Problems faced by headteachers in the management of free primary education: a case of Busia District-Kenya
Otwani, Jean Rayline
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The purpose of the study was to find out the problems facing headteachers in the management of Free Primary Education in Busia District. In the reviewed literature, it has been noted that education is a human right; therefore elementary education should be free and compulsory. However, in many developing countries, it has been hard to meet these basic requirements. In Kenya, Parliament enacted the Children's Act that recognizes education as a basic right to all children. In 2003, the Government declared Free Primary Education. On school administration, it has been emphasized that the headteacher should be an instructional and administrative leader other than a supervisor and inspector. The headteacher should be an example who's professional and academic integrity are admired by his/her staff, pupils and wider community. She/he should be able to manage the curriculum and instruction, finance, staff, pupils, physical and material resources and school community relation effectively and efficiently. To find out the strength of each problem in each management task area, a guided questionnaire for headteachers and teachers on problems facing headteachers was used. An interview schedule for the DEO and AEOs was used to complement data solicited through the questionnaire and to probe for in-depth information. The observation schedule was used to check the physical and material resources in the school. Out of the 230 schools in Busia District, 20% were sampled using the simple random sampling technique. All the AEOs and the DEO were interviewed. The data from the field were entered into a computer spreadsheet in a standard format to allow for the computation of descriptive and inferential statistics where applicable. The data were analyzed with the use of statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) version 11.5. The descriptive statistics used include frequencies, standard deviations and mean standard error. The inferential statistics employed included a paired t-test. The data were then presented in form of frequencies and percentages. They were analyzed in terms of discussions and tabulations. The result helped the researcher to come up with conclusions and recommendations. The major problems experienced by headteachers in the management of FPE were understaffing and inadequate physical and material resources. Management of financial resources was a problem, too, that urgently needed to be solved by in-servicing headteachers on financial management. The study concluded and recommended that more teachers should be employed to cater for the shortfalls in staff The school community should be mobilized to build classrooms and to purchase furniture to solve the problem of overcrowding in the classrooms.