Meaning and Concept of Student Personnel Administration
Student personnel administration is interested in studying those services and activities that will make the student perform better academically, socially, mentally, etc. it is therefore interested in discussing the services or treatment that will be meted out to the students so that they can contribute maximally to academics, to their school and to the larger society. This explains why this is a very important area to the student. This area of administration has to X-ray therefore the type of facilities to be provided for the students so that they achieve maximally the objectives of education which will ultimately them good and useful citizens and so become worthy ‘ambassadors’ of their country.
Each school system and each individual school is expected to make important policy decisions with respect to the administration of student personnel. These policies are very important because they define many important relationships between students and the education programme. Teachers do disagree often time with one another on some student personnel polices. Parents also do disagree with one another and with teachers concerning certain policies.
Accordingly, there is no area of education in which there is greater need for the development of consensus of both parents and teachers than in the area of student personnel policies.
Importance of Student Personnel Administration
Administrators and teachers ought to consider the following administrative operations involving student personnel: 1. Census of student population and estimates of student population both long-range-and short-range, must be made. 2. Students must be registered in a school and in a grade, class or subject. 3. Classification policies must be established before students can be registered. 4. Students are evaluated periodically and usually given marks. 5. Reports of students’ progress are given to parents periodically e.g. termly or sessionally. 6. Students usually are promoted at the end of the year or session. 7. Students’ records must be kept.
8. Students require guidance and counseling services. 9. Students sometimes must be disciplined and or rewarded. 10. Placement and follow-up services should be furnished 11. Students’ personnel services need to be provided in order to facilitate the operations listed above.
Both long-range and annual estimates of student population must be made. Long range estimates of student population are made primarily for the purpose of anticipating the need for school plant facilities. Long range estimates are particularly important in school systems that are either rapidly increasing or declining in school population. Estimates of student’s population should be made for at least five to ten years in advance.
The estimates for the succeeding school year should be made rear the closing date of the preceding school year. This annual estimate is necessary for the following reasons: a) It is necessary to know the educational load in order to prepare the budget. b) Shifts in population may require shifts in the attendance boundaries of individual schools. c) Transportation routes must be planned for the succeeding year. d) Teachers must be employed for each school:
e) It may be necessary to make emergency housing provisions at certain school centres pending the construction of permanent facilities. f) Principals need to know the student load to be assigned to their schools in order to make requisitions for supplies of textbooks, and other instructional materials. g) The secondary school principal needs to know the approximate registration in each subject in order to provide staff with the appropriate qualifications and experience. h) Knowledge of the approximate registration in each secondary school subject is essential for schedule making.
Registration of Students:
The best practice is to register students in the pre-school planning period when schools are not regularly in session. Many schools have found it desirable to register students who are entering school for the first time at a different time than when students who have already been enrolled in the school are registered.
Classification of Students:
Students are taught in groups in public schools. Grouping of students requires the use of some type of criteria for classification. Pupils/students differ from one another in almost every conceivable way. No two students/pupils are completely alike. Therefore, no system of classification can make groups homogeneous in many characteristics. Students differ in chronological age, mental age, size and weight, physical maturity, social maturity, emotional adjustment, subject matter achievement characteristics.
The purposes of grouping presumably is to minimize critical differences among students within a particular so that: 1. The student may be assigned to a group in which he has maximum opportunities for growth and development, and 2. The interest of other members of the group will not be greatly injured by the assignment of a particular student to that group.
Educational practices with respect to grouping vary widely. The findings of educational research concerning grouping are far from conclusive. Here are some of the most commonly used bases for grouping:
a) Chronological age
b) Achievement in subject matter,
c) Social maturity
d) Mental ability
e) Students interests
f) Sex of the students
g) A combination of some of these and other factors
Objections to homogeneous grouping
Here are some of the main objections that have been raised against homogeneous grouping. 1. Homogeneous grouping creates undesirable social distinctions among students. 2. Many parents object to their children being classified in the lower ability groups. 3. The so-called homogeneous grouping within a grade or within a subject does not eliminate critical differences among the pupils, and it creates more problems than it solves. 4. Many teachers object to teaching the lower ability groups.
Boarding and Day-Studentship
There has been the age-long controversy over whether boarding studentship or day studentship is more useful or profitable to the student. Eresimadu and Nweke (1984) in their study found out that there was no significant difference between the academic performance of boarders and day students. Earlier however, Loyston et al (1975) said that boarding schools offer an environment more conducive to academic fulfillment than day schools, the organized life, controlled periods of private study, prep at evenings and weekends, the good staff pupil relationship, the constant presence of teachers to help, the use of facilities at evenings and weekends give the boarders many advantages over non-boarders who depart from home and may not enjoy any of the above facilities.
