Governance and Management of Public Secondary Schools by Boards of Management in Maara, Tharaka Nithi
Mugambi, Margaret Kanana
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Board of Management (BoM) is an important organ for school governance or leadership and management structure. Kenya like any other African countries which have undergone decentralization, has only been directing its efforts into devolving the fiscal and physical material entities, while forgetting the people who in reality are meant to assume the management responsibilities at schools. The purpose of the current study was to investigate the effectiveness of Boards of Management in governance and management of public secondary schools in Maara, Tharaka Nithi County. The research study employed a descriptive survey design that embraced both qualitative and quantitative approaches. The target population for the study was751subjects.These included 50 principals, 700 Board of Management members from 50 public secondary schools and 1Diatrict education officer. The sample comprised of 81 people, who included 30 principals, and 50 BOMs; 5 from each sampled schools from Maara and one DEO. This sample was arrived at through random sampling technique. The researcher used questionnaires and an interview guide to collect the data. The data and information was then coded and entered into the computer for analysis using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). The results were discussed according to study objectives to address the research questions appropriately. The results of data analysis were presented in frequency tables. The study findings established that all the schools under this study had an operational Board of Management. BOM members were involved in financial management, physical and material resources, human resources and discipline. In response, 60% of them indicated that they were always involved, 30% of them said that they were sometimes involved while only 10% said that they were rarely involved. BOM members were involved in soliciting for the school, budget preparation and approval, analyzing of the monthly trail balance and discussing audit reports. On upholding a healthy and positive school-community relation, the study established that the Board of Management did their best in maintaining a cohesive society. Boards of Management face a handful of challenges in the management of public secondary schools. These range from shortage of funds, poor financial management skills in budgeting, accounting and auditing procedures as was indicated by 83% of the principals and 70% of the Board of Management members. Other challenges that have come out clearly is lack of physical and material resources and conflicting interests among the board members. Albeit all these responsibilities the Board of Management it was established that they were not well trained to handle the delicate issues. This study recommends that; Schools should set up appropriate structures to ensure proper communication, training and capacity building of all the members involved in the management. Schools should involve BoM members who have wide knowledge in management and supervisory duties. Communities‟ participation in school development should not be relaxed after their initial involvement in setting up the schools. The minimum academic qualification for the BOM member to be appointed in any education institution should be raised to a degree level from amongst people with integrity and competence.