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This study was designed to investigate into the data management problems of educational administrators in Imo State Secondary
Education Management Board (SEMB). The study employed a descriptive survey research design. The population comprised 8,801.
A total of 881 respondents from both the Board Headquarter and Zonal offices were sampled for the study using multistage sampling
technique which yielded 420 male administrative staff and 461 female respectively. It was equally categorized into junior and senior
administrative staff which yielded 314 junior and 567 senior administrators. Four research questions and two null hypotheses
guided the study. The instrument used for data collection was questionnaire. The instrument consisted of twenty-five (25) item
questionnaire titled Data Management Problem Questionnaire (DMPQ).The instruments were analyzed using mean and standard
deviation for the research questions while the null hypotheses were analyzed with t-test statistics at 0.05 level of significance. The results
of the data analysis revealed that the major ways adopted by the staff of Secondary Education Management Board (SEMB) for data
collection includes; research findings, or case study, public opinion, normal official process, school inspection, etc. Politics influenced
data management in a number of ways like; faulty projections for educational planning, falsification of data in favour of government
intention, etc. There was also the issues of unwritten government policy that influences Educational administrators to inflate statistical
records; that inadequate facilities/ equipment such as computers,  computer diskette, flash disc, CD Rom, microfilms, microfiche as well
as lack of training on the use of modern technologies like the internet creates serious problem to proper data management. Based on the
above findings a number of recommendations were developed that; Educational administrators should diversify their methods of
generating data for planning; issues of data management should be separated from politics, policies of data management should be
maintained by all the department and units in the Board to avoid irregularities being perpetrated, enough facilities and equipment
should be provided for effective data management and in-service training on the modern technologies like internet as well as qualified
personnel to handle data related matters especially at the statistics unit of the Secondary Education Management Board to ensure
professional growth should be maintained.


Background of the Study

The bedrock of any nation’s educational development is the data management. Data as a concept in this study are simply referred to as statistics. According to Durosaro (2008) data are numerical measures of phenomenon and they are used in the process of scientific decision-making. The planning and management of any nation’s educational system depends greatly on the quality of data collection, analysis, and storage. However, management as another unit of this research study has been described in a variety of ways.

 A definition of management according to Pierce and Dunham (1990) is a process that is used to accomplish organizational goals, that is, a process that is used to achieve what an organization wants to achieve. An organization here could be a business, a school, a city, a group of volunteers, or any governmental entity.
However, organizations such as educational institutions, churches, including profit and non-profit making ones require effective data management in order to function properly. According to Thierauf in Agbo (2006) management is the process of allocating an organizational input (human and material resources)  by planning, organizing, directing and controlling with the purpose of producing outputs (goods and services) desired by its customers so that organizational objectives are accomplished. But from the view of Peretomode in Ogbonnaya (2004) management as the social
process involve a sequence of coordinated events; planning, organizing, coordinating and controlling or leading in order to use available resources to achieve a desired outcome in the fastest and most efficient way.
The importance of management to any organization cannot be over emphasized. It is with an efficient management that an organization can plan, organize staff, control, direct and coordinate its activities to achieve predetermined goals. This will bring the researcher to the concept of data management as a key issue in this study. Data management as seen by Olubor (2003) is a key for running any organization including education. Educational administrators at different levels of the organization, who have the major functions of planning, organizing, staffing, directing and
controlling, depend basically on the type of information supplied to them, its authenticity, richness, and quality of the information, timelessness and speed of the information (Durosano, 2008).
According to Ottih in Agbo (2006) data management is an organized mechanism consisting of both physical and conception components which work together to collect or acquire information, process the information, store and retrieve the resultant information for dissemination to administrators who need them for decision-making. Hence, data management of educational administrators generally, involved data collection, processing, storage, retrieval and utilization in order to enhance the attainment of the goals of education.
Apparently in Nigeria, one major set back experienced by educational development is the non-availability of data or its authenticity where available. In the blue print put forward by the implementation committee on the National Policy on Education 1979 it was noted that difficulties are encountered in Nigeria by obtaining such basic data in particular statistics and other materials do not reach the state ministry of education at the time required.

Statistics and often inaccurate expenditures on education are frequently not available and if available do not permit a sufficient breakdown in detail to make the data of value for most planning purposes (Agbo, 2006). However, the Imo State Secondary Education Management Board (SEMB) has the sole  responsibility of appointment, promotion, development and discipline of tutorial and non-tutorial staff of secondary schools. These functions that the board is expected to perform are paramount in terms of being able to get adequate data to run the system but in reverse, the board is being influenced by political actors in manipulating the data needed to help the system grow.
Education data could be inflated or deflated by data suppliers, depending on their perception of what the data will be used for. If it is perceived that the data will be used as a basis for sharing available funds, facilities, materials etc, administrators and all other officials are usually unanimous in their agreement to inflate figures, especially on student enrolments, damaged classroom buildings and furniture items (Adesina, 1987). But according to Okeke (2007) where data are to be used to determine how much monetary gain accrues to the Secondary Education Management
Board officials tend to deflate figures. She said for example, if the officials know that the records on pupil enrolment are being collected to determine how much school fees or examination fees to expect from their Local Government, they are more likely to supply accurate or even deflate enrolment figures.


