EFFECTIVENESS OF THE COMMITTEE SYSTEM IN THE MANAGEMENT OF COLLEGES OF EDUCATION IN THE CENTRAL REGION OF GHANA

ABSTRACT
The purpose of the study was to examine the effectiveness of the committee system in the management of Colleges of Education in the Central Region of Ghana. Descriptive survey design was adopted for the study. A sample of 220 tutors and 43 students was used for the study. The sample was selected through purposive, census and proportional stratified sampling. Data was collected through the use of a researcher-designed questionnaire for both tutors and students. Data was analysed descriptively using frequencies and percentages and means and standard deviations. The study revealed that the committees in the sampled colleges were functional. Specifically, the committees were willing to seek the progress of the Colleges, engaged in decision making concerning students, planning and review of academic calendar and assessment and evaluation of staff and students. In addition, the study found that most of the committees were perceived as necessary in the management of the colleges. Finally, the study showed that Committee Systems encountered several challenges such as the presence of too many bureaucracies resulting in delays in decision making, authorities not carrying out recommendations of committees, nature and frequency of meetings, inadequate financial and administrative support. It was concluded that the Committee Systems in the Colleges of Education in the Central Region were effective in the performance of their roles. It was recommended therefore that authorities of Colleges of Education should implement the recommendations of committees as and when necessary.


CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
Background to the Study
Tertiary educational institutions provide a platform for students and faculty members to respectfully study for higher academic qualifications (degrees and diplomas) and engage in research to advance the frontiers of knowledge. Ogbogu (2011) asserted that tertiary educational institutions are veritable tools for the realisation of national development, the development of cultured citizens and the promotion of research. Ogbogu added that tertiary education serves as progenitor of social change through the generation and dissemination of knowledge and new ideas. The World Bank (2002) added that tertiary education provides not only high level skills necessary for every market but also the training essential for teachers, doctors, nurses, civil servants, engineers, humanists, entrepreneurs, scientists and a myriad of personnel. One of the tertiary educational institutions that provides training of teachers in Ghana is the College of Education (CoE).

According to Newman (2013), Colleges of Education (CoEs) play important roles in a nation’s development effort by preparing their students to teach in basic schools. This implies that a CoE in Ghana is mandated to build up the professional capacity of teachers and promote the teaching of the humanities, science and information communication and technology. The CoEs previously referred to as Teacher Training Colleges, have passed through various stages of development. Prior to 2008, Teacher Training Colleges were operating as post-secondary institutions, categorized under Level 4 (post-secondary non-tertiary) of International Standard Classification.

In 2012, the CoE Act (2012), Act 847 was passed and this has upgraded the Teacher Training Colleges to tertiary education status, and also changed its name to “College of Education”.

For the CoE in Ghana to carry out its functions and to adequately fulfil the needs of the society, it needs efficient and effective management systems which would merge the traditional academic culture with the demands of a high technology driven knowledge economy. This means that the goals of CoEs in Ghana can be optimally achieved when the college administrators (Principals of the colleges) effectively organise the human resources in the colleges for effective and efficient management strategies. This view is expressed in a description of management by Pearce and Robinson (as cited in Hannagan, 2005) as the process of optimising human, material and financial contributions for the achievement of organisational goals. Management aims at getting things done by other people. The above emphasises the fact that managers achieve organisational objectives by arranging for other people to perform whatever tasks are required, and do not necessarily carry out these tasks themselves. According to Hannagan, this is obviously essential in a football team where even a player-manager must have other people to help the team to win. In industry one-person business can succeed by specialising in one aspect of the process, but major products and services are supplied by larger organisations because one-person business cannot produce enough goods and services to meet consumer demand.

In Ghana, Teacher Training Colleges (now Colleges of Education) are educational institutions charged with the responsibility for training and preparing teachers academically and professionally for instructional work as well as non-instructional supportive functions at the basic school level. According to Farrant (1985) the teacher training colleges have the responsibility of inculcating or re-enforcing discipline in teacher trainees to enable them to do likewise to their pupils as well as maintaining high level of discipline in the schools they will be teaching later in their professional career.

The Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English defines committee as a group of people chosen to represent a larger group in order to do a particular job and make decision. Nwachukwu (1988) defines committee as a device for achieving coordination of activities and sharing information among various departments and divisions of an organisation. The growing popularity of the needs for collective efforts in most organisations nowadays has made the argument for the use of committees more plausible.

Obayan (2002) posited that committee system is a vital ingredient for effective administration of educational institutions and maintained that collaborative effort gives administrators, educators and other stakeholders the opportunity to deal with complex educational issues as a group. Cotton (2005) equally stressed that a democratic method of school management that allows employees, particularly teachers, adequate participation in any decisions that affect them through committee system, contributes significantly to principals’ administrative effectiveness. Scholars, right from the medieval periods, were reported to have practised consultative system of decision making, now referred to as the committee system (Adebayo, 2004). In those periods, they were allowed to study, write and consult one another on various issues and thus develop a participatory form of government in their various institutions of learning. The extent to which school administration is based on committee system was also pointed out by Bunza (1999) that virtually all issues, no matter how big or small is considered by a committee, which either takes final decision or sends its recommendations to an approving authority. Alabi (2000) submitted as key advantages of participatory decision making broadened support and acceptance, easier coordination and communication, culminating in improved decisions. Ijaiya (2000) also noted that the visible sign of delegation, especially in Nigerian secondary schools, is the increasing use of committees.

