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This study was carried out in North Central states of Nigeria. The main purpose of the study is to evaluate the human resource management practices in federal and state colleges of education in the North Central Zone of Nigeria. Seven research questions were posed and answered by this study and seven hypotheses were formulated and tested at P < 0.05 level of significance. Descriptive survey design was adopted for the study.
The population of the study was 572 consisting of 11 provosts, 11 deputy provosts, 11 registrars, 55 deans of schools, 322 heads of academic departments and 162 heads of nonacademic departments in the seven states and four federal colleges of education in northcentral zone of Nigeria, such as Bursary department, registry, public relation, library, security and department of Health services and so on. There was no sampling because of the manageable size of the population. However, four (4) provost, their principal officers, chairmen and secretaries of academic and non academic staff unions from four colleges of education which comprise 36 human resource managers were selected through disproportionate sampling technique were interviewed. A 66 item structured questionnaire titled “Evaluation of Human Resource Management Questionnaire
(EHRMQ)” and an interview guide for human resource management comprise 6 items were developed based on literature reviewed and used for data collection. The instruments were face validated by five experts. The internal consistency of the questionnaire items was determined using cronbach alpha procedure and yielded the following reliability indices: 0.82, 0.75, 0.88, 0.94, 0.95, 0.94, and 0.90 for the seven sections of items in the questionnaire. Five hundred and seventy two copies of the questionnaire were administered to the respondents through eleven (11) research
assistants. Five hundred and sixty nine (569) of 572 copies of the questionnaire administered were retrieved and used for analyses. Mean (X) and Standard Deviations (SD) were used to answer the research questions, while t- test was used to test the nullhypotheses. The results of the study revealed that the federal and state colleges of education in the north-central zone to a great extent comply with approved guidelines on staff recruitment, to a great extent comply with approved guidelines on staff training and development, to a great extent comply with approved guidelines on staff appraisals and promotions, to a little extent comply with approved guidelines on staff welfare practices and to a great extent comply with approved guidelines on staff discipline practices. A major problem of human resource management in both federal and state colleges of education is political interference in appointment of provosts which does not allow the best to emerge. It was recommended that: the provosts and other principal officers of the federal and state colleges of education should strictly comply with procedures for the recruitment of staff, appraisals and promotions exercises, staff training and development, staff welfare and discipline practices.


Background of the Study

Education holds the key to the success of every sector of the economy. This is because through education the manpower required for the growth and development of thenation is produced. Education has been recognized as an indispensable factor in the social, economic and political advancement of the country. It is seen as the catalyst for national transformation from a state of underdevelopment through scientific, technological and social changes to a state of development (Onyia, 2011).

The importance of education for national transformation was aptly captured in the National Policy on Education (FRN). In this document, education is seen as an “instrument per excellence for national development” (FRN, 2004:7). Thus, effective education must develop individuals with comparative advantage to compete favourably in a globalized economy. This implies that education must prepare individuals for better self-realisation, better human relationships and effective citizenship for national unity and for social, economic and scientific progress.
The achievement of the above will depend on effective implementation of teacher education programme for the production of quality teachers to drive the educational process. The knowledge, expertise and the ability levels of teachers will determine the quality of the products of the system (Eze, 2013). The National Policy on Education is clear on this by asserting that no educational system can rise above the quality of its teachers (FRN, 2004).

This implies that the quality of the products of an educational system can never rise above the quality of the system that produced it. In Nigeria, the responsibility for training professionally qualified teachers has been entrusted to the following educational institutions provided they continuously meet the required minimum standards. They include: Colleges of Education, Faculties of Education in Universities, Institutes of Education, National Teachers’ Institute, and Schools of Education in the Polytechnics, National Institute for Nigerian Languages (NINLAN) and National Mathematics Centre (NMC).

