Proficiency of Management Practices in Responding to Implementation of Free Primary Education (FPE) Policy in Kenya
Ogola, Martin O
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Many countries now increasingly recognize that the cost of education is not affordable for the poor and may negatively impact enrolments and learning. To counter this, a variety of measures have been put in place in different countries to mitigate the hurtful effects of fees (United Nations Development Group, 2010). These measures include reducing or eliminating tuition fees for the poor, offering scholarships to attend school, providing free textbooks and other learning materials, and providing free uniforms. This paper’s focus is therefore to assess whether the management practices in primary schools is proficient in responding to the implementation of FPE that eliminated user fees in public primary schools in Kenya. It is based on a study that sought to determine whether the management practices of headteachers reflected competent execution of their duties as chief executives in the school organisation. The study was conducted in Kakamega and Kajiado districts, Kenya. From the 59 schools sampled, 59 headteachers were used in the data collection. Fourteen (14) Area Education Officers (AEOs), 118 parents, 118 School Management Committee (SMC) members, 2 District Education Officers and 7 senior officers from the Ministry of Education headquarters were also interviewed. The study employed questionnaires, interviews and Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) for data collection. It is concluded that, with regard to the performance of their roles as managers, headteachers generally regard themselves highly. However, many headteachers still have inadequate competence in bookkeeping or accounting, management of financial resources, public relations and guidance and counselling. Members of School management Committees (SMCs), who form an important component of the management of FPE funds, lack the requisite competencies and skills for preparing school budgets.