The administrative problems faced by headteachers of secondary schools in Malindi District, Kenya
There has been some considerable interest about the performance of headteachers a far as secondary school administration in concerned. This is because headteachers play a key role in the achievement of educational goals and objectives in a school. The quality of a school depends largely in their leadership. The purpose of the study was to find out what problems headteachers faced in performing the six main administrative tasks. These are curriculum and instruction, financial and business management, pupils personnel, staff personnel, school community relations and physical and material resources. The study also sought to establish headteachers' views in the reasons of the problems and ways in which the problems may be solved. A total sample of seven headteachers from the nine public secondary schools in Malindi District was involved in the study. The tools used for the research were questionnaires and interviews. The data collected were analyzed using tables that showed frequencies and percentages. The major findings of the study were: 1. All of the headteachers faced problems in performing all the six main tasks of school management. 2. The problems faced by the headteachers cut across all categories of schools, age and gender of the heads. 3. The most problematic tasks for headteachers were finance and business management. The problems experienced here were: - Lack of financial management skills - Poor school fees payment which led to lack of funds to be used to buy teaching and learning materials and other facilities. 4. Some schools experienced very unique problems e.g. (a) Lack of support by parents for girl education manifested in careless attitude in the payment of school fees for girls. (b) Community hostility to the headteacher and teachers who do not come from their own communities. (c) Widespread poverty among the community surrounding the school. On the basis of the data collected, the following recommendations were made by the researcher. 1. The government should provide funds for building classrooms, dormitories, laboratories and dinning halls. This burden should be removed from the parents who are overburdened by the high tuition fees. 2. The government should as a matter of urgency sponsor headteachers to a minimum one year diploma course in school management. This course will make the headteachers more effective. A greater emphasis in the course should be placed in financial management skills, which was the most problematic task area among all the teachers. 3. There is need for the government to increase the bursary allocation to areas with widespread poverty so as to cater for increasing number of needy students. Also the bursary should be taken direct to the schools instead of the current mode of disbursing which takes the bursary money to the constituencies. 4. Headteachers should make the schools engage in money generating projects e.g keeping livestock and farming and afforestation. 5. There is need for the local communities to be educated through public barazas by the local leaders so that they may stop their hostility towards the principals and teachers.