These teacher educational institutions have the mandate to produce highly motivated, conscientious and efficient classroom teachers; encourage further the spirit of enquiry and creativity in teachers; help teachers to fit into the social life of the community and society at large and enhance their commitment to national goals; provide teachers with the intellectual and professional
background adequate for their assignment; and make them adaptable to changing situations and enhance teachers commitment to the teaching profession (FRN, 2004).
For teachers to continually remain professionally competent, the teacher education institutions including the colleges of education which is the focus of this study shall be abreast of the changes in methodology and curriculum in order to expose teachers regularly to innovations and changes in the profession and also provide inservice training opportunities to remain relevant in the field (FRN, 2004).

According to Ogbonnaya (2005), colleges of education are teacher education institutions established to provide training designed for developing highly motivated, conscientious and efficient classroom teachers at the primary and junior secondary school levels of education in Nigeria. This definition is line with the provision of the National Policy on Education that colleges of education have the mandate of producing teachers at the Basic Education Level.

These expectations from the Colleges of Education can only be met with the existence of effective and efficient administrators and teacher educators committed to the  promotion of teaching, learning and research and the creation of enabling environment for productivity in the system.
The quality of the products of these colleges rests on the quality of the Human Resource available in the system. Human Resource according to Adeyemi (2009) are the people or individuals within the society with all its aspiration, needs and capacities.

He enunciates that it is the critical resource upon which a nation’s economic future depends and as an economic resource, it represents the aggregate of skills and attitudes resulting from education and training that equip the labour force with the capacity to plan, organize and carry out economic processes when properly allocated. Adeyemi further stressed that the human resources in the society is the critical resources upon which a nation’s economic future is based.

It is however true that other types of resources such as material, financial and physical resources are required for attaining institutional goals, human resource has been described as the most important of all the resources. In a college of education for instance, it is the human resource that determines, plans and organizes the use of other resources and also design, plan and implement programmes for the achievement of the colleges’ objectives.
In a highly competitive and globalized world, any institution of learning that seeks to develop competitive advantage must leverage on high quality Human Resource. 
This could be developed through investment that ensures that the institutions’ possess the knowledge, skills and competencies needed to work effectively in a rapidly changing world environment. The value of the human resource is dependent on the effectiveness of its management.
Human resource management has been described as a planned approach to managing people effectively for productive performance (Werther & Davies, 1996). It aims at ensuring a more open, flexible and accommodating management style so that staff is motivated, developed and managed in a way that they can give their best to support the institution’s mission and vision.

Human resource management is usually considered to cover almost everything that has to do with staff and their relationships in the workplace. Jackson (1995) defined human resource management as an umbrella term that comprises all systematic activities designed to attract, develop, motivate and retain employees who are key partners in effective functioning and survival of an organisation.
For Mamoria and Gankar (2007), human resource management has to do with planning, organizing, directing and controlling various operative functions of recruiting, developing, maintaining and utilizing labour force so that the objectives for which the organisation is established are attained economically and effectively. In this study, human resource management in colleges of education is seen as a systematic and planned effort designed to acquire, develop and put human energy into effective use for the benefits and improvement of employees, organisation itself and the society at large.

In other words, Human resource management could be seen as the process of recruiting, developing and rewarding the employees for maximum input into the system. Good human resource managers see staff as the most important assets and normally aim to recruit appropriate staff, retain current effective staff, maintain and enhance employees’ performance and skills and provide a motivating, safe and rewarding workplace with appropriate workplace practices.
The colleges of education in Nigeria can only live to the mandate of producing quality teachers required to implement the Universal Basic Education curriculum if the human resource is planned, managed and sustained. The governing councils provide the policy directions which are implemented by the management of each college. In order to harmonize the activities of the colleges of education to meet the requirements/standards for producing professionally competent teachers, the Federal Government of Nigeria established in 1989 through decree No. 3 the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE).

