THE ASSESSMENT OF THE FACTORS AFFECTING EFFICIENT RECORD MANAGEMENT IN THE EXAMINATIONS AND RECORD DEPARTMENT IN NNAMDI AZIKIWE UNIVERSITY

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background to the Study

Record keeping and management in an organizational set-up is very important and cannot be toiled with.This is because  thecontinuity  of an entity depends on  the availability of useful records of past activities. In acomplex organization like a University, it is not possible to keep every information in thebrain because the volume of information is heavy, therefore records must be kept and managed.

In Nigeria, education law demands that every educational institution should keep certain schoolrecords such as log books, admission registers, visitorbooks, inventory books, account books among others. The keeping of record is often organized around a life cycle that all records should follow namely recordcreation,storage, retrieval (for use as needed), retention and disposition which includesprotecting all vital documents (records)(Ibiam,2013).

Record management which isprimarily concerned with the evidence of an organization’sactivities is usually appliedaccording to the value of the records rather than their physical format. In the past, recordmanagement was sometimes used to refer to only the management of records which were nolonger in everyday use but still needed to be kept (semi-current or inactive records) often storedin basements oroff sites( Chukwu,2015). More modern usage tends to refer to the entire life cycle of recordsfrom the point of creation right through until their disposal.  An academic recordor academic transcript is an official statement of all results achieved through  academic year of studyand is also important to be managed. It includes acomplete listing of all the courses, the credit points achieved for courses and the grade pointaverage (G.P.A), if applicable and a complete status record of student(Shephard, 2016).

Record keeping occupies a strategic position in the efficient and effective management of theuniversity system. In fact, it is central in the administration of institutions of learning because itdocuments the planning and implementation of appropriate course of services allowingmonitoring of work( Allen,2013). In  conventional paper based organization such as the universities, papercontinues to be viewed as the materials for records in administrative documentations (Igwoku,2008). The approach is for records created in the course of day-to-day business of the universities to be stored and kept in hard copies as evidence of an action, decision or process.

However, the process of record keeping and management provides a framework for keeping, maintaining andproviding for the disposition of records and what is contained in them. They are thereforeintended to benefit all members of staff by facilitating continuity and evaluation of services and

preserving privacy. This framework is provided for by guidelines designed to educate peopleon decisions regarding professional record keeping (APA 2016).In Nigeria, just as in America, the nature and extent of record keeping and management mayvary depending upon thepurpose, setting and context of the services. However, whatever the record may be, it isimportant that the staff get familiar with the legal and ethical requirements for record keepingmanagement intheir specific professional contexts and jurisdictions. Generally, record keeping must be guided bysome level of confidentiality, proper maintenance security, preservation of the content and context among others.(Uwaifo 2014, Akporhonor and Iwhiwhu 2016).

Unfortunately, the Nigeria situation in the business of record keeping and managementespecially in the university system has not been too successful because of lack of management components (Omeyi, 2011). According to Ibiam (2014) many years of neglect havedonegreat damage to the education sector and record keeping is not an exemption. In his view,Iginodala, (2013) believed that personnel (secretaries and filing clerks) who maintain the registrysystem with filing cabinets containing the paper evidence of university business are inadequateand in fact ignorant of their responsibilities. This calls to question the reliability and authenticity ofrecords kept in such a system.

Afolabi (2015) also asserted that recordmanagement practice in Nigeria has a number of problems which may include insufficient skilledand inexperienced record management personnel and possibly, low priority of record managementin the scheme of things. Awe (2010) viewed the problem in record keeping from the perspectiveof thebodies government, university management, the staff and the students. Awe(2010 accusedthese bodies of being responsible for unavailable inaccurate/incomplete and dishonest records and according to Ututlu(2001) these adversely affect planning and provision of structuresand facilities, adequate funding, proper formulation and review of policies. Other associatedproblems of record keeping identified generally in the educational system in Nigeria include lackof record manual and filing guidelines which lead to loss of vital information andinadequate computer terminals (Egwunyenga, 2015). Othersare difficulty in record retrieval andlack of appreciation by management and staff of the need for well controlled records (Egunleti,2011). According toOgundele (2001) themanagement of these problems would mean the development of efficient and effectiveoptions within and between universities, this indeed requires urgent attention. It is against this,that this study is aimed at assessing the factorsaffecting  efficient record management in exams and record department in Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka.

 Statement of the Problems

Record keeping and management is very important in any organization as it helps in thestorage/preservation and retrieval of vital information needed for future plans. Unfortunately,in Nigerian universities today, not much importance is attached to record keeping and recording. For instance, the lost of 2011/2012 registration of student biodata information atNnamdi Azikiwe University and it re-occurrence in 2014 for previously registered students is due to lack of adequate recordmanagement. This hasresulted into the dearth of useful information needed for the growth and expansion of theseinstitutions.Further, record keeping and management practices in Nigerian universities isbedevilled with a lot of setbacks.

It has become a recurrent issue for records to be irretrievable when required especially in tertiary institutions of most developing countries like Nigeria (Fabunmi, 2014). The difficulty of this problem is better appreciated by those who bear the brunt especially university teachers, students, parents and administrators who require students records to facilitate accurate and timely decisions. In such a situation administrators find it difficult to retrieve the information they need to formulate, implement and monitor policy and to manage key personnel and financial resources. Itis against this back drops that this study assesses the factors affecting efficient record management in the examinations and record department in Nnamdi Azikiwe University.

Purpose of the study

The main purpose of the study was to assess the factors affecting record management in the examinations and Record Department of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka. Specifically, the study determined the extent:

  1. attitudeof staff in charge of record keeping affect record management in the record Department Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
  2. themethods used for record keeping in Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka whichaffects their record management system.
  3. manual type of keeping records that affect the efficient management of record of students’in Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka examinations and record department.
  4. theuse computerized method of record keeping affect efficient management of record of students in Examinations and Record Department of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.

Significance of the study

The findings of the study would be beneficial to office secretaries, staff of the department of Examinations and Record in Nnamdi Azikiwe University and futureresearchers.

Office secretaries will benefit from the study as the study will highlight all their attitude, methods used for record keeping and enormous task of record keepingthat mightaffect efficient record management. The study will also benefit staff of Examinations and Record in Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka as it will enable them see various ways  record keeping might be affected and at the same time elucidate waysto address the issue. For future researchers, the study will serve as source of material and reference for future related study.

Scope of the Study

This study was delimited to the assessmentof factorsaffecting efficient record management in the Examinations and Record Department in Nnamdi Azikiwe University. The study focused on themethod, attitude of staff in record office and various task of record keeping thataffect efficient record keeping.

Research Question

The following research questions were posed to guide the study:

  1. To what extent doesattitude of staff in charge of record keeping affect record management in the record Department Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka?
  2. To what extentdoes the methods used for record keeping in Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka affect their record management system?
  3. To what extent domanual type of keeping recordsaffect the efficient management of record of students’ in Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka examinations and record department?
  4. To what extent does theuse ofcomputerized method of record keeping affect efficient management of record of students in Examinations and Record Department of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka?