Issues and challenges head teachers face in the management of free primary education in Ukwala Location, Siaya District (Kenya)
Kenya government has endeavoured since independence to make education more accessible to her citizens. Several committees have been formed to look into better ways by which education could be offered. Following recommendations made by these committees, several attempts to offer more accessible primary education have been done. In the year 2003, Kenya government decided to reintroduce free primary education to enable children who dropped out of school to register back in the public primary schools. The government's intention was to achieve the objectives of Universal Education by the year 2005. The problem in this study was to determine the issues and challenges head teachers face in the management of the free primary education in public primary schools in Kenya. In order to achieve this, 10 primary schools were randomly selected for the study. The subjects for the study included the head teachers, teachers, and the Area Education Officer. Data were obtained from schools and the subjects by means of questionnaires and the observation schedule guide. The data collected were presented in tables of frequency distributions and percentages. The study focused on the following research questions: · What physical and teaching-learning resources are available for management of F.P.E in Ukwala Location? · How has the government prepared the head teachers to cope with the management of F.P.E in Ukwala location? · Are the government grants sufficient for the provision of the basic requirements in the management of F.P.E in the location? · What challenges face the head teachers in the management of F.P.E in Ukwala location? The researcher developed three questionnaires (i.e head teachers, teachers and A.E.O's questionnaires) and the observation schedule guide. These instruments were administered in 10 schools which were sampled out of the total 16 primary schools in Ukwala location. The target population comprised all head teachers in the sampled schools, two teachers in each school and the A.E.O. This was a population of 31 subjects. The following were the findings of the study: · There were inadequate physical and teaching-learning material resources in sampled schools for the study in Ukwala location. · The study also established understaffing in some of the sampled schools for the study. · The head teachers' preparation for F.P.E management was determined to be inadequate; only book keeping and accounting skills for government grants to schools was offered to the head teachers. · The head teachers were established to face a number of challenges from emerging issues related to F.P.E management. These challenges included management of pupils' discipline, handling of over age pupils who rejoined the schools, parental negligence and the school security. The study made the following recommendation: · More government involvement in building of schools by bringing in the Non- governmental organizations, private companies and any interested groups. · Training of teachers on how to improvise local resources to enrich their classroom instruction. Besides, teachers should be trained in guidance and counselling to enable them handle pupils' discipline in schools effectively. · Teachers balancing in schools should be done to avoid over crowded classes in some schools while others have less pupils in class. · Over age pupils should be offered special attention in order to benefit from F.P.E policy. They should be taught separately where special attention could be offered to them. · Training of the head teachers in supervisory roles, resource mobilisation and time management skills in order to perform their duties well in F.P.E management. · Educating parents through provincial administration (i.e Chief's barazas) on the importance of parental involvement in education of their children.