Influence of principals’ leadership styles on students’ Kenya certificate of secondary examination performance in Kajiado north district, Kajiado county, Kenya
The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of principals’ leadership styles in students’ performance in Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education in Kajiado North District, Kajiado County, Kenya. The research objective were formulated to study the influence of principals’ transformational, transactional and democratic leadership styles on students’ performance in KCSE in Kajiado North District. There were 275 teachers and 20 principals in the targeted public secondary schools. This study employed descriptive survey design to investigate leadership style in Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education performance. The sample was 15 principals and 82 teachers, hence a sample size of 97 respondents from the target population. Data was collected using two sets of questionnaires namely; quantitative analysis was done where the raw scores were entered into the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) statistical software to express attitude. Qualitative data was arranged into thematic areas for easy coding and interpretation. The frequencies of the responses were demonstrated in figures to express mean and tables to express percentages to communicate findings in line with the objectives of the study respectively. The study from the frequency response by the principals revealed that 6 out of 15 principals used transactional leadership style 5 supported use of transformational leadership style while 4 of 15 indicated that principals used democratic leadership style 32 out of 80 teachers indicated that principals used transactional leadership style while 25 of them indicated principal use of transformational leadership style, while 23 of them out of 80 indicated that principal use democratic leadership style. These frequencies revealed that there was a high use of transactional leadership style where attendance completion of syllabus short term goal achievement were emphasized and minimal focused on long term targets, quality of teaching were least highlighted. In the transformational leadership style, principals stressed the need to strive towards common goal of fulfilling the school vision and mission, motivating teachers to go beyond self interest while minimal emphasis was made on values and symbolic actions. These did not make the schools strive towards improvement. Teachers felt their principals emphasized on values and reinforcement on symbolic leadership, display of an appealing personality that other can emulate but did little to ensure that teachers were part of the school team that set common goals and vision. This approach could have failed to compel teachers to be part and parcel of the academic end results in KCSE. The use of democracy from the principals’ responses indicated that there was high consultation respect for the rights of the various groups in the school institution with minimum effort to accord teachers autonomy in decision making about improving academic performance. Teachers supported that there was high consultation before decision making, opportunity to contribute on improvement on KCSE but with less focus on respect for the rights of the various organize groups and associations in the school. Minimal autonomy and failure to consider personnel welfare could have contributed towards the below average performance in KCSE examination. According to principal they used transactional leadership style to reward teachers for job well done ensure teachers and students do not pursuit but gave less attention to the fulfillment of long term goals part of which are KCSE performance. Teachers viewed their principals as leaders who concentrated on the fulfillment of the short term goals, insistence on KCSE results improvement but inactive in monitoring the performance of teachers to ensure value programme ended progress. The study concluded that the use the three leadership style did not promote improvement in KCSE performance. There was a significant use of transactional leadership style to insist on short term successes at the expense of improved KCSE performance. It was recommended that principals make their personal review of their use of the three leadership styles with a few of improving KCSE performance which had remained below average for the last five consecutive years under study. A study on factors that influence students’ KCSE performance other than leadership styles in Kajiado North District. A study on effect of teachers’ demographics on students’ performance in KCSE. This study was carried out in Kajiado North District. A similar study can be undertaken in the other four districts in the county so that a total feel of overall performance in the county can be highlighted.