A study of the role of the District Education Officers in the management and supervision of primary school education programmes in the three districts of Western province in Kenya
Sisungo, Zipporah Wakasa
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PROBLEM: A study of the role of the District Education Officers in the management and supervision of primary school Education Programmes in the three districts of Western Province in Kenya. The purpose of this project was to study the role of the District Officers in the Management and supervision of primary school education programmes in the three districts of Western Province in Kenya. It was the researcher's conviction that this study would help in rectifying some of the deficiencies and trigger recommendations for necessary improvements towards more effective management and supervision of primary school education programmes. Three district selected for this study were Busia, Kakamega and Bungoma. From each district, a division and a zone were randomly selected. Three District Teachers' Advisory Centre tutors were selected. Seven primary schools were randomly selected, two from Busia, two from Bungoma and three from Kakamega. One of the three schools from Kakamega had very good results in the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examination. The seven headteachers, and fourteen teachers; two from each school were randomly selected. The researcher administered questionnaire to the D.E.O.s, the A.E.O.s the Divisional Assistant Primary school Inspectors, the Zonal Assistant Primary School Inspectors, and the headteachers. The following answered questions in interviews with the researcher: the District Inspector of Schools, the Teachers' Advisory Centre tutor, and the teachers. The researcher used some frequency and percentage distributions to work out appropriate tabulations. The research showed the following findings: - 1. The D.E.O.s were between 45 and 51 years old. Their academic attainment ranged from S1 to graduate teacher status. 2. There were 1,691 primary schools in Western province and Busia District had 315 while Bungoma had 469 but Kakamega had 907 schools. 3. The managerial and supervisory roles of the D.E.O.s included the following: administration, inspection and supervision of schools, planning of educational programmes and development, interpretation of policy matters in education, and they had responsibility to the D.E.B. and the D.D.C. They were responsible for them and generally, improving educational standards in the district. 4. The D.E.O. performed some roles alone but delegated many duties to his headquarters staff, divisional and zonal staff plus headteachers and teachers as shown in Table 1 of chapter 2 and Table 10 of chapter 4, both, of this study. 5. Both peripatetic and school-based supervision were expected to concurrently operate in the schools in each district. The former was rarely carried out in each school, and the latter was done on a minimal scale. 6. The A.E.O.s were the D.E.O.s representatives in the Divisions and the latter’s educational programme planning incorporated the data submitted by all the A.E.O.s in the District, hence the need to work, as a team was very important. 7. Courses organized by K.E.S.I. were valuable, but their effect needed to be intensified by increasing the number of participants each year. The research revealed that the supervisors and inspectors were frustrated due to unfavourable terms of service and work conditions, the teachers were also frustrated due to lack of prospects in the teaching profession for primary school teachers, and almost a total absence of motivation. Due to this, both academic performance in schools and the officers' output at work were poor. It was recommended that induction courses should be conducted for the D.E.O.s, inspectors and supervisors plus headteachers and teachers on appointment. Headteachers should be selected by a panel, and they should be either P1 or S1. There was an acute shortage of means of transport, so the Ministry of Education should either give loans to staff for the purchase of personal means or send a vehicle for the inspectorate section to each district. Promotions of teachers on merit was criticized heavily; headteachers should recommend teachers they felt deserved promotion because they knew their staff. Promotion should be decentralised and each district should get a quota for promotion. Parents should be educated on cost sharing so that they might boost the development of educational programmes. The D.E.O. should create a healthy organizational climate and motivate his staff, headteachers and teachers by doing that the D.E.O. not only motivates his staff but also, he makes his happy staff to work towards the success of his school organization.