Master's Thesis, 2012
LIST OF TABLES
LIST OF FIGURES
1.0 Background of the study
1.1 Historical background
1.2 Theoretical background
1.3 Conceptual background
1.5 Statement of the Problem
1.6 Purpose of the Study
1.7 Objectives of Study
1.8 Research Questions
1.9 Scope of the Study
1.10 Significance of the Study
2.1 Theoretical review
2.2 Conceptual Framework
3.1 Research Design
3.2 Research Methods
3.3 Qualitative methods included:
3.4 Quantitative Methods
3.6 Sampling Strategies
3.7 Data collection instruments
3.8 Validity and Reliability of the Instruments
3.10 Ethical Considerations
3.11 Data analysis
DATA PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION
4.1 Background information
4.2 Research Question one: How does ICT enhance effective financial management in secondary schools in Uganda?
4.3 Research question two: What is the effect of ICT on examination management; setting, testing and record keeping and grading system in secondary schools?
4.5 Research question three: How does ICT enhance information flow in secondary schools in Uganda?
DISCUSSION, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.1 Discussion of Results
Table 3.1 Sample of Respondents
Table 4.1 Sex and Position of responsibility
Table 4.2 Numbers of respondents per school
Table 4.3 Role of ICT in enhancing effective financial management of schools
Table 4.4 The effect of ICT on students' records and grading system
Table 4.5 Role of ICT in enhancing information flow in Secondary schools
Figure 1.1 Conceptual Frameworks…
Figure 4.1: Role played by ICT in financial management…
Figure 4.2: Records that are managed by schools'
The study was about establishing the role of ICT in the management of secondary schools in selected schools of Central Uganda with particular interest on the role of ICT in enhancing effective financial management, the effect of ICT on examination management; setting, testing, record keeping and grading system and the role of ICT in enhancing effective communication in selected secondary schools in central Uganda. The study was prompted by the realization that management in many secondary schools in Uganda was characterized by inefficiency in the areas of financial management, examination management and dissemination of information in schools which had resulted into declining academic standards yet schools had ICT facilities that could enhance effective management. The study was carried out in selected secondary schools in Central Uganda.
I used a cross sectional survey design in this study and I collected data using semi-structured survey questionnaires, interviews and observation. I logically analyzed Qualitative data as the study progressed and I used a Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) and excel to analyze quantitative data. Purposive sampling technique was used and tables were used to determine the sample sizes.
Upon the role of ICT on management of financial issues, I discovered that most of the schools were applying ICT facilities in management of financial issues; however some of the administrators lacked enough computer skill to effectively use ICT in the financial management of the school. The mostly used ICT facilities included electronic databases, internet, and computer applications such as Excel, Word and Access for managing teacher’s pay rolls, allowances, salaries, school fees payment verification and procurement. Thus making an impact on record keeping, monitoring of school fees payment, time saving and decision making
About the effect of ICT on examination management; setting, testing, record keeping and grading system, I realized that the application of ICT was most significant in record keeping and least in testing of students. ICT had contributed on the improvement of efficiency in tracking students’ academic progress, grading of students’ performance and ensured maximum security; unauthorized access to records could not be possible. However, use of ICT in examination management was limited by inaccessibility to computers and other ICT facilities in schools and inadequate computer skills.
Upon the role of ICT in enhancing information flow in secondary schools, I discovered that many schools most especially in Mukono District used the traditional way of communicating; that is, the use of papers (circulars). The poor use of ICT in enhancing information flow in secondary school was partly due to inadequate ICT facilities and lack of enough computer skills among the administrators and the teachers. Some schools as reflected in chapter four Table 4.5 used information technology systems to reach out information to the teachers, parents and the school administrators, but I discovered as discussed in chapter five that ICT had played less significant role in enhancing information flow. A few facilities which were being used included internet SMS, chart rooms, discussion boards and emails. ICT had however, improved on collaboration between teachers, administrators and students, monitoring of students’ and teachers’ attendance together with enabling teachers and administrators to participate in school activities. There was also the improved transparency and accountability in school activities and programs due to application of ICT.
