Assessing the Status of Educational Resources in Rural Public Secondary Schools in Misungwi District, Tanzania
Prospery M Mwila
St. Augustine University of Tanzania
Every society's quality is largely determined by the quality of its educational system. Given the apparent constraints on educational resources, the importance of maximizing their efficient utilization for maximum academic results cannot be overstated. This study assessed the status of educational resources in rural public secondary schools in Misungwi District, Tanzania. It was guided by three specific objectives: to examine available educational resources used in teaching and learning process, to determine the distribution of educational resources in teaching and learning process and to assess the relationship between effective management of educational resources and teaching and learning process outcomes. The mixed research approach and explanatory research design was used. The sample comprised of 3117 participants including 4 heads of schools, 208 teachers, 2900 students, 4 Ward Executive Officers and 1 District Educational Officer. Questionnaires and interviews were used to collect data. Validity was ensured through content validation by research experts. Reliability was r = 0.82 ensured through test–retest. Quantitative data were analysed by descriptive statistics while qualitative data were analysed thematically. A synthesis of the findings indicated that educational resources are available in rural secondary schools. The results also indicated that there is a relationship between distribution of educational resources and teaching and learning process as confirmed by correlation statistics; r=0.86. The study concludes that educational resources are available but are not well managed in teaching and learning process. Therefore, proper mechanism of ensuring the management and utilization of educational resources should be put in place.
Keywords- Status, Effective management, Educational resources, Teaching and learning process, Public secondary schools, Rural Areas, Misungwi District
Educational resources are very essential in any educational institution as they stimulate positive outcomes of teaching and learning process, especially when they are effectively managed. Dangara (2016) has defined resources as referring to the material or non-material factors which influence the achievement of educational goal of an institution. For Newbies (2019) educational
resource is a resource that leads to positive outcome in any educational institution. The resources include human, capital, instructional materials, academic and non-academic staff, knowledge and ideas/skills that are applied to enable education impact on the society. Material resources, according to Amadi and Chinyere, (2019) are the resources used in educational institution to ensure effective achievement of educational goals. These materials include: physical and financial resources.
A study done by Akomolafe and Adesua (2016) argues that selection of resources influences the learning process. This means that in any school activity, the resources needed in order to accomplish tasks are very essential as far as delivery of skills and knowledge are concerned. Educational resources are listed in several studies which show the learning process of the students at school level and expected learning outcomes depending on the level state (Tomul, 2013). Mupa and Chinooneka (2015) propound that the close relationship between educational resources and positive outcome should not be taken on students’ struggles only but also from the outcomes of the skilful teachers regarding how they effectively control the learning process. Teachers and students are supposed to move together in achieving the academic outcomes. During the teaching process, teachers know how to effectively distribute the available resources like textbooks among students for example one textbook per student or a group of students to share one textbook.
Additionally, Centre for Educational Policy Research (2010) indicates that even if positive outcomes of teaching and learning process are attained through distributing textbooks to students, more is likely to be attained if the teachers illustrate to students the use of material at hand. This means that the distribution of the resources is important but what is more essential is how to use the resources. However, Delvin et al. (2012) indicates that there’ inadequacy of resources to be used in school context. The implication of that observation is that the educational resources needed are not enough to meet the education demands. Bukoye (2019) also observed that there is a huge absence of enough educational resources in most secondary schools. Speaking of absence means that resources are in schools but not enough based on what is to be accomplished in school context.
Warren (2018) says that teachers are the ones who are responsible in guiding the management of educational resources. The financial resource is highly considered for funding of schools in the United States of America, money for funding education is generated from taxes. Studies conducted in India revealed that it is important to allocate the resources that are to be used in the instruction process. Textbooks, hand-outs, libraries and laboratories are used to necessitate smooth teaching and learning. When necessary tools and equipment are provided to students, they can acquire a better understanding regarding academic concepts hence obtaining positive outcomes in the teaching and learning process. (Kapur, 2018).
