Influence of School Management Practices on Students’ Performance in Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education Examination in Kirinyaga County, Kenya
Njangi, P Muiruri
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Studies globally have attempted to examine the influence of managerial practices of principals on academic performance of the students. However, no published studies have been done to establish the influence of principals’ management practices on students’ academic outcome in secondary schools in Kirinyaga East Sub-County, Kirinyaga County, Kenya. The purpose of this study was to find out the influence of principals’ school management practices on students’ academic performance in Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) in Kirinyaga East Sub-County, Kirinyaga County. The objectives of this study were to: find out the influence of school leadership on students’ performance in KCSE; establish the influence of monitoring on students’ performance in KCSE; find out the influence of personnel management of students’ performance and to establish the influence of target setting on students’ performance. The study was based on contingency theory. The study adopted a descriptive research design. The study target population was 432 comprising of school principals, heads of departments, boards of management chairpersons, parent teachers association chairpersons and student council chairpersons all drawn from 36 secondary schools. The respondents were grouped into strata and simple random sampling technique used to select a sample of 207 subjects. Data were collected using questionnaires and analyzed with the aid of Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 20. The overall response from all the respondents was 73.91%. The study established that the principals practised more than one leadership style with the most preferred being instructional and transformational leadership. Further, 78.4% of the participants strongly held that principals’ leadership influenced students’ academic performance. It was also established that monitoring had great influence on student academic performance given a mean of 4.36 (SD = 0.61). Further, the study established that 67.3% of the respondents were skeptical on whether motivation influenced students’ academic performance. In addition, with overall mean of 4.61 (SD = 0.49), it was revealed that target setting had influence on students’ academic performance. The study concludes that the principals adopted contingency measures in their leadership styles. The study also concludes that leadership, target setting and monitoring have a high influence on students’ academic performance. The study recommends that Teachers Service Commission should recruit adequate teachers in public secondary schools so that the principals may focus on school management as opposed to being in classes most of the time. The study also recommends that the political leaders should work harmoniously with school management for the benefit of the students and schools. The study further recommends that the principals should continue exercising instructional and transformational leadership styles in their schools.