Influence of Principals’ Characteristics and the use of Information Technology in School Management in Public Secondary Schools in Machakos County, Kenya
Mwanthi, Faith Ndunge
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In as much as the use of technology makes management effective, school principals have been slow in using the same to manage the institutions. This study sought to establish the influence of principals’ characteristics on the use of Information Technology in secondary school management in Machakos County. The study was guided by the following objectives: to establish the influence of principals’ personality on the use of information technology in public secondary schools management in Machakos County, to establish how the principal’s attitude towards IT influences the use of information technology in public secondary schools management in Machakos County, to explore how the principals’ IT skills influences the use of information technology in public secondary schools management in Machakos County and to establish the influence of the principals’ social networks on the use of information technology in public secondary schools management in Machakos County. The study was guided by the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM). The study adopted a correlational research design. The target population was the 58 principals and 868 teachers in Machakos County. The sample size was 194 including the 21 principals identified through purposive sampling, and 173 teachers identified through purposive sampling and simple random sampling. The study used both qualitative and quantitative data. Quantitative data was collected using questionnaires while qualitative data was collected using the interview schedule. Validity was established through triangulation and expert judgement, while test-retest method was done to ensure reliability. Quantitative data was analyzed using SPSS version 22. Descriptive statistics i.e. Mean and Standard deviation were used to analyse quantitative data. Inferential statistics i.e. correlation analysis was done to establish the influence of the independent variables on the dependent variable. Qualitative data analysis approach was used for the qualitative data, and presented through narration and verbatim quotes. Pearson Correlation Coefficient was used to test the relationship between the dependent variable and independent variables of the study at 95% confidence level or at 5% level of significance. The findings revealed that the principals’ personality, attitude, IT skills and the social networks positively influenced the use of IT in school management in Machakos County. The study concluded that the principals’ personality, attitude, IT skills and social networks positively influenced use of IT in school management. The study recommends that the Ministry of Education should enhance the provision of IT resources in schools and also sponsor principals for IT courses in order to improve their skills. The schools should strive to build partnerships with both government and the community in order to broaden their networks and adopt the best practices in their schools.