Influence of school departmental leadership on students' K.C.S.E. performance in English language in Kisumu- west district, Kisumu County, Kenya
Mboha, Erick Omondi
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Departmental leadership is assumed to be crucial in enhancing high quality students' performance in English language in Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations. The annual release of KCSE results shows that few candidates obtain high quality grades CA,A- and B+) in English language. This situation can be attributed to a plethora of factors. Among these is departmental leadership. The purpose of the study was to investigate the influence of school departmental leadership on students' English language KCSE performance. The year 2011 KCSE results of9 out of36 secondary schools in Kisumu West District were used as the basis of reference. The target population of 238 students and 36 teachers was used. Both Stratified sampling and purposive sampling techniques were used to sample 9 head teachers, 9 heads of English language department, 9 English language subject heads, 9 English subject teachers totaling to 36 out of 342 teachers and 238 out of 949 students in Form Three class in Kisumu West District. Data was collected using questionnaires and interview guides. Reliability of the instrument was tested using Cronbach Alpha. Relationships were established using correlation and regression techniques. The factors were reduced using factor analysis. The findings showed that there was a significant positive correlation between the students' performance in English and: clear departmental vision, mission and objectives. English language performance was also significantly correlated to: the motivation of the students, constructive feedback on assignments, invitation of experts to talk on English, the use of audio/video cassettes in teaching, and students' enjoyment of English language. The results however showed that in terms of leadership, there was no statistically significant difference between the teachers who had undergone in service training and those who had not. Six factors explained 61.965% of the variance in the dataset. These factors, by order seemed to relate mostly to departmental mission and vision, classroom teaching methodology, students' attitude towards English language, initiative of the English language teachers, leadership style and English assignments. The study concluded that both transformational leadership and instructional leadership positively influenced the students' English language performance. In-service training also played a role, especially in improving the teachers' marking skills. The study recommended that English language departmental leadership should involve the participation of all actors in the institutional hierarchy. Departmental leaders should combine both transformational leadership principles and instructional leadership styles in order to infuse a culture of excellence in English language. Further studies should be conducted on the leadership training needs of departmental heads in secondary schools.