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The Project File Details
Background to the Study
Record keeping and management in an organizational set-up is very important and cannot be toiled with. This is because the continuity of an entity depends on the availability of useful records of past activities. In a complex organization like a University, it is not possible to keep every information in the brain 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 school records such as log books, admission registers, visitor books, inventory books, account books among others. The keeping of record is often organized around a life cycle that all records should follow namely record creation, storage, retrieval (for use as needed), retention and disposition which includes protecting all vital documents (records)(Ibiam,2013).
Record management which is primarily concerned with the evidence of an organization’s activities is usually applied according to the value of the records rather than their physical format. In the past, record management was sometimes used to refer to only the management of records which were no longer in everyday use but still needed to be kept (semi-current or inactive records) often stored in basements or off sites( Chukwu,2015). More modern usage tends to refer to the entire life cycle of records from the point of creation right through until their disposal. An academic record or academic transcript is an official statement of all results achieved through academic year of study and is also important to be managed. It includes a complete listing of all the courses, the credit points achieved for courses and the grade point average (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 the university system. In fact, it is central in the administration of institutions of learning because it documents the planning and implementation of appropriate course of services allowing monitoring of work( Allen,2013). In conventional paper based organization such as the universities, paper continues 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 and providing for the disposition of records and what is contained in them. They are therefore intended 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 people on decisions regarding professional record keeping (APA 2016). In Nigeria, just as in America, the nature and extent of record keeping and management may vary depending upon the purpose, setting and context of the services. However, whatever the record may be, it is important that the staff get familiar with the legal and ethical requirements for record keeping management in their specific professional contexts and jurisdictions. Generally, record keeping must be guided by some 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 management especially 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 have done great 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 registry system with filing cabinets containing the paper evidence of university business are inadequate and in fact ignorant of their responsibilities. This calls to question the reliability and authenticity of records kept in such a system.
Afolabi (2015) also asserted that record management practice in Nigeria has a number of problems which may include insufficient skilled and inexperienced record management personnel and possibly, low priority of record management in the scheme of things. Awe (2010) viewed the problem in record keeping from the perspective of the bodies government, university management, the staff and the students. Awe(2010 accused these bodies of being responsible for unavailable inaccurate/incomplete and dishonest records and according to Ututlu (2001) these adversely affect planning and provision of structures and facilities, adequate funding, proper formulation and review of policies. Other associated problems of record keeping identified generally in the educational system in Nigeria include lack of record manual and filing guidelines which lead to loss of vital information and inadequate computer terminals (Egwunyenga, 2015). Others are difficulty in record retrieval and lack of appreciation by management and staff of the need for well controlled records (Egunleti,2011). According to Ogundele (2001) the management of these problems would mean the development of efficient and effective options within and between universities, this indeed requires urgent attention. It is against this, that this study is aimed at assessing the factors affecting 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 the storage/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 at Nnamdi Azikiwe University and it re-occurrence in 2014 for previously registered students is due to lack of adequate record management. This has resulted into the dearth of useful information needed for the growth and expansion of these institutions. Further, record keeping and management practices in Nigerian universities is bedevilled 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. It is 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:
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 future researchers.
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 keeping that might affect 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 ways to 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 assessment of factors affecting efficient record management in the Examinations and Record Department in Nnamdi Azikiwe University. The study focused on the method, attitude of staff in record office and various task of record keeping that affect efficient record keeping.
The following research questions were posed to guide the study: