School management and students’ academic performance: how effective are strategies being employed by school managers in secondary schools in Embu North District, Embu County, Kenya?
Nzoka, Jackline Tabitha
Orodho, John Aluko
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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 District, Embu County, Kenya. The study was guided by the Capital School Effectiveness and Improvement Theory based on various interrelated variables such as outcomes, leverage, intellectual capital and social capital. A descriptive survey research design was adopted. A combination of purposive and stratified random sampling techniques were utilized to draw 54 members of the Board of Management (BoM), 45 heads of departments and 36 members of Parents Teachers Association (PTAs) yielding to a sample size of 135 subjects to participate in the study. Mixed methods were used to collect quantitative data from teachers using questionnaires and qualitative data from heads of departments and members of PTA using interviews. It was established 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. Hence, since managers who are conversant with management practices would be more worthwhile partners of the Government of Kenya in the implementation of policy, 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 (253 words)