Management and leadership are important elements of any organization, however small or large. Every organization has its goals and objectives. This gives rise to the need to plan and mobilize resources, human and material for the realization of these goals and objectives.
The school is a formal organization and like every formal organization, it has its clear statement of aims and objectives, an organogram that shows the hierarchy of authority and responsibility, a division of labour and line of coordination and communication. Effectively welding these machinery for the achievement of the goals for which the school is set up, require effective management under the leadership of the principal. This is the reason behind the maxim that states that “an effective principal is a necessary precondition for an effective school” (Yu, 2009).
The goal of management is the optimization of the output and achievement of the organizational goals through a maximum utilization of resources. More specifically, Obi (2004), describes the goal of management in education in terms of planning, organizing, staffing, coordinating and directing the affairs of educational institution towards achieving educational objectives. In this study, an attempt is made to ascertain how principals as the heads of secondary schools in public and private schools in Awka South Local Government Area, arrange and utilize available resources, human and material, for the achievement of educational goals. The paper will also examine the difference in the effectiveness in the management of the public and private secondary schools in Awka South Local Government Area of Anambra State. Public schools are schools owned and managed by private individuals, voluntary agencies and churches.
Managerial effectiveness refers to the optimal utilization of available resources for the optimization of output. It has to do with the relationship between the input and the output. There is effectiveness if there is optimization of output relative to the input. Thus it has to do with efficiency. With regard to school administration, managerial effectiveness refers to the ability of school administrators to harness and channel the human and material resources available to the school towards the attainment of the goals of the school. Managerial effectiveness as regards education involves the processes under which the input by schools, that is, human and material resources and classroom dynamics, combine to produce educational output.
In this study, managerial effectiveness is considered in terms of the extent to which school principals in public and private schools coordinate their human, infrastructural, financial and learning resources for the achievement of the best organizational result seen as the accomplishment of the goals of the organization. In spite of the affordability of the public schools, more parents send their children to private secondary schools. According to Babalola (2004), the mushrooming of private schools in Nigeria today is the consequence of a reaction of the people to the ways governments have organized and managed public-owned schools in Nigeria, especially following the take-over of schools by the government in the 1970s. Ezekwesili (2006) stated that qualifications than their counterparts in the private schools, yet, teachers in public schools are less productive, less committed and less effective than their counterparts in private schools. Governments’ budget for education keeps increasing without a corresponding improvement in the result of students (Olisa, 2006). The result is a growing resentment for public schools (Abatam, 2005).
Against this background, it is important to do a comparative assessment of the managerial effectiveness of eh principals in public and private secondary schools. One may be interested in the gender of these principals, the location of the schools and their experiences. These may influence what they do, how they do them and the result they achieve (Danto, 2009). But the influence of gender and location of school on the managerial effectiveness of principals are left out of this study. Attention is simply focused on the assessment of the managerial effectiveness of principals through the perception of the teachers working with him or her and through the perception of the principal himself of herself.