudes of parents and the PTA who are supposed to be greatly concerned about matters of their children/wards’ education and developments by contributing immensely.
Sadly, most of the various school Parent Teachers’ Associations have not been able to perform their role effectively as expected of them by the society. A personal observation during visits to some of the public schools in the study area revealed that there is very inadequate provision of funds and short supply of infrastructural facilities and learning equipment in the schools. The school buildings are dilapidated and are in very bad conditions too. There is short or no supply of basic textbooks in many subjects. Neither are there computers and other vital teaching and learning facilities in the schools. In some schools, you hardly can find enough qualified teachers to teach special and very important science subjects at the basic school level as well as subjects like physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics and some other very useful subjects at the Senior School level. It is not unusual now to hear teachers complaining in some of these public secondary schools that chalk, which is now obsolete and an old fashion, is lacking in these public schools. The teachers sometimes only do manage to teach the students any how because they cannot effectively improvise everything or some of the basic teaching and learning resources used in teaching their students. There are cases of high staff turnover in many of these schools due to the poor condition of service and remuneration of the staff as such retaining them to work under these poor conditions, is very difficult. The economic hardship currently being experienced in our challenging society make them to move out to the labour market for greener pastures. Those of them who may manage to stay or remain on the job can hardly put in their best due to the inadequate supply of school facilities and teaching-learning resources to meet up with the demands of the students’ population. Most of the schools are short staffed, as such the school management may not find it easy to run the academic activities and programmes of the school effectively. This is why in some schools for example agricultural science teachers, biology teachers or a teachers in other subjects like the humanities, arts or vocational departments are sometimes assigned mathematics, physics, chemistry to teach, as the case may be. Therefore the quality of education supplied in such cases would obviously be diluted bringing down the standard of education drastically. This of course leads to mass examination failure. In many schools the students are congested in the classrooms as such, some of them are compelled to sit on the floor to take their lessons and even write their examinations due to lack of enough seats. This situation affects teaching and learning seriosly, besides the fact that the students’ uniforms and books become very dirty and untidy.
Furthermore, a visit to any of these public secondary schools in the zone, one may rarely find any school physical facility such as a classroom block, an examination/assembly hall, dormitory, laboratory, library, computer room or ICT Centre, school sport ground, workshop or any plant constructed by the PTA of the school as its project in support of the children’s academic activities in the school. It is also disheartening to hear that even the traditional one hundred naira (N100.00) only, charged per a student per term as a compulsory PTA levy, some parents hardly or do not pay for their children at all. This signifies that they do not even care or understand the role of parents and the PTA in the funding of public secondary school education generally and particularly in their domain.
Worst still, in spite of government’s incessant outcry and complains on the rapid growing population of secondary school aged children leading to the frequent expansion of secondary schools nationwide, most of the various school Parent Teachers Associations in the zone under study, are always very reluctant to contribute reasonably to the financing of secondary education in their domain, in spite of the bad learning conditions of their children. In some few schools where the PTA have tried to engaged some teachers to teach based on special areas of needs, for example in some subjects where teachers are lacking, such teachers are more often hardly retained due to the very poor working condition offered them by the system. It is therefore, against this background that this study was carried out in order to assess the role of the Parent Teachers Association (PTA) in funding Public Secondary School Education in Kaduna Zone, Ministry of Education Kaduna state.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Education is a capital intensive venture and as such requires huge sum of money for effective functioning. Over the years, the government has been the sole sponsor of education at all its levels. However, due to population explosion which led to increase in enrolment, coupled with the great public awareness of the importance of education, the financial demand of education has become too unbearable for the government alone to bear.
The high rate of inefficiency, dilapidated structures and poor education delivery in Nigerian schools are traceable to poor funding. Akpa (2002) stated that funding is critical to the success of education and as such called on other stakeholders to assist the government in funding education. The effects of poor funding of secondary education, especially public secondary schools, are evident in the high rate of indiscipline among students, poor teaching due to the low morale and constant industrial action by teachers, unconducive learning environment, poor performance of students, poor teacher training and many other educational problems that are accompanied by their undesirable consequences on the society.
Several efforts made in the recent past to curb these problems have not yielded satisfactory results. The danger here is that if public secondary school education is not adequately funded, the aim of secondary education in Nigeria, which is to prepare youth for useful societal living and higher education, may be an illusion. In a bid to curb this from happening, there is need to explore other avenues of sourcing fund to help public secondary education to ensure that its aims and objectives are achieved. At present, there is a disparity between the ideal and the present regarding secondary education due to poor funding. Now the problem of this study is to assess the role of the Parent Teachers’ Association (PTA) in funding of public secondary school education in Kaduna Education Zone of Kaduna State.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The study was undertaken for the purpose of achieving the following objectives:
i. To establish the extent to which PTA funds contribute in the provision of school physical facilities such as school buildings and plants in public secondary schools in Kaduna Zone of the ministry of education, Kaduna state.
ii. To find out the extent to which PTA funds assist in the provision of school teaching-learning resources and equipment like text books, audio-visual aids, computer soft & hardware systems etc. in public secondary schools in the zone.
iii. To assess the level to which PTA funds have enhanced the provision of school personnel in public secondary schools in Kaduna Education Zone of Kaduna State.
iv. To establish the extent to which PTA funds contribute in the financing and sustenance of school activities and programmes or extra-curricular activities such as excursions, games & sports, clubs & societies, essay & recitation competitions, school debates, dramatization, annual speech & prize giving day ceremonies etc. in public secondary schools in the zone.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The study sought to answer the following questions:
i. What is the level to which PTA funds have contributed in the provision of school physical facilities such as classroom blocks, school halls, dormitories, libraries, laboratories, school sport grounds and other school plants in public secondary schools in Kaduna Education Zone of Kaduna State?
