Challenges facing deputy headteachers in the performance of their administrative roles in public secondary schools in Bungoma North Sub-County, Bungoma County, Kenya
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the challenges deputy headteachers encounter in their administrative roles in public secondary schools in Bungoma North Sub-County, Kenya. This was based on the fact that the position of deputy headteachers in public secondary school presents the office holders with numerous challenges. The study objectives were to establish the extent to which role ambiguity, inadequate authority, increased workload, high indiscipline cases and interpersonal relationships are challenges facing deputy headteachers. The study is significant as the findings may contribute towards the improvement of existing knowledge on education administration. The study was guided by the social systems theory, Guba and Getzels model (Lunenburg, 2007) and adopted a descriptive survey design. The target population was 30 headteachers and 30 deputy headteachers in public secondary schools in Bungoma North Sub-County. A questionnaire and oral interview schedule were used to collect data. Qualitative data were analysed using content analysis and presented in narrative form while quantitative data were analysed using descriptive statistics and presented in tables, graphs and pie charts. The study established that deputy principals were facing challenges of having to carryout ambiguous tasks as a result of lack of clear delegation, tasks not being clearly spelt out, conflicting tasks and differences in expectations between them and headteahers. The study also established that another challenge facing deputy principals was lack of adequate authority when discharging their duties especially in decision-making. It was further established that another challenge facing deputy headteachers was increased workload as the position came with additional responsibilities due to many delegated duties and many discipline cases deputy headteachers have to attend to. Lastly, the study also revealed that the position of being deputy headteachers occasionally leads to a challenge of strained relationship with the headteachers, teachers, students, parents and neighbours of the school. This is because deputy principals are very much involved in the day to day running of schools and therefore are more likely to encounter conflicts with other members of the school community. Based on the findings the study recommends that a manual for deputy principals should be provided which will provide guidelines, duties and responsibilities of deputy headteachers to avoid challenges of dealing with ambiguous tasks. Headteachers should allow their deputies to have a free hand in making decisions and should also avoid overruling or overturning decisions of their deputies in order to empower them when performing their duties. The administration should empower school committees and departments in undertaking various duties and responsibilities in order to minimise the amount of workload on the shoulders of deputy headteachers. Schools should facilitate deputy headteachers to go for capacity building and benchmarking on ways of building healthy interpersonal relationships with members of the school community. This study targeted headteachers and deputy teachers leaving out other members of the school community. A similar study should be conducted to incorporate the views of students, parents and school neighbours.