Preparation of secondary school headteachers and implication on their admnistrative performance: a case study of Nairobi province
Wachira, Jean Njeri
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Headteachers play a key role in achievement of educational goals and objectives in schools. The quality of schools depends largely on their leadership. It is said, schools are as great as their head-teachers'. In spite of their very fundamental role, literature shows that headteachers are basically trained for classroom management and not school management. Yet the duties and responsibilities of a classroom teacher and a school manager (headteacher) are not synonymous. There was no empirical evidence to show whether headteachers in Kenyan schools faced and problem in performance of school management tasks as a result of inadequate training in school management hence the need for this study. The purpose of the study was to find out what problems in performance of school management tasks as a result of inadequate training in school management hence the need for this study. The purpose of the study was to find out what problems headteachers faced in performing the six main tasks of school management, which were related to inadequate managerial preparation. The study also sought to establish headteachers views on the reasons for the problems, ways which headteachers had used to cope with the problems and their (headteachers) recommendations on how to overcome the identified problems. It was also the intention of this study to find out from headteachers their recommendations on the training of current and future headteachers. A total sample of 24 headteachers from 45 Public Secondary Schools in Nairobi Province was involved in the study. The sample comprised of headteachers from 8 Mixed Day Schools, 4 Boys Day Schools, 4 Boys Boarding schools, 1 Boys Day and Boarding School, 3 girls day schools and 4 Girls Boarding Schools. The sample was selected using a Three-Stage Sampling procedure. At the initial stage, Proportional Stratified Sampling technique was used to ensure equal representation of each of the 8 divisions in Nairobi province. The second stage was to stratify the cluster of schools in each division into Boys/Mixed/Girls/Day/Boarding Schools and sample them again to ensure each stratum was represented. Simple random sampling method was used where more than one school met the selection criteria. In a situation where only one school met the selection criteria. Purposive sampling technique was used. Data was collected using a Questionnaire and an Interview Schedule. The Questionnaire was administered to all the 24 headteachers in the sample schools. The interview was administered to 8 (4male and 4 female) out of the 24 headteachers basically to supplement the Questionnaire for in depth information. The data analysed using frequencies and percentages, and discussion. The major findings of the study were: (i) The majority of the headteachers faced problems in performing all the six main tasks of school management; (ii) The problems faced by headteachers cut across all categories of schools; (iii) The most problematic task for headteachers was Finance and Business Management. Most headteachers lacked technical skills in Financial management. The major recommendations were: (i) The headteachers' preparation process should focus on the three management skills namely technical, human relations and conceptual. (ii) The headteachers should be prepared through Pre-service, In-service and On-the-job, training.