Rethinking Benchmarking and Collaboration in Secondary Schools to Enhance the Quality of Education in Embu County, Kenya
This study sought to analyze the strategies school managers apply to improve academic performance of students in schools under free day secondary school education in Embu County, Kenya. The study adopted a descriptive survey research design and used a combination of purposive and stratified random sampling techniques to sample 54 members of the Board of Management (BoM), 45 heads of departments and 36 members of Parents Teachers Association (PTAs) yielding a sample size of 135 subjects to participate in the study. The study used questionnaires to collect quantitative data from teachers and interview guides were used to collect qualitative data from heads of departments and members of the PTA. The study found that school managers used various strategies to improve students’ academic performance. The strategies included: inconsistent monitoring of instructional processes and student assessment; subsidizing Government funding through free day secondary education using income generating activities; and uncoordinated guidance and counseling programmes. Despite these efforts, the expected improved students’ academic performance was not realized due largely to the fact that most school managers had not undergone management skill training. It was recommended that school managers should undergo intensive leadership training on all aspects of school management for enhanced students’ academic performance to be realized.