Managerial competencies of principals of federal government colleges in north central, nigeria.

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Federal Government Colleges were established as model schools with world class standard that will set a pace for other states and private secondary schools in Nigeria to emulate and a pride for the Nation. Unfortunately the reverse seemed to be the case in most schools because the Principals in North Central Nigeria seems not to be measuring up to expectations due to poor performances of the students in external examinations, inadequate maintenance of structures and facilities in the schools, poor motivation of staff for capacity development among others. It becomes necessary to investigate the extent to which school principals were competent in the management of Federal Government Colleges in North Central, Nigeria. Five research questions and five null hypotheses guided this study. Descriptive survey design was adopted for the study.

The total population for the study was 2060. A sample of 412 respondents representing 20% of the total population of 2060, which were made up of 24 principals, 72 vice-principals and 316 teachers drawn from the total number of 1966 teachers using random sampling technique were used. A 50-item structured competency questionnaire was developed by the researcher for the study. Three experts validated the instrument. The data collected were analyzed using mean and standard deviation to answer the research questions, while the Analyses of Variance (ANOVA) statistics was used for testing the five null hypotheses.

The overall findings of the study revealed that, to a high extent the principals were competent in; financial management and school community relationship. To a low extent the principals were competent in supervision of instruction; personnel management and school plant maintenance. It was recommended that Federal Ministry of Education should organize regular training such as conferences, seminars and in-service training to empower principals of Federal Government Colleges on skills that would make them competent in all the areas of school management where they are competent to a low extent for efficiency.

Federal Ministry of Education should set up a monitoring committee apart from federal evaluators that will from time to time supervise principal’s activities to make sure that they are competent in school management to a high extent. The Federal Ministry of Education should organize competency examination to the principals before confirming them to the managerial positions. This will enhance principals’ competency in skills acquisition to a high extent and will make Federal Government Colleges to be model secondary schools worthy of emulation by other secondary schools in Nigeria.

Background of the Study
The success of any organisation be it educational institution or production
industry largely depends on the ability to manage the organization efficiently by those in charge that are normally experienced, capable and competent in
organizational management.

Federal Government Colleges are secondary schools commonly referred to as Federal Unity Colleges for which principals are the managers. Secondary education as defined by the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in the National Policy on Education (2009) “is the education that children receive after primary and before tertiary education.” In the same manner, Oshunniyi (2011) stated that secondary education is the formal education given to children and adolescence which bridges the gap between the primary and tertiary education.

Secondary education has two broad goals; the preparation of an individual for
useful living within the society and for higher education. Nweke (2009) in his study stated that there are four categories of secondary schools in Nigeria; these are Federal Government Colleges that are managed by the Federal Ministry of Education; Government Secondary Schools that are managed by states government; Mission secondary schools that are owned and managed by the church; and Private secondary schools which are owned and managed by individuals and organizations. This study is focused on Federal Government Colleges which are managed by the Federal Ministry of Education.

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