Boarding provides students the opportunity to lead others. It inculcates in them a sense of belongingness and makes them start becoming detached from and subsequently independent of their parents. Students who are boarders have more time to read their books than the day students. On the other side of the coin, some people believe that students learn very many bad things and habits as boarders. They argue that day-students are more closely supervised and monitored by their parents. Again, they claim that it is cheaper to be educated as a day student than as a boarder.
A boarding house should have, of necessity, such facilities as toilets, bathrooms, water, electricity, a store, a common room, a laundry room, a kitchen, a dining hall and sporting facilities.
One single very sensitive area that easily lends way to students’ agitation and eventual and eventual riots is students’ feeding. Students are hardly satisfied with the quantity and quality of their food in the refectories. At one time they complain of the quantity and quality of the food served them whereas at another time, they complain of not being effectively represented in the food committee of the school. Every school authority should handle this very sensitive area most cautiously as the quantity and quality of the students feeding in the boarding houses go a long way to determine the health of the students who are boarders. Any case or incidents of food poisoning in a boarding school may spell unprecedented disaster for the school.
Students’ Activities and Organizations
Students take pride in belonging to one or more clubs in their school. Co-curricular activities like clubs, drama, graduation activities, societies, sports, social activities, religious groups, student’s council, weaving and craft provide numerous and wonderful opportunities for students to lead and follow. The activities are therefore necessary for students in order to increase the identification with the goals of the school. Apart from contributing towards the personal development of the student, they foster social development.
Also, new friendships are developed and peer acceptance is obtained through co-curricular activities. Indeed, the activities of some clubs or religious groups in the school have extended to include clean-up campaigns, donations and visits to disabled and motherless babies homes while there are other clubs and religious groups that fight against indiscipline in the school by exposing the offenders through catoons, etc. For the gains from these clubs and societies to be consolidated, the principal should appoint accredited staff as the patrons, patronesses and staff advisers to them. Their role should be purely advisory and not in the least dictatorial.
Guidance and Counselling Services:
The principal and the staff, as it were represent the interests of the parents at school. They are therefore, regarded as the custodians of the students. In the absence of a professional guidance counselor, the principal should act as one, although he may hardly be in a position to understand the psychological and emotional problems of the students. It must be said that the students need the assistance of the guidance counsellor for these purposes: a) He is helped to choose a discipline for which he has the greatest potential. b) He finds the guidance counsellor as one in whom he can confide and who is sincerely willing to help him overcome his problems.
Evaluation and Continuous Assessment
Evaluation may be defined as a method of appraising or determining one’s value of a thing, a way of expressing one’s view that something is good or bad, better or worse, richer or poorer, qualitative or quantitative, wanted or unwanted, valuable or valueless especially when weighted against a certain standard, Ozigi and Canham (1979).
Purpose of Evaluation
According to Bolton (1974), evaluation may be made for the following reasons:
i) To change goals or objectives
ii) To modify procedures
iii) To determine new ways of implementing procedures
iv) To improve performance of individuals.
v) To supply information for modification of assignments
vi) To protect individuals or the school system
vii) To reward superior performance.
viii) To provide a basis for career planning and individuals growth and development ix) To identify strengths and weaknesses.
Meaning of Continuous Assessment
He Federal Ministry of Education Handbook on Continuous Assessment (1985) defines continuous assessment as “a mechanism whereby the final grading of a student in the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains of behaviour systematically take account of all his performances during a given period of schooling. Such an assessment involves the use of variety of modes of evaluation for the purpose of guiding and improving the learning and performance of the student”.
Advantages or Prospects of Continuous Assessment
It has been established that continuous assessment helps the student in his learning. Emenogu (1995:43) identified the following advantages or prospects of continuous assessment. 1. Pupils’ weakness can be diagnosed and remedied before the final examination. 2. Assessment on a regular basis helps to eliminate examination anxiety. 3. Evaluation becomes an integral part of teaching and learning. Teacher becomes involved in the assessment of his pupils and can incorporate new ideas during teaching and also evaluate them. 4. It is easier to access the students in many dimensions. 5. Less stress is laid upon pure memory.
6. Sometimes, potentially good students fall down in the final examination, because of examination stress or other forms of harassment which may lead to a disorganized thinking. But continuous assessment enables more evaluation of students in more realistic situations. As such it also compensated for the standard error inherent in the mark awarded in a single examination. 7. Continuous assessment encourages over learning.
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