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APPLICATION OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (ICT) IN UNIVERSITY ADMINISTRATION: A CASE STUDY EBONYI STATE UNIVERSITY, ABAKALIKI

APPLICATION OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (ICT) IN UNIVERSITY ADMINISTRATION: A CASE STUDY EBONYI STATE UNIVERSITY, ABAKALIKI

 

Abstract

This study x-rayed the Application of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in University Administration: A Case Study Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki. Four research questions were formulated to guide the study. Survey research design was used for the study. The population for this study consisted of all the final year students in all the departments of Faculty of Education Ishieke Annex in Ebonyi State University (526).

A simple random sampling technique was adopted to draw two hundred and twenty-seven (227) students from the Faculty of Education, Ishieke Annex in Ebonyi State University. Collected data was analyzed using of mean and frequency. Based on the analysis of the data collected the study, results showed amongst others that; school administrators apply Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in management of students records in Ebonyi State University, such as registration of students academic courses and storing students’ academic records right from their being admitted to their graduation.

Based on the findings, recommendations were made that: ICT competence should be incorporated into the curriculum at all levels of each faculty in Ebonyi State University in order for them to take advantage of the complex aspects of ICT such as e-learning, e-library etc.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

Universities are at the apex in the hierarchy of educational institutions offering post secondary education. The increasing development of educational system at all levels brings greater demands on educational administrators and personnel services (Ebirim, Ochai, and Obasi, 2014). Hence universities have a lot of records to be kept and persons are involved in managing these records.

The two groups of persons involved are academic staff and non- academic staff which are referred to recently as administrative staff. All these staff personnel are involved in the management of records (Chidobi, 2015). School management especially as regards to higher institution has become a difficult task in view of complexity of modern educational system since societal demands and need kept on changing and educational system embraces innovations (Chidobi, 2015).

Also there is worldwide technological development, which has invariably affected all areas of administration in education. School record management which is an aspect of school management was not left out in this innovation and change. School administrators have now discovered that the traditional methods of managing schools especially in the area of record management which involves carrying files all about are not appropriate to handle the accelerating change (Chidobi, 2015).

School management is not an easy task, because every administrative task area needed to be effectively managed. In higher educational institutions, administration and management involves the control and verification of system and the process of organizing and managing resources of all kinds in sufficient quantity and quality to ensure that set objectives are reached (Sushmita, 2007).

According to Maki (2008), Information and Communication Technology (ICT) plays a vital role in supporting powerful, efficient management and administration in the education sector. Information and Communication Technology ICT applications in education can be considered as an effective enabler to create, access, store, transmit, and manipulate different information in audio and visual form, since it has the capability of providing proactive environment (Kawade & Kulkarni, 2012).

Thus ICT can be used from student administration (i.e., students’ record) to various resource administration in an education institution. According to Zainally (2008), ICT provides several facilities and possibilities for educational administrators to perform their tasks”. In this regard, Voogt and Knezek (2008) observe that the development of computer technology from processing information to supporting communication augmented its potential for education. Our society, without exception, is in transition towards an information society due to the enormous impact of these technologies in all facets of life.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has been defined by various scholars from different perspectives. Mueen, Asadullah, Raed & Jamshed (2013) defined ICT to include electronic network-embodying complex hardware and software-linked by a vast array of technical protocol. Ufuophu and Ayobami (2012) observe that the ICTs include internet, satellite, cable data transmission and computer assisted equipment. ICT, however are facilities, tools or resources that could be used to process, store, preserve, access, retrieve and disseminate information with ease (Ayoade, 2014). It could be seen as the engine for growth and tool for empowerment, with profound implications for education, change and socio-economic development.

Administration according to Hornby (2002) is perceived as activity done in order to plan, organise and successfully run a business, school or other institution, a process or act of organising the way that something is done. Administration according to Eden (2006) involves planning activities which aim at the fulfilment of the goals of a particular organisation or institution. It calls for the ability of the administrators to make the right decisions to fulfil the required goals. In institutional setting therefore, administration has been extended as a service activity or tool through which the fundamental objectives of the institutional process may be more optimise efficiently when allocating human and material resources as well as to make the best use of existing resources (Liverpool and Jacinta,2013).

