Influence of headteachers on the quality of free primary education in Kakamega county: A case of Kakamega east sub county
The Government of Kenya initiated Free Primary Education (FPE) in all public schools in 2003 .This was in line with the provision of universal primary education .The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of head teachers in improving quality of free primary education in Kakamega East District. With the implementation of free and compulsory primary education, the quality of education has not kept pace with the expansion in quantity hence the need to document the influence of head teachers in improving the quality of free primary education. The study employed descriptive survey design and a sample of eighty two (82) respondents were involved. The sample comprised forty (40) head teachers and forty (40) deputy head teachers from public primary schools in the district. Two education officers at the district were also to make the sample. To select the sample simple random sampling technique was employed to select forty public primary schools whose head teachers and deputies were to participate in the study. Purposive sampling was used to select the two education officers at the district level. Data was collected by use of questionnaire and interview schedules administered by the researcher .Data collected was analyzed by use of descriptive statistics in which percentages, frequencies and tables were used to present the data. Qualitative descriptions of the tables were also done. The study found out that head teachers were providing professional support to teachers while in school which influenced the performance of teachers. The level of performance was also attributed to the supervision practices employed by head teachers. Teaching learning resources were provided but were not adequate given the high enrollment in schools .Schoollinkages was an avenue for improving quality education but was not fully exploited by the head teachers. The study concluded that head teachers had done a lot to improve the quality of free primary education despite the enrollment and scarce financial resources allocated to schools. The study recommended that in-service programmes provided to head teachers on the area of supervision provision of professional support and school linkages. This would equip them with relevant skills and knowledge to enable them exploit opportunities in and outside schools that would enhance quality of education. Further research is recommended on the impact of head teachers supervision practices on teachers professional growth .A similar study should be undertaken on a wider scale to establish the influence of head teachers on the quality of free primary education.