Effect of church sponsorship on management of public secondary schools in Kiambu Sub-County, Kenya
Kihanya, Leah Njeri
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Church sponsors are expected to participate in the preparation of religious education syllabus, provide guidance on school staffing, implement education policies, search for new approaches to education in Kenya and conduct resource mobilization for their sponsored schools (Education Act, 2013). As such, the current study sought to establish the effect of church sponsorship in management of public secondary schools in Kiambu Sub-County. The study was guided by the following objectives: to determine the perception of teachers and parents on the role of the sponsor; to determine the perception of teachers and parents on the role of the sponsor in management of church-sponsored schools; to find out areas of conflict in management of public secondary schools; to establish the effects of church sponsors in management of schools; to establish the challenges headteachers face in relation to church sponsorship in management of public secondary schools; and to propose strategies of enhancing good leadership in public secondary schools in Kiambu Sub-County.The study was based on role theory by Biddle (1979). The study employed a descriptive survey design targeting 12 principals, 96 PTA representatives, 180 teachers, 3 church sponsor representatives and the area education officer. Simple random sampling was used to select 18 teachers and 12 PTA representatives. Purposive sampling was used to select 6 principals, 3 church sponsor representatives and the District Education Officer, totalling to 40 respondents. Questionnaires and interviews were used to collect data from headteachers, teachers and parents while an interview schedule was used to conduct face- to-face interview with the District Education Officer. Qualitative data was analysed thematically in line with the study objectives. The findings were presented using frequency distribution tables, bar graphs and pie charts. The study established that over 80.0% of the respondents cited the major roles played by the sponsors in the school as spiritual nourishment, assisting in the school governance and participation in the school board of management. The major areas of conflict among the sponsors and the school administrators as reported by majority of respondents (over 60.0%) were management of funds and superiority complex. Other areas of conflicts included conflict of interest between the sponsors and other stakeholders on .the appointment of the BoM and conflicts related to school academic performance. The study further revealed that over 50.0% of the respondents stated that churchsponsored schools had more enhanced spiritual guidance among students and staff members and they have strong culture that enabled them to perform well. Regarding challenges faced by the headteachers in the management of church-sponsored schools; the study found that over 80.0% of the respondents sponsors ordered all students to attend their service irrespective of their denomination, appointment of the BoM members, high expectation from the sponsors in terms of academic attainment, a lot of bureaucracy among the sponsors, hatred from some sponsors and inadequate leadership skills from some of the leaders appointed by the church. The study recommends that there is need to have clear policies regarding the different roles of all those involved in running church-sponsored schools. This would assist in avoiding some of the conflicts encountered in the school administration; among other recommendations.