Background to the study

Education is seen as the backbone of development in any nation. It improves the quality of life of a society through refinement of its potentials. Education further enhances the application of man’s achievement towards improvement of his environment.  In every known great nation, therefore, national development was preceded and accomplished by educational advancement. Today, there is an increasing faith in the casual relationship between education and economic development especially in the developing countries like Nigeria. Education has been seen as a vehicle for economic, social-cultural and political development of nations and individual. Education is a social process in which one achieves societal competence and individual growth. Education  is the art of learning about one-self and one’s environment for the purpose of self-development.

The secondary school system is however a very  crucial level of educational system. It is a gateway to the tertiary education and a ripe age for developing students’ potentials. Its benefits should be commensurate with the cost, for this reason, the performance at this level is of significant importance to educational planners and managers. The school as a formal organization is the centre for all teaching-learning processes. The principals and teachers as human resources are sine qua non in goal achievement of the school instructional leadership, pupils relationship, academic achievement of the students, manipulation of facilities and other areas of teaching task must be

Time management is seen as ways that administrators use their time in is effective in carrying out their administrative work without exceeding the fixed calendar. Administrative effectiveness is the ability of the administrators to meet the demand of their job using time management skills in order to meet school goals. There are differences in the understanding of time between Africans and Western cultures. While time is accumulation of existed events in Africa, the calendar and clocks guide the use of time in Western culture. Since formal education is the product of Westerners, Africans are struggling within their understanding of time and Western education.

Time is one of the resources that an administrator needs to manage efficiently in order to achieve organizational goals. The school administrator who coordinates the activities of staff and students must be able to manage his time very well in order to accomplish the aims and objectives of the school. However, what makes time different from other resources used in an organization is that it cannot be accumulated or stockpiled like machines and raw materials replaced like a man. Time is irretrievable. All it entails is its effective management for organizational success.

Time management is very important for everyone. It is the ability to produce and follow a schedule, mee deadlines, prioritize and minimize distractions and unimportant tasks. It includes managing time wisely so that tasks and projects can be done effectively and efficiently. Akomolafe (2005) posited that time management skills are essentially for effective people. Prochaska-Cue, Preston & Mahar (2007) also opined that time management skills require four basic steps: decide what you want to accomplish; determine activities to reach each goal; make a daily ‘to do’ list; and set one’s priorities everyday.

According to Olaniyi (1998), a good time manager is a person who can efficiently manage himself and all his activities within a time range. Manktelow in Akomolafe (2005) submitted that school administrator’s managerial abilities should reflect on their time management skills. They should devote available administrative time to immediate administrative tasks and ability occurrences. The heart of time management is concentration on results and not on being busy.

The principals play important leadership roles in establishing school discipline, both by effective administration and by personal example. Principals of well-disciplined students are usually highly visible models. They engage in what Duke describes as “management by walking around,” greeting students and teachers and informally monitoring possible problem areas. Effective principals are liked and respected, rather than feared, and communicate caring for students as well as willingness to impose punishment if necessary (NAESP 1983). Duckworth (1984) found that teachers’ satisfaction with school discipline policy was related to their relationship with the principal. Esen (1980) views discipline as the maintenance of the quatity of the atmosphere necessary for achievement of the school goals. Ezeocha(1985) argues that school discipline should recognize the inherent dignity and right of the individual, be devoted to humanitarian principles and ideals, offer selfdirection and be founded on an understanding of acceptable behavior. Indiscipline behavior in both private and public secondary schools manifest itself in various ways ranging from stealing , fighting, loitering, bullying , trancy , unpunctuality , absenteeism, drug abuse, examination malpractices asasult, disobedience, insubordination and cult activities. (Akpan, & Okey & Esirah 2005). Duke (1989), Wayson and Lasley (1984) intimated that in well -disciplined schools, the principals provide clear and broad based rules, delegate disciplinary matters and ensure commitment on the part of teachers to establishing and maintaining appropriate students’ behaviors.

Good communication and shared values are important elements in this relationship. Ideally, a principal should be able to create consensus among staff on rules and their enforcement. In practice, some principals create consensus by recruiting like-minded staff over the course of years (Duckworth 1984), or by arranging transfers for teachers whose views “don’t fit in with goals and plans for their school” (NAESP 1983). Gottfredson and others (1989) in a study concluded that stable and supportive administrative leadership was the “overriding factor” determining whether a discipline programme was effective. Schools that successfully implemented a pilot programme experienced distinct improvements in discipline. Tabotndip (2005) opined that the quality and effectiveness of every education system anywhere in the world is dependent on the competences, effectiveness, efficiencies and devotion of the teaching force. Teachers are seen as the foundation upon which the growth and development of the society depends (Ejiogu 1997, Afe 1992, Fafunwa 1991, and Ezeh 2004).

