The study sought to investigate school plant maintenance as a determinant of secondary school principals’ effectiveness in Afikpo education zone of Ebonyi State. Five purposes, five research questions and three null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. The design of the study was ex-post-facto research design. The study was carried out in secondary schools in Afikpo Education Zone of Ebonyi State. The population of the study was 1,017 comprising of all the 79 principals and 938 teachers of post primary schools in the study area. The sample for the study was 270 respondents representing 27% of the population, drawn using a proportionate stratified sampling technique. The instrument for data collection was a questionnaire. The questionnaire was divided into two parts. Part I was titled “School Plant Maintenance Questionnaire (SPMQ)” and part II was titled “EffectiveSchool Administration Questionnaire (ESAQ)”. The questionnaire has a total of 72 items. The questionnaire was structured on a four- point rating scale of Very Great Extent (VGE) 4 points Great Extent (GE) 3 points Very Low Extent (VLE) 2 points and Low Extent (LE) 1 point Three experts validated the instrument. The overall reliability coefficient of the instrument was 0.89. Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient (r) was used in answering the research questions that guided the study, while Multiple Regression Analysis was used to test the 3 null hypotheses at 0.05 probability level. The result of the study showed that: there exist a positive relationship between principals’ transformational leadership and school plant maintenance to a great extent there is a positive relationship between teachers’ instructional behaviours and school plant maintenance, to a great extent and there is significant relationship (p<0.05) between principal’s transformational leadership and school plant maintenance, there is a significant relationship (p<0.05)between teachers’ instructional behaviours and school plant maintenance and there is a significant relationship(p<0.05) between students’ academic achievement and school plant maintenance. It was recommended among other things that, since there exist a positive relationship between principals’ transformational leadership and school plant maintenance, before a teacher is appointed as a school principal, those transformational leadership qualities should be looked out for, for effective school plant maintenance. It was concluded among others that effective maintenance of school plant could enhance students’ academic achievement towards achieving the goal of national development.

Background of the Study
Education is an essential tool in the society needed for human development and improvement. It is indisputably the instrument used in every nation for the development of her citizens. For education to adequately perform its function, the school must be properly organized, made neat and adorable. In the secondary school system, the head of administration at the apex is designated as the principal. The school principal has the responsibility of ensuring that both human and material resources of the school are utilized to achieve stated objectives. Oboegbulem and Chiaha (2007) stated that human and material resources are effective tools in the hand of the school administrator for the accomplishment of school objectives.

Material resources in form of school plant provides facilities for teaching and learning. The more school plant is maintained regularly, the more the life span is prolonged. However it is regrettable that most school principals do not maintain school plant to serve the purpose it is meant for. These physical facilities on ground are given little or no attention and left to dilapidate, decay, spoil and rot away due to lack of maintenance. This may be why principals, teachers and students achieve less in its absence. Yusuf and Adigun (2012) asserted that without school plant, the school cannot exist. School plant indicates that school is in existence as it is an integral part of the entire school system that serves the needs of the society.

School is a micro-community existing within a macro-community. According to Anukam (2006) and Manilla (2007) school is a place of learning from the nursery to the tertiary institutions. Emenalo (2008) defined school as a public and service organization where children are molded and transformed to become functional and contributory members of the society. In this study, school will be regarded as the environment and a formal organization set up to provide education to students and to all citizens. Teaching and learning take place in school environment which have influence on learners. It is this environment which is also regarded as school plant that influences teaching and learning and as such school plant is an undoubtedly veritable tool in the hands of principals, teachers, non-teaching staff and students for successful implementation and achievement of educational goals and objectives. This implies that environment is important for successful teaching and learning. Mbipom (2000) defined school plant as the environment and building in which teaching and learning take place. According to Kulbir (2007), school plant is simply the material provisions of the school. Asiabaka (2008) perceived school plant as the material resources provided for staff and students to optimize their productivity in the teaching and learning processes. Aloga (2014) described school plant to mean the site, building, equipment and all the facilities within the school which enhance the teaching and learning activities and at the same time protects the physical well-being of teachers and the learners. In this study, school plant will be regarded as the school environment involving the aggregate internal and external physical resources which are necessary for effective, teaching and learning. It implies the totality of school facilities, without which teaching and learning cannot occur.

School plant is also referred to as school facilities, educational facilities, school physical facilities or school infrastructural facilities. Ajayi (2007); Ajadi, Ejieh and Salawu (2008); Lawanson and Gede (2011) gave examples of school plant to include: the entire landscape, machinery, buildings, classrooms, laboratories, workshops, furniture, vehicles, electrical fittings, water, visual and audio-visual aids, roads and toilet among others. In this study it will be limited to landscape; school grounds and fields; buildings; classrooms; laboratories; workshops; furniture; vehicles; roads; toilet and other infrastructure

Adequate and functional school plant is essential for effective teaching and learning. Onwurah (2013), emphasized that school plant play crucial role in the development of the three domains of Bloom’s Taxonomy of educational objectives namely; cognitive (knowledge) affective (emotions, value, interest and morals) and psychomotor (abilities and skills) which are prerequisite for academic achievement. Similarly, Lawanson and Gede (2011), opined that physical facilities ensure safety, security, hygienic and comfortable shelter for students, teachers and other members of staff. Moreover, school plant adds to the aesthetic view and beautification of the school environment (Oboegbulem & Chiaha 2007). School plant is indispensable in the educational process.

Sustainability and effective utilization of school plant depend largely on its maintenance. Maintenance is important so as to keep facilities functional or closest to its original state. Sofoluwe (2005), defined maintenance as work undertaken in order to keep or restore every facility, every part of a site, building and contents to an acceptable standard as to sustain the ability and value of the facility. Adedekun (2011), further perceived maintenance as keeping in good order and shaping all projects of development that are of benefit to the people. In this study, maintenance will be regarded as work embarked upon to keep or rehabilitate any part of the school environment, building or equipment in a functional state.

Deterioration, wear and tear of educational facilities is a natural process. School buildings and equipment depreciate in outlook as a result of factors such as age, weather, usage, carelessness and poor plant maintenance. According to Oboegbulem and Chiaha (2007), school plant maintenance means keeping of the school facilities, buildings and equipment in as near.....

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