The prefect system in secondary schools' administration: a case study of Kajiado District in Kenya
Mugali, Justus Gesito
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This study aimed at investigating the Prefects' System in Secondary School Administration in Kajiado District. The research also endeavoured to establish if there were constraints in the prefects system in secondary school administration. The respondents of the study included: twelve headteachers, twelve deputy headteachers, thirty-six teachers, seventy-two prefects and one hundred and forty four ordinary students. These added to two hundred and seventy six respondents. Two types of research instruments were used. These were Questionnaires and Interview guide. The data obtained was analysed using percentages and frequency tables. This study established that there were prefects in all the secondary schools' administration. It was established that the prefects played important roles in enhancing secondary school' students' discipline. Various roles were played by the prefects including, running day-to-day activities outside classroom. However, ordinary students were dissatisfied with the role and significance of prefects of secondary school administration. This was deduced as an indicator of poor relationship between prefects and the students body in secondary schools. This research revealed that some of the causes of the poor relationship between prefects and the student body were some of the roles the headteachers assigned prefects to perform on their behalf and the rule that they report immediately about their fellow students and members of staff. The research also revealed that prefects were selected by headteachers with limited consultations from members of staff while ordinary students were ignored, and this was thought to be the genesis of conflicts. The implications of the prefects' selection methods were negative since the selected prefects were rejected by the ordinary students. This rendered it difficult for the selected prefects to perform their duties smoothly. This study found out that the prefect system constraints would be solved through allowing ordinary students to their own prefects. That students wanted to be directed by a students' government, of their own choice. There was need to train, orient and imbue the prefects elects with some administrative skills to enable them understand their roles well enough to avoid unnecessary conflicts with the student body. This research recommended the whole prefectural system be overhauled and changed to a more student representative system of their own choice. The research also recommended training of the elected prefects in pertinent areas touching their roles. Finally this study recommended for piloting of its findings on the election of students leaders and their training in secondary schools in Kenya to test its viability.