In recent years, ICT applications have been used in education administration and management to support sustainable development in various institutions of higher learning. Software based tools and applications are used to execute useful tasks for education, such as word processing, desktop publishing, running a database, creating a presentation or e-mail program (Higgins and Packard, 2004). Student administration is an important and integral part of information administration.

This involves various activities commencing from the admission process to learning activities till processing of results and performance analysis. The integration of ICT into this process enhances the overall admission activities of higher education institutions by making it more accessible to many (Thomas, 2004). The important items identified under this category relates to the automation of admission process through e-media.

This includes admission enquiry by students, applying for admissions through electronic media, registration/enrolment using computers, course allotment, and availability of information like timetable/class schedule in electronic form and attendance monitoring/maintenance through e-media. Further it includes the various communications relating to transport, hostel accommodation and other communication to guardians/parents. The integration of ICT into this process also helps in expansion of the geographical boundaries for student intake, thus facilitating cross-border higher education.

Staff administration includes recruitment and work allotment of faculty and staff in the institution, their attendance and leave management, and performance appraisal. This also includes relevant communication to and from the institutions and among peers. Staff administration done through Information and communication technology (ICT) helps in processing of voluminous records in a quick, meticulous, and impeccable manner thereby making data retrieval easier (Thomas, 2004). In general, a good communication system should also be in place for the overall effectiveness of administration.

ICT helps in providing a good communication system in higher education system (Magni 2009). ICT helps in providing timely information to all concerned. Communication could be for internal and external information acquisition and dissemination. It includes communication between the important stakeholders of the system such as sending e-circulars to students, school and staff. The dissemination of information about the institution using e-kiosks is also a very important item to be considered.

A very important part of Information administration is general administration of higher education institutions which includes the various day-to-day activities of the entire system. According to Hasan (2007), the integration of ICT into general administration could bring about increased efficiency and optimal resource utilization. The various items classified under this category include usage of electronic media for scheduling of halls and other resources, fee payment, and handling internal and external examination activities in coordination with the school members, all day to-day activities, intra and inter communication etc.

The dream of any institution in an effective and efficient managerial process is to accomplish their needs and goals. Ohakwe and Okwuanaso (2006) stated that the knowledge of computer application software such as spreadsheet, excel, computer-aided design and database are important skills which enables institutional administrators in processing relevant data for the governing bodies , institutional agencies for decision making towards quality assurance and transformational development.

Finances are a material resource, and are the pivot upon which any institution revolves. According to Idolor (2010), financial management is the managerial activity concerned with the planning and controlling of a firms’ financial resources. Issues related to financial management include recording, transfer, use, and accounting for funds. With the introduction and use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the new globalised economy, ICTs in financial management is an emergent feature that cannot be ignored because of its role in enhancing management efficiency.

Integrating ICTs in financial management simplifies organizations’ workflow and transaction processes, enhancing the rate of working as well as links between individuals and institutions and minimizes administrative costs (Ministry of Finance, Georgia, MOF, 2010).  In most higher educational institutions, payment of tuition, hostel and other sundry fees which were normally paid in cash or bank draft in the recent past are largely carried out online nowadays (Iloanusi and Osuagwu, (2006).

Online payments and registrations have now eliminated the nightmare of long queues for payments, loss of uncollected revenues by dubious means and a better fit between published and achieved time table of academic events. Some universities have an automated system for the computation of undergraduate and postgraduate degree results, facilitating the prompt assessment of results. Some other universities though still rely on manual computation of results and processing of students files.

Furthermore, through the use of ICT, higher educational institutions can now instantly access lists of debtors and creditors, and balances involved without having to flip through many manual book records of such institutions (Muema, 2015). Thus, with the integration of ICT in financial management of universities, they could be able to determine their revenue and expenditures instantly. At the end of each year, there would be instant accessibility of detailed computerized records of the school’s budgeting process.

