Constraints facing board of governors on the decentralization of secondary school teacher recruitment in Bomet Central Division, Bomet County, Kenya
Cheruiyot, Byegon Jacob
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Decentralization of teacher recruitment by TSC to the Board of Governors (BOG) has never been without complaints and alleged malpractices. This is a pointer that the ability of the BOG in the delegated process is wanting. The study investigated the constraints facing BOG in the decentralization of teacher recruitment process. The study was based on MaxWeber's Bureaucratic theory. It attempted to find out the qualifications of BOG members and how it matches up their duties and responsibilities in recruitment of teachers. It also investigated the challenges that BOG members face as they perform teacher recruitment and attempted to establish how the selection panel conducts the recruitment exercise within the stipulated guidelines and regulations. It also sought to establish the opinion of teachers towards the exercise and how it can be improved. The study adopted a descriptive survey design. It targeted thirty 150 BOG members, 30 head teachers and 150 teachers employed through decentralized recruitment in 30 public secondary schools in Bomet Central Division of Bomet County. The study sampled 30 BOG members, 15 head teachers and 60 teachers. The number of schools was selected through stratified sampling because of the heterogeneity of the types of schools in the Division. Purposive sampling was used to select the head teachers while random sampling was used to select the teachers. On the other hand, convenience sampling was used to select BOG members. Research permit was obtained from the Ministry of Education (MaE) also District Education Office and District Commissioners Office were notified and after all other protocols observed the researcher adm inistered the questionnaires to be filled by the respondents. Piloting was done in one percent of the schools not included in the main study to pretest the instruments. The study used content validity and reliability of the instruments attained was 0.76. The study used three sets of questionnaires - for the following: BOG members, Head teachers and teachers. Data collected was edited, coded, processed, analyzed and presented using tables and figures. Qualitative data gathered was grouped into related themes and categories, and presented in discussion form. The study found out that academic qualifications of the BOG members were low and this inhibits their ability to participate effectively in the teacher recruitment process. The study also established that they face myriad of challenges which include political interference, tribalism, large pool of applicants or none at all, lack of necessary knowledge on subject content of the advertised subject and classifications of teacher qualifications. Also the BOGs' preferred candidates appointment or rejection by TSC renders the BOG members to be just rubber stamps of the whole process. The study also revealed that recruitment guidelines as issued by the TSC are not always followed. Though decentralization is a noble idea the study found out that majority of teachers and head teachers do not want the process to be done by the BOG. The findings will have the Ministry of Education in reviewing the minimum qualifications of BOG members and establish their training needs and the TSC to identify the challenges facing the delegated exercise. The respondents therefore came up with varied suggestions on how the process can be improved. Based on the findings, the study concluded that there are several factors that limit the success of decentralization of recruitment. The study hence recommended that the MOE should set the minimum qualification of BOG members to be at least a diploma certificate and organize regular in-service training in personnel management for the BOG and other panel members. The study suggested further research to assess the challenges that female applicants face while seeking for employment with the TSC through the decentralized teacher recruitment process to ascertain whether there is gender balance.