Impact of church sponsorship on the management of secondary schools in Thika West and Gatundu North Districts in Kiambu County
Mwaura, Mercy Wambui
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This research attempted to study and investigate the impact of church sponsorship on the management of secondary schools in the larger Thika District covering the current Thika West, and Gatundu North Districts. The study examined historical foundation of Western Education in the said region and the factors that influenced the development, the role of missionaries in relation to organization, management of schools, financial and physical support and the nature of mission-state partnership in the provision of education. This study identified schools using purposive sampling techniques basing itself on the categories of national, provincial and district schools. It also categorized them on the basis of church sponsors which were Catholic Church, Anglican Church of Kenya, Presbyterian Church of East Africa and Salvation Army. 18 (51 %) schools were sampled from which, the BoG chairpersons (18), principals (18), and 3 teachers per school (54) were selected to fill in the questionnaires. The District Education Officers of the two districts and the church representatives were interviewed, thus, 96 respondents. Data were collected using questionnaires and interviews. Researcher adopted descriptive survey research design. This is the process of collecting data to answer questions concerning the current status of church sponsors. The descriptive survey research design determines and reports the way things are and further attempts to describe people's-attitudes, opinions, possible behaviour values and characteristics. Before the actual data collection, pilot study was randomly done on 3 schools to determine the reliability and validity of the instruments. It was discovered that two questions on the BoGs questionnaire were vague, adjustments were made on the questionnaires. It also revealed that space given for answering questions was small in some areas; thus more space was provided. Descriptive statistics was used to analyze the quantitative data obtained. These include frequencies and percentages. Qualitative analysis considered inferences that were made from the respondents' opinions. This analysis was thematically presented in narrative form and the results presented in frequency tables, bar graphs and pie charts. The study established the functional role of the Church sponsor, which includes, membership the B.O.G, consultation on the appointment of head teachers, maintains the religious traditions of the church in the schools and to provide moral and spiritual nourishment to the school community. The study further established that there are many conflicts that exist between the church sponsors and the school management boards. These conflicts impact negatively to the running of schools and also to curriculum instructions. Conflicts arise from sponsors' failure to play their role of maintaining religious traditions as stipulated in the Act, and instead, they overstep in the management. Others strongly felt they should be the managers of their sponsored schools which contradicts the Education Act cap 211 (1968). The study recommends that the Government works on a strategy to completely keep off the church from management of schools and to ensure that all laws are followed and the church takes it rightful place which is basically spiritual.