Factors Affecting the Efficient Management of Students Academic Records ( a Case Study of Some Selected Government Secondary Schools in Aguata Local Government Area)
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.
Records according to Government Record Services (2011) is defined as any recorded information or data in any physical format or media created or received by an organization during its course of official business and kept as evidence of polices, decisions, procedures, functions, activities and transactions. Records management (RM) is the professional practice of managing the records of an organization throughout their life cycle, from the time they are created to their eventual disposal. This includes identifying, classifying, storing, securing, retrieving, tracking and destroying or permanently preserving records (ARAM International, 2013)
Why Is Records Management Important?
Records management is important because it supports an organization to –
- make decisions based on evidence;
- meet operational, legal and regulatory requirements;
- be open and accountable;
- enhance operational efficiency and effectiveness; and
- Maintain organization or collective memory. (Government Record Services, 2011)
Several factors exist that are hindering the efficient management of students’ records. Some of these will be discussed briefly discusses in view of how they relate to efficient management of students’ records.
One of the factors affecting efficient management of school records is poor quality and quantity of manpower: Iwhiwhu (2005) stresses the poor quality and quantity of manpower in records management in the school system. He emphasized that manpower is employed without prejudice to qualitative records management most especially in registry.
The world is in a jet system and deserves the people to respond to it accordingly. Many secondary schools are still using the manual format of record keeping which is paper usage (e.g. dropping of copies of papers on the floor in the process of counting it and placing multiple records in bags). All these no doubt must warrant missing of record. We live in paperless age. Much dependence on paper work delays the work and may cost misplacement of students’ records. Another issue of great interest to records managers is the impact of the internet and related social media, such as wikis, blogs, forums, and companies such Facebook and Twitter, on traditional records management practices, principles, and concepts, since many of these tools allow rapid creation and dissemination of records and, often, even in anonymous form.
As the world becomes more digital in nature, an ever growing issue for the records management community is the conversion of existing or incoming paper records to electronic form. Such conversions are most often performed with the intent of saving storage costs, storage space, and in hopes of reducing records retrieval time. In the process lots of records are misplaced or mutilated. It is equally very exorbitant for secondary schools and might not be approved soon. Paper records occupy space and takes time to retrieve. Tools such as document scanners, optical character recognition software, and electronic document management systems are used to facilitate such conversions.
According to the State of Montana, Montana Historical Society (2002) and Hounsome (2001), there are many causes of the problem of poor records management practices:
- Lack of records management policies and procedures. Are they adequate? Are they philosophically consistent across the organization?
- Lack of qualified staff such as a records manager and archivist. Will the experience and qualifications of the existing staff be suitable for managing a records management programme?
- Records management costs that are not immediately apparent. Cost may only become significant over a period of time and thus not attract management’s
- Limited resources to implement a system according to requirements (legislation). Is the number of staff and other resource adequate? Is the records retention and disposal schedule in place? Has this been approved by legal services?
Lot of students’ have suffered in the hands of many secondary schools owing to missing records in terms of credentials, exam scripts, results and the like. It has added years to their maximum mandate with the institution. This ugly menace is not only deterrent to the student but also to the secondary school as it has led them to litigation in some cases. Chinyemba and Ngulube (2005) admit that proper records management could help secondary schools to manage their information, efficiently fulfill their mandate, protect them from litigation, preserve their corporate memory, and foster accountability and good governance. The information contained in secondary school records need to be managed according to a methodical approach in order to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the secondary schools in carrying out their mission. Also, Secondary schools might find themselves in an embarrassing position if requested records are not found as a result of poor records systems where, as Taylor (2000) notes, litigation by aggrieved parties cannot be ruled out. Recently, he said, a former Secondary school of Durban-Westville student made a court application demanding to see his examination scripts. This case demonstrates the possibly consequence of not providing information timeously.
It is on record that secondary school programmes have become extremely complex over the years. It has equally become a recurring decimal that records of students are irretrievable when required especially in Nigerian institutions (Fabunmi, 2004). Nwankwo (2001) as cited by Akor and Udensi (2014) observed also that Nigerian tertiary institutions have an information generation capacity of 76% and a utilization of 3%. This gap is a huge point to worry about. However, Lundu and Mberve (2004) stated the inability of most educational institutions to put up sound information management policies to guide the generation, processing, storage and retrieval of stored data.