ii. To what extent do PTA funds assist in the provision of, teaching-learning resources and equipment such as text books, computers, audio-visual aids, etc. in public secondary schools in Kaduna education Zone of the state?
iii. How has the provision of school personnel in public secondary schools in Kaduna Education Zone of Kaduna State been enhanced and sustained through PTA funding?
iv. To what extent do PTA funds contribute in financing of school activities and programmes or extra-curricular activities like excursions, games & sports, dramatization & debates, essay & recitation competitions, arts & exhibitions, singing competition & concerts, dancing completions, clubs and societies, etc. in public secondary schools in Kaduna education zone of Kaduna State?
The under listed hypotheses were formulated for the study and tested at 0.05 level of significance.
Ho1: The quality of education in public secondary schools will not significantly differ due to the level PTA funding.
Ho2: There is no effect of PTA funding on the academic performance of public secondary school students in Kaduna Zone.
Ho3: The level of availability of school personnel in public secondary schools will not differ significantly as a result of PTA funding.
Ho4: The effectiveness of the school activities and programmes ran in public secondary schools will not differ due to the availability of PTA funds in the school.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The findings of this study are hopeful to be useful to some stakeholders in education namely; educational planners, school administrators, curriculum planners, PTA officials, students, teachers and the general public.
Educational planners will utilize the findings of this study to understand what it takes to adequately run a secondary school effectively. This knowledge will help them to advise the government adequately regarding the amount of funs allocated to secondary education.
School administrators (principals) will be adequately informed about what the school needs, in terms of finance, for smooth administration. This idea will help the principal to source for other means of generating income for the school to assist the fund allocated to the school by the government.
Curriculum planners will be well-acquainted with the financial implication of the curriculum implementation through the findings from the study. Curriculum planning without adequate funding does not yield any fruit at the end of the day.
PTA officials of the various secondary schools will be aware of their roles in funding secondary education. PTA is an integral stakeholder to secondary education and as such is a strong financial base to the school for effective and smooth running.
Students who are at the receiving end of secondary education will gain from the study by the improved services, teaching, adequate teaching and learning, good infrastructures, conducive learning environment among others which will ensure when the PTA supports the financing of secondary education adequately.
Teachers also who are the implementors of curriculum will gain by way of the improvement that will occur in the provision of teaching and learning resources, good classroom building etc that will enhance their performance of their duty as teachers in the schools.
The general public will gain from the study by way of the great improvement that will occur in the quality of the products of secondary education if adequate funding is provided. The improvement in the quality of secondary education will lead to quality in societal life and national productivity.
1.7 THEORETICAL/CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK
The study adopted the situational leadership theory which was developed by Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard in 1969. This theory suggests that no single leadership style is ‘best.’ Instead, it all depends on the situation at hand and which type of leadership and strategies are best suited to the task. According to the situational leadership theory, the most effective leaders are those that are able to adapt their style to the situation and look at cues such as the type of task that might contribute to getting the job done.
The situational leadership model is arguably the most recognised, utilised and effective leadership influenced tool in the history of the behavioural sciences because it is a powerful, yet flexible tool that enables leaders of all kinds; managers, sales people, peer leaders, teachers or parents to more effectively influence others. The model is therefore based on the relationship between leaders and followers and serves as a framework to analyse each situation based on:
-The amount of guidance and direction or task behaviour a leader gives.
-The amount of socio-emotional support or relationship behaviour a leader provides.
-The readiness level that followers exhibit in performing specific task, function or objective.
The situational leadership theory adopted for this study was considered most suitable because of the worrisome circumstance and situation in which the public secondary education system currently in Nigeria has found itself as a result of problem of funding. It has earlier been observed that, the role of funding towards improving quality and access to education generally cannot be overemphasised. Over the years, government has been the sole financier of education at all levels, but following the increased enrolment and rapid expansion of schools as a result of school children population explosion in the country , the situation has become a difficult one for government to continue to shoulder alone. To this effect, the government has flexibly welcomed the participation of the private sector, local communities, individuals and other organisations such as the PTA to contribute in the financing of education as the best leadership strategy of handling the problem situation of educational funding.
1.8 DELIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
The study is delimited to the government-owned secondary schools in Kaduna Education Zone. In this regard private and mission secondary schools within the zone are not considered. Furthermore, the study will concern itself to the assessment of funds generated by Parents Teachers Association (PTA) of the various government secondary schools in sustaining public schools. The areas of interest are provision of school physical facilities, provision of teaching and learning resources, provision of personnel and financing of school activities and programmes. The study is only concerned about funds generated to the school through the PTA, other sources of funds are not considered in this study
1.9 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
Some lead teams used in the study are defined within the context of the present study for ease of understanding;
Assessment: The determination of how much money (funds) that are generated by PTA of public schools in Kaduna Education Zone to sustain public secondary education within the zone.
Education Zone: This is any of the divisions of public secondary schools in the ministry of education, Kaduna State based on their geographical locations.
Fund: This term is taken to mean duty or obligation or responsibility of the PTA in sustaining secondary education.
PTA: Parent Teachers Association: An integral stakeholder to secondary education that is inaugurated to help support secondary education. It constituted of parents and teachers only.
Public Secondary School: This is a school in Kaduna Education Zone owned and managed by the ministry of education, Kaduna State.