The study was about establishing the role of ICT in the management of secondary schools in Uganda with particular interest on the role of ICT in enhancing effective financial management, the effect of ICT on examination management; setting, testing, record keeping and grading system and the role of ICT in enhancing effective communication in secondary schools in Uganda. The study was prompted by the realization that management in many secondary schools in Uganda was characterized by inefficiency in the areas of financial management, examination management and dissemination of information in schools which had resulted into declining academic standards yet schools had ICT facilities that could enhance effective management. The study was carried out in selected schools of Central Uganda.
This chapter explains the historical background, conceptual, and contextual perspectives, purpose, objectives, research questions, scope and the significance of the study.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has caused a major paradigm shift in how we approach the gathering, storage, retrieval, and analysis of information in every industry (Jankowski, 1996). ICT is becoming increasingly used in schools and educational institutions, and has been established in professional and classroom practice.
What is clear is that any ICT implementation needs to address management problems such as delays in decision making , communication barriers, time wasting and delay to complete tasks in the required time but this has not been the case simply because the school administrators have not realized the importance of using ICT in managing Secondary School.
The head teachers in secondary schools continue to take increasing interest in the scope of this field where a lot of money has been invested in the purchasing of ICT tools such as computers, printers, and office telephone. However it is important to note that despite all that effort, the problems of not using ICT in Management such as loss of school finances, delay in decision making, poor communication, have been evident and little research work has been undertaken which considers aspects of ICT and school management.
ICT and school management is an important issue, since it is well recognized that senior managers in schools have a major impact upon classroom and curriculum practices, and that the use of ICT within schools is permeating aspects of school practice to the extent that it will impact upon the practice of all staff and school activities at large (Passey, 2002). The past studies have addressed the impact of ICT upon classroom and curriculum practices but have not addressed the role ICT in managing schools in Central Uganda. Many ICT tools such as Computers and the Internet are used in teaching and evaluation of students in the classroom but not in administration and management. Many studies have been documented about Role of ICT in education and little research has been carried out about the role ICT in school Management.
The information systems available designed for the purpose of improving school management include reporting systems, monitoring and tracking systems, parental alert software, development planning, business management, timetabling and communications all of which, if used properly can result into education development, (Jankowski, 1996).
Secondary school administrators in Uganda have seen the incorporation of ICT facilities into the Management of their schools and the administrations uses management information systems like salary, results and registry management system, fees tracking records and payment system to assist in record keeping, examination and financial management of the schools , (Tibagye, 2000). However these ICT facilities are not used effectively simply because much as schools have invested heavily in these tools, teachers and school managers lack the required skills to use the ICT tools in management and have therefore not realized the role of ICT in managing secondary schools in Central Uganda.
Systems theory was used to guide this study and this theory has had a significant effect on management science and understanding organizations, (Walonick,1993). This theory was preferred because it considers a school as a system which results into improved academic standards. Such inputs in the school which make up a system include technologies, people, infrastructures and other school departments. These inputs go through a process where they are planned, organized, motivated and controlled, to meet the school’s desired standards of which if ICTs were effectively integrated would coordinate these systems inputs. Systems theory recognizes the various parts of the school, and, in particular, the interrelations of the parts, for example, the coordination of central administration with teachers, board members, support staff and students and other resources. Since ICT tools can be used in communications and management, it can help in the integration of the various parts of the school system. This shows the relevancy of this theory to this study.
ICT stands for Information and Communication Technologies and it can be defined as a diverse set of technological tools and resources used to communicate, create, disseminate, store, and manage information (Victoria, 2002). In this study, ICT was used to refer to the use of internet, Databases and computer applications and the telephone in the management of secondary schools.
Management broadly refers to organizing, planning, directing, monitoring, controlling and evaluation of resources in the organization (Ramalho, 2006). In this study, it will refer to planning, directing, monitoring and controlling of school resources which include finance, examinations, records and information flow in the school. Management is dedicated to ensuring the highest possible standards and achievement in all areas of the school's work. Good management styles can result into a clear strategic thinking and planning for improvement of the school (Taylor, 2004). Much emphasis was put on how ICT can enhance school effectiveness and assist managers in planning, directing, monitoring and controlling of school resources.