The emergence of mass establishment of private schools appears to be due to deplorable conditions in public schools. It was observed that many parents seem to prefer private schools because they thought they were more efficient and effective on their job. It was believed that personnel in private schools were more dedicated on their job. Many research findings have revealed that private schools were good enough for children education, Gregory (1992), and Kenshaw and Blank 1993 reported that private schools have lower incidences of negative school behaviour than public schools. Adiotomre and Ekwevugbe (2005) submitted that private schools were instructionally more effective than public schools when it comes to effective use of instructional materials, use of variety of teaching methods and student evaluation techniques. In Britain and in the USA there is high reputation for private schools. The first set of schools in Britain and USA were private schools. The British Government’s involvement in education started in 1830s. Today, private schools gladly join their newer counterpart, the public schools in creating an educational system that is the envy of the world and the hope of the continued freedom of Americans (council for American private Education, 2004).

Private schools are independent schools, which are established by non- governmental agencies, for profit making venture while public schools were established schools, which are common goods, opened to all members of the society. According to Okafor (1984), private education is the type undertaken by any organization or agency besides the state. Gobir (2005) identified three categories of private schools, private school owners especially secondary schools, who could not afford quality schools, efficient staff and up to date laboratories and libraries. Another category of private school which intend to maintain more conducive environment for learning, and third category which are good private secondary schools that provide a challenging education.

Schlerens and Bosker (1984) reviewed studies of public and private secondary schools system in some developed countries, private schools appear to be more effective. They attributed this to the active roles of parents in private schools. Seattle (2005) argued that basically some private schools are better than public schools. Thus in Scotland achievement in private schools was found to be somewhat higher than in public schools (Mcpherson and Williams 1986).Studies and literature revealed divergent views on public and private schools administrative performance. Coleman Hoffer and Kilgore (1981) have stated that private schools are superior in promoting students’ achievement. Coleman et al (1981) confirmed that private schooling increased academic achievement. Gobir (2005) submitted that high performance in private schools is due largely to hard work. She further explained that private schools tend to achieve high result with less expenditure on teachers, which makes up the bulk of recurrent school expenditure than public schools. . Alt & Peter (2002) and Akpan et al (2005) revealed that Private Secondary school administrators are more effective in maintaining discipline than their counterparts in Public schools. Ubeku (1981) was of the view that poor attitude to work are found to be common in public sector than in private. He stressed further that it was due to master servant relationship coupled with rigid control and direction which typical the activities of leaders. However, Abiodun – Oyebanji (2004), and Akomolafe (2005) submitted in their studies that there was no significant difference in teachers’ job performance in both private and public secondary schools in Ekiti state. Adegun (2005) also revealed that there was no difference in the administrative effectiveness of head teachers in public and private primary schools. Furthermore Bassey and Ekpoh (2005) revealed that there were similarities in the supervision of teachers and the assessment of the students of academic activity between the public and private school Observations have shown that lot of people in our society prefer to send their children to private schools.

It was believed that teachers in those schools show much dedication and appear to perform better on their job. It was being speculated that the principals in those private schools were effective on their job and they handle the staff effectively and make them to produce good result. It was observed that although public schools seem to havemore qualified teachers and relatively better facilities, nevertheless, they did not attract much patronage especially from the elite, rich and even the government workers.

Besides, MacKenzie (1972), Akomolafe (2005), Ajayi (2007) and Hassanzabeh & Ebadi (2007) posited that  administrators can make good use of their time by reducing their time waters. Ajayi (2007) defined a time waster as something that occurs in the day that is not necessary to the day or an activity that consumes more than necessary time. MacKenzie (1972) and Akomolafe (2005) listed the following as time wasters: telephone interruptions, drop-in visitors, conversation with colleagues, unscheduled meetings among others.

Other time management strategies as pointed by researchers include: delegation of duties to competent subordinates; avoidance of procrastination; avoidance of multi-tasking; minimize clutter and paper on one’s desk.

