Extent of Student Participation in Management of School Finances and Physical Resources in Secondary Schools in Tharaka-nithi and Nairobi counties, Kenya
Alexander, Kagendo Dinah
y Kyalo, Doroth
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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 management of school finances and physical resources in secondary schools. The study employed mixed method design, specifically triangulation method. The study targeted 214 public secondary schools, 214 head teachers, 2433 teachers, 81582 students and 13 Sub-county Directors of Education (SCDE) in Tharaka-Nithi and Nairobi Counties. 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. The instruments were submitted to experts iteratively for consideration and their suggestions on different items and sections used to refine them and increase validity.Cronbach's alpha was used to establish the reliability of the instruments. Cronbach's alpha was 0.923 for head teachers and teachers’ questionnaire and 0.900 for students’ questionnaire, which indicated a high level of internal consistency. The closer the alpha is to one (1), the higher the level of consistency. Quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Qualitative data was organized into themes and presented using descriptions and quotations. The study found that the extent of student participation in decisions relating to school budgets, school fees and planning and development of physical facilities were of low levels indicating reluctance by the school administration to involve students in the critical decision-making areas in secondary school management. The study therefore recommends that the Ministry of Education should provide a policy on student representation in the Parents’ Associations, staff meetings and any other important committees in schools so that they can participate in decisions made there.