School-Based management prospects and challenges: A case of public secondary schools in Muranga County, Kenya
Kiragu, Wangari Joyce
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The main purpose of this study was to seek the opinions of Principals and teachers on challenges and prospects of School Based Management which is a move away from the rigid rules and control oriented bureaucratic hierarchies of school management to looser, more informal, value driven management which is more responsive to the local markets and environment. This stemmed from the current management of secondary schools in the district which is marred by inefficiency resulting to poor academic performance and low quality of education. The objectives of this study were: To find out what the principals and teachers perceived were the prospects of SBM if it was introduced in the study district, to find out what the principals and teachers perceived were the accrued benefits of SBM if it was introduced in the study district and to find out what challenges schools would experience if SBM was introduced in the study district. The study adopted descriptive survey design, since it concerned gathering of facts. Stratified sampling was used to select 16 schools which participated in this study. A sample of 80 respondents was selected to participate in the study. The sample for the study included 64 teachers and 16 principals. The data for this study was collected using structured questionnaires which were administered by the researcher to a sample of Principals and teachers in each of the sampled schools. A pre-testing of the research tools was carried out in one of the institutions to ascertain its validity and reliability. The data was coded and analysed manually. Data was presented in descriptive statistical tables using frequencies and percentages. The results were narrated thematically according to the objectives of the study. The result findings indicated that majority of the respondents wanted reforms in the way the education system is managed. They viewed the introduction of School Based Management as a way of addressing the current crisis in management of secondary schools in the study district. The respondents indicated that SBM would help in bringing about accountability, commitment by teachers in discharging their duties, efficient use of resources, timely syllabus coverage, delivery of quality education, improve efficiency and reduce need for supervision among other prospects if it was introduced in secondary schools in the study district. Majority of the respondents also welcomed the idea of introduction of SBM in secondary schools in the study district though they indicated it would lead to increased workload for both teachers and principals and that it would require considerable initiative and efforts from all the stakeholders. Respondents identified the following as strategies of improving secondary school management; teachers training on management issues for transition, introduction of regular internal audit, students' involvement in decision making, clear demarcation of duties and responsibilities, increasing and improving school resources and better remuneration for school managers among others. Several interpretations of the results are offered in the discussion. One possible viewpoint that merits further research is that principals viewed themselves as the best stakeholders to be given power of managing schools under SBM yet they indicated favourably that teachers should be involved in management of secondary schools. The study demonstrated that participatory decision making is a useful conceptual framework for explaining School Based Management. The study made the following recommendations: Principals and teachers should be actively involved in making decisions about secondary schools management because they are the people on the ground and understands the school environment better and the MOE should consider involving all the education stakeholders in formulating policies, this way they will own the policies and it will be easy to implement them without being seen like they are enforcing them on schools among other recommendations.