Application of information communication and technology in school management practices in public secondary schools in Ruiru district, Kiambu county, Kenya.
Macharia, Nahashon Mbugua
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After several years of effort, Kenya promulgated a national ICT policy in January 2006 that aims to "improve the livelihoods of Kenyans by ensuring the availability of accessible, efficient, reliable and affordable ICT services.The policy emphasizes the application of ICT in school management and recognizes that senior managers in schools have a major impact upon classroom and curriculum implementation practices. The study's major objective was to establish the application of Information Communication and Technology in school management practices in public secondary schools in the areas of personnel, financial, and strategic aspects. The speccific ojectives of this study were to assess thy" existing ICT components and infrastructure in public secondary schools', ""l.lssessapplication of ICT in various management areas, establish the constraints faced in adoption of ICT in public secondary school management and propose strategies and interventions of improving application of lCf in public secondary school management. The study adopted a descriptive research design both qualitative and quantitative data were used to answer the research questions on the use of ICT in school management in public secondary schools. The study target population comprised of all the public secondary schools in Ruiru District and the subjects of the study were principals/deputy principals, Heads of Departments, teachers, bursars/accounts clerks and students. Ruiru District had 14 public secondary schools and the researcher conducted the research in all the schools since it was possible to collect data from all of them. Data were collected using questionnaires, interview schedules and an observation schedule. Qualitative data was obtained from open-ended items in the questionnaires and interview schedule. Data were analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively. Data were presented in tables, and graphs. The study found out that only a small proportion, 4 (28.6%) of schools had computer laboratories/rooms. Majority (80.0%) of schools were using computers in timetabling as well as management of finances and storing of records/data on students enrolments and academic progress. Most (60%) principals were ICT illiterate and that there was minimal utilization of ICT in the management of public secondary schools in Ruiru. The main challenges facing the adoption of ICT in the management of public secondary schools were; principals lCT illiteracy and limited rural electrification. The study concluded that there was need for participatory approaches in the adoption of ICT and that for successful adoption of the use of ICTs in our education system required clearly laid down strategies and policies. The researcher therefore recommended that for effective access and use of ICT at least the basic infrastructure like computers, electricity and telephone services to be provided, training of school principals in ICT applications to be initiated, and computer studies to be made a compulsory subject in secondary level of education. The researcher further suggested that a comparative study be carried out to compare the adoption levels of ICT between public and private secondary schools.