The purpose of this study was to assess modes of communication among students in Universities in Rivers state. Two step flow of information theory and organizational information theory were used to explain the relationship between the study variables. The study was guided by the following specific objectives: to determine the modes of communication used in universities in Rivers state, to establish the communication tools used in universities in Rivers state and to assess the communication roles of students’ council in universities in Rivers state. The study was carried out in Universities in Rivers state. Descriptive survey research design was adopted for the study. The target population was members of the students’ council,. A total of 130 respondents (constituting 10 deputy principals, 40 teachers and 80 members of the students’ council) were targeted by the study out of which 118 responded (constituting 8 deputy principals, 36 teachers and 74 members of the students’ council) giving a response rate of 91%. Questionnaires were used to collect data from teachers and members of the students’ council while interview schedules were used to collect data from deputy principals. Both qualitative and quantitative data analysis technique were used to analyze the data. Quantitative data collected was analyzed, presented and interpreted using both descriptive statistics while thematic analysis techniques was used to analyze qualitative data. The study found that the following modes of communication are used in schools: school parliaments or barazas, assembly hall announcements, members of the students’ council and reporting to relevant authorities. Communication tools used in universities in Rivers state include: notice boards, suggestion boxes and end of year reports, school calendars, minutes, internal memos, students’ notice boards and message box. The study also found that one of the roles of the members of the students’ council is to communicate the students’ needs to the relevant authorities. Some of the needs communicated include: complaints on quantity of food given to students, missing of lessons by some teachers, absenteeism, harsh punishment, list of areas students want to be improved in the school, changes in the school routine and welfare of the members of the students’ council. It was finally found that members of the students council participate in decision making in schools in the following ways: students welfare, students discipline, coming up with school rules and regulations, type of punishment to breakers of school rules and regulations, type of diet, school half term dates, educational trips, student welfare and student leaders training.

1.1 Background of the Study
Communication is derived from the Latin word ‘communicare’ which means ‘to put in common’ and ‘to share’. It is the sharing of ideas, facts, thoughts and feelings for easy coexistence. The goals of a secondary school as an educational organization hinges on effective communication among the various operating personnel. The basic function of education itself relies almost entirely on communication. It helps build relationships and facilitates achievement of goals. The need for effective communication strategies cannot be overemphasized. Everyone participates in communication on a daily basis. Communication is about people speaking and listening.

Goldhaber (1990) define organizational communication as the sending and receiving of messages among interrelated individuals within a particular environment or setting to achieve individual and common goals. Individuals in organizations transmit messages through face-to face, written, and mediated channels. Organizational communication largely focuses on building relationships, or repeated interpersonal interactions, with internal organizational members and interested external publics.

Organizational communication study shows that organizations rely on effective communication and efficient communication skills from their members. A number of surveys (Davis & Miller, 1996; Holter & Kopka, 2001; Verespej, 1998) identify effective oral and written communication as the most sought after skills by those who run organizations. The U.S. Department of Labor reported communication competency as the most vital skill necessary for the 21st century workforce to achieve organizational success (Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills, 1992). The Public Forum Institute (2001) maintained that employees need to be skilled in public presentation, listening, and interpersonal communication to flourish in an organization.

The researcher’s involvement within the school setting and profession over two decades has encouraged a desire to perform a study of internal communication process. As a matter of fact, it is known that successful schools are the natural outcome of successful policies dependent on effective communications. La Plant (1979) expressed the idea that ideal communication produces lasting outcomes affecting all corners of the educational process.

Communication as an indispensable aspect of administration is simply the sharing of information between two or more individuals or group to reach a common understanding for organizational success. Ekwue (2008) agrees that without effective communication in schools, teachers and students will not know what duties they are expected to perform. Under such circumstances, they might be forced to act in certain ways which may be counter-productive. But with open communication, a unique school culture may then develop with the interplay of the various managerial practices.

