Attributes of an Effective Secondary School as Perceived by Parents and the Community Members in Kilome Division, Makueni District
Mukima, Jonathan Musau
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The ourpose of this project was to investigate on the attributes of an effective secondary school as perceived by parents and the community members, in Kilome Division, Makueni district. Questionnaires were used as study instruments. The questionnaires were given and collected personally by the researcher after a one-week period from the time respondents got them. Key attributes of effectiveness that emerged from this research project where that, an effective school should have an adequate number of qualified staff a strong administration personified by a principal who is firm and focused, it should charge affordable fees, ensure availability and quality material resources and put in place a close monitoring of learners progress in school. Other attributes included a strong emphasis on high levels of academic achievement a clear and fair discipline on learners, provision of a wide range of curriculum activities availability of adequate physical structures and a curriculum that lays a strong emphasis on self reliance and self employment after school. The study identified a number of causes of ineffectiveness in secondary school. Among this are poor school administration, lack of adequate resources, high levels of students indiscipline, shortage of qualified staff, high fees and other cause and misuse of school funds. Other causes identified included drug abuse among students, lack of m\motivation among teachers, engagement by teachers in personal businesses during school time. and lack of dialogue among teachers and students. The study identified a number of solutions to ineffectiveness in secondary schools which included, ensuring that head teachers are appointed on merit that high Icvel ot student discipline are maintained, providing for adequate resources and facilities in schools, and ensuring that school have adequate number of qualified staff. Other solutions included charging affordable fees in secondary schools involving parents ill school management and decision making, equipping teachers with guidance and counselling skills, making frequent auditing of school finances, exposing head teachers to irregular training and ensuring thai communication channels with students remain open to allow them to freely air their views and grievances. The study recommended that since the cause of establishing effective secondary schools arc quite high going by the expectations of parents and community members, the government should come up with a more ambitious programme of financing establishment and development of secondary schools that meet the minimum expected standards of effectiveness. There is also a need for the government to set minimum requirements as a criteria that every secondary school in the country must meet in order to be allowed to operate. A body within the Ministry of Education should be established to enforce these requirements for existing schools and those being established. Stakeholders should be involved more in the day-to-day operations of the schools and a legislation that recognizes their role and contributions should be enacted. There should also be a clear legislation that defines the role of religious organizations in school sponsorship and management to avoid conflict of interest between these organizations and other stakeholders in secondary school management.