The impact of community involvement in public secondary schools management, a case of Machakos County, Kenya
Konji, Caroline Muthoni
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The main purpose of this study was to critically examine the community involvement and its impact on public secondary schools management in Machakos County. Community involvement in management of public secondary schools has been very elusive in many secondary schools. Lack of communication, accountability and transparency has been pressurizing issues affecting the efficiency and performance in these schools. Most of the objectives have not been met as far as proper management, performance and learning is concerned. The study objectives were to find out types and nature of community involvement in management of public secondary schools, identify community involvement opportunities, determine the impact of community involvement on the management, identify challenges faced and finally determine possible solutions. The research employed a descriptive survey study design, which is concerned with the generalized statistics that result when data is collected from respondents. The study employed the Social Systems Theory of Ludwig Von Bertallaffy (1968), which was relevant for this study because schools are social systems. A total of 34 public secondary schools were sampled for this study. The researcher used questionnaires and interview schedule to collect data. With a target population of 209,320, comprising of 335 principals, 2764 teachers, 83,108 parents, 40,000 community members, 83,108 students and 5 government officers. Stratified random sampling technique was used to select respondents in these groups namely; Principals, Teachers, Parents, Community members and Students. Government agents were purposively sampled and a total of 915 respondents were used for this research study. Data was obtained and analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) computer package. Responses from questionnaire and interview schedules were organized according to pertinent aspects of the study. The data used descriptive statistics and the findings were presented by use of frequency tables, graphs and pie-charts. The study found out that the majority of the community members attended few meetings to which they were invited. The study further established only very few parents assisted their students with school work while only a small percentage of the community members discussed school matters with the students. The study further established that although there existed a good relationship between the schools and the community, only a minority of the community were involved in decision making process in these schools. As a result, very few of them initiated projects. The main challenges were long distances to schools, lack of finances and also lack of cooperation from teachers. The study recommended that schools should educate all the stakeholders on various ways they can be involved and help in the management of the schools. There is need to establish a proper model by the government to involve the community in affairs of the schools, in order to address the societal needs, policy formulation matters on management of secondary schools should be all inclusive.