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MANAGEMENT OF STUDENTS HOSTEL ACCOMMODATION PROBLEMS
The study investigated the management of students’ hostel accommodation problem in the Federal Colleges of Education South Eastern Nigeria. The population of the study comprised all students and staff of Students Affairs department of the Federal Colleges of Education in South East geo-political zone. The study was descriptive survey design. The instrument for data collection was a questionnaire titled ‘Management of Student Hostel Accommodation Problems Questionnaire’ (MSHAPQ) four research questions and three null hypothesis were formulated to guide the study. The research questions were answered using mean and standard deviation while t-test was used to test the hypothesis at 0.05 level of significance. The major findings showed that the student agreed that inadequate of hostel accommodation, overcrowding, location of hostel very far from classroom area, inadequate supply of social amenities, inadequate toilets facilities, poor sanitation and dilapidated hostel building do not constitute nature of students’ hostel accommodation problem in the Federal Colleges of Education. Poor hostel accommodation have a negative implication on the academic performance of students. Finally it was found from the study, that there is significant difference in the mean rating of respondent with regard to the implication of accommodation problem and academic performance of students of Federal Colleges of Education. Among the recommendation were school authority in collaboration with government should endeavour to build more hostel for students, school management and the government should endeavour to repair dilapidated hostel buildings, students have the responsibility of keeping the hostel clean.
Background of the Study
Colleges of Education are teacher education institutions which have as their objective the production of highly motivated, conscientious and efficient classroom teachers for the primary and post-primary levels of our educational system. (Ogbonnaya, 2010). Colleges of Education is the institution solely meant for the training of teachers. It is a vehicle for economic and social development in different parts of the world. They have the responsibilities of equipping individuals with knowledge and skill required for positions of responsibilities in government, business and other spheres of life. The crucial roles Colleges of Education play in the education of future leaders and development of high level manpower cannot be overemphasized. Okoh (2004) in support of the above stated that:
the growth of students enrolment in Federal Colleges of Education in Nigeria has created serious accommodation problems in all the Federal Colleges of Education to the extent that some students have resorted to living in laboratories, workshop and even in the classrooms and this has gone a long way in affecting them psychologically, emotionally, socially, and even in their academic performance. (p,165)
For the objective of Colleges of Education to be achieved, there should be adequate provision, proper allocation, and effective supervision of student hostel accommodation in order to ensure effective teaching and learning processes and all-round development of students. Akuchie, (1998).
Accommodation has to do with privacy, personal space and territoriality. Student accommodation can be seen as a place of abode for students; it is also a place where students live and it is usually situated within the College where students are accommodated in hostels or halls of residence Ezeukwu, (1999). This hall of residence, apart from protecting students from sun, rain, heat and cold, represent a learning environment which has tremendous impact on the comfort, safety and performance of students. The essence is to enable students settle down and have a place of rest. According to Onyegiri (2004), the essence of hostels in Federal College of Education is to accommodate students and to encourage effective teaching and learning. Ozioko (1997) affirmed that adequate accommodation is one of the student’s personnel services that enhance the achievement of educational objectives or instruction in an educational institution.
The Federal Republic of Nigeria (2004) in her NPE stated that the goals of higher education include the acquisition, development and inculcation of the proper value orientation for individual and societal survival and the development of intellectual capacities to enable the individual understand and appreciate his environment. These goals, as far as colleges of education is concern cannot be achieved unless students in the colleges of education are adequately accommodated and provided with safe drinking water, adequate sanitation, regular supply of electricity and access to affordable means of transport.
Lack of or inadequate living space among students is one of the causes of psychological difficulty, and the likely hood of disposition to aggression is high among students when they are not properly accommodated or when they are crowded. This is because when an environment is not conducive, it leads or results in aggressive behaviours emanating from such environment. Ozioko, (1997).
Hence, the quality of an environment goes a long way to influence the behaviour of the individuals found in and around it. Credence has been lend to this assertion by Omu, (2003) who stated human behaviour is fundamentally related to attributes of physical environment, that is, an environment determines the range of behaviour or activities that can occur in it and most of the times determines in a more positive sense particular aspect or pattern of an individual’s behaviour. Therefore, the physical environment of the school including condition of hostels and the transport system, affect student behaviours either negatively or positively.
