Extent of Student Participation in Decision Making in Secondary School Management in Tharaka-Nithi and Nairobi Counties, Kenya
Kagendo, Dinah Alexander
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The recurrent student indiscipline in form of unrests in secondary schools and their incessant desire to destroy school property probably reflects the feeling of alienation rather than of ownership of the schools, they attend. By striking and destroying property, the students may be expressing their demands for involvement in the running of the schools. The objective of the study was to determine the extent to which students participate in decision making in secondary school management. The study employed mixed method design, specifically triangulation method. Stratified random sampling, simple random sampling and purposive sampling were used in drawing the samples. The Krejcie and Morgan’s table for determining large sample size was used to determine the sample size of students. The sample consisted of 38 secondary schools, 38 head teachers, 293 teachers, 753 students, 72 student leaders and 3 SCDE. Data collection instruments included questionnaires, interview guides and Focus Group Discussion (FGD) guide. Content validity was determined by seeking expert judgement from educational management. Cronbach's alpha was used to establish the reliability of the instruments. Quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Qualitative data were organized into themes and presented using descriptions and quotations. The study found that there were low levels of student participation in decision making, low levels of students’ representation in Boards of Management (BOM) and Parents’ Association, respectively. The findings further revealed low levels of involvement of students’ representatives in staff meetings. The study therefore recommends that secondary school managements should actively involve students in all areas of decision-making in school with particular emphasis on decisions relating to the foregoing decision-making areas.