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RECORD KEEPING IN UNIVERSITIES: ASSOCIATED PROBLEMS AND MANAGEMENT OPTIONS IN SOUTH WEST GEO-POLITICAL ZONE OF NIGERIA.
Ebele Joyce Egwunyenga
Department of Educational Administration
This study examined
the associated problems and management options of record keeping among universities
in the South West Geo-Political Zone of
Keywords: Record keeping, Universities, Associated problems, Management Options and South West Geo-Political Zone.
Other associated problems of recording keeping identified
generally in the educational system in
Perhaps it would not be an overstatement to say that record keeping problems are common to the different levels of the education sector. It is however becoming clearer that it is more pronounced in the university system because accurate, reliable and trustworthy records that fulfill evidential requirements are being created but not properly managed. This therefore becomes an issue of great concern to government, parents, students, individuals and organizations. In the past, frantic efforts to improve the situation in many universities through the introduction of computers and internet services as well as development of database management system do not seem to have helped the situation much because the record management system is still conventionally paper-based and manual in operation. Many management staff complain of funds, and material resources. The reality reveals gross inadequacy of qualified personnel, facilities, students explosion and space problem. This study is therefore a response to the challenge by striving to empirically identify these problems and well defined management options that could improve record keeping processes in universities especially in the study area.
Answers to the following questions were provided in this study.
1. What problems are associated with record keeping in universities?
2. What management option can be employed to improve record keeping processes in universities?
The hypotheses below were tested in this study.
1. Views of academic staff do not significantly differ from those of non-academic staff on problems associated with record keeping in universities.
2. Views of academic staff do not significantly differ from those of non-academic staff on management options to improve record keeping processes in universities.
Methods and Procedure:
The study population comprised all academic and non-academic staff of federal and state owned universities in the South West Geo-Political Zone of Nigeria ie 3,418 academic and 8,937 non-academic staff given a total population of 12,355. From the five federal and five state universities, four universities (two federal and two states) were used for the study and actual sample was 2,471 staff (684 academic and 1,787 non academic) selected through the use of stratified random sampling technique. Structured questionnaire with scoring order of Strongly Agreed (SA) = 4, Agree (A) =3, Disagree (D) = 2 and Strongly Disagree (SD) = 1 was used to collect data from the subjects. These were analyzed using mean scores to find answers to the research question and z-test to test the hypotheses.
Results have been presented in line with the research questions and the hypotheses.
Research Question One: What problems are associated with record keeping in universities?
Table 1: Mean
Rating of Problems Associated with Record Keeping in Universities in the South West
Geo-Political Zone of
N = 2,471
Source: Field Survey
+ = Accepted; - = Rejected
Table 1 presents the responses of academic and non-academic staff with regard to the associated problems of recording keeping in their various institutions. The table shows that the overall means of the entire 14 items were greater than the agreement level of 2.50. The items considered very high in the respondents level of acceptance were those with mean rating between 3.18 and 3.02 which included negative attitude in the system (3.18) not well implemented management system (3.11) improper security for records (3.06) and conventional use of paper for official purposes (3.02). Other problems which were accepted were lack of professionally trained managers, inadequate computer terminals, manual operation, inadequate resources, ineffective means of retrieving records lack of records retention and disposition schedule, lack of policy, lack of filing manual and acute space problem had mean rating between 2.95 and 2.50. This indicates that respondents did not reject any of the listed record keeping problems. In other words, record keeping problems are generally present in all universities sampled for the study.
Research Question 2
What management options can be employed to improve record keeping processes in universities?
Table 2: Mean Rating of Management Options to be Employed to Improve Record Keeping Process in Universities.
Source: Field Survey
+ = Accepted; - = Rejected
Table 2 shows a summary of the responses on the management
options to improve record keeping process in
Views of academic staff do not significantly differ from those of non-academic staff on the problems associated with record keeping in universities.
Summary of Z-Test Analysis Showing the Views of Academic and Non-academic Staff on Associated Problems of Record Keeping in Universities.
Table 3 shows the result of a test of difference of the views of academic and non-academic staff on the associated problems of record keeping in universities. The decision is that their views are not significantly different as the calculated z value is 0.13 which is less than 1.96, the critical value of Z. The hypothesis of no difference in their views is hereby upheld.
Views of academic staff do not significantly differ from those of non-academic staff on management
options to improve record keeping processes in universities.
Summary of Z-test analysis showing the views of academic and non-academic staff on management options to improve record keeping processes in universities.
Table 4 shows that there is no significant difference in the views of academic and non-academic staff with regards to management options to improve record keeping in universities. This is because the calculate Z value of 0.20 is less than the critical Z-value of 1.96. Arising from the above result, the hypothesis is therefore upheld.
The results of this study point to the fact that there are a number of problems associated with record keeping in the universities ranging from negative attitude of staff, badly implemented record management system, insecurity of records, use of paper convention, lack of training, manual operation, inadequate computer terminal and resources to ineffective retrieving, retention and disposition schedule, as well as lack of policy and filing procedure manual. These agree with the views of Omeyi (1977), Daya (1996), Iguodala (1998), Egwunyenga (2002), and Iwhiwhu (2005) who have in their various studies pointed out at different times that records kept by Nigerian universities, their acquisition policy, methods of preserving and disseminating them are faulty. This finding could explain why it is very difficult to gather information from many universities archives especially students records such as transcripts, sometimes examinations scores which may be declared missing and many other general administrative documents. Even when they are available, these problems may create doubt as to the authenticity and accuracy of such records. The ultimate consequence is embarrassment to such institution.
On management options, the study came up with some useful measures to include periodical checking of records, professional training, full computerization of the system, policy enlightenment, provision of records manual, introduction of internet services, and adequate provision of funds, security and storage facilities. These confirm the approaches put forward by Ogundele (2001) who believes that employee training and staff development are continuous life processes and are imperative because they add quality to management processes. Furthermore, the findings equally agree with Baje (1998), Fadokun (2004) and Tower (2004) who share the idea of adequate security, storage facilities and funds as necessities for good record keeping. The researcher believes that if these options are well adopted, the problems so far identified will gradually become a thing of the past.
Conclusion and recommended
The findings of this study have led the researcher to conclude that there exist acute record keeping problems in universities in the South West Geo-Political Zone of Nigeria because there are evident components and these could be curbed effectively by the adoption of the right management options as have been made available by the findings of the study.
It is hereby recommended that professionally trained staff be employed over time and existing staff be sent for necessary training through inservice training programmes. In addition, induction programmes for fresh staff, full computerization of universities records and provision of universities’ filing manual are encouraged.
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