The commission has the responsibility of regulating the teacher education programmes in the colleges of education in the country by ensuring that every college meets the set minimum standard of operation. The minimum standard specifies the guidelines on modes of appointment into different cadres, appraisals and promotions, discipline, staff training and development, staff welfare, leave, transfer, health care, retirement and death benefits (NCCE, 2012).
The critical areas of functions of the colleges of education in human resource management include staff recruitment, staff training and  development, staff performance appraisal and promotions, staff welfare and discipline. These critical areas of human resource management were examined in the context of what is currently happening in the colleges of education in North Central Nigeria using the guidelines provided by the
NCCE as a bench mark.
Staff recruitment is the process through which an organisation attracts, screens and selects qualified persons to fill available positions. This process involves job analysis, sourcing, screening, selection and orientation. Denga (2003) described staff recruitment as the process of attracting the right calibre, quality and quantity of personnel to achieve the organization’s goals. The recruitment of the right quality staff is crucial for the attainment of the overall goal of an institution and for a college of education to function effectively the right calibre of both academic and non academic staff must be recruited.

To achieve this in the colleges of education, one expects that during recruitment of staff, the guidelines as provided in the condition of service should be strictly complied with. For instance, the guidelines as provided in the Scheme of Service for colleges of education in Nigeria indicates the eligibility criteria for appointments into different cadres in the college thus: every applicant must not be less than 18 years of age and not more than 50 years of age, applicant should possess such minimum qualification and experience as prescribed, be certified physically and mentally fit for the job; declare any previous criminal conviction by the court of law or dismissal from previous employment and produce birth certificate or statutory declaration of age.

The Scheme of Service also provides that all vacancies in the college except those to be filled by promotion or interdepartmental transfer shall normally be publicly advertised both internally and externally among other provisions. After advertisement of vacant positions, the basic requirements must be adhered to during short listing and due process followed for the appointment of the most appropriate staff.


Observations made by the researcher and comments by some major stakeholders including academic and non academic union leaders show that certain behaviour manifested by some staff in the colleges of education in the study area leave much to be desired. The attitude to work is lukewarm and the consequence is seen in poor service delivery. According to Okeke (2007), experience has shown that some of the procedures
for appointment of staff are manipulated to serve self-interest and political interest group.
Ujo (2008) condemned the practice where employers of labour in Nigeria fail to comply with recruitment criteria and this gives rise to patronage system which encourages mediocrity in the system. Ethnicity and religious affiliation have been described as the major consideration in appointments into positions in colleges of education and this situation is not healthy for the attainment of the goal of the colleges of
education in providing high quality teachers for the primary and secondary school system.
For the colleges of education to move on the part of development and sustainability, staff training and development is a prerequisite. In staff training and development, employers of labour are essentially concerned with improving the performance of employees for more effective functioning. Cole (2002) described training as any learning activity which is directed towards the acquisition of specific knowledge and skills for the purpose of occupational or task improvement.

Development on the other hand includes those activities that focus upon the activities that will prepare the employees to meet current and future challenges in the work place for efficiency and effectiveness (Michael, 2001).
The Colleges of Education in (Federal and state) Nigeria have well established policy guidelines entrenched in their staff Conditions of Service. The policy guidelines emphasize that staff training and development is a recognized approach for achieving increased efficiency through staff appraisals. The policy also emphasizes the need for staff development and training in the institutions to be consciously related to their primary goals. However, in the Nigerian situation it is one thing to make policies and another to systematically implement the policies.

Observations have shown that somecolleges of education appear not to follow set guidelines like defining their training needs and designing the training in accordance with the needs of the system. Instead of selecting for training based on appraisal performance, favoritism becomes the preferred option especially where institutional sponsorship is involved. This supports Cole (2002) observation that staff training and development in Nigerian tertiary institutions have been conducted in more or less unplanned manner. The researcher’s interaction with some academic and non academic staff of some colleges of education indicates that most provosts prefer investing in infrastructural development than in human capacity building. This situation, they believe impact negatively on quality of the products of the colleges of education.
Closely related to staff training and development is staff performance appraisals and promotions. Performance appraisal is the approach through which the job performance of an employee is evaluated. Thomas (1987), observed that evaluation is done to ascertain the level of efficiency and effectiveness of staff involved.

