The role of the dean of students in primary teachers colleges in Kenya
Murage, Margaret Nyambura
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The purpose of this study was to find out the responsibilities of deans of students in primary teachers' colleges in Kenya. Specifically the study tried to out what functions he was expected to perform and the problems he encounters in trying to execute his duties. Five sample colleges were selected for this study. Two research instruments, and interview schedule and a questionnaire were used to get the required information. The instruments were first pilot tested on the principals, deans of students and two students officials -the chairmen and secretaries of two colleges, which were not included in the study sample. The pilot test brought new research questions and a slight change in the questionnaires. The interview schedule for the principals was aimed at getting more information about the role of the deans of students and the problems facing him. The questionnaire for the deans of students sought to elicit information about their academic and professional qualifications, age their functions, the problems they faced, and their possible solutions and suggestions for improvement in the office of the dean. The questionnaire for the student officials aimed at providing more information about the dean's office in relation to what the deans had said in their questionnaire. The data was analysed and interpreted in frequency and percentage distributions. The findings of the study revealed that the duties of the deans of students included: (a) Admission and registration of new students, (b) Orientation of students. (c) Preparation and maintenance of class lists. (d) Provision of uniform to students. (e) Allocation of halls of residence to the students. (f) Tasking care of students financial affairs. (g) Authorizing students exit and taking roll call. (h) Processing students’ clearance chits and certificates. (i) Maintaining of discipline among students. (j) Counseling of Students. (k) Registration and co-ordination of clubs. (l) Maintaining of cleanliness in the dining hall. (m) Coordinating and advising on student entertainment. (n) Being patron of the students’ council. The deans encountered problems in the following factors: (a) Time factor (b) Role conflict (c) Confusion about role (d) Amateurism (e) Relations with student leaders (f) Relations with the staff (g) Weak student leaders (h) Lack of appreciation from the administration. (i) Unrealistic demands from the students (j) Partiality The most popular solutions to the problems encountered by the deans included: (i) Cooperation of all the college personnel that would also entail dedication. (ii) Appreciation by the college administration and the dean of students that would bring with it respect. (iii) Autonomy for the deans through which they could make inadequate decisions. (iv) Counselling of the students. (v) Interaction of all the college personnel for better understanding of the dean's role. (vi) Less teaching load for the deans. (vii) Additional manpower for the deans. (viii) Cash allowance for the dean of students. (ix) Remuneration of the post by the Teachers Services Commission. (x) Training of the deans in their counselling role. The above solutions could also be applied in improving the role of the deans of students, and were incorporated in the researcher's recommendations. The researcher suggested that there be more research that would reveal: The attitudes of the college towards the deans of students; the role of the deans of students from the students' body point of view; the roles of the deputy principals and principals in primary teachers' colleges.