A study done by Akomolafe and Adesua (2016) revealed that despite the provision of sufficient equipment in some schools in Nigeria, the resources were not utilized effectively. Moreover, these researchers comment that the presence of education resources eases effective education processes. However, the actual control of the available properties will ensure effective instructional process in school. In Kenya, there is great correlation between informative properties and students’ learning impact. This means that the instructional process outcomes consider provision of resources (Wanjiku, 2013). On the other hand, Kimeu (2015) claims that teaching resource is taken to be a very important component in the teaching and learning process and delivery of excellent education to the learners. Henceforth, if well managed, they contribute a lot to the expected positive learning outcomes.
Conceptualization of Resources
Dangara (2016) asserts that resources refer to the material or non-material factors which influence the achievement of educational goal of an institution. Newbies (2019) states that educational resource is a resource that leads to positive outcome in any educational institution. They include human, capital, instructional materials, academic and non-academic staff. Alagboye (2004) defined financial resources as the currency available to the organization for its use. Akungu, (2014) claims that, educational organisation’s manpower comprises of instructors and some helping workers involved in the instruction process which include laboratory supporters and cooks.
Amadi and Ezeugo (2019) define physical resources as the materials used for accomplishment of the organization’s goal.
The physical education resources include schoolrooms, staffrooms, workrooms, libraries, laboratory equipment, power, chairs, tables and stationeries. Limbe (2017) revealed that in Nigeria accommodation is taken seriously as they bring general change, particularly in academic matters, due to the fact that if educational resources are well applied, and they smoothen instructional process in school. The other educational resource is manpower which includes teachers, learners, and ancillary workers. Management, according to Ogbuanya, Nweke and Ugwoke (2017), is the process of directing daily duties for the aim of attaining the intended goals by using the manpower available. To that effect, it is imperative that human resource is effectively managed to ensure the provision of quality education.
In Tanzania, Kilimanjaro region, Boa (2014) as cited in Mwila and Meremo, (2019) found out that secondary schools which attain the expected learning outcomes have enough qualified teachers and they effectively use them. This, therefore, means that the most important human resource in any school is the teacher. Furthermore, Otieno (2018) discovered that although students carry schoolbooks in class, instructors seldom ask them to accomplish various tasks so as to use the textbooks. Other learners may use textbooks frequently, but when revising for examinations they tend to read the instructor’s teaching notes. This means that there is no much use of the textbooks by the students.
According to Mndolwa, (2017), in Misungwi District, human resources, classrooms, toilets, play grounds and medical resources are stated as the resources for completing programmes, including teaching and learning process. In Misungwi, monetary facilities are very essential as they are used in controlling all educational activities in schools. Financial resource is used to purchase resources like textbooks, pieces of chalk and construction materials (Laiser, 2013). However, the study does not elaborate how educational resources such as physical, financial, human and material resources are effectively managed.
Resources are very essential in any educational organization as they stimulate positive outcomes of teaching and learning process, especially when they are effectively managed. Most of the heads of public secondary schools in Misungwi District play a great role in ensuring management of educational resources which are used in the implementation of teaching and learning process. The Misungwi District Quality Assurance Report of (2020) describes the poor academic performance in public secondary schools caused by poor instructional process due to shortage of effective management of educational resources. These resources develop a sense of belonging to both teachers and students in teaching and learning process. These ideas are supported by the study done by Akomolafe and Adesua (2016) who commented that the presence of educational resources in school does not facilitate effective instructional process. However, the actual control of the available properties will ensure effective instructional process in school. Despite the role played by the school administrators in ensuring effective management of educational resources, the process of implementation is still challenging. Therefore, the researcher investigated on the effective management of educational resources on teaching and learning process in public secondary schools in rural areas in Misungwi District in Tanzania.
i) To examine available educational resources used in teaching and learning process in rural public secondary schools in Misungwi District.
ii) To determine the distribution of educational resources in teaching and learning process in rural public secondary schools in Misungwi District.
iii) To assess the relationship between effective management of educational resources and teaching and learning process outcomes in rural public secondary schools in Misungwi District.