Effective management by head teachers, governors and school staff are key factors in bringing about high standards of pupils’ achievement and school improvement. Management is an important element that harnesses the energies and commitment of teaching staff, pupils, non-teaching staff and parents, and provides a clear direction for the work and development of the school (Taylor, 2004). Management of secondary schools using ICT ensures the efficiency of administration and organization of the school.
Management of schools requires proper planning, directing, monitoring and controlling of resources which include finance, examinations and student/staff records and information flow (Ramalho, 2006). However, many secondary schools in Uganda had weaknesses in management of such aspects yet they had ICT facilities that would enhance effective management if they were used effectively for example school bursar in one of the studied schools was always complaining about the loss of school income and failure of school books of accounts to balance and it would be very hard to identify students who have fully paid fees, and teachers who have been paid salary with the traditional method of using papers and folder files for record keeping in a school with a high population of students (Ramalho, 2006). If he/she will identify them, it would take much time checking and sorting out files, something that would be done easily with the use of tracking devices of ICT. At times the consequence would be mishandling and loss of school finances which can cost the school.
It has been observed, that many secondary schools in Uganda have got ICT tools, such as computers, internet and databases which they are using for other purposes such as teaching and evaluation and typing and printing exams, but they have not fully utilized such tools to mange school activities (Ramalho, 2006). ICT can enhance school management in terms of assisting managers in organizing, planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluation of the school operations, (Eremu 2007).
There are eminent challenges in many secondary schools concerning the management of financial resources, information and examinations, staff/student records. For example the school bursar in one of the studied schools was always complaining about the loss of school income and failure of school books of accounts to balance and it would very hard to identify students who have fully paid fees, and teachers who have been paid salary with the traditional method of using papers and folder files for record keeping in a school with a high population of students (Ramalho, 2006). If he/she will identify them, it would take much time checking and sorting out files, something that would be done easily with the use of tracking devices of ICT. It is also important to note that the ICT tools where not acquired to assist in the management of secondary schools but rather to assist in teaching and evaluations and this means that the schools studied had not realized the role of ICT tools in the management of secondary schools. At times the consequence would be mishandling and loss of school finances which can cost the school. This problem is occurring in studied schools A and B in Mukono district. There has also been delay in decision making due to poor or no communication at all because of the use of traditional medium of communication such as the notice board, this has resulted into delay in school programs and time wasting which is costly for the schools, other wise if ICT tools such as the telephone and emails via the internet is used communication is quick and efficient.
There is also a problem of mismanagement of examination exercise in schools, and this involves delayed submission of examination records, loss of marks, miscalculation of marks, (Byaruhanga, 2002). Yet to my observation if a database was developed, that process would be simplified. Considering such problems like financial and examination mismanagement, poor record keeping coupled with poor information flow, the effect will be low level performance of students and staff, strikes, declining academic standards and the eventual closure of schools (Visscher, 2001). This is a serious threat to the education development of the nation. So it is upon this background that the researcher is motivated to find out what ICT can offer as far as management of secondary schools is concerned.
This study was set to establish the role of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the management of selected secondary schools in Central Uganda.
1. To establish the role of ICT in enhancing effective financial management in selected secondary schools in Central Uganda.
2. To find out the effect of ICT on examination management; setting, testing, record keeping and grading system in selected secondary schools in Central Uganda.
3. To establish the role of ICT in enhancing effective communication in selected secondary schools in Central Uganda.
1. How does ICT enhance effective financial management in selected secondary schools in Central Uganda?
2. What is the effect of ICT on examination management; setting, testing, record keeping and grading system in selected secondary schools in Central Uganda?
3. How does ICT enhance effective communication in secondary schools in Central Uganda?
This study was conducted in Citizen College, Lubiri high, Makerere college school, Lubiri secondary school; Kisubi high school, St. Josephs’ college Kisubi, Summit View College Kyengera, Sseeta High School and Bishops Secondary School Mukono. These selected schools were a representative of schools that have the ICT facilities. The study focused on the use of ICT in management of students’ records, examination, school finances and information flow in secondary schools of Mukono, Kampala, and wakiso districts.
