Constraints to effective human resource management by head teachers in public secondary schools in Abothugucm West division of Meru county, Kenya
There is growing concern by various stakeholders in education including government and parents regarding the way schools are managed. Despite government’s efforts at enhancing capacity of educational administrators, there are still concerns of ineffectiveness in service delivery. The purpose of the study was to establish constraints to effective human resource management in Abothuguchi West Division, Meru County. The objectives of the study were: to find out the extent to which head teachers have been trained in HRM, assess the degree to which there is free flow of information in schools, investigate how head teachers delegate assignments to teachers and make decisions affecting their schools. The study was based on systems theory. It adopted survey design. The study used multiple sampling techniques ( stratified, systematic and simple random) to come up with a sample size of 144 respondents compromising of 12 head teachers, 12 deputy head teachers and 120 teachers Sampled from the 19 public secondary schools of Abothuguchi west division, Meru County. The instruments used in data collection were questionnaires for head teachers and teachers and interview schedules for deputy head teachers. The researcher’s two supervisors were requested to evaluate the content of the instruments and give feedback to enrich them. Reliability of the instruments was done by test re-test method. Data collected was both quantitative and qualitative. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the quantitative data obtained. Qualitative data was analyzed by arranging responses thematically in line with the study objectives. The study will be of importance in promoting teaching and learning in Abothuguchi west division, Meru County because no other research in HRM has been carried out in the area. The research found out that head teachers and deputy head teachers had been trained in management. However, Information was not flowing freely laterally, upwards and downwards within the established communication channels. Delegation of responsibility was carried out well but delegation of authority as well as follow up of assignments were poorly accomplished. Evaluation and selection steps in decision making process were not carried out well in most schools. Implementation of decisions was also poor. The study came to the conclusion that head teachers had been trained for headship and delegation of responsibility was effective. However, schools were facing challenges in communication. Benefits of delegation had not been fully actualized and the decision making process was ineffective. The study recommends that upward, downward and lateral communication channels should be opened up to facilitate free flow of information. Head teachers should also delegate authority as well as follow up assignments delegated to teachers. Decisions should also be carried out and implemented effectively.