Owing to less attention given to the records management issues by most institutions and giving priority attention to other sectors, the concerns of the registry staff and other record keepers are taken for granted and as such, their training is not considered as a priority. This in turn affects their productivity. Akor and Udensi (2014) noted that records management at secondary school is not receiving the attention it deserves. Society of Human Resource Management (2011) adds that employers may offer job-specific training to provide employees with the appropriate skills to enable them to perform their duties effectively. Nwaomah (2015). The immediate application of skills acquired through such training may boost employee confidence and productivity. Muhenda and Lwanga (n.d) argue that training and development enhance staff’s absorption capacity. Muhenda and Lwanga, (n.d), established that employees who are highly trained and whose career development are effectively managed show high levels of commitment, are flexible, multi skilled and capable of making remarkable contribution to the services they render in organizations’. And sadly enough, “some organizations are reluctant to train their staff for fear that upgrading the skills of the workforce, would expose them to competitors” Nwaomah, (2015) added.
Employment of every staff is the responsibility of the secondary school or management. This is aimed at boosting to the secondary schools productivity. However, it has been noticed that some staff are employed based on who brought them and equally placed at the convenience of the one who brought the staff not minding his/her specialization. Registry work or recording management requires professionalism; else, there will be problem. Nwaomah, (2015) citing Lyaruu’s (2005) study, revealed the lack of professionalism in records management as the most fundamental problem plaguing registries in most institutions in Tanzania. Similarly, Manyambula (2009) pointed out that one of the factors, which contributed to the poor records management was that administrator staffed most registries with people who had received little or no records management training due to ethnic relationship with leadership. Except these group of people are removed or properly trained records of students must be in jeopardy.
Survey research design was used to investigate the factors affecting efficient management of students’ records among Holy secondary school registry staff.
POPULATION OF THE STUDY
The population of the study comprised the principal and teachers OF Holy Child secondary school.
SAMPLE AND SAMPLING TECHNIQUE.
The researcher used simple random sampling method. This is in other to give each school a chance of being selected. The sample selection was drawn based on the recommendations of Aderemo (1985) who suggest that 30% percentage of a population of this magnitude can be used as the sample size.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION OF THE FINDINGS
Demographic data of the respondents
Percentage point and frequency distribution was used to analyze the demographic data of the respondents as presented and interpreted in the table below:
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
This study indeed exposes the fact that though the personnel in registry department attempts to manage their student record, they still lack educational prerequisite to mind students records and no wonder cogent factors are noticeable in handling the students records. Also, the study indicated that only a microcosm of the personnel attends professional training in records management and these calls for urgent attention. Acknowledging these factors that affect efficient management of students’ records among record management personnel here means that secondary school management should have a second look at it by considering the recommendations thereof for solutions.
In other to avoid further challenges that may bring about negative impact on the management of students’ records in Holy secondary school registry and any other secondary school where student records are kept, the following recommendations are suggested:
- Personnel handling students records must be professionals in record management or skilled in related fields;
- There should be regular in-house training of the registry personnel to fill the areas of need that will actuate efficient records management practices in the secondary school;
- Students’ records should be digitized to avoid manual record keeping and less paper system in any aspect of students’ record keeping;
- The Secondary school management should begin to treat records as an asset;
- Legal and regulatory compliance in record management must be adhered
- Akor, P. U., & Udensi, J. (2014). An assessment of Record management System in Establishment Division of Two Secondary schools in Nigeria. International letters of social and humanistic sciences ISSN 2300-2697, vol. 13, pp 97-109
- Akporhonor, B. A. & Iwhiwhu, E. B. (2007). The management of Staff records at Delta State Secondary school Library, Abraka, Nigeria. Library Philosophy and Practice (e-journal)
- Anho, J. E. (2006). Identification and analysis of problem in the administration of students’ personal support services in Nigerian Secondary schools. Unpublished Ph.D Thesis, Delta State Secondary school, Abraka.
- Atulomah, B.C. (2011). Perceived records management practice and decision making Among secondary school administrators in Nigeria. Library Philosophy and Practice.
- [Accessed 22th February 2013] Available from World Wide Web:http://unilib.uni.edu/lpp/