Perceptions of Teachers, Principals and HODs on the Roles of a Secondary School Head of Department in kiambu County, Kenya
This study sought to establish the roles played by HODs in administrative duties in secondary schools in Kiambu District, Kiambu County. The study focused on the key administrative areas of curriculum, instruction, financial management, teacher management and student management with the aim of comparing expected roles of Heads of Departments against how these roles are perceived by the teachers, head teachers and HODs themselves. Hopefully this is going to justify a training needs assessment (TNA).There exists a gap between the actual roles of a HOD and the expectations of the teachers, head teachers and even the heads of departments themselves. There was need therefore to critically analyse the misconceptions in order to avoid duplication and negligence in service delivery. The objectives of the study included: To establish how teachers perceive the roles of Heads of Department, to identify the roles of a Head of Department, to establish the major issues and challenges facing the office of the HOD and to reduce the blame game by creating more awareness on the stipulated roles of the HOD.The study is based on the role theory, Biddle (1986) and role perceptions Newstom (2007).The target population included 23 Principals, Heads of Departments and Teachers working in Kiambu District. The sample size comprised of 17 schools out of the 23 secondary schools. The researcher randomly selected two HODs and four teachers from each of the 17 schools ton make a total of 34 HODs and 68 teachers respectively. The questionnaire was used as the main tool for data collection. It consisted of open-ended questions and closed-ended questions.Quantitative data was analysed using descriptive statistics such as frequency tables, means and percentages while qualitative data was analyzed using content analysis based on analysis of meanings and implications emanating from respondent information and comparing responses to documented data on duties and challenges of HODs. Results were correlated using Pearson Product-Moment Correlation formula to determine the reliability coefficient. A correlation coefficient of 0.89 or above was acceptable. Through data analysis the study established that teachers, HODs and head teachers have diverse perceptions on the roles of the HODs in schools hence contradicting the roles of the HODs as stipulated in TSC act of 1998.The findings showed that many roles were wrongly perceived. This study will attempt to define their actual roles and sensitize the same to those who work with them. Based on the findings, the study recommends that there is need for training to equip all teachers with the knowledge relating to the actual role of HODs in a school as well as encouraging the HODs to attend courses at the Kenya Education Management Institute (KEMI), Kenya School of Government and other learning institutions to be trained in areas where these roles appear to overlap. Such include areas in, curriculum development, guidance and counseling as well as overall school management. The other recommendation is that the head teachers should have regular meeting with the HODs in order to discuss matters regarding the role of the HODs, this would act as a refresher courses in order to update the HODs about their roles and carrying out regular appraisals on the HODs to establish whether they carry out their duties accordingly. Finally the study recommends that the head teachers need to clearly outline the roles of the HODs during the available platforms in order to remind the HODs about their roles as well as make deliberate efforts to inform other interested parties in the school.