An investigation into administrative problems that public secondary school headteachers face in Transmara district
Sindiga, `Justus O
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The purpose of the study was to investigate the administrative problems facing secondary school heads in Transmara district. The study attempted to answer the following research questions: I. What are the administrative problems that are faced by public secondary school heads in Transmara district? lI. Is there any significant difference between the experienced teachers and less experienced head teachers with regard to the financial problems that they encounter in schools? lIl. Is there any significant difference between the administrative problems head teachers face and their academic qualifications in Transmara district? IV. To what extent is the teaching staff involved in decision making in the school's activities in Transmara district? v. How adequate are physical and material resources 111 public secondary schools 111 Transmara district? Vl. What is the attitude ofthe students towards their head teachers and does it relate in any way to strike occurrence in schools. The study involved stratified random sampling to select the sample for study and the main tool for study was the questionnaire method where questionnaires were administered using the drop and pick method. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics where Statistical Package for Social Studies (SPSS) was used. The results were displayed using frequency tables, percentage distributions and cross tabulation tables. The major findings of the research showed that school heads in Transmara district did encounter administrative problems in the day-to-day running of their schools. The major problems encountered by the school heads included; lack of punctuality by teachers, underperformance by the teachers, Inadequate learning resources, lack of enough teachers with some teachers failing to report to work after the post election violence, indiscipline of students, and lack of parents' support with regards to the discipline of their children The survey revealed that the problems were very similar irrespective of the experience of the school heads. Punctuality on the side of teachers was a major problem in all the schools covered in the survey. This was a setback that all the head teachers; degree holders and those with other qualifications agreed was a challenge that they faced. Meanwhile, students rioted in both the schools that were headed by graduate head teachers and those that were headed by head teachers with other qualifications. Strikes were more prevalent in schools with large student populations that were attributed to lack of facilities, understaffing and also underperforrnance of some teachers. The study revealed that most of the head teachers delegated their administrative duties efficiently to the teachers following the criterion of the experience of the teachers. The teachers on the other hand welcome the bestowment of administrative duties since most of them admitted that they had the ambition to become school heads at one time in their careers and that they also had cordial relationships with their school heads. The school heads involved the teachers in the administrative duties such as maintaining discipline among the students, checking the schemes of work by heads of departments, guidance and counseling to students, students' extra curricular activities such as sports and games as well as social clubs in the schools. Inadequate resources were a major setback in the running of schools in Transrnara district Tills ranged from the instructional facilities to human resources i.e. teachers. The textbook-student ratio in most of the schools was insufficient with some of the schools having a very poor ratio of 1: lOin the form one class. Students also cited the problem oflack of instructional facilities and understaffing as causes of their striking. Majority of the students perceived their school heads as caring and understanding. The study showed that heads held consultative meetings with the students frequently and the matters of discussion in these meetings were generally on the discipline of the students, performance in examinations and the welfare of the students. Despite having all these measures in place the students in the population of study still went on rampage where in some cases the head teachers were a target in the strikes. Some demanded the transfer of their current head teachers while others were protesting against the transfer of their head teachers. The recommendations made were based on the findings and conclusions of the study. These were: The secondary school heads should get management training rather than assuming that their academic qualifications were sufficient in running their schools Ideas that are brought up by students during the consultative meetings should be implemented after s~ where necessary. There should be sensitization on the issues of discipline to all the stakeholders in the education sector rather than abdication of parenting duties to head teachers by the parents. The condition of the instructional facilities in secondary schools should be improved and also increased to facilitate learning. The government should improve staffing in secondary schools and also disburse funds in good time in order to ensure prompt service delivery in secondary schools. Further research studies should be carried out to investigate the external factors that affect administrative problems faced by head teachers in public secondary schools. Key interest should be paid on the surrounding community.