The effect of project management processes on performance of secondary schools in Kenya: a case of Nyeri County
Maina, Peter Kibocha
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The Kenyan Ministry of Education (MOE) has identified "management" as a major challenge to the achievement of national educational goals in secondary schools. Its management has been on the basis of education as a basic social service and in ignorance of an alternative view of education as a production function. The effective and efficient achievement of production functions has historically been through Project management which has continued to evolve creating the image of a universal solution to organisational problems; on the platform of specific techniques for initiating, planning, execution, control and closure processes. This study sought to explore the evolution of project management processes in the current secondary schools administrative practices and how this relates to the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examination (KCSE) performance. To meet this general objective an experiential survey was carried out in 49 secondary schools of Nyeri County stratified on the basis of gender and financial ability. Data collected was cleaned, coded and analysed by SPSS version IO. The results identified application Initiating, planning, execution, control and closure group processes consistent with those generally accepted by the body of knowledge in project management. This was taken as an indication of the evolution of project management in the education area of application driven by the pressures of efficiency and effectiveness. An analysis of secondary school performance in their KCSE examinations was provided by the provincial educations office. Correlational analysis between the level of application and performance in KCSE showed a movement in the same direction suggesting that an increase in the application of project management processes would result in improved KCSE performance. It was therefore recommended that the secondary schools students programme be managed as a project thereby deliberately applying all the PM processes designed to achieve the educational objectives and not merely to prepare for the Ministry of Educations (MOE) audit exercises. To effectively and efficiently apply these processes, there is need for all teachers to be exposed to the knowledge, skills and techniques of project management and for the design of flexible templates in this application area. Finally, since correlation in this exploratory study is not evidence of causality, it is recommended that a further causal study be undertaken to test the hypothesis that education would be best managed through the application of initiating, planning, execution, control and closure project management processes.