Influence of Principals’ Instructional Supervision on Students’ Academic Performance in Public Secondary Schools in Machakos County, Kenya
Mutiso, Kavita Bonface
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While principals’ instructional supervision is an important predictor of students’ academic performance, principals’ supervision in Machakos County has been characterized by inappropriate supervisory practices, insufficient provision of instructional resources and lastly teachers perceive it negatively. In spite of the government efforts to provide in-service Programmes to principals on supervision, students’ performance in this county remains low from 2016 to 2019. It is not clear what has been causing such performance. In light of this performance, this descriptive inquiry explored the influence of supervision of instruction by head teachers on educational achievement of the learners. Objectives of the inquiry were: to find out the various instructional supervision practices used by principals during supervision and their influence on students’ performance, to establish the perception teachers have towards principals instructional supervision and its influence on students’ performance, to determine teaching materials availed by head teachers during supervision with reference to educational achievement of learners, and lastly, to establish interventions which may be taken to enhance effective principals’ supervision and their influence on learners’ educational achievement. Descriptive design was adopted by the study. 366 principals, 5,535 teachers and 8 Quality and Standards Officers were incorporated as the population. Machakos County was purposely selected as a study locale. All the eight sub county QASOs and their respective sub counties were sampled for this inquiry. Schools were categorised as single gender schools, mixed day and lastly mixed boarding /day. Stratified sampling was adopted for school categorisation. The inquiry sample involved 45 principals, 362 teachers and 8 Quality and Standards Officers. Questionnaires and interview guides acted as research instruments. Respondents and instruments triangulation enhance research validity. Split half technique established study reliability. Numerical data was first keyed in the SPSS version 21.0, then organized it. Tables and figures were employed in presenting quantifiable data. Further, narratives and verbatim presented qualitative data. Analysis of numerical data was done by using frequencies, percentages, averages, t-test and chi square. Thematic analysis was carried out for qualitative data. Eventually, it emerged out that, principals failed to practice diverse supervisory practices effectively, teachers perceived supervision by principals negatively and also there was insufficient provision of teaching and learning resources by instructional supervisors. The study concluded that, firstly, instructional supervision by principals was inadequate and insufficient. Secondly, principals’ instructional supervision in Machakos influenced educational achievement of learners. Eventually, the study recommended that, principals should have frequent in servicing programmes on how they should enhance mentoring, peer teaching among teachers as key supervisory practices. Secondly, Ministry of education should provide sufficient resources in terms of money, in order to boost knowledge acquisition process in secondary schools.