Maintenance management of Educatioanal infrastructure in Ghana: development of a framework for Senior High Schools

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Maintenance management in the built environment in Ghana faces numerous challenges in the areas of inadequate research, inadequate resource allocation and inadequate knowledge among users and occupants of facilities and buildings. The education sector in Ghana plays one of the major developmental roles in training the human resource needs of the country. The sector covers elementary, second cycle and tertiary institutions engaged in the training processes. The second cycle stage which provides secondary education for students entering the tertiary stage operates in organized campuses. Unfortunately, the maintenance practices in these schools are faced with the common challenges of maintenance management (MM) in most academic institutions, resulting in inefficiencies that affect performance of the built infrastructure. The main aim of this research was to develop a MM framework to enhance the MM practices of SHSs in Ghana. Four objectives were developed to assist in the realization of the main aim. These objectives included: 1) To map the evolution, emerging trends and best practices MM within the construction industry from existing literature; 2) To develop a snap shot of existing MM practices prevalent in Ghanaian SHSs; 3) To determine the underlying inefficiencies inherent in the current MM practices in SHSs in Ghana; 4) To design a procedural framework to assist Ghanaian SHSs enhance their maintenance management practices. Following literature review on maintenance management, concepts and best practice benchmarks were established. A mixed-method and cross-sectional research approaches were employed. The field survey employed structured and semi-structured questionnaire, interviews and observations. Quantitative data collected was analysed using one sample t-test and factor analysis. Descriptive statistics was used in analyzing qualitative data. The results were presented in tables, graphs and figures. The results revealed that SHSs practiced mainly unplanned corrective maintenance. As a result of the analysis, the main performance activities established covered; policy and standards criteria, planning criteria, technical management criteria, resource management criteria and finally, communication criteria. Twenty best practice factors also emerged as critical to a successful MM framework in SHSs. The analysis also revealed that, maintenance units in SHSs are poorly resourced and the existing MM process does not gain priority from top management. The research ended with the development of a conceptual maintenance management framework, proposed to guide the maintenance management process in SHSs in Ghana. The framework integrated existing MM practices and best practices to develop the conceptual framework. The framework was however validated by experts to enhance it for improvement and onward recommendation to top management of SHSs. The study has contributed to the body of knowledge on MM especially in the education sector, through the identification of pointers that can improve MM process in the second cycle institutions in Ghana and beyond.
A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of the degree of Master of Philosophy in Building Technology,