The outcome of performance appraisals usually forms the basis for career development plans for the organisation. Performance appraisals in colleges of education according to the conditions of service aim to achieve the purpose of providing feedback on performance of employees provide baseline data on employee training needs, allocating institutional rewards, provide the basis for personnel decisions on disciplinary actions, salary increases and promotions. It creates opportunities for institutional evaluation and development, and ensures communication between staff and employers (Archer, 1998).
Through performance appraisals, staff attitude to work, participation and effectiveness in
college affairs as well as judgment on leadership qualities are made. These form the basis
for promotion.
Promotion is the positive progression of a staff in rank or position in recognition of their contributions towards the growth and development of their institutions. It is the elevation of a staff from one rank to a higher one due to satisfactory performance (Adeyemi, 2009). Promotion guidelines for academic staff in colleges of education as contained in the Scheme of Service include: evidence of relevant educational
qualification/cognate experience; evidence of effective teaching/scholarly publications in learned journal/books; evidence of effective service to the college and community, evidence of good character, loyalty and personal integrity; evidence of membership of professional body and required number of years to be spent on a post before promotion. 

The guidelines for promoting non- academic staff in colleges of education include: evidence of good record of performance, conduct and productivity, potentials for the new post, that is, demonstration of competence to perform in the higher position; availability of vacancies and having spent the minimum number of years on the post required for promotion.
The issue requiring attention in this study is the extent these guidelines are being adhered to in the various federal and state colleges of education in North Central Nigeria. Okeke (2007) expressed pessimism and stressed that the process of staff promotion in Nigeria tertiary institutions is biased and subjective instead of adopting objective appraisal method. Some stakeholders lament that in some colleges of education in the study area, loyalty to the administration matter more in promotion than competence and at times tribal sentiments are applied in the process.
Staff welfare is another major component of human resource management in  colleges of education.

According to Agu (2009), staff welfare implies all efforts made by employers of labour to improve the working conditions of their employees. It is the effort made by the authorities in the colleges of education to motivate their staff for greater productivity. Catering for the welfare of staff requires attention to be paid to the issue of remuneration, housing, office space and furnishing, transportation, health services and the provision of adequate facilities like water, electricity, telecommunications and recreational facilities (Ogbonnaya, 2005). These are covered in the Scheme of Service of the colleges of education. However, the extent the guidelines are followed in accessing the welfare packages is yet to be determined.
Another critical area of human resource management is staff discipline.
According to Emechebe (2009), discipline is defined as the ability to control the behaviour of workers in an organisation for effectiveness in job performance. Abubakar (2006) sees discipline as the respect for agreement which is directed towards achieving organisational goals. Discipline in this study would mean all the checks put in place by the colleges of education to ensure that every staff works towards the attainment of the colleges’ vision and mission statements. Tabontndup (2009) emphasized the importance of discipline in maintaining decency and decorum in an organisation but warned that it must be devoid of witch hunting.

The issue of discipline as one of the greatest challenges of Human Resource management was recognised by the National Commission for Colleges of Education (FRN, 2010) when it stated that disciplinary measures shall be taken against any staff for misconduct and inefficiency. These documents recommended the following disciplinary measures depending on the gravity of the offences committed.
They include: verbal warning/reprimand, written advice, query and written warning with holding/deferring annual increment, reduction in grade/rank, suspension, termination or outright dismissal.

For instance, the following disciplinary actions may be taken against any staff for misconduct and inefficiency. These include: scandalous conduct such as; immoral behaviour, unruly behaviour, drunkenness, foul language, assault, refusal to proceed to transfer or to accept posting, habitual lateness to work , deliberate delay in treating official documents, failure to keep records, insubordination, membership of cult, bribery and corruption, unauthorized disclosure of official information, negligence, dishonesty, etc. All these can result to what mentioned above. 

