Preparation of secondary school principals for headship and it's implications on their administrative performance in Kilifi District, Kenya
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The purpose of this research was to analyze the preparation of secondary school principals. in Kilifi, district. for headship. on. their . performance of their administrative duties. The objectives were; to determine whether administrative experience, levels of education. and. training have . effects on the. principal's competence for handling administrative challenges, to identify administrative task areas where Principals need priority training, to identify strategies that principals. employ. in . dealing with administrative challenges. The research was .based.on Katz Three skill .approach. It borrowed. the assertion. that as one moves to more administrative duties, they need less technical and more human and conceptual skills . (Wachira, 1996). The study applied. descriptive survey. design. This type of design is applicable to social science such as education (Mugenda and Mugenda, 2003).. The target population was 60 principals. of secondary. schools in Kilifi District. Out of these 20 were picked using simple random sampling representing 30% which is an acceptable sample size (Best & Kahn, 2003). Self administered questionnaires were the main tool of data collection but they were supplemented by. secondary data from. examination. analysis from the Kilifi District Education Office. The findings of the analysis support the conclusion that when training is. offered to. employees. general quality improves.The finding concurs with Monappa (1996) that when employees are trained, their performance improves. The study sho-wed. that. there s .a. positive. correlation: between . student performance at KCSE and levels of training. It also showed a positive correlation between levels of training and student discipline. The study .identified the following as areas that principals needed priority training; curriculum supervision, financial management, guidance and counseling and emerging issues in education, Some of the coping mechanisms included levying extra fees and cost cutting strategies. On staff motivation principals gave incentives .to staff to boost morale. Errant workers were given warning letters, or summoned to the BOG. Those found incorrigible were fined .. Incase .of staff shortage, members were asked to put extra-hours. The challenges seemed to fall in seven main categories of financial inadequacy, staff and student discipline, political interference.. lack. of facilities,. motivation. of workers and work overload due to shortage of personnel. Further the study found that serving as a deputy was. key to. better performance as a principal; this. was supported by 500/0.. of the respondents. Many principals did not think of the experience as a games teacher was of any. importance to headship. The research recommends that the government through its relevant arms should intervene to mitigate.some of the issues of poverty that.hinder.parents from paying fees. The immediate intervention would be to give financial support so that the casual workers can be paid substantially to boost morale and stop comparing their earnings with thatof the permanent employee. Even then, the numbers of such workers should be increased with the governments. support so that the workloads that hinder the. principals from achieving goals may be relieved. It is also recommended that the head teachers and those working under them be regularly given in-service training so that .theybecome empowered to handle the.challenges of.school management Therewere grey: areas in this research that did not get clear information such as how the promissory notes eventually get settled in light of. the big. bad debts arising form. poor fees payments. It would be informative to find out how these accounts get balanced. This report suggests that future research be done in that.area.The issue of discipline of the students and. staff in these schools.seemed to be left at the point of suspending or sacking the offending person. However no information was gathered. to. explain .what finally. becomes of the student or. worker after the event. It would be necessary to find out what other methods of disciplining the individuals and the role other approaches such as. guidance and .counseling would play in reducing bad behavior in schools. This research identifies that as a gap worth researching on.