Exploriing viability of decentralisation policy on public secondary schools in Kenya: Case of Vihiga District
Mukabi, Imende Thomas
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This study set out to explore the viability of decentralization policy on public secondary schools in Kenya. Specific objectives of the study were to; determine the level of involvement of various education stakeholders in secondary school management, find out perceived benefits and potentials of decentralization policy, assess the legal and policy provision (and lack of it) on decentralization, identify other factors hindering effective decentralization of education in public secondary schools in Kenya and come up with possible measures to ensure success in the implementation of the policy. The study adopted an exploratory approach using a survey design and was conducted in the former Vihiga District. It targeted 88 secondary schools, boarding and day, of which one third were identified through stratified random sampling. The strata included boys', girls' and mixed secondary schools. Respondents included; Boards of Governors and Parents Teachers Association chairpersons, head teachers and senior teachers, in addition to ministry of education official, Deputy Secretary, TSC and an education officer DEOs office Vihiga. Questionnaires were developed and administered to each of the following; BoG chairpersons, PTA chairpersons, Head teachers and senior teachers. Separately, the officers from Ministry of Education (MoE), TSC and the DEO Vihiga District were interviewed using tailor made interview schedules by the researcher. The research instruments were validated through application of content validity determined by expert judgement inclusive of supervisors. On the other hand, reliability of the questionnaires was determined by the split half method after being pre-tested to respondents in four purposively selected pilot schools. After being granted permission by the Permanent Secretary MOST to carry out the study, the researcher administered questionnaires and collected data in person alongside interviewing the three purposively selected officials. Data collected was analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively. Descriptive statistics was applied when analyzing the data obtained. Findings reveal that; the stakeholders, though not fully involved, were keen to participate in school affairs on the other hand, the centre was willing to effect decentralization, It was also found out that decentralization policy has its inherent benefits and potentials as enumerated by various respondents. The study therefore, concludes that decentralization policy is viable at the secondary schools management level. However, for the policy to be implemented successfully, it is recommended that factors that are likely to hinder its implementation are addressed. For instance, a law be enacted on the policy, creating and empowering peripheral institutions while the capacities of the very institutions be addressed in order for them to be able to take charge of the responsibilities and authorities bestowed to them under a decentralized policy.