Status and challenges of strategic planning in public secondary schools in Kajiado County, Kenya
Okonya, Alice Getrude Atieno
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A number of countries in Africa have implemented the strategic plans with mixed cases of success and challenges. In Kenya, education has been a priority both at primary and secondary and implementation of strategic plans has always made many secondary schools fall in a different category. Therefore, this study sought to establish the status of strategic planning in public secondary schools in Kajiado County, Kenya. It also determined the challenges of strategic planning. This is because effective strategic plans are about implementation. The objectives of the study were to establish the number of public secondary schools in Kajiado County with operational strategic plans, status in development and implementation of the strategic plans, identify the challenges encountered by education stakeholders in developing and implementing strategic plans and finally establish strategies to enhance successful development and implementation of strategic plans in public secondary schools in Kenya. Decision theory was used in the study since it is concerned with goal-directed activities. Various studies done on strategic planning and their findings have been reviewed. Literatures on various studies done on the challenges of strategic plan were explored. The study further led the researcher to identify the gaps from those studies and how they have been addressed in this study. Descriptive survey design was used in this study. Kajiado County has 27 public secondary schools which formed the target population. Stratified random sampling was used to select schools to allow for their heterogeneous nature. To select teachers and students stratified proportionate, simple random and purposive sampling techniques were employed. Research instruments were questionnaires and data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. From the findings, it was clear that most of the public schools in Kajiado County developed and were using strategic plans in management of the schools. The study revealed that involvement of all stakeholders in the schools strategic planning process was very important for successful implementation of strategic plans. Lack of human and physical resources, leadership commitment, inadequate training and knowledge posed a challenge to successful implementation of strategic plans in the public schools. These factors also hinder the development and implementation of strategic plans. The study findings also showed that there was a need for training on strategic planning, commitment and involvement by all stakeholders, proper resource and financial management in schools to allow for continuous improvement in all aspects. The study recommends that enhancing successful implementation of strategic plans requires availing resources, setting and prioritizing targets, leadership commitment, frequent consultations and training of key stakeholders.