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 non-academic departments in the seven states and four federal colleges of education in north-central 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 null-hypotheses. 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 the nation 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 in-service 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..... 

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