A study of the role of the head teacher in instructional supervision in Kabarnet and Salawa divisions of Baringo district
Kimosop, Maurice Kibet
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The primary purpose of this study was to find out how headteachers carried out their roles as instructional supervisors in selected schools in Kabarnet and Salawa divisions of Baringo district. The sample was composed of 6 schools, three from each division. The data collecting instruments were administered to headteachers to find out how often and how effectively they supervised instruction in their institutions. Information was sought from heads of departments on how they supervised the teaching of subjects in their respective departments. Questionnaires were also administered to teachers to find out how they carried out instruction in order to verify how effectively they were supervised. Although the overall responsibility of instructional supervision rests on the head teacher, he must delegate some of the supervisory duties to heads of departments and the way teachers perform instructional duties indicates how effectively supervision has taken place. It was therefore important to seek information from these three parties. This study focused at finding out if the headteachers had the expertise to supervise instruction, the frequency in which they carried out supervisory tasks, the kind of supervisory techniques they used and the nature of staff development in their schools. It also sought to find out how headteachers fostered the selection, development, use and evaluation of instructional materials. In a nutshell, the study sought to verify the effectiveness of instructional supervision in schools in light of findings of various researches done in the field of instructional supervision and whether supervisory practices were in line with the statutory requirements put in place by the Ministry of Education. The research instruments used included questionnaires, interview schedule and observation guide. The data collected was analysed using descriptive statistics. Percentages were used to determine how often instructional supervision was done and the adequacy of suitable instructional resources in the schools. The research findings showed that half of headteachers were aged between 31 - 35 years, while none was above 45 years. There were also more male teachers than female teachers. Among the headteachers a majority were BEd graduates and only one had a Masters degree; more than half of the headteachers had a teaching experience of over 10 years but a majority of them had a short experience of less than 5 years as headteachers. The Kenya Educational Staff Institute and Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association were the only bodies that seemed to organise some form of in-service courses for headteachers. The frequency of performance of instructional supervisory practices by headteachers were found to be low especially in the areas of classroom observations, checking students' notes and teaching lessons. Activities that were found to be frequently performed by heads of departments included signing schemes of work, co-ordinating teaching, inducting new teachers and motivating students to learn. The least performed duties included checking students' notes, inspection of teaching, stimulating teachers to teach and punishing inefficient teachers. Data on learning resources indicated that although schools had resources, most of them were inadequate and of poor quality. Resources that were adversely inadequate included teachers, textbooks, workshops, teaching aids and libraries. It was recommended that headteachers and heads of departments should undergo in-service training in the techniques of carrying out supervisory practices. It was further recommended that headteachers should be more involved in observation of teachers' classroom performance than they are. It was recommended also that the local community and parents should participate more in the provision of quality learning resources. It was suggested that further more elaborate research be conducted to find out the nature of courses headteachers should undergo in order to enhance their supervisory performance; the role to be played by the bodies affiliated to the Ministry of Education in the in-servicing of headteachers and the role of the local community and the parents in the provision of the learning resources.