The problem of students accommodation started in 1973 when the Federal Government took over the existing tertiary institutions and even established new ones without giving serious consideration to the implications of such policy decision including the large students population it inherited from the take-over. For instance, this increasing student enrolment also affected students enrolment in the colleges of education in Nigeria. For instance, Alumanah (2001) observed that between 1996/97 and 1999/2000 academic sessions, AlvanIkoku College of Education recorded about 100% increase in students enrolment. And this increasing students enrolment affected students accommodations negatively even to the extent many students opted to live out of the college campus.
This development forced many students to live off-campus where they are exposed to all kinds of danger and threats. For those who are lucky to secure private accommodation within the campus, they are charged exorbitant rents. And even at that, safe drinking water and access to affordable means of transportation are not assured. All of these constraints affect students academic achievement negatively. Alumanah( 2001).
The problems arising from the above situation are enormous. For example, a room which is meant and structurally designed for two persons now accommodates four to six students. The implication is that other household facilities like water supply, electricity and toilets are over used because they are now serving more people than it was originally meant.
Though, Colleges of Education are not expected to provide a hundred percent of the student’s hostel accommodation, National Commission for College of Education (NCCE) in its guidelines states that at least seventy five percent of the student population should be accommodated in the hostels. This NCCE guideline has not been complied with by any of the College of Education in Nigeria Nwankwo,( 2006). However, N.C.C.E. guideline did not state where those not accommodated in the hostels should stay. Accommodation is hard to find in towns where most tertiary institutions are situated and the situation is worsened by inefficient transportation system thereby affecting students academic achievement negatively.
The importance of adequate hostel accommodation for students could imply that accommodation should not only be adequately provided but should also be well managed. The authorities of the Colleges of Education are not only concerned with the planning and coordinating but also with the maintenance of student hostel accommodation. The management of student hostel accommodation therefore rests on the hand of the Colleges of Education management which is in a position to appreciate as well as administer a school on a productive manner so as to achieve the goals and objectives of the educational system Omu, (2006). Writing on the social implications of students living together in hostels, Elechi, (2008) posited that school is a socializing agent that helps in moulding human character and the state of art in schools can determine an individuals character. The institution of higher learning is also expected to give the student a wholesome education that will positively influence character and learning. Since his/her character is influenced by his/her interaction with fellow students in the classroom and in the hostels.
While lamenting on the ills associated with inadequate
accommodation facilities in the Nigerian tertiary institution, Ezukwu (1999) observed that students frequently forfeit their academic work for a long period in search of accommodation. Most times, the students are reported to skip or miss lectures, examinations and laboratory practical as a result of problems emanating from inadequate accommodation. In addition, there are frequent cases of frustration, friction, conflict, antagonisms and open confrontation among roommates in overcrowded student hostels, on usage of wardrobes, corner/spaces and other facilities in the room.
Today the student hostel accommodations are not only appears to be inadequate but some of the existing ones are dilapidated and constitute danger to the health of the students and the entire college communities. For instance, the hostel accommodations in the Colleges of Education are unconducive and deplorable and this affects the academic performance of students and their all-round development Akuchie, (1998). According to Mboto (2000), today cracked, decaying walls, sagging roofs, blown-off roofs, and bushy surroundings are common phenomenon in schools. Ogbonnaya and Ajagbonwu (1997) observed that this situation does not augur well for effective teaching and learning.
Many students miss lectures while looking for accommodation either in the Department or at the exams and records. Some of them repeat an academic year or miss their batch of National Youth Service due to the fact that records of result of exams they wrote and passed are missing (Nwagwu, 2006).
The colleges medical centers are always busy attending to students who are sick due to inadequate hostel accommodation. The picture suggests that student hostel accommodation appear not only inadequate in our colleges, but that the existing ones are poorly managed and poorly supervised.
