Gender Disparity in School Administration and Leadership: A Case Study of Naivasha Division,Naivasha District, Kenya
Onyanch, Gladys Kemunto
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The purpose of this study was to establish gender disparity and status of women in leadership positions in primary and secondary schools in Naivasha Division, Naivasha District; and identify factors contributing to disparity in these positions. Descriptive survey research design was adopted because it involves collecting data in order to answer questions raised and possible solutions to constraints. This design would also help gather facts and precise information concerning the current situation. The sample size was randomly selected from a population of 100 primary and secondary schools within Naivasha division, out of which 15 primary and 15 secondary schools were used for the study. A total of 30 headteachers and 60 deputies were targeted of which at least one third were female teachers. From each school sampled, one headteacher and four assistant teachers were selected to give a sample size that is statistically representative. Interview schedules were also administered to selected male and female educational managers and leaders at Naivasha educational offices, who were systematically and randomly selected. Research instruments used included questionnaires for headteachers and assistant teachers, which consisted of open and closed ended questions. The closed ended questions were to measure the objective responses while the open ended questions measured subjective responses. The questionnaires were designed such that Part 1 contained questions on social demographic while Part 2 contained questions on employment, experience and qualifications. A pilot study was conducted in two schools in the district to measure the validity and reliability of the research instruments. Data collected was presented and analyzed using qualitative and quantitative techniques whereby quantltative data was analysed in narrative form while qua1~ative data was analysed using descriptive statistics. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) tool was used to analyse data. The study found that there is gender disparity; accessing opportunities was' in favour of male teachers in rising to positions of leadership. Recruitment, deployment, promotion and transfer of teachers did not follow laid down procedures. It was also realized that women were not easily appointed to positions of leadership and responsibility where they would be role models for girls. Major stakeholders in the education sector were not doing enough to reduce gender biases and gaps which could lead to women pursuing higher education to enable them rise to positions of leadership. In conclusion female teachers encountered difficulties rising to leadership and administrative positions due to prejudice, harassment, discrimination, abuse, isolation and lack of respect and corruption; training on managerial skills would help solve the administrative problems women face such as lack of confidence and assertiveness. Women should be encouraged to apply for leadership positions whenever opportunities arise and girls to take careers thought to be for boys in order to get avenues to leadership and administrative positions.