Investigation into causes and effects of sponsor-government conflict in the management of public secondary schools in Nyamira District, Kenya
Keya, Nathan Mitunda
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The complexity of our societal needs and interests of different segments of the society, and the resultant demand for increased services of education impel individuals and groups to seek cooperation. The success of Educational enterprises in Kenya has been achieved in a large measure by cooperation among different stakeholders. Notably, the church in partnership with the government has played and continues to play a great role in the provision and management of education in Kenya. However, despite the great contributions which have been made through church-state cooperation, there have been many challenges. Conflicts between the sponsor and the government over the management of public secondary schools in Kenya have been witnessed in recent years and have been prevalent in Nyamira District. This has impeded professional delivery of educational programmes. However, causes of such conflicts had not been established. This study investigated the causes and effects of conflicts between the sponsor and government in the management of public secondary schools in Nyamira District with a view to establishing how the sponsors and the government could work together harmoniously for purposes of enhancing delivery of quality education. The objectives of this study were to, identify areas, causes of sponsor- government conflict and investigate the effects of the same on public secondary schools in Nyamira District. The study was guided by functionalism theory by Talcott Parsons(1966). The research design used in this study was descriptive survey. The target population comprised of 69 principals of church sponsored public secondary schools, seven church sponsors and the District Education Officer, Nyamira District. Schools that were involved in the study were selected using stratified random sampling by proportional allocation. The sample size comprised of 32 principals, four sponsors and the Nyamira District Education Officer. Data were collected using questionnaires and interview schedules. Reliability of these instruments was tested by using split half technique. Data collection was undertaken by the researcher, he administered the questionnaires to principals and conducted personal interviews with the sponsors and the DEO. Data collected were edited, coded and analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Descriptive statistics were used to analyse data using tables and figures. The study revealed that sponsors had clashed with the government mainly in areas of school leadership and religion. The main causes of this conflict were inadequate or lack of consultation on the appointment of school administrators and managers, interference with religious programmes by MoE and sponsors' demand to have a greater say in the management of school projects. These conflicts adversely affected the stability and academic progress of secondary schools in Nyamira District as they had been a stumbling block to smooth running of education programmes. Based on these findings, it was concluded that the roles between the sponsors and the government in the management public secondary have not been clearly defined in terms of rights, responsibilities and limitations, thus creating loopholes for conflicts. It was recommended that MoE should harmonize different legal provisions on education in order to come up with a definite policy on secondary school management. The WE should also review the current system of managing secondary schools with a view to providing for proper working relationship and equitable participation of all stakeholders.