The present situation is apparently affecting the student’s in many ways, and all the strategies adopted by the colleges of education so far to arrest the situation appear to be yielding no significant results. It could be that effective strategies have not been applied. This situation informs the researcher’s interest to investigate how best to handle the situation, that is management of student hostel accommodation problems in federal colleges of education in South Eastern Nigeria
Statement of the Problem
Shelter is considered to be the next most important basic needs of man after food. It had been noted that as at 2003, there were 50,000 regular students in the Colleges of Education in the South-Eastern Nigeria with not more than 20,000 bed spaces. This situation has not improved today as there are less bed spaces for students. This implies that about 4 students share one bed in these colleges. This poses a serious danger to the health of the students.
If hostels are too crowded, poorly built and not adequately supplied with water, it can lead to epidemic or increased incidence of sickness and even death. Conversely good housing leads to good health and higher rate of academic participation. The consequence of this accommodation problem in the campuses is that many students who are not accommodated in the hostel are now being charged exorbitant fees for accommodations outside the campuses. The most sympathetic thing is that many of these houses are mud houses and many are in a very poor state of disrepairs. Hardly does one find water in such houses, left alone decent toilet system.
This problem of hostel accommodation in our Colleges of Education may have short and long term negative implications on students health, and even their academic achievement. Therefore, the problem of this study is the need to investigate students accommodation problems in the Colleges of Education and identify various management strategies to curb the problems.
Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to investigate the management of student’s hostel accommodation problems in Federal Colleges of Education in South East Geo-Political Zone. Specifically, the study seeks to:
Significance of the Study
This study will have both theoretical and practical significance. The theoretical significance is hinged on the system theory, contingency theory, and human relation theory. The system theory stressed the need for organizational linkage and that organization can function independently. Contingency theory emphasizes encouragement of staff to participate in decision making by the leader. The human relation theory emphasizes the need to motivate workers and achieve greater result if their personal welfare is put into consideration by the management.
It is expected that the finding of this study will be useful to the following: students, Students Affairs Department of Federal Colleges of Education, College Council, National Commission for Colleges of Education, General Public and the Field of Educational Administration. It is likely therefore that without the adequate provision of hostel accommodation in the Colleges of Education, higher education objectives will not be achieved and student’s overall development will not be attained.
On the practical aspects, the findings of this study therefore, lies in the fact that the result of the study will be of immense benefit to all stakeholders such as students, college council, national commission for Colleges of Education, Student’s Affairs Department of Federal Colleges of Education and general public. If the recommendations are implemented it will minimize accommodation problems in our College of Education. This study will specifically be of benefit to those who are responsible for students college accommodation government by highlighting them on the basic ways through which accommodation problem could be handled among students.
The National Commission for Colleges of Education (N.C.C.E.) will be in a better position to appreciate the problems associated with hostel accommodation in our colleges and formulate appropriate policies to address the situation.
Students will benefit from this work because it is the students who will enjoy improved services which will emanate from the result of this study. Since the findings of the study will help in developing strategies that would assist in designing administrative techniques that would go a long way in improving students accommodation in these colleges.
Finally, this study will be of immense benefit to the general public in that they have the right to be informed on the problems of students hostel accommodation of which the government is soliciting their participation in addressing the situation. This is because when there is conducive atmosphere in the Colleges of Education; the objectives of higher education, which is the production of higher level manpower, will be greatly achieved.
Scope of the Study
This study will be carried out in South-Eastern Nigeria involving all the Federal Colleges of Education in that Geo-Political Zone. It will focus on the nature of student hostel accommodation problems, factors responsible for these problems, implications of these problems in academic performance of students and finally, the management strategies on how to solve these problems, its impact on health, actions being taken by Students Affairs Department and Management Strategies that could be adopted by the Federal Colleges of Education.
To guide this study, the following research questions were posed.
The following null hypotheses were formulated and will be tested at
0.05 of significance to guide this study.
HO1 There is no significant difference in the mean ratings of staff of Students Affairs Unit and students with regards to the nature of accommodation problems discernable in Federal Colleges of Education.
HO2 There is no significant difference in the mean responses of staff of Students Affairs Unit and students with regards to factors responsible for students accommodation problems in the Federal Colleges of Education.
HO3 There is no significant difference in the mean ratings of respondents with regard to the implication of accommodation problem on the academic performance of students of Colleges of Education.
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