The influence of performance contracting on the management of public secondary schools in Nairobi County
Performance contracting is the focus of performance management in the public sector world wide. It is a reliable tool for measuring performance so as to establish an improvement in the existing government structures. This study was carried out in October 2010 with the objective of establishing the influence of performance contracting on management of public secondary schools in Nairobi Province and the challenges faced by the school management.20 head teachers agreed to participate in the study by completing the questionnaires. The challenges of performance contracting vary from one institution to another depending on the expected results. Commercial enterprises measure performance using profits. Performance contracting seems to be the most efficient way of measuring level of service delivery in the public sector. It is this aspect that prompted this study since the Ministry of Education is a government agency that offers service to public secondary schools in Kenya. Primary data was obtained usmg a questionnaire that had both structured and unstructured questions. The questionnaires were delivered personally and collected after one week. The collected statistics were computed for analysis. It was found out that indeed performance contracting at the Ministry of Education influenced the management of public secondary schools. They carried out their mandate but delayed in delivery of most services. As a result the school heads faced financial challenges that affected most of their work. They had been forced to go out of their way and come up with methods of fund raising in collaboration with the parents association. The funds obtained through this means were used to cushion the delay caused by the ministry. They were also used to supplement the development projects. The duration of the year within which the services of the Ministry of Education were carried out in public secondary schools in the past was of importance to the Permanent secretary in this ministry for future adjustment of systems. The Ministry of Planning required this information for appropriate resource allocation. The challenges encountered by head teachers could also be addressed by the appropriate directorate. Other scholars can also use this information to further studies on performance contracting in other organizations. The limitation of this study was that it was carried out around the KCSE national examinations therefore the secondary school head teachers who were the respondents were busy preparing for the same. This slowed the data collection process consequently reduced the response. Time constraint was also experienced since the research was to be carried out within the duration permitted by the National Council for Science and Technology only. The information obtained in this project will be an asset for future researchers who might want to further the knowledge on performance contracting. The influence of performance contracting in other organizations can also be studied using similar guidelines. It can also be established whether private secondary schools have adopted performance contracting as required by the Ministry of Education.