The study was designed to assess principals’ violation of students’ rights in
secondary schools, in Kogi State Nigeria. It aims at finding out the extent to
which the principals are aware of students rights, assess the extent to which
students right to life, dignity of human person, right to personal liberty, right to
fair hearing are being violated by principals. The design used for the study is
descriptive survey. Six research questions and six hypotheses guided the study.
The target population for the study was 47,388 students, teachers and principals
from 345 schools in Kogi State. The sampled population was 6,191 comprising
138 principals, 1,794 teachers and 4,259 students from 138 sampled schools.
The instrument used for the study was the (PASRVQ) Principals’ Awareness of
Students’ Rights Violation Questionnaire. Means and standard deviation were
used to answer the research questions. The internal constituency and reliability
of the instrument was determined using Cronbach Alpha method. The reliability
coefficient of the instrument obtained from cluster A-F is 0.83, 0.69, 0.81, 0.75,
0.92, and 0.87 respectively. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Scheffe test were
used to test the null hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance. The study among
others revealed that to a great extent principals are not generally aware of
students rights and therefore violate students right to life, dignity of human
person, right to personal liberty and right to fair hearing. Accordingly the study
recommended that: principals should be made properly aware of students
rights, through the conferences, seminars, workshops and further studies.
School rules should be made public, school plant facilities should be made safe
for use, students are to be given opportunity to express opinions and be involved
in decision making process. Teacher capacity building curriculum should
incorporate element of education law and human rights education should be
incorporated in secondary school curriculum.
Background of the Study
The school as a social institution has the social and constitutional
responsibilities of educating the students and protecting them from the abuse of
their rights and privileges. Effective students’ personnel administration demands
that various administrative activities and services should be carried out by the
school, within the established rules and regulations, in order to ensure total
development of the students Bassey, Arop, Akpama & Ayang, (2012). This
means that school administrators shall not only be knowledgeable about
students’ rights, but should also be proficient in the protection and promotion of
these rights (Nakpodia, 2011).
The principal co-ordinates and ensures that the various process of
administrative activities and services are carried out by the school within an
established rules and regulations so as to ensure total development of the
students in a given school. According to Nakpodia (2009) principals are also
Teachers in Nigerian schools system, who in their position in-loco-parentis to
the children in their charge act, reasonably in this capacity, provided their
actions are in accordance with general and approved educational practice,,, The
principal is the leader of secondary school or Chief Executive Officer of
secondary school administration. Principals as leaders have the key for
achieving sustainable enormous education reforms like accountability, standard,
test, enhancing legal rights of students, site based management, school climate
and turning schools into professional learning communities Fullan(2002).