The effects of strategic management practices on performance in secondary schools in Kenya a case study of secondary schools in Nairobi.
Ochieng', Pamela Awuor
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The government of Kenya has taken several steps to improve secondary education. Yet, it is regrettable that secondary education has been characterized by poor performance, in national exams, especially in core subjects like mathematics and sciences. Low morale among teachers and even lack of matching facilities and resources for learning, continue to characterize secondary schools and education in general, as documented in the Kenya Education Sector Support Programme 2005-2010. However, there seems to be no studies conducted to establish whether secondary school managers apply strategic management practices to improve performance. This study therefore aimed at analyzing the effects of strategic management practices on performance in public and private secondary schools in Nairobi province. The study purposed to look at areas in which strategic management can be effectively applied and how those areas can impact on performance in secondary schools. The general study objective was to establish the effects of strategic management practices on performance in secondary schools in Nairobi. The specific objectives were; to investigate whether the school managers are aware of strategic management practices; to establish if strategic management practices are applied in secondary schools in Nairobi; to assess the impact of strategic management practices in secondary schools in Nairobi. The results of this study will be useful to the Ministry of Education, school managers and researchers. This was a descriptive study that targeted 10 secondary schools (both public and private) in Nairobi. The target population for the study was a total of 95 secondary schools i.e. 48 public and 47 private secondary schools. The sample size included school managers, DQASO,and teachers. A combination of simple and stratified random sampling, purposive and cluster sampling was used with the aim of reaching at least 20% of the target population. The sample size targeted was a total of 98 respondents. Data was collected using questionnaires that were sent to the respondents on a drop and collect later basis and through interview schedules. The responses were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). The results have been presented using frequency distribution tables, bar graphs, pie charts and line graphs. The results of the study indicate that a greater number of the target respondents were not sure about what strategic management entails. The study revealed that a lot of training on strategic management is necessary if its practices are to bring any impact on performance. The researcher recommends proper allocation of resources for various activities and programmes; empowerment of leadership that is trained on strategic management; clearly defined performance indicators and critical success factors. Further studies should focus on the hindrances to the effective application of strategic management practices in secondary schools in Kenya, the role of the government in ensuring the practice of strategic Management as a key driver in enhancing quality performance in secondary schools, and the contribution of the level of education and professional qualification of secondary school managers, especially the principals and their deputies to performance in secondary schools.