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A practicum is a practical field of study which students studying Educational Administration and Planning must carry out as a partial requirement for the fulfillment of the award of Bachelor Degree in Educational Administration and Planning. The students who offer Educational Administration and Planning as their course of study are expected to within the period of their programme to be attached to any of the educational organizations so as to provide the students an opportunity to acquire practical knowledge on the administration of an educational organization, observing the functions of the educational administrators and planners, the structures and functions of the educational organization and the overall responsibility of its administration.
The roles of the local government education authority are concerned with the overall aspects of the primary education. This is further prescribed in the federal republic of Nigeria official Gazette (1988) establishing the then National Primary Education Commission which some provisions were upheld by the present Universal Basic Education Commission as follows;
i. The day-to-day administration of primary schools within the Local Government Area;
ii. Making recommendation on promotion and discipline of both teaching and non-teaching staff on GL. 07 and above to the state universal basic education board,
iii. The appointment, posting, transfer, promotion and discipline of both teaching and non-teaching staff within the range of grade level 01-06; iv. Payment of salaries, allowances and other benefits to both teaching and non-teaching staff;
v. Submission of detailed annual estimates, accounts, and monthly returns to the state Universal Basic Education Board;
vi. Acquisition and distribution of materials and equipment to primary schools; vii. Understanding capital projects and general maintenance of primary school buildings and its infrastructure;
viii. Arousing, promoting and encouraging communal participation in the running of primary schools in the Local Government Area;
ix. Taking all reasonable and polite steps to ensure full enrollment and attendance in all primary schools within the area;
x. Payment for any land acquired for the purpose of educational development; xi. Supervising the district education committees within the local government area;
xii. Intimating on regular basis feedback to the state universal basic education board on public reaction to government education measures within the area;
and xiii. Rendering a detailed annual report to the State Universal Basic Education Board on the activities of the Local Government Education Authority during the preceding year, especially on instructional activities.
This practicum report is restricted to the administrative roles, functions and structures of various departments in operational in the Kaduna North Local Government Education Authority. This study will attempt to seek the method of decision making, communication channel and how discipline is maintained in the Kaduna North Local Government Education Authority.
The Kaduna North Local Government Education Authority is located along Abubakar Kigo and Nassarawa Roads respectively. At the Northern and Southern parts it bounded by Igabi and Kaduna south local government areas respectively. It is being housed on a storey building that contains twenty-four (24) offices. The Kaduna North Local Government Education Authority originated from the ancient educational tradition.
The emirs and chiefs assisted by another community leaders at their respective domains were the sole authority responsible for appointing within the community credible personalities to give or train the children of the community and to report back to the emirs and chiefs. This system of administration was restructured to Native Authority at the advent of the colonial administration where Kaduna Metropolis was placed under the administrative jurisdiction of the Zaria Native Authority with the component unit responsible for grassroots education existing alongside as being one of the social services which the Native Authority was responsible for providing to the community.
The Native Authority System of administration was in operational when the need to reform it was conceived. It was subsequently declared and reformed as the third tier of Government known as Local Government Council with the unit responsible for primary education proclaimed a department. The history of the Local Government Education Department, Kaduna North will not be complete without being related to the mother Local Government Council as it serves as the sole source of funding and administrative discipline for the education department though, some of these functions were removed at the promulgation of Decree No. 31 establishing the National Primary Education Commission by the Federal Military Government as supported by the Federal Republic of Nigeria official Gazette of 17th August 1988 respectively. In spite of the overhauling and the reformation in the education sector that brought the Universal Basic Education Authority was still maintained.
The Kaduna North Local Government Education Authority was created in 1991 by the Federal Military Government with the Administrative mandate to occupy the Headquarters of the then Local Government Education Authority, Kaduna. This was necessary as the Headquarters was located within the administrative of the Kaduna North Local Government Education Authority.
STRUCTURES AND FUNCTIONS OF THE VARIOUS DEPARTMENTS OFKADUNA NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT EDUCATION AUTHORITY
The Kaduna North Local Government Education Authority is consisting of six (6) departmental head with the educational secretary coordinating the activities of these departments which are mentioned below;
i. Department of Human Resource Management
ii. Department of Finance and Accounts
iii. Department of Planning, Research and Statistics
iv. Department of school services
v. Department of social mobilization and knowledge management vi. Department of quality assurance
The administrative structure of the Kaduna North Local Government Education Authority is shown below;
i. The Education secretary
ii. The Departmental heads of the various departments
iii. The Units head
iv. The Other subordinates staff
The hierarchy of the Local Government Education Authority, Kaduna North provides that the education secretary is the chief administrative and accounting officer who is responsible for coordinating the functions of the various departments of the local government education authority.
