ESTABLISHING FACTORS INFLUENCING BUILDING MAINTENANCE PRACTICES IN PUBLIC SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN ONITSHA, ANAMBRA STATE, NIGERIA
Stakeholders in education and researchers have variously stated that existing buildings in public secondary schools in Nigeria lack adequate maintenance attention resulting generally in deplorable conditions of infrastructural disrepair. The apparent solution would therefore be to assess and establish the responsible factors to reverse the perceived deterioration in the system in ensuring effective maintenance practices in Nigeria. This paper therefore, focuses on establishment of factors influencing building maintenance practices in the public secondary schools using Onitsha, Nigeria as a case study. The study reviewed related literature on building maintenance. Data was obtained from personal observations, interviews and a structured questionnaire, which was administered on the school managers and the academic staff of the seven selected schools in the study area. The analysis revealed that common factors which are fundamental to building maintenance practices in those schools included: unavailability of maintenance manual and skilled labour to undertake maintenance operations, non-periodic inspection of buildings to ascertain level of maintenance needs, inadequate maintenance funding by responsible authorities, misuse of facilities after completion, neglect of maintenance issues on buildings, age of buildings and building defects. In conclusion, the study recommended that adequate measures should be taken to ensure corrective action for the deficiencies noted in this report. The government and the various stakeholders in education should make more effort in the areas of advocacy, policy formulation and creating awareness on the essence of maintenance in the public secondary schools in the study area and of the dangers associated with neglected it.