In organization, it is through communication that attitudes, feelings, insights and facts to others are transmitted. Lin (2010) stated that communication involves at least two persons, the communicator and the communicatee or the sender and receiver. The communicator with a purpose in mind sends out a message in the form of symbol and signs, through a channel or a medium to the communicatee. This message evokes a thought process or impression in the communicatee who in turns makes a response if this response of the communication is deemed effective. Like other elements of the administrative process, communication is by itself a process and has the identifiable elements of the communicator, the message, the medium, the channel, the communicatee and the effect. According to Mass, Weldy and Icenogle (1997) good communication and participation within organization are one of the prerequisites of effective relations in administration. Communication in this sense, means keeping others informed of what is happening, with regard to policies programs, plans and problems of organization and will be made aware of what is happening in different areas and units as well as make suggestions for possible improvement (Leung, 2005).

In addition, effective communication enables individuals to know their duties and carry them out promptly. It reduces drastically the occurrence of misunderstanding and promotes cordial relationship between the school and community and improves inter- personal relations among staff and students in the school (Obiocha, 1981). In school, where effective communication patterns are adopted by the entrepreneurial managers, works are done properly. The principal who works cooperatively with the members of staff, students and the members of the community, harmony and productivity will be maximized.

In line with the Sessional Paper No. 1 of 2005 and in fulfillment of the core mandate as per the provisions of the Education Act, 2012; schools have the critical role and responsibility of providing quality and holistic secondary education for the students. The Nigeria Secondary School Student Union Government (KSSSC)- an umbrella body for the Nigeria Student Union Government was conceived against the background of finding a solution to students indiscipline in the schools. Following the ban on corporal punishment in 2001(RoK, 2001), The Ministry Of Education (MOE), United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF) and the Nigeria Universities Head Association (KSSHA) mooted the Student Union Government concept where an autonomous team of Student Union Government leaders would be expected to replace the prefects in ensuring social control in the schools (KSSHA/UNICEF, 2010). This study therefore sought to assess the modes of communication among students in universities in Rivers state.

1.2 Statement of the problem
In spite of the policies and various session papers on education that the Government has set up to ensure quality education, learning institutions have still been plagued with cases of student unrests and indiscipline. Nasibi (2003) adds that the Nigerian educator must appreciate the fact that in the last two decades there have been societal changes precipitated by effect of techno-scientific developments. These changes call for corresponding changes in communication flow from the traditional bureaucratic to the modern participatory. Despite these changes, managers cling to the outmoded traditions.

According to Rajani (2006) in Nigerian Schools there is virtually no space for students to organize or speak about their concerns. As a result of this state of affairs, secondary school students have resorted to violence as a means of getting their views across to the authorities. Solutions have been articulated, but the broader issue of effective communication flow has not been adequately addressed. Against this backdrop, the study sought to assess the modes of communication used in universities in Rivers state.

1.3 Objectives of the study
1. To determine the modes of communication used in universities in Rivers state

2. To establish the communication tools used in universities in Rivers state

3. To assess the students council body as a form of communication in universities in Rivers state

1.4 Research questions
1. What are the modes of communication used in universities in Rivers state?

2. What are the communication tools used in universities in Rivers state?

3. What are the communication roles of members of the Student Union Governments in universities in Rivers state?

1.5 significance of the study
Over the last few years there have been increased calls for greater inclusion and participation of students in universities. The Ministry Of Education has attempted to put in place structures for inclusion and most prominent being the formation of Nigeria Universities Student Union Government formed in 1979 with a view of making an improvement in universities governance. However despite the laudable move by the government not much research has been conducted to assess the modes of communication. This study therefore sought to fill the knowledge gap between theory and practice on the forms of internal communication in universities.

1.6 Scope of the study
In assessing the communication forms in universities in Rivers state, this study focused on the various communication forms and tools used in communicating the student needs. The study also assessed the Student Union Government body as a form of communication in schools.

The study limited itself to sampling procedures of the Universities within the state, i.e. the school management, the teachers and members of the Student Union Government.

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Item Type: Project Material  |  Size: 43 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.


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