School Accountability: the Actual Meaning
The actual meaning of accountability has attracted attention from scholars and society at large and has been viewed differently by various groups and individuals. Nevertheless, the content is still a largely untested concept in terms of the utilization of school resources. For instance, Agabi perceives accountability as the ability to effectively account for a given task or one's performance on any given role or responsibility in the school system. workers are accountable for several things depending on their routine assignments and any other responsibilities that May be given to them. Accountability is the task of establishing goals and looking at the results.
It could be argued that a major component in school accountability is to define the objectives to develop schooling administration that would enable such school objectives to be met and to assess the productivity of the developed practices. Ekpo and Enukoha stated that 'accountability is concerned mainly with determining the basis of valid evidence'. Resource Accountability in school can have different effects on students' performance where they have a direct relationship while effective and efficient management of available resources also contributes to the attainment of defined goals in every school. In recent years numerous resources that are made to enhance teaching, and management performance in junior secondary school are inadequate while the few available scarce resources experience Poor monitoring by school administrators and managers.
Economic stability is one of the criteria for measuring accountability and resource utilization in the educational sector for sustainable socio-economic growth and development anywhere in the world. so, therefore, education plays a significant role in every individual, group, and even in the government sector. This shows that adequate accountability of available scarce resources either in Primary, Secondary, Or tertiary Institutions, as well as the utilization of the available scarce resources, trigger a positive change in goal attainment for efficient growth and development of their country.
Accountability ‘is a process in which a person has a potential obligation to explain higher actions to another party who has the right to pass judgment on those actions and to administer potential positive or negative consequences in response to them’ Vance, Lowry, and Eggett. Therefore, Public Junior Secondary School Administrators and managers should be answerable to the allocated resources in their sector for the smooth use of public funds provided in achieving a specified aim and objective. Therefore, accountability enhances transparency to avoid wasteful consumption of resources.
Resources in education are usually in form of tangible and non-tangible materials used for teaching and learning and other activities in school and it's consists of Human resources, Physical resources, financial resources, and also time resources. Junior Secondary education which bridges the gap between primary and Senior Secondary levels is vital to national development so utilization of resources at this level is very important for the attainment of educational goals and appropriate management techniques. This is done through proper utilization of physical and human resources through planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling through instructional supervision by the school administrators and manager to mobilize, sensitize and motivate teachers in the school to improve performance on duties for the achievement of stated objectives. Accountability of resources in school can harm student performance since Effective facilities management contributes to the success of every student in any school. In recent times, most of the school facilities which are supposed to promote and enhanced teaching, learning, and extra-curricular activities in secondary education are suffer from the accountability of available scarce resources allocated to them and thereby creating serious challenges to the 21st century educational needs of the learners. Like every other sector in the economy with aims and objectives, resources are the backbone of the educational sector and to achieve these aims and objectives there is a need for the availability of these resources and also the proper utilization of the available resources by school administrators and managers.
Utilization of resources in education is hinged on effective sourcing, allocation, maintaining of these resources effectively, distribution, supervision, and monitoring of these resources which is a basic responsibility of educational managers. School principals are exploring different ways in the utilization of their available scarce resources in schools for the improvement of teaching and learning. There is a need to build and enhance capacity towards resource utilization and accountability in public secondary schools in Rivers State.
Financial resources are one of the important resources in the educational sector and also a factor for the success or failure of any schools systems. FRN acknowledged that education attracts considerable attention in public expenditure because it is a social service that has direct economic significance as government expenditure on education has been on the increase due to drastic increases in enrolment and demands in the different levels of education.
School financial management deals with the mobilization of funds, allocation, and utilization of the available resources, therefore Accountability in education implies that those given responsibilities are held answerable for the educational outcomes of the students' achievement. Onye noted that learning occurs as a result of a series of interactions between the learner and his environment which has to do with physical facilities, there is a need for the environment to be conducive for teaching and learning to take place. educational processes require conducive physical accommodation, libraries, furniture, and playground When these instructional facilities are lacking, it can affect negatively the productivity of the teachers.
In the educational industrial business, accountability of resources like funds, teaching personnel, physical plants, and school records among other resources are expected to be accountable to the right offices for teaching-learning goal attainment. Any failure recorded in this sector either as a result of inefficiency in the personality of the individual or the delivery of subject matter is over-utilization, under-utilization, and non-utilization of resources will affect the system.
However, this study intends to determine how accountability and utilization of available scarce resources enhance goal attainment in terms of accountability of resources, availability of teachers, instructional facilities, financial resources, utilization of infrastructural facilities, utilization of financial resources, and lots more for goal attainment in the public junior secondary schools in Rivers State.