1. Results from this study might highlight to school administrators and managers the various areas where ICT can be applied in management and administration.
2. This research would be of value to students, who will be in need of understanding contributions of ICT in the field of management of schools.
3. This research may accumulate knowledge for use by future researchers about the role of ICT in management of secondary schools.
This chapter presents the theoretical review, conceptual framework and review of related literature.
As discussed in chapter one, systems theory guided this study. Systems theory was originally proposed by biologist Ludwig Von Bertalanffy in 1928 who asserted that a system is an interrelated and interdependent set of elements functioning as a whole. It should be noted that a school is a system that has different components in form of departments. In the management of the school, different departments work together for a common goal which is academic excellence. The components include academic (teachers), finance (bursar), registration (administration), welfare, security (support staff); none of these departments can work independently of the other if a school is to progress well.
Kuhn (1974) described a system as either controlled or uncontrolled. In controlled systems, information is sensed and changes are effected in response to the information. Kuhn referred to this type of information as the detector and effector functions of the system. In a school setting for example, if information comes from the headteacher’s office to the bursar about changes in fees structure, changes will be effected in response to that particular information.
The detector according to Kuhn is concerned with the communication of information between systems. This communication can be enhanced by use of ICTs such as emails, SMS, chartroom and discussion boards. The theory suggests the functionalist approach as the best way of examining the role of a subsystem in a larger system, (Walonick, 1993). So this idea will be used to examine the role of ICT as a subsystem in a school (larger system).
illustration not visible in this excerpt
Figure 1.1 Researcher’s conceptualization of the role of ICT in Management of selected schools in Central Uganda.
Figure 1.1 Shows that there are other issues or factors such as Environment, Finances and Personnel as Extraneous variables which influences ICT (Dependent variable) and Management (Independent variable). In supporting management for example, examination management which includes setting of examinations, timetabling, positioning and grading of students, ICT structures such as examination databases, computer applications such as Ms Excel could be used in making the process quick and effective which impacts positively on the academic performance of the school.
Financial management can be supported by automatic communication to parents via Short Message Services and emails about the fees balance and children’s fees structure which also enhances communication and information flow in the school. The databases as ICT structures can also influence financial management in the school in which the bursar of the school can use these databases to track down students that have paid school fees and those that have not cleared the school dues. It can also help in the tracking of teachers’ salaries or management of the payroll which can assist in the financial management in the school. bMaking a school’s internet accessible and utilized by teachers and school administrators would improve on the information flow in the school. For example administrative tasks can easily be communicated to members through the use of emails, SMS and chartroom.
The consequent result of effective integration of ICT in administration will be improved academic performance, effective communication, cordial relationship between management, teachers and students, effective record keeping and proper financial management.
The emergence of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is not only reshaping the school management models but also intensely interlining activities across its internal as well as external value chain. In other words school activities are in the process of major transformation in order to meet the challenges of network economy.
As discussed in chapter one, ICT management systems have been developed to assist in financial management and the general management of the school. Information experts have developed customized management information systems (MIS) which have been used to enhance financial transactions in schools; these include enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, supply chain management systems, used in procurement departments.
The exact nature of financial management varies from school to school in light of local circumstances. The financial manager in the school (bursar) will take responsibility of implementing the finance policies of the school, financial processing and monitor the budget on daily basis as well as relieving the head teacher from the necessity of having to carry out some other financial and resource management tasks. Victoria (2002) asserted that ICT can provide means for communicating financial information to the governing body (administration) to help them with decision making. The use of financial software, therefore, gives the bursar a good indication about the direction of the business at school and a means of comparing data with previous months, terms and years, (Gbenga ,2003). This gives a baseline for effective decision making, say, about how fees should be collected, how salaries should be paid and how to carry out other procurement services in the school. (Gbenga, 2003) stated that the use of ICT, for accounting purposes, needs a standard software installed on interlinked computers where all transactions can be automatically logged on the computer to assist in fees payments, payrolls, procurements.
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