Obstacles to effective instructional supervision in public primary schools in Mbooni Division, Mbooni West District, Kenya
Kiamba, John Charles
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Since early 1960's the Kenyan government showed her commitment to the provision of Universal Primary Education (Republic of Kenya, 1964). When NARC formed government in 2003, primary education was declared to be free and compulsory (MOEST, 2003). The main problem for this study was that, despite the critical role played by the Ministry of Education, in ensuring supervision in primary schools, its effectiveness has not been realized since schools continue to experience: - Teacher shortage, increased pupils enrolment, lack of clear guidelines on admission where overage pupils learned with young pupils, delay in disbursement of funds and inadequate classrooms to accommodate the large number of pupils enrolled under FPE. The purpose of this study was to determine the obstacles to effective instructional supervision, faced by Quality Assurance and Standard Officers (QASOs), headteachers and teachers with regard to curriculum and instruction and physical and material resources, in public primary schools in Mbooni division, Mbooni West district, Kenya. It also sought to find out the measures that could be taken to improve effective instructional supervision. The target population was 64 headteachers, 512 teachers, and 3 QASOs. The study sampled 16 public primary schools (7 from Mbooni zone, 5 from Kitundu zone and 4 from Kithungo zone) out of 64 primary schools in the division using random sampling. Sixteen head teachers and 3 QASOs were purposively selected while 128 teachers (56 from Mbooni zone, 40 from Kitundu zone and 32 from Kithungo zone) were selected randomly. The research adopted a descriptive survey design. The researcher used questionnaires for data collection. Data analysis was done using both qualitative and quantitative techniques with the aid of statistic package for social science (SPSS). Tables, pie charts and bar graphs were used to present the data. The study found out that the sampled schools were understaffed and had inadequate facilities to cater for the high pupil enrolment. There was an acute shortage of trained personnel and teaching and learning facilities to cater for the integrated curriculum for children with special needs. The research study also found out that Headteachers being the immediate school supervisors carried out very limited assessment and supervision functions. In-service trainings were also found to be inadequate and not relevant on issues touching on supervisory skills. The study also found out that the QASOs supervision work was hindered mainly by factors such as poor road network, teachers taking supervision as interference, lack of transport and teachers preparing only when to be supervised. On the issue of physical and material resources: - library, play ground and clean water posted the highest frequency of lack. The study concluded that: - Headteachers were experienced but lacked professional training to enhance their managerial skills especially on instructional supervision. This is particularly because many were PI's. It also concluded that parents' reluctance to subsidize on government's FPE funds meant that physical facilities would continue to be inadequate. Furthermore teachers' efficiency would be affected due to unconducive work environment due to inadequate staffroom space and furniture. The study also concluded that, inadequacy in physical and human resources, impacted negatively on management of instructional matters and the headteachers attempt to cope up with that challenge did not offer a permanent solution. The study also concluded that with irregular inspection from District/ zonal inspectors, headteachers and teachers lacked managerial and professional guidance respectively.