1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The difficulty of securing ones transcript is one of the major problems students face in the nation’s universities. It is always hard and frustrating. The fact remains that such difficult experiences are not limited to schools. Procuring medical records or government documents could also be an uphill task. This, in most cases, is embarrassing and sometimes annoying when people recount hurdles they have got to scale through in the process of getting their transcripts (Chika Mefor, 2011).Obtaining academic transcripts from Nigerian universities can be difficult and frustrating whether you are in the country or abroad. Apart from the official fee to be paid to the school, facilitators within the school system would also need to be paid or “greased” likewise, friends and relatives who spent their time going back and forth might also demand to be compensated. One can’t even quantify the cost of time spent, along with the stress and other incalculable resources. And indeed, there is no guarantee that the requested documents will arrive, or arrive in a timely fashion to its required destination. In the past, frantic efforts to improve the situation in many universities through the introduction of computers and internet services as well as development of database management system do not seem to have helped the situation much because the record management system is still conventionally paper-based and manual in operation.
Many management sta complains of funds, and material resources. The reality reveals gross inadequacy of qualified personnel, facilities, students’ explosion and space problem (Egwunyenga, 2009). One of the unintended consequences of these diiculties is that some Nigerians have taken to forging documents. Forging documents is a crime; but it is even more criminal and malicious when an institution refuses to, or intentionally delay sending supporting documents to enable one achieve ones goal. Many Nigerians have failed to secure employment or graduate school admission all because Nigerian schools and other institutions failed to send complete and correct transcript in a timely manner.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
There are several factors that cause the diiculty in the collection of transcript in some Nigerian universities but the main problem is from the Exams and Records Unit. Perhaps it would not be an overstatement to say that record keeping problems are common to the dierent levels of the education sector. It is however becoming clearer that it is more pronounced in the university system because accurate, reliable and trustworthy records that fulfill evidential requirements are being created but not properly managed. This therefore becomes an issue of great concern to government, parents, students, individuals and organizations. Nigeria has a number of problems which may include insuicient skilled and experienced record management personnel and possibly, low priority of record management in the scheme of things. Awe (2000) viewed the problems in record keeping from the perspective of these bodies-governments, university management, the sta and the students. He accused these bodies of being responsible for unavailable/ inaccurate/ incomplete and dishonest records. And according to (Utulu 2001), these adversely aect planning for and provision of structures and facilities, adequate funding, proper formulation and review of policies. Other associated problems of recording, keeping identified generally in the educational system in Nigeria include lack of record manual and filing guidelines which lead to loss of vital information (Egwunyenga 2005) and inadequate computer terminals (Oketunji 2002). Others are difficulty in record retrieval and lack of appreciation by management and sta of the need for well-controlled records (Egunleti 2001). The result of the foregoing is high profile failures in accountability. The management of these problems would mean the development of efficient and effective options within and between universities, this indeed requires urgent attention. Ogundede (2001) believes there is serious training need for staff. Full introduction and sustenance of computer and internet services as well as records management integration (Baje 1998; Fadokun 2004). Adequate manual classification, security, storage facilities and funds are generally recommended for good record keeping (Tower 2004). It is hoped that if these options are adopted in the university system, perhaps most if not all the problems associated with record keeping would have been addressed.