Statement of the Problem

School is an institution that is designed for teaching of students with directives from teachers. Its administration goes a long way to determine its success hence is seen as critical by all stakeholders. School administrators manage the day-to-day activities and provide instructional leadership. School administration is a key determinant for the realization of desired outcomes and success in both public and private schools hence is seen as critical.

The state of administration in most higher educational institutions has been a source of concern to its educational stakeholders. It is often believed that school administrators are on the frontline of the battle to create an environment for quality education at the higher level of education. However, some school administrators work under difficult conditions. This seems to have contributed to the inability of the school administrators to carry out their duties effectively.

University administration especially as regards to higher institution has become a difficult task in view of complexity of modern educational system. In recent times, school administrators have now discovered that the traditional methods of managing schools especially in the area of school record management such as management of programmes of instruction, staff personnel management, student record management, finance and physical resources management and school community relationship management is not an easy task.

Information and communication technology (ICT) applied to educational administration can make the school more efficient and productive, by organising a variety of tools to enhance and facilitate administrator’s activities. ICT provides opportunities for school to communicate with one another through e-mail, mailing list, chat room and other facilities.

Innovative use of ICT in the administration process in most higher educational institutions seems not to be widespread. This appears to be made difficult by several constraints which include lack of funds to sustain ICT infrastructure, the inability of school administrators to keep up with the pace of development in ICT, the lack of the staff with appropriate skills to manage ICT both at the strategic and operational levels, epileptic electricity supply or complete absence of it in schools, weak institutional policies to support and guide the use of ICT. This therefore, attracts the question, “how has ICT been applied in university administration, with special focus on Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki?”

APPLICATION OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (ICT) IN UNIVERSITY ADMINISTRATION: A CASE STUDY EBONYI STATE UNIVERSITY, ABAKALIKI

 

Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of the study is to find out the application of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for administrative purposes in Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki. Specifically the study will sought to:

  1. find out how school administrators apply Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in management of students records in Ebonyi State University.
  2. find out how school administrators apply information and Communication Technology (ICT) in administrative management in Ebonyi State University.
  3. find out how school administrators apply Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in financial management in Ebonyi State University.
  4. find out how school administrators apply Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in administering students assessment in Ebonyi State University.

Significance of the Study

The findings of this study will be of great benefit to school administrators, policy makers, students, and guardians.

The findings of this study are hoped to be of benefit to school management in terms of shedding more light on the various areas that school managers can apply ICT. These include instructional leadership, management of school facilities, and teaching and learning resources and financial management.

The findings will be of significance to the policy makers. The measures on improving the application of ICT is hoped to form ground for policy makers to come up with ICT policy design and implementation strategies to be used in the public administration of schools.

Also, the findings of this work will be of great benefit to students. In this regard, this study will help to enlighten students on the benefits of using ICT in making their online transactions as regards course registration, fees payments etc. In the long run, students will use such opportunity to save time when going about various activities in the school.

Findings from this work will also benefit guardians of students. In this respect, guardians will be better informed of the benefit of using ICT in sending money to the wards in school. Sponsors of students, especially those abroad, will save money and time since it will no longer necessitate them to first transfer money to students before it is paid to the university.

Research Questions

The following research questions guided the study:

  1. how do school administrators apply Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in management of students records in Ebonyi State University?
  2. how do school administrators apply information and Communication Technology (ICT) in administrative management in Ebonyi State University?
  3. how do school administrators apply Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in financial administration in Ebonyi State University?
  4. how do school administrators apply Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in administering students assessment in Ebonyi State University?

Scope of the Study

This study will be conducted in Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki. The content of the study will be confined to establishing the level of application of information and communication technology in university administration. The target population will be lecturers, school administrators (academic registrars) and students of Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki.

APPLICATION OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (ICT) IN UNIVERSITY ADMINISTRATION: A CASE STUDY EBONYI STATE UNIVERSITY, ABAKALIKI

 

 

 

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