FUNDING AND SCHOOL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMMES AS CORRELATES OF SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN NORTH-CENTRAL NIGERIA
Education is a yardstick to measure socio-economic, cultural, skill acquisition and technological development. Secondary school education is important because it is a bridge between basic and tertiary education. Inadequate funds and poor implementation of school development programmes were factors affecting students’ academic performance in North-central Nigeria. Thus, this study therefore investigated the relationships among funding, school development programmes and secondary school students’ academic performance. The objectives were to: (i) determine the sources of funding secondary school education; (ii) investigate how the funds allocated are utilised; (iii) identify various development programmes in secondary schools; (iv) examine the level of the implementation of the school development programmes (v) examine the level of students’ academic performance; and (vi) determine the relationships that existed between funding, school development programmes and students’ academic performance in North-central Nigeria. The research was a correlational descriptive survey. The population comprised all the 1,582 secondary school principals in North-central Nigeria. Purposive sampling technique was used to select three (50%) out of the six states. The target population was 844 secondary school principals, while stratified sampling technique was used to select 196, 169 and 152 principals, respectively from the three states, making a total sample of 517 principals. Purposive sampling technique was used to select six project officers from the three states Ministry of Education. A total number of 341,425 students’ results from 2011 to 2015 were used to determine students’ academic performance. A researcher-designed questionnaire, checklist and result proforma were employed to collect relevant data. The questionnaire was validated by four experts and reliability coefficient of 0.89 was obtained. The data collected was analysed using percentage, graph, mean ranking, multiple regression and Pearson Product-Moment correlation statistic at 0.05 level of significance. The findings were that: i. main source of funding secondary education came from the budgetary allocation of the state (98.53%); ii. fund utilised on secondary school education was 98.04% recurrent and 32.24% capital expenditure, respectively; iii. school development programmes available were Teacher Development Programme (45.3%), Student Exchange Development Programme (0.8%), Student Welfare Services Development Programme (26.8%), Infrastructural Development Programme (12.7%) and School Renovation Programme (14.4%); iv. implementation of school development programmes was moderate with the mean score of 2.67; v. students’ academic performance was average with 65.5% of the students having 5 credit passes including English Language and Mathematics; and vi. there was a positive but low significant relationship among funding, school development programmes and students’ academic performance in North-central Nigeria ( F (2,461) = 53.532, p ˂ 0.05) The study concluded among others that state budgetary allocation was the main source of funding secondary education; that fund utilized on school development programmes was below average; and that students’ academic performance was average. The implication is that, to enhance student’s academic performance, there is the need for full release of approved funds and adequate implementation of school development programmes. The study therefore recommended a full release of funds allocated to secondary school education and an effective implementation of school development programmes to enhance students’ academic performance.