This department performs such duties as;
i. Recruitment of teaching and non-teaching staff on grade level 01-06;
ii. Deployment and transfer of both teaching and non-teaching staff on grade level 01-06;
iii. Preparation of pensions list of retirees and intended retirees
iv. Administering promotion advancement confirmations and discipline of staff within the range of grade level 01-06;
v. Developing the personnel emolument budget for inclusion in the main budget of the Local Government Education Authority;
vi. Developing and maintaining establishment workforce plan; vii. Developing job descriptions and schedule for the local Government Education Authority;
viii. Reviewing responsibilities, duties and staffing needs including departmental functions;
ix. Reviewing staffing levels and submit recommendations of such review to the state universal basic education board;
x. Deployment of teachers to schools based on needs;
xi. Preparing departmental reports to the state universal basic education board; xii. Preparing unit work plans and budget
xiii. Developing and maintaining human resources policies.
xiv. Establishing training needs or requirements and developing training plan for both teaching and non-teaching staff including induction programmes. xv. Recommending teaching and non-teaching staff for training and retraining. xvi. Identifying liaising with training service providers
xvii. Maintaining training records
xviii. Maintaining both confidential and open records.
THE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE AND ACCOUNTS
This department performs related functions such as:-
i. Preparing payrolls and making payment of salaries, allowances and other benefits to both teaching and non-teaching staff;
ii. Maintaining account and other financial records;
iii. Making all payments from the LGEA accounts;
iv. Collaborate to prepare annual budgets and estimates;
v. Coordinating and controlling loans and advances;
vi. Preparing monthly, quarterly and annual financial reports;
vii. Preparing annual financial statements and ensuring they are ready for auditing;
viii. Providing financial advice to the LGEA
ix. Collaborating with the social mobilization and knowledge management to provide the LGEA stakeholder with financial update;
x. Liaising with the local government council on financial matters;
xi. Endorsing computed retirement benefits;
xii. Maintaining records of all contributory pension issues;
xiii. Collecting from SUBEB and distributing pay slip;
xiv. Receiving funds from SUBEB and disbursing same on behalf of the LGEA;
xv. Rendering financial returns to the state Universal Basic Education Board;
xvi. Maintaining bank accounts;
xvii. Maintaining store;
xviii. Maintaining assets register;
xix. Preparing bank reconciliation.
This department undertakes such related functions as:-
i. Propose frameworks for the departmental work plan and implementation plans by departments;
ii. Coordinating the development harmonizing the LGEA plans medium term strategic sector, department annual work plan and performance targets etc;
iii. Coordinating the development and harmonizing the LGEA budgeting process;
iv. Identifying schools to be constructed and renovated after due consolation with the department of school services;
v. Rendering annual reports to the state universal Basic Education Board and local Government Council;
vi. Preparing unit work plans and budgets;
vii. Ensuring that individual work plans are developed, implemented and monitored regularly;
viii. Ensuring the availability and functioning of education management information system;
ix. Supporting the ministry and the state universal basic education board in the designing of annual school census and other survey questionnaires for both primary and junior secondary schools levels;
x. Supporting the administration and conduct of surveys.
This department performs the following functions:-
i. Establishment of early childhood care and development centers and overseeing the implementation of the curriculum meant for it;
ii. Identifying and sharing staff needs with the human resources;
iii. Identifying instructional materials need including textbooks and communicate to the education secretary and the universal basic education board;
iv. Recommending to state universal basic education board the mode of instructional materials distribution based on school needs;
v. compiling and forwarding school development needs to the department of planning research and statistics and other relevant units;
vi. Recommending materials to be purchased such as textbooks and other instructional materials;
vii. Distributing both textbooks and other instructional materials to the schools and monitoring the usage of same
viii. Overseeing library services in both primary junior secondary schools;
ix. Coordinating the administration of exams for both primary and junior secondary schools
x. Overseeing continuous assessment and ensure up to date class assessment records; xi. Coordinating curricular activities such as sports, health, clubs etc;
xii. Providing counseling and guidance services to both primary and junior secondary schools;
xiii. Maintaining records of pupils transiting to junior secondary school;
xiv. Overseeing the provision of education for disabled children through facilitating integration of disabled pupils into regular schools;
xv. Liaising with the state Universal Basic Education Board to provide education for children in nomadic communities; xvi. Coordinating school improvement initiatives;
THE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL MOBILIZATION AND KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT
This department is responsible for the under listed duties/functions
i. Developing strategies for community participation and mobilization;
ii. Constructing alliance within the community, civil society non-governmental organizations etc to support educational development;
iii. Ensuring the establishment and support of the ongoing school Based Management Committees within the schools;
iv. Developing and implementing strategies for community mobilization, advocacy and integration at local Government Area, wards and community;
v. Ensuring that community participates in the implementation of the Universal Basic Education Programs in local Government Areas;
vi. Promoting enrolment, attendance , retention and completion of girls education and out of school children;
vii. Monitoring and advising on the implementation of self-help projects;
viii. Working with communities to promote access and equity;
ix. Through advocacy, sensitization, mobilization create platform for community enlightenments or awareness and participation in local Government Education Authority activities
x. Facilitating community supports for schools
xi. Strengthening communication between the State Universal Basic Education Board, Local Government Education Authority, Ward, Community and schools; xii. Producing materials for the LGA such as bulletin board etc; xiii. Ensuring adequate implementation of self-help project at the beneficiary schools.
THE QUALITY ASSURANCE DEPARTMENT
The functions of this department are highlighted underneath
i. Coordinating all quality assurance activities at the LGEA;
ii. Establishing the LGEA works plans and schedules for the evaluation of primary schools and feed back to zonal offices;
iii. Coordinating training and re-training of primary evaluation officers;
iv. Creating conducive systems for monitoring the quality of the whole school evaluation and the evaluators and ensure implementation of follow up activities;
v. Establishing a system for dealing with poor performing schools;
vi. Setting an annual target based on the priorities of the LGEA;
vii. Preparing an annual detailed report covering the activities of the LGEA;
viii. Evaluating and re-accrediting primary schools within the LGEA at least once in three (3) years;
ix. Ensuring that the LGEA Evaluators follow standards and bench marks for evaluation of schools;
x. Providing feedback to schools on evaluation reports;
xi. Producing instruments for school evaluation;
xii. Preparing work plans and budget for the unit;
xiii. Creating and maintaining database of all evaluation documents.
Figure 1: Present the organizational structure of the Kaduna North Local Government Education Authority
According to Fred C. Lunenburg and Allan C. Ornstien (2008) sees decision making as “the process of choosing from among alternatives”. Therefore, decision making is generally the thinking that follows alternative solutions aimed at arriving at the eventual remedy that is called decision making. The ability of an organization to function effectively depending solely on the type of leader it has.
This is also the same with the functioning of organizations which depend on the kind of decisions made concerning it. This assertion is true because whatever plans of action an organization takes is the product of a decision. Whether such a decision proves effective for the organization or ineffective depends on how reasonable and relevant such a decision was.
Consequently, decision making in an organization as it affects the Kaduna North Local Government Education Authority will be briefly examined with a view to ascertaining how sound decisions can be arrived at and who should be involved in the decision making.
The Local Government Education Authority, Kaduna North takes decisions on issues that affect it collectively involving the principal officers drawn from various departments and sections.
The universally acceptable decision making adopted by the LGEA involves variety of steps through which it is hoped that individual will be enabled to arrive at more reasonable decisions.
i. Determining the problem and its scope: This is concern with identifying of the problem for which a decision is sought. It is critically thought over in order to fully understand and then defined and the actual limit of the problem known;
ii. Analysis and Evaluation: The individual perceives the problem wholistically and decides whether or not a decision will be made to solve the problem. If it is irrelevant then the idea of a decision is therefore dropped;
iii. Formulating alternative solutions: This explains that when individual has agreed to make a decision on the problem. He then develops alternative solution to the problem he intends to solve;
iv. Determining workability of proposed alternatives: this assists in determining the possible effects after having compared the formulated alternatives with a view to helping the individual to have an idea of the best alternative to take;
v. Selecting one alternative: this is the selecting of alternative which presents more favorable related consequences to unfavorable ones as the probable decision;
vi. Test-out: This is the putting into practical action the alternative solution chosen on the basis of trial;
vii. Evaluation of alternatives: This is the assessment of consequences arising during the trial period of the selected alternative. If the consequences are found to be positive and sound, the alternative then becomes the decision.