Though the use of committees is not new in schools, what is however novel is their increasing popularity. Within the school system, committees in existence vary in their types, status and procedures of their constitutions. Adebayo (2004) maintained that a committee may either be a line or staff committee depending on its authority. If the authority involves decisions affecting subordinates responsible to it, it is a line committee. If the authority’s relationship to a superior is however advisory, it is a staff committee. Researchers on administrative effectiveness are often faced with problems of deciding which organisational aspects and what criteria should be used. Available literature shows that administrative effectiveness could be measured in terms of the relationship between the organisation and the external environment (Heck, Johnsrud, & Rosser, 2000). Effectiveness of school administrators is however dependent on personal qualities, interaction with subordinates and the situation as well as their ability to inspire all members of the school community to work together toward the goal of excellent education of all students (Brouten, 2005).

The need for effective human resource management strategies that incorporate Committee System in the administration of secondary school cannot be over emphasized. School management is focused on efficient management of human and material resources. The management of school organisation requires the adoption of Committee System because of the bureaucracy, collegial and political models that are applicable (Dauda, 2000). The tasks of school principals are enormous and the need to involve teachers and other administrative staff in the management process to ensure optimal production, efficiency, satisfaction, adaptiveness and development cannot be over-emphasized.

Many teachers crave for participation in the running of the school. They do not only want to be involved in decision making at staff meetings, but also want to take active role in the effective administration of the school, which could possibly be satisfied through the use of school communities. It should be noted that the internal processes within the school organisations are very essential for the determination of effectiveness and ineffectiveness of the school system. These internal processes include the school climate, staff involvement in decision making, leadership behaviour and communication process. The setting up of committee is a strong force in these internal processes that could bring about school effectiveness. There is also the growing assumption that committee works in schools and colleges affect negatively the academic work of teachers. Thus, instead of the involvement in the running of the school being a morale booster to the teacher and affecting his teaching tasks positively, it is now a situation in which the primary duties of teaching the students are relegated for ad hoc committee duties. Thus, there is the problem of effective utilisation of the committee system in the schools. This assumption has prompted the quest to examine the use of committee system and its impact on principals’ administrative effectiveness.

Organisations, whether they are companies, educational institutions, hospitals or football teams, will all have objectives. They will all have a purpose for being in existence and for continuing their work. In the educational setting, the objectives may be expressed in terms of educational achievements. Managers are the people responsible for helping organisations to achieve their objectives and for creating and implementing their plans. According to Hannagan (2005), managers are responsible for “the process of planning, organising, leading and controlling the efforts of organisation members and of using all organisational resources to achieve stated organisational goals” (p. 5). At first glance a manager’s role is to organise, supervise and control people so that there is productive outcome to work.

The concept of management in education deals with the co-ordination and utilisation of resources both human and material for the accomplishment of educational objectives. In Ijomah’s (2001) view, management of tertiary education institutions such as the CoE will definitely require participation through the committee system. This implies that for the sake of meaningful decision and achievement of special and technical tasks at the CoE, certain committees need to be created. These committees create opportunities for the CoE to maximise the potentials of the students, the educational aims, and the efficient running of colleges.

Ayodele and Ekundayo (2005) describe a committee as a device for achieving co-ordination of activities and sharing information among various departments and divisions of an organisation. The CoE, as a tertiary educational system, requires well-resourced committee systems for effective administration in order to achieve their numerous objectives. This view is also expressed by Obayan (2002) and Dauda (2000). Cotton (2005) added that committee system is a democratic method of school management. The use of the committee system in the management of tertiary education is of great importance and requires that the right persons be used. This system was entrenched in the act establishing CoEs in Ghana as indicated in the CoE Act of 2012 (Act 847). This Act disperses responsibilities to reflect the democratic nature of colleges’ decisions which must reflect the opinion of a cross section of the staff and students if such decisions are to be acceptable to all concerned. This explains why many institutions in the country have established many committees to assist management in arriving at useful and meaningful decisions that could facilitate the proper management and growth of the tertiary education system.

Arriving at useful and meaningful decisions that could facilitate the proper management and growth of CoEs requires the choice and use of the right persons in the various committees. The choice of the right persons should depend on their skill, ability and positions in the organisation. Also, the selection of the right person(s) allows for the greater participation of more competent staff and students. This is desirable, valuable and of paramount importance for the smooth running of the system, as it makes the process of democratisation very easy and gives room for consultation, joint decision-making and for the concept of dispersed responsibility. This system leads to a decentralised administration thus encouraging individual and collective participation.

In the view of Dauda (2000), the management of college organisation requires the adoption of committee system because of the bureaucracy, collegial, and political models that are applicable. The tasks of college principals are therefore enormous and the need to involve teachers and other administrative staff in the management process to ensure optimal production, efficiency, satisfaction and development cannot be over-emphasised. Obayan (2002) opined that the committee system is a vital ingredient to achieving effective tertiary education administration. Similarly, Cotton (2005) asserted that the committee system is a democratic method of college management that must be utilised no matter the cost.

However, the activities of the committee system in the CoEs affect the academic work of teachers at the colleges. Thus, instead of the involvement in the running of the college being a morale booster to the teacher and affecting his/her teaching tasks positively, it is now a situation in which the primary duties of teaching the students are relegated to the background in order to engage in ad hoc or standing committee duties. Thus, there is a problem of effective utilisation of the committee system in the colleges. This assumption has prompted the quest to examine the nature of the committee system of management adopted by the CoEs in Ghana in terms of its effectiveness and how it is being utilised to achieve set institutional goals. The need to critically examine the committee system with the view to diagnosing the challenges confronting it in order to take the appropriate actions to address them becomes apparent.

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Item Type: Ghanaian Project Material  |  Attribute: 120 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: GH110 ($20)  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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