 The major open secret in this case is that, most if not all the Education Departments in most states of the federation operate on two or three sets of data. They have internal consumption and the inflated and/or deflated figures meant for submission to the state or National based on what they are told the date will be used for (Durosaro, 2008). 

Nevertheless, Bosah (1997) outlined some of the records that  are expected to be kept by Secondary Education Management Board as:
a) Data in relation to staff population, qualifications, ranks and promotions.
b) Data in relation to students’ enrolment (population).
c) Data generated in relation to staff verification exercise.
d) Data in relation to school facilities/equipment.
e) Data in relation to pay roll voucher such as: Name of the staff, present salary grade level, amount to be paid in cash and Bank, signature or comments by the principal etc.
f) Data in relation to inspection and supervision of schools.
g) Data in relation to staff employment, posting and transfer Perhaps, the above mentioned records are supposed to be kept in the data bank of secondary education management board.
This is to enable easy access to the data for effective administration and planning of education. To this end, the researcher observed that the traditional manual file organization in Imo State SEMB has no good mechanism for tagging, retrieving and manipulating data. This is because the method has become obsolete in handling information needed by today’s organizations.
However, organizations today are bigger and complex in nature and accuracy of information and easy retrieval are relevant.
Following the above issues on method of storing and management of data, the researcher observed that in Imo State Secondary Education Management Board, educational administrators at various level face a number of problems on issues concerning education data collection, analysis, processing, storage and retrieval, which included among others nonavailability of data, inaccuracy of the available data, security,
ignorance, mistakes in the analysis of data owing to the level of cognitive perception of the data analysts, the general attitude of Nigerians to data management and the difficulty of retrieval of data on time when needed.
The issue of non-availability of data as opined by Durosaro (2008) is very disturbing to policy makers in Nigeria education in the sense that some vital records needed are either not kept or at best poorly kept. This is quite noticeable at all levels of our educational system. He however said that even in the schools, the needed information might not be found either because they have not been obtained by the school or they have been lost due to poor storage.

Durosaro further stated that many of the schools particularly in the rural areas suffer from natural disasters like fire, rain storm, flood and termites, as a result of which they loose their school data. He said even in some places where such data are kept, they are placed in the care of poorly trained record clerks.
The data might have become mixed up to the extent that retrieval may be very difficult when required for use.
Another crucial issue in data collection, processing, analysis, retrieval and storage is that of inaccuracy of the data available.
This issue of inaccuracy of data may arise in the educational system due to number of reasons. These include, the head teachers or administrators of education do not keep the records accurately and deliberately in order to influence financial allocation to their schools.

Moreover, some people are not very friendly with figures and errors could easily occur in adding, multiplying or subtraction of the numbers. It is often possible also to discover some discrepancies between the records of the schools and the overall summaries in the ministry of education. These errors as narrated by Durosaro could occur simply in the process of transfer of the data from the school summary sheets to the ministerial summary sheets.  
Beside all the above issues, there emerged the problem of falsification of data. Considering the observations made by the researcher at the Imo SEMB, it was noticed that educational administrators at the board were usually made to falsify data in favour of government intentions. It is obvious from this information that politics affect data management with regard to its collection and utilization. And for the fact that data for planning are based on government directives rather than on facts, it is not easy for managers to manage data accurately for better results
since government hardly releases authentic data for planners (Okeke, 2007).

Also in Imo State SEMB, government policies influence data management. This is because government policies were informed by policy decisions and this hardly makes any good inputs into the educational policies. The need for a government– wide set of policies and standards on data management is evident from a number of key observations about the nature of current practice, and how this has evolved since the 1980s. it is based on the assumption that data and document stores are of great value and need to be preserved for both operational and policy development purposes.

One of the sections of government policy on education data version 1.1 of July 2000 stated that, integrity policies and standards are aimed at the quality and reliability of data and document assets, and hence the reliability of any information derived from them. These policies and standards are intended to assist agency chief executives and anyone delegated custodial responsibilities for data or document assets (Wikipedia, 2000).
Obviously, the sources of our educational data collection according to Okeke (2007) are supposed to be policy makers, public opinions, population census, educational administrators, the statistical units, researchers, employers, etc. but because our data are usually politicized, the board hardly gets authentic and meaningful data for workable educational planning.

This is because the above sources are usually influenced by government decisions and policies and as such, it’s no longer easy to manage data for better result.
The inadequacy of facilities and equipment for data management do not help matters either in Imo State SEMB. Funds are hardly made available for the procurement of facilities and equipment for data management in the board. For example, vehicles, information processing systems, etc. are supposed to be provided and people made to go for on-the-job training so as to operate this equipment for a better productivity in the management of data.
Another issue of importance to this study is the differences in decision-making of male and female administrators of secondary education management board of Imo State with regard to the ways in which politics affects data management and also whether rank/position of staff influence their decision-making in the board. The focus of this study is therefore to investigate into the data management problems of educational administrators in Imo State Secondary Education Management Board.


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