These are some of the basics of effective time management. However, in the secondary school system, it appears that some principals do not realize the need to manage their time for the school success. It is against this backdrop that this paper assesses the time management skills of secondary school principals and their level of administrative effectiveness.

Statement Of The Problem

Time is a valuable resources which must be well plained with other resources to achieve the goals and objectives of the school. A time  waste can not recall for use again, it is important for secondary school administrators or principal to managed their time.

It has been observed that the most common difficulties encountered by some principals of secondary schools in Nigeria are their inability to organize and plan their work properly. That is using time effectively. It is uncommon to see principals having standing meetings with members of staff everyday after morning devotions.

This tends to waste the teachers’ time in attending to the first periods. These principals also waste their own precious time as there are some other pressing issues waiting for them in their offices.

It has also been observed that some principals attend to issues that should have been handled after their corporate hours. Such issues include unnecessary personal phone calls, wasting much time with drop-in visitors, involving in routines and details that should have been delegated.

Obevation has shown that some principals of secondary schools delight pleasure in visiting members of the Parents-Teachers Association (PTA) executive when they suppose to be in the school attending to issues that bother on the school’s success. The situations explained above seem to make principals of schools ineffective in their usage of time to achieve the goals of the schools.

Various researches have explained how administrators can make good use of their corporate time to achieve the goals of the organization. Setting priorities seems to be foremost in time management strategies. According to Lakein (1973), Olaniyi (1998), Morgenstern (2004) and Ajayi (2007) setting priorities involves a clear understanding of one’s job and one’s life. One of the easiest ways to prioritize is to make a “to do” list daily, weekly, monthly or termly. It is essential to set priorities and estimate the time required for all identified tasks, so that you are aware of what is important (Akomolafe, 2005).

Following priorities setting is time scheduling, activities take different forms and different amounts of time. So to effectively use one’s time, it is important to estimate how long a task will take and allow that amount of time for the task. To get a more accurate estimate, an administrator needs to keep track of how he spends his time for a week. This will help him on how to get a better idea of how much he needs to spend on each activity, assignment and programme.

Based on these identified problems, the following general questions were raised.

  1. What effect does time management have on principal effectiveness
  2. What are the factors militating against the use time management in ekiti state secondary schools
  • What are the strategies that can be put in place to ensure better time management among principals in secondary schools in Ekiti state?

Purpose  of the study


 Research Questions

Based on the problems of this study, the following research question will be raised;


Research hypothesis

Based on the research question, the following null hypothesis will be formulated for the study:



Significance of the study

The result of this study would be helpful to principals for managing their time in such a way as to keep them focused on more important tasks. The managerial work of principals is of importance because they put efforts in mobilizing and motivating employees running the institution throughout the various stages of planning, organising, directing and evaluating its activities.


The study could enable the principal to have the full knowkdge of time management in the achievement of educational goals and objectives of schools, it could be useful to the  teachers in secondary to know how to use their time for effective teaching in Ekiti state secondary schools. It could also help students to learn at their pace and to be time conscious

It could be a significant feature for academic achievement of students if school principals are aware of careful use of time; additional time could be allocated to non-academic and academic activities. If school management is engaged in effective use of their time in school activities, it will directly improve teachers’ use of time.



The study could also assist educational policy maker or stakeholders in the planning and effective ulitizization of time. It could as well enable government agencies, non government organizations (NGO) and individual philanthropic to discover the importance and the use of time for effective school management

Delimitation of the study

The study will be delimited to time management as correlate of principal effectiveness in public and private secondary schools in Ekiti state.

The variable the researcher intends to use in measuring time management for the effectiveness of secondary school principals include,  utilization of time management, time management strategies and principal procrastination.

The study will be restricted to public and private secondary schools in the sixteen local government area in Ekiti state, Nigeria


Definition of Terms

Principal: Head teacher of a school

Administrative tasks: Activities that are carried out daily by the head teacher to ensure that the school achieves educational objectives.

Effectiveness: The ability to achieve or produce intended results through school management.

Management: Achievement of Educational goals (learning teaching) through effective leadership.

Teacher: A duly member of staff appointed by the teachers service commission to teach in a school.

Time Management: is the discovery and application of the most efficient method(s) of completing assignment or work of any length in the optimum time and with the highest quality. Time management is actually about getting the important things done.

Procrastination: Procrastination is delay in executing planned programme 135587_1533300375hhh



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