This study was carried out to appraise community participation in the administration of public secondary schools in Education Zone “C ” of Benue State. Four research questions and two null hypotheses were posed and formulated respectively to guide the study. The hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance. The related literature to the study was reviewed under four main headings namely: conceptual framework, theoretical framework, review of related empirical studies and summary of literature review. This study used descriptive survey research design. The population of the study was 1427 while the sample was 284 respondents. The instrument for data collection was a questionnaire titled “Appraisal of Community Participation Questionnaire (ACPQ)”. Three experts validated the instrument, two in Educational Administration and Planning, department of educational foundations and one expert in measurement and evaluation, department of science education, all from University of Nigeria, Nsukka. The instrument was trial tested and the overall reliability coefficient of 0.91 was obtained. Mean and standard deviation were used to answer the research questions that guided the study, while t-test statistic was used to test the null hypotheses formulated at 0.05 level of significance. The Results of the study revealed that: the communities participate in funding public secondary schools in Education Zone “C” of Benue State to a less extent, the communities also participate in the provision of infrastructural facilities in Education Zone “C” of Benue State to a less extent. Communication gap between the community and the school was one of the problems militating against community participation in administration of public secondary schools. The respondents in rural and urban schools had the same views on the strategies for integrating community members for effective school administration in Education Zone “C” of Benue State. It was recommended among others that since the Principal, the teachers and the education administrators are also members of the community, they can help to disseminate information to other members of the community on the need to take active participation in the education of the young ones. The limitations of this study were highlighted and suggestions were made for further studies.

Background of the Study
Education is recognized as the cornerstone for sustainable development. Education is a veritable instrument for achieving economic development and social transformation of every society. Fertig (2000) regards education as a social responsibility that every citizen should enjoy as a member of a country and that everyone has a right to education. Federal Republic of Nigeria (2004) also accepted education as an instrument that brings about even and orderly development for a country. Senge (2006) opined that socio-economic development of any nation hinges on its level of educational development. The author further stressed that any country that fails to educate her citizens is trying with the level of her development; hence education is regarded as an investment which must yield high dividend.

Consequently, Ogundele (2008) noted that Nigeria as a country is faced with a lot of crises in her educational industry. These crises had been attributed to inadequate funding, poor and irregular payment of salaries, students’ population explosion, poor teachers’ job satisfaction, and inadequate supply of educational facilities and needed equipment for effective teaching learning process. The result of this brings about low quality and fallen standard of education in our secondary school system. The filmsy excuse of the government is that government alone cannot take up total responsibilities of education that it has to be paid for by all and sundry.

Due to the inability of Government to attend to these issues, appraisal of community participation in the administration of public secondary schools becomes necessary. Appraisal is an expert estimation of quality, quantity and other characteristics of someone or something. According to Bondesio (2000), appraisal is the act of assessing an expert or official value of something for the achievement of goals and objectives. In this context, appraisal is used to determine the level of community participation in the administration public secondary school.

Community could be viewed in terms of all the people or group of people living within a specific geographical area such as a village, a town, a city, a neighbourhood or even a whole state. Community when conceived in this way is used in two senses, first, as social unit and second as geographical or ecological unit. This implies that such groups of people are closely joined together and organized. This togetherness among the people spells out a common feeling of community (Oghuvbu 2004). The researcher further perceived community as a people or group of people who share common interest or functions such as farming group or agricultural group education, culture or religion. This group may not include everyone within the geographical area or boundary, but who have a particular interest or functions in common. Ugwu (2000) described a community as a people obliged to one another not because of place of birth, race, sex, religion but people bound to one another and governed by shared taste, value, specific words for common interest. Throughout history, the relationship between the school and the community has been a matter of major concern. Yusuf (2000) opined that it is important that the school and the community should have mutual relationship to foster cordial existence. The researcher further stated that the community where the school is situated forms a focus point of assessing the activities of the school and make necessary contributions towards its growth.

In a similar vein, one can define community as a legal, political or administrative unit. As a legal unit, it is likened to a municipality, a school district or a nation with a clearly defined social structure. In this sense, a community will feature the formulation of laws to guide the conduct of members, and this is what is required to ensure its existence. The regulations or laws are enforced by an administrative unit. As a legal unit, it is likened to a municipality, a school district or a nation with a clearly defined social structure. The community through a healthy working relationship with the school management and the entire school community would get to know the school strength and weaknesses (Obiechina, 2006).

Community participation in the administration of secondary schools has become necessary as a result of lack of proper management, lack of funding, facilities and equipment, poor learning environment, inadequate provision of teaching materials, problem of discipline and proper supervision of instruction. The community has immense input in the funding of educational projects such as endowment funding, sponsoring of projects and Parents Teachers Association involvement (Okoro and Okoro, 2005). All these indicate that the community and the school exist side by side and always being in existence as a pre-existing condition for effective school administration. The most involvement of parents in school matters in most of the communities is usually through the Parent Teacher Association (PTA). With a few exceptions, the traditional role of the PTA has been the making of financial contributions to schools (Ugwu, 2010).

The participation of communities in the administration of secondary schools has gone beyond mere financial contributions; however, educational development in some parts of the country has witnessed increased involvement of the whole communities. Some communities in Nigeria have established secondary schools through their own initiatives in the past, e.g The education zone ‘C’ in Benue built community secondary schools in various local government and this local are Agila community secondary school Apa, Achaga community secondary school, Ikobi community secondary school, Ikobi, Adoka community secondary school Adoka and Okpiko community secondary school Alaglanu. The Parent-Teacher Association (P.T.A) helps in the general development of the school along with other community members, by providing the school with classrooms, dormitory blocks, staff quarters, science laboratories and equipment, electric plant generators, school vans, libraries, books and classroom equipment (Oghuvbu and Iyeke, 2004). They get the funds for these by launching Parents Teachers Association (P.T.A) funds and by contributing individually, directly or indirectly, towards the funds. The Parents Teachers Association (P.T.A) also helps the authority to maintain discipline by the children at home on how to behave at school.

On the other hand, the community needs to monitor and supervise the schools to see to their needs, problems and progress towards the education of their children. Bello (2011) believed that open relationship between the school and community could bring about high opportunities that will allow community resources to be optimally utilized for the school improvement. Yusuf (2000) opined that a community school relation is a strong instrument for effective school administration. Within the school system, participation involves a feeling of identification with and responsibility to the school and academic life it offers.

Administration is getting things done in order to accomplish defined objectives. Akpotowoh (2006) agree that school administration aims at using both human and material resources within the school system for the achievement of objectives. Nwankwo, in particular, defined educational administration as arrangement of the human and material resources and programmes available for education and carefully using them systematically for the achievement of articulated objectives. This involves describing tasks to be performed to accomplish certain objectives, assigning these tasks to carefully selected and trained personnel, making the personnel perform efficiently by using the tools provided for them, coordinating some formal structures which permits a hierarchal allocation of responsibilities with communication flow, and contributing to the fact that administration involves co-ordination of human and material resources towards the attainment of pre-determined objectives.

The central purpose of administration in general is the coordination of human and material resources towards the attainment of some predetermined objectives. Okendu (2009) sees administrative effectiveness as a careful, systematic arrangement of resources by the principal for the realization of the objectives of the school. For administration to be effective, there are processes that must be followed by the administrators. This is because administration is seen as a....

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