APPRAISAL OF THE MANAGEMENT OF FEDERAL POLYTECHNICS IN SOUTH EAST NIGERIA

ABSTRACT

This study was carried out to appraise the management of Federal Polytechnics
in South Eastern Nigeria. The purpose of the study was to determine the extent
of management adherence to the established guidelines in administration of
Polytechnics. Five research questions and five null hypotheses were formulated
to guide the study. The study adopted a descriptive survey design and the
population of the study consisted of 450 respondents comprising 129 heads of
department/unit and 321 senior administrative staff. They were all used for the
study, so no sampling of the population. A 48-item questionnaire was
developed by the researcher and used to collect information pertinent to the
research study. The instrument was validated by five experts and trial tested on
20 heads of department/unit and senior administrative staff at Auchi
Polytechnic, Auchi. The reliability estimate was computed using Cronbach
Alpha method. The data collected were analysed using real limit of number.
Mean scores and standard deviation were used to answer the research questions
while the t-test statistic was used to test the null hypothesis. Some major
findings of the study were that heads of department/unit and senior
administrative staff were involved to a little extent in planning practices such as
involving stakeholders during planning, taking joint action and decision as well
as recommending resources necessary for achieving desired goals. Also free
flow of information from subordinates to superiors was adhered to a little
extent. Adherence to financial regulations were to a little extent in most areas
of financial management such as planning for the procurement and
management of Polytechnic funds, use of auditors for proper accounting,
following financial due process in awarding contracts. Staff recruitment to a
great extent, depends on personal interest of top management staff, and
planning for promotion and maintenance of existing facilities and equipment
are to a little extent attended to in each of the Federal Polytechnics. Based on
the findings of the study, the researcher recommended that all stakeholders be
involved during planning; recruitment of staff be based on merit, among others.
Limitations of the study were also highlighted and then suggestions for further
research were made.
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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

Polytechnics are higher institutions set up primarily to produce indepth
technical manpower in administrative, technical and commercial fields for the
development of national economy. In Nigeria, it is widely recognized that
polytechnics play crucial roles in the education of future leaders and
development of high level technical manpower. According to the National
Board for Technical Education (1993), polytechnics are technical institutions
offering multi post-secondary technical education programmes outside the
universities leading to the award of diplomas/certificates such as the National
Diploma (ND), Higher National Diploma HND) and Post-HND professional
diplomas. Okpeodua (2007) opines that the decision of the Federal Government
to set up polytechnic education was predicated on the decision to revolutionize
the society technologically. Hence, polytechnics are established to train and
produce the technical manpower necessary for the execution of the nation’s
development plans, goals and strategies. This is a role which they have
effectively played since the establishment of the first polytechnic, Yaba
College of Technology, in 1947.

The sensitive position of polytechnics in the Nigerian educational
system is vividly captured by the 2002 education summit organized by the
Federal Ministry of Education. In the summit, polytechnics were recognized as
authentic tertiary educational institutions on the same pedestal as universities, xv
but with its own characteristic orientation towards the production of
technological manpower and technological innovation for industrial
development in Nigeria. The federal ministry of education summit (2002)
therefore resolved that the mission of polytechnics is to produce knowledgeable
and innovative graduates worthy in character and learning through effective
teaching, research and public service for the technological advancement of the
country.

The core functions of polytechnics as captured in section (2) of federal
polytechnic Act (1979) are:

(a) to provide full-time or part-time courses of instruction and
training in technology, applied science, commerce and
management, and in such other fields of applied learning
relevant to the needs of the development of Nigeria in the
areas of industrial and agricultural production and distribution
and for research in the development and adaptation of
techniques as the council may from time to time determine;
(c) to arrange conferences, seminars and study groups relative to
the fields of learning specified in paragraph (a) of this
subsection (i);
(d) to perform such other functions as in the opinion of Council
may serve to promote the objectives of the polytechnic
(p.5878).

In the same vein, section 80(c) of the National policy on Education
(FRN) (2004) states that “polytechnics shall give training and impact necessary
skills that will fast track the nation’s drive towards technological development
as well as producing graduates who can prove themselves worthy men and
women and who are able to use their brain as adequately as they can apply their
hands.