Misconduct is defined as a specific act of wrong-doing or improper behaviour which can be investigated and proved. It can also lead to termination and retirement of staff. We also have serious misconduct which include: falsification of records, suppression of records, embezzlement, misappropriation, sexual harassment, absence from duty without leave etc. Serious misconduct is defined as a specific act of very serious wrong-doing and improper behaviour which can be investigated and proved. It may lead to dismissal of staff.
Public opinions in North Central Nigeria tend to suggest that the tone of discipline among staff in colleges of education is low. These opinions are shaped by such behaviour among staff of colleges of education as lateness, absenteeism from schools and lectures, dishonesty, wilful disobedience to lawful orders and arrogance. Okeke (2007) also observed that in Nigerian tertiary institutions, the academic and non- academic staff have become prone to absenteeism and lateness to work and classes, insubordination, lack of sincerity and devotion to duty. The consequence of disobedience is inefficiency and low quality products.
Despite the available evidence that effective human resource management ensures that organisations attain their vision and mission thereby having a competitive advantage, the human resource management in the federal and state colleges of education in Nigeria especially in the North Central Zone Nigeria seem not to be achieving the desired results.
Some stakeholders in the education sector have accused the management of colleges of education of violating the human resource management guidelines aimed at ensuring  efectiveness and efficiency in the colleges. According to Onyenenye (2006), the credibility of the Nigerian educational system is fast declining nationally and internationally and the products of the tertiary level of education can no longer compete with those at the same level of education in other parts of the world. This is a sad situation for Nigeria especially when the products of colleges of education will be
responsible for teaching the younger generation of Nigerians at the basic education level.
This situation calls for an urgent need to evaluate the human resource management practices of the colleges of education in the North Central Zone of Nigeria. Evaluation is a critical factor in the development and sustainability of good practices in education. Saxon (2000) defines evaluation as a careful gathering of evidence on the attainment of objectives, forming judgment on the basis of evidence and weighing of that evidence in the light of the objectives. According to Enyi (2006), evaluation is a method of ascertaining the worth of performance in terms of set objectives.

Thus, evaluation is a process of gathering evidence on what is to be evaluated in order to make value judgment that will lead to improvement in the system. In this study, the main purpose of evaluation is to determine the extent human resource management in colleges
of education in North Central zone of Nigeria comply with the established guide lines in the Scheme of Service for colleges of education as provided by the NCCE. This will thus help to establish the discrepancies between actual implementation and performance standards established. In order to achieve these, Provus discrepancy evaluation model will be adopted Provus (1971).

Provus discrepancy approach is a strategy for evaluation where performance standards are established, evidence of compliance with these standards gathered, discrepancies with standard identified and corrective measures adopted. Using this model, specific flaws in the implementation process can be identified and rectified by determining the discrepancies that exist between a predetermined set of standards and actual performance.
The scenario created in the background of this study suggests that the management of the colleges of education in the study area either lack the skills, expertise and competence in human resource management or the moral strength and character, discipline and the commitment or the patriotism necessary for implementing the guidelines in human resource management in the system. The human resource managers in every college of education in Nigeria include the Provosts, Deputy Provosts, Registrar, Bursar, Librarians, Deans of Schools, and Heads of academic and non teaching units.
These people contribute in one way or the other in taking decision about the employees in the colleges of education. Observations made by the researcher shows that staff union leaders- academic and non teaching staff unions of colleges of education in the study area and other major stakeholders frequently complain of poor working conditions and abuse of due process in recruitment, promotion and other reward systems and these suggest that problems exist in the human resource management process.

These call for an evaluation. Apart from the existence of observable problems in the system, periodic evaluation is very necessary in maintaining the health of any system. In the past ten years (2003-2013), there is no evidence suggesting that evaluation study on the human resource management has been conducted in the federal and state colleges of education in the North Central Zone of Nigeria.


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