According to A. Owan Enoh, Becky B. Bamanja and Roy O. J. Onuwuka (1987) define communication as a process of ‘disseminating information from and to every member of such an organization’. It is generally, viewed and as a system of linking the individual, the group and the organization.
The most common used channels of communication in the Kaduna north local government education authority involves the following Ideating: The development of an idea, message, or information to transit/disseminate to the subordinates to the members of the community; Encoding: This is the idea that the sender intends to convey or transmit to the individual and even the public. Symbols such as words. Non-verbal cues or picture and even diagrams are designed to disseminate messages; Transmitting: This segment of communication channels takes place as soon as the message is developed. This includes several methods such as memoranda, circular, telephone, board policy or management policy statement and face-face communication.
Receiving: This channel requires that the receiver should be a good listener to the oral message. In other words, if the message is written, the receiver must be attentive to its specified and implied meaning. Decoding: This is referring to the translation of an already received message into a perceived or interpreted meaning. The ability of the receiver is to take transmitted messages and give meaning to them. Acting: this is the last communication channels. It involves putting into action or practice the information so far conveyed or disseminated for the positive improvement of an organization.
There are basically two (2) ways of communication flow or direction viz; downward and upward systems but the one that is commonly in used in the Kaduna North Local Government Education Authority which is the downward communication will be briefly discussed below;
Downward communication is referred to the communication pattern in an organization where directives are issued from a higher point of administrative function to a lower one. This could further be illustrated as when the education secretary gives directives to the departmental heads of the Kaduna North Local Government Education Authority who are as well accountable to the central administrative function.
The term discipline is defined in the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (2005) as ‘the practice of training people to obey rules and orders and punishing them if they do not; the controlled behavior or situation that results from this training’. From the above definition therefore, discipline is the ability to obey rules and others which are formulated and regulated by the constituted authority. The methods of maintaining discipline in the Kaduna North Local Government Education Authority among its employees is categorized into two(2) viz. staff within the range of grade level 01-06 and staff from grade level 07 above The discipline of staff on grade level 01-06 is purely the responsibility of the Local Government education authority and this occur when an employee is alerted of the implications of his/her action and as well informed of the decision of the management against him or her.
Though these disciplinary measures varies from the magnitude of the offence committed. Some offences attracted instant dismissal considering their seriousness. The discipline of staff on grade level 07 and above rests solely on the state universal basic education board. Though the process of administering such discipline starts from the local government education authority by bringing to the attention of the board the type of offence an employee committed and the detailed recommended disciplinary measures due to imposed on the offender.
Discipline is significant in any human or organization like the Local Government Education Authority. It is through enforcement of discipline that peaceful and harmonious conduct of organizational activities are successfully carried out by the personnel that further result in the attainment of the desired goals of the organization. Discipline regulates the conduct of daily activities of the personnel to conform to the laid-down rules and regulations.
Releasing the need and importance of offering admission to the youth to undergo this programme, those who are within the range of participating in the National Youth Service Corps assignment, necessary arrangements be put in place to enable them take part in the National Programme at the completion of their educational programmes; In recognition the functions and importance of planning in an organization, the management of the university will dialogue with the government with a view to considering graduates of educational and ministration and planning to serve as education administrators and planners. Considering the fact that, this programme is purely of education administrators and planners, effort be made to remove teaching practice from the course content and be replaced with industrial attachment. As examinations are uniformly conducted across the nation’s institution the adoption of uniform implementation of educational polices by the Local Government Education Authorities is paramount.
The Federal Republic of Nigeria Official Gazette No.53 (17 Aug.1988) Vol.75.
A. Owan Enoh, Becky B.Bamaja and Roy O. J Onwuka (1987); a Handbook of Educational Foundations: Challenge Press, Jos, Nigeria. Fred C. Lunenburg and Allan C. Orstein ;
Educational Administration, Concepts and Practices: fifth Edition: Printed in the United States of America.
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