Lateness: A major problem confronting school administrators in Delta State, Nigeria E. D. Nakpodia1 and F. K. Dafiaghor2*
Department of Educational Administration and Policy Studies, Faculty of Education, Delta State University, Abraka, Nigeria. 2 Department of Library and Information Science, Faculty of Education, Delta State University, Abraka, Nigeria. Accepted 4 April, 2011
This paper is a review on lateness in public schools, which has posed a major problem to school administrators in Delta State, Nigeria; especially at the primary and secondary school levels. The author delimited his focus on students, staff and supporting staff in the school system. The salient point is that, lateness to schools plagues school administrators, bringing about inefficiencies at work by way of administration. Therefore, this paper highlights the meaning, causes and effects of lateness to schools as related to the school administrator in Delta State, Nigeria. The study also highlighted various remedies to the sordid situation. This review will therefore help school administrators alleviate lateness, a hydra-headed monster plaguing schools in Delta State, Nigeria, and as such bring about easy administration of schools in the region. Key words: Lateness, school administrators, discipline, environment, punctuality. INTRODUCTION Amongst other components of any organisation, human beings are the most difficult to manage. Folks pose the most problems to administrators anywhere in the world, not excluding school organisations as learning factories in Delta State, Nigeria. Many authors have posited as a matter of fact that, it is easier to manage the financial and material components of any organisation than to manage the human component. They insinuate that “it is easier to manage even animals than to manage human beings” (Nakpodia, 2006; Peretomode, 1991; Peretomode, 2001; Ubogu, 2004; Emore, 2005; Ukoshi, 2004). Thus, in the school system, the school head, which is usually the headmaster/headmistress or the principal, is confronted with numerous problems posed by staff and/or students. These problems include: sleeping on duty, negative attitude to tasks, lack of motivation to tasks, sexual harassment, theft, quarrelling, malice, jealousy, envy, absenteeism, lateness, etc. But Lauby (2009) stated clearly that: ‘As a Human Resource professional, I have dealt with a plethora of employee issues: sleeping on the job, theft, sexual harassment… but I have found over the years, that there is one issue that plagues managers more than all these other issues combined… attendance and punctuality. That is, people not showing up at all… people not showing up on time.’ It could thus be deduced from the excerpt that in the school system, which is the focus of this paper, both staff’s and students’/pupils’ lateness to school pose the greatest problems to school administrators in Delta State. What then is lateness? DEFINITION OF LATENESS Literally, the term “lateness” implies a situation where an individual arrives after the proper, scheduled or usual th time (Oxford Advanced Learners’ Dictionary, 5 ed., 1995). Furthermore, Lauby (2009) puts it as a term used
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Nakpodia and Dafiaghor
to describe “people not showing up on time”. Breeze et al. (2010) contributed by saying that, lateness is synonymous with “tardiness”, which implies being slow to act or slow to respond, thus not meeting up with proper or usual timing. It is obvious therefore that, lateness could be seen as a system of network breakdown (Peretomode, 1991), a situation of not meeting up with programme… a function of time… time is the criteria and determinant of lateness. Having therefore known the...