An evaluation of the implementation of the decentralized teacher recruitment process in public secondary schools in Machakos District, Kenya
Kimilu, Paul Mbithuka
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This study was set out to evaluate the implementation of the decentralized teacher recruitment process in public secondary schools. The objectives of the study were to determine the educational levels of the board members, determine the participation levels of the panel members during teacher recruitment interviews, identify the strengths and weaknesses of the decentralized teacher recruitment process. Before decentralization of teacher recruitment, Teachers Service Commission (T.S.C) used to register and post all newly qualified teachers who completed studies to schools and institutions. According to the decentralized process, T.S.C. advertises the posts and Board of Governors is expected to conduct interviews for applicants in schools following the T.S.C guidelines for selection of teachers. However, decentralized process has given rise to new challenges. There are many complaints over irregularities, corruption, outright bribery, canvassing and influence peddling. The study was conducted in twenty four secondary schools in Machakos district, Eastern province, Kenya. Two sets of questionnaires were used as the research instruments. One questionnaire was administered to twenty four principals. The other questionnaire was administered to forty eight teachers recruited through the decentralized process. Descriptive statistics mainly frequencies and percentages were used to analyze data. The results were reported through detailed descriptive and use of appropriate tables. The study identified strengths and weaknesses in the process. It was revealed that recruited teachers sign a five year contract with the school, actual staffing needs of the school are addressed because they employ specific teachers they require, schools get the opportunity to select the best teachers through interview and schools in hardship zones acquire teachers. The weaknesses revealed are that some BOG members are not conversant with current trends and educational policies and therefore could not interpret them as correctly and objectively as expected. The process is prone to corruption, ethnicity, nepotism, favoritism, discrimination and political influence. The study provided suggestion for further research on stakeholders participation in decision making during the implementation of the decentralized teacher recruitment process. The study concluded that decentralized teacher recruitment is good because it is demand driven aimed at ensuring quick response to staffing needs in schools. However the problem is poor implementation of the process. The BOG and Principals are not competent to effectively and efficiently implement the process. To ensure effective implementation the study recommended the involvement of all stakeholders and human resource experts in the recruitment process.