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Title: The roles of Federal Inspectors of Education in Nigeria
Author: White, Richard Geoffrey
Awarding Body: Institute of Education (University of London)
Current Institution: UCL Institute of Education (IOE)
Date of Award: 1988
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The problems of role selection, role balance and assessing role effectiveness are common to school inspectorates in many countries. The purpose of this thesis is to discuss these problems through a study of the Federal Inspectorate Service (FIS) in Nigeria. School inspection by government inspectors in Nigeria has quite a long history dating back to 1882, though the present FIS dates from 1973. This history shows how a variety of personnel and a range of methods have been used over the years to provide support for schools. It demonstrates that many of the problems inspectors face today are not new. The origins and need for a national inspectorate are discussed, in view of the fact that responsibility for much of the operation and management of education is decentralised to the 19 states and Abuja Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The present roles of federal inspectors are described and, to a lesser extent, those of state inspectors alongside whom they work. Their work is set within the context of an educational system which continues to experience a rapid rate of growth, but which faces considerable problems, for example, in the provision of trained teachers, financial and material resources, and in effective management, whether within schools or outside. The selection of roles, including their balance, and the effectiveness of the FIS, are described and assessed, through the responses of teachers, principals, inspectors and administrators, from both the federal and state systems. Questionnaires were distributed and interviews were held, in a representative selection of six states: Benue, Kaduna, Kano, Kwara, Lagos, and Rivers. The study concludes that the FIS is a field organisation, with professionally well-qualified, experienced, and well motivated staff, with well established techniques of working in schools and of reporting on individual institutions, and with generally good relations with teachers, principals, other inspectors and administrators, at both the state and federal levels. Nevertheless, it faces problems. Perhaps the greatest need, is for a clearer understanding at national level of how the FIS might be used as an instrument to monitor and promote standards in education, particularly in line with the National Policy on Education and the 1984 Minimum Standards Decree. The FIS needs to appoint more staff, particularly those with primary school experience, to review its field work methods, including targeting visits more precisely, to monitor the work of federal inspectors in the field more closely, to synthesise the information contained in its numerous institutional reports, to develop its methods of working together with state inspectorates, and to improve its channels of communication, in particular through developing its formal contact networks. This study has considerable relevance to the internationally important problems of educational quality and educational management. It offers a detailed analysis of inspectorate working practices and professional responses to them in a major educational system. Some of the conclusions are necessarily of limited general international applicability, in view of the specific characteristics of Nigerian education and the rare occurrence of two-tier inspectorates, of which the Nigerian system is an example.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available