Challenges Faced by Female Headteachers in the Management of Secondary Schools: A Case of Kangundo District in Machakos County, Kenya
Kitele, Angelica Nzeli
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School leadership in Kenyan schools is the function of the head teacher. The purpose of this study was to investigate and identify the challenges faced by female head teachers in the management of secondary schools in Kangundo district and to suggest strategies for coping with the challenges. The study was guided by the following objectives; to investigate and identify the challenges faced by female head teachers in the management; to find out the effectiveness of female head teachers with regard to time management; to find out if cultural and social barriers interfere with management of secondary schools by female teachers; to establish the attitudes of staff members and other stakeholders towards female head teachers; to find out the influence of psycholo@cal factors on women with t«~(l,td tQ m~t\.~~m\iRt Qt ~~~Q,.\\Q.~\l')\Q,"'~'tQ, establish the professional development needs of female head teachers on management of secondary schools and to find out the strategies devised by the female head teachers to cope with the challenges they face in management of secondary schools. The study was conducted in Kangundo district in Machakos County. The target population in this study were the female head teachers in Kangundo district, teachers, students and the Quality Assurance and Standards Officers in the DEO'S office. Kangundo district has 45 secondary schools, of which ten (10) are headed by female headteachers. The researcher used questionnaires and interview guides for collection of data. The data obtained was both quantitative and qualitative. The data was analyzed by use of SPSS and summarized into percentages, and frequency distributions. The information was represented through tabulation and graphs. The study revealed that 80.0% of the teachers liked the way the head teachers managed the school. Fifty six (56.7%) of the teachers noted that the head teachers were good in performing their duties with regard to time management, 80.0% of them also noted that cultural and social issues interfered with the management of school affairs. Majority of the teachers (75.0%) said-that their perception towards their head teachers was good. Majority of the teachers (86'.7%) noted that psychological traits do not bar the head teachers from performing school duties effectively. About 80.0% of the teachers noted that the students accorded male and female teachers the same level of respect. The following conclusions were drawn. Female head teachers are positively viewed by their teachers and are approachable by the students since they encourage them to work to attain their goals in schools. Female head teachers are effective in regard to time management in the management of secondary schools since they are able to follow the laid down policies hence achieve the goals of their institutions. Cultural and social barriers interfere with the management of school affairs. Half (50%) of the head teachers said there was no role conflict between domestic and professional roles while 50% of head teachers felt that there was conflict. On the psychological factors influencing the head teachers' performance, 86.7% of the teachers said that biological traits did not bar the head teachers from performing school duties. This was because they had a teaching experience,' were assertive and aggressive. The training programmes on education management for teachers were not organized in schools. The schools lacked funds to organize training and only KEMI organized training for head teachers. The study recommended that since female head teachers were positively viewed by students and teachers, there is need to be given more posts of leadership in secondary schools .. The female head teachers are effective hence they are able to achieve the goals of their respective institutions. Although cultural and social barriers may interfere with the management of school affairs, there is need for female head teachers to be encouraged to achieve leadership positions since .they can manage the roles of leaders through mentorship.