2. Literature Review
Available Educational Resources Used on Teaching and Learning Process
Various empirical studies have shown the relationship between available educational resources used in teaching and learning process. In the USA, Warren, L. (2018) revealed that impressive organisation properties encourage a positive impact. Learning resources like physical facilities which include schoolrooms, library and laboratories are adequate and effectively managed. This means that there is availability of educational resources which are used in order to accomplish the learning outcomes. Okoth’s (2018) study revealed that in the United Kingdom, teachers are the biggest resource in schools and also important figure in the instructional process. Okoth’s study does not state the effective management per each educational resource instead it has stated on physical resources only. Guo, et al. (2019) states that in China, the number of enrolled students matter a lot in educational institutions as far as academic issues were concerned. The study revealed that the ratio of instructors in schools by 2015 did not match with that of students from 2010. Guo, et al. (2019) further revealed that the instructional process has gained due to the high teacher to student ratio which was fifteen to eighty-eight in 2015. This means that the academic performance of the students in China is high due to the fact that there is a big number of teachers who can manage the learning process.
Tety (2016) reveals that educational resources in some schools are very poor hence determining the educational resource management is very hard due to the fact that even the available resources do not seem to be well managed, which leads to the deterioration of the teaching and learning process. That study focused on how poor these educational resources were rather than explaining the effective management of educational resources in schools. Similarly, Sabitu et al. (2011) did a study on types of school facilities and teaching and learning process in secondary schools in Ondo State in Nigeria, and discovered that poor management of resources hinders the achievement of students’ learning outcomes. This means that the control of these educational resources is what matters most because if the resources are well managed they will lead to effective teaching and learning process.
In Uganda it was found that, the availability of educational resources such as textbooks is openly related to the learning outcomes despite students’ socio-economic level (Mupa and Chinooneka, 2015). Additionally, Chingos (2010) discovered that students with educational resources have positive learning outcomes contrary to those without educational resources. This means that, the schools in which educational resources are available and used effectively, the instructional process yields positive outcomes unlike schools which do not effectively manage educational resources in instructional process. However, that study focused on comparing the schools with sufficient educational resources and those with less.
A similar study was conducted by Femsa (2015) which revealed that four African countries, Cameroon, Ghana, Tanzania and Uganda had a huge shortage of educational resources hence schools highly used the available resources effectively so as to realise the instructional process. This means that the small number of resources is the ones used in order to achieve the education set goals. Femsa’s study focused on the shortage of the educational resources rather than explaining the effective management of the resources.
Distribution of Educational Resources in Teaching and Learning Process
Literatures has shown that financial resources play a greater role in distribution of educational resources. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (2013) asserts that financial resources are used for the payment of teachers who have been employed to work in secondary schools, non-teaching staff (like matrons and patrons), and education officers; as well as for purchasing other needed resources and for the repair of dilapidated resources such as desks, chalkboards and classrooms. The general use of finance on students specifically one student falls at more than 50, 0000 USD in Luxembourg, Switzerland, Norway, Austria, the United States and Denmark. General use of finance to particular student is more than 190 000 USD in Luxembourg. Contrary to Turkey, Mexico and the companion countries like Peru, Vietnam, Jordan, Colombia, Malaysia Tunisia Thailand and Montenegro where general use of finance is less than 25,000 dollars. As observed, the expenses on education matters and per capita Growth Domestic Product are dependable where the ratio is 0.95 across OECD countries while 0.94 in other related countries. Educational institutions with the best financial management use a line with great level of per capita GDP.
In Pakistan, the student attainment is allied by the usage of library. Use of library positively affects the student expected learning outcomes (Maganga, 2016). This means that the availability of library services stimulates the student’s learning process hence encouraging the students to learn and work harder towards accomplishing their intended academic goals and objectives. The study did not explain on how the libraries are used in order to achieve the intended learning outcomes.
In South Africa, availability or shortage of main school resources impact instructive consequences, through advanced stages of resources being allied to better educational outcomes (Feza, 2015). This means that the schools with adequate and better educational resources are likely to achieve higher than those schools with inadequate educational resources. The study does not give explanation on how the educational resources rather it explains the difference between the academic performance of the schools with many educational resources and those with less educational resources. Additionally, Nordstrum (2015) states that most schools in sub-Saharan African countries do not begin the academic year with the appropriate number of books for students, and most of these schools have therefore to wait for a few months before receiving them. Accessibility of materials is not considered as an observer of how the teachers are capable of accomplishing the instruction process. Similarly, this report found that teachers in secondary schools are well paid and this is vivid that the teachers as the human resource are well managed towards students’ attainment of their expected learning outcomes. The study focused on explaining on shortage of educational resources than elaborating on how these educational resources are effectively managed.
Relationship between Effective Management of Educational Resources and Teaching-Learning Outcomes
Zoubi (2016) conducted a study and found out that in Turkey, time is well considered in all educational activities, including teaching and learning process, so as to clear all school work in time. In Palestine, obstacles of time management and decision making to the education departments of government schools were observed. The study argued that although time has to be effectively managed, there but there are some hindrances which should be abolished for time to be used well. Those textbooks are important to teachers because they are used as reference books. However, the study does not clearly explain on how time is effectively used in academic or non-academic activity.
A report by Kieti (2017) on school and classroom effects on student’s learning in Thailand reveals that there is a difference in learning where students in big schools learn more than those in smaller ones. However, students in schools with high number of students and low number of teachers learn less than students in schools with low number of students and high number of teachers. Basically, with the low number of students and high number of teachers, the teachers as human resources are able to meet academic needs of the students simply because all subjects are taught by the available teachers and even extra teachers who are specific for other academic programmes, including those teaching remedial classes. The study explains on the variation on teacher-student ratio rather than explaining on the effective management of the educational resources towards effective school.
According to Kieti (2017), the suitability and effective management of learning resources affects the learning processes positively in a school setting. Teaching and learning resources enhance understanding of abstract ideas and improves performance. He further observed that textbooks enable the pupils to follow the teachers’ series of presentation of syllabus and aids in understanding of lessons. Similarly, Schneider (2018) found out that school facilities have a direct effect on teaching and learning. This means that textbooks are very important because they help both teachers and students to make a follow up during lesson progression. The study does not explain how the textbooks are applied in classroom context.
Ekundayo (n.d) conducted a study on school facilities and students’ achievement in Nigeria and found out that school facilities and students’ attainment relate a lot. Similarly, Kieti concluded that effective use of physical and teaching facilities has a constructive inspiration on instruction process in K.C.S.E. Nakhumicha, (2013) researched on the factors that influence the students’ attainment of expected learning outcomes in Trans-Nzoia West District in Kenya and the results show that effective management of equipped libraries, enough textbooks and enough classrooms stimulate the learning process.
According to Nyandwi (2014), who carried out research in Sumbawanga – Tanzania, there is poor management of laboratories, teaching and learning materials, and library facilities such as textbooks. Komba (2012) did a study in Tanzania mainly in Moshi Municipality and revealed that there are no good academic records in the ward secondary schools.
Magoma (2017) did a study in Tanzania specifically in Nyamagana District and found out that the educational resources are not frequently used in teaching-learning process, which leads to unexpected learning outcome. According to Mkalagale (2013), a study in Tanzania, Temeke District reveals that, less management of teaching and learning resources hinders the student’s expected learning outcomes in such a way that they fail to learn as it was intended.
This study used mixed approach because it was aimed at getting both qualitative and quantitative data in order to reduce the weakness of applying single approach as argued by Creswell, (2011). The study used explanatory sequential research design where fieldwork was twice, first for quantitative and secondly for qualitative data. The design was suitable for this study due to the fact that the analysis of quantitative data provides a picture of research problem and the analysis of qualitative data provide more explanation of the research problem.
The study had a target population of 3124 which included four public secondary school heads, 208 teachers, 2900 students, four ward executive officers and one district educational officer.Further, the study used probability sampling in which simple random was applied so as to avoid bias among students’ respondents and non-probability sampling, specifically purposive sampling, was used so as to obtain the intended information. A simple random sampling was used to sample teachers and students through simple random technique through lottery methods in order to avoid bias. That is, students and teachers were assigned numbers. The numbers were written on papers and then were folded; thereafter put on an open space for the respondents to pick.