Influence of stakeholders participation in primary school management on academic performance: the case of Uringu division, Meru county, Kenya
Public schools in Kenya are often criticized as inefficient, characterized by poor academic performance. Some of the reasons for this low pass rate include: poor quality of primary education, often associated with weak school management, insufficient resources and lack of teacher commitment. The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of stakeholders’ participation in primary school management on academic performance in Uringu Division, Meru County. The study also sought to assess the head teachers’ management skills, teachers’ participation, pupils' participation and parents’ participation in primary school management on academic performance in Uringu Division. The study used a descriptive survey design. The target population was 2441 teachers, head teachers, class eight pupils and parents. This study used stratified random sampling to select 331 teachers, head teachers, class eight pupils and parents. This study used both primary and secondary data. Secondary data was obtained from KCPE results for the last five years. This included the mean grades over the five years. The study used a questionnaire as the primary tool for data collection. Data analysis was quantitative. Quantitative data was analysed by use of the statistical package for social sciences (SPSS version 20). Descriptive statistics was utilized to analyse quantitative data. Descriptive statistics included frequency distribution, percentages, measures of central tendencies (mean) and measures of dispersion (Std deviation). The data was then presented in tables. Additionally, correlation analysis was used to establish whether there is a relationship between the dependent and the independent variables. The study concludes that head teachers' managerial skills, teachers’ participation, pupils' involvement and parents participation positively and significantly influence academic performance in public primary schools in Uringu division. The components of head teachers’ management skills that influence academic performance include leadership styles, interpersonal skills, managerial skills and time management skills. Teachers’ involvement in school governance and in developing discipline policies increase their morale and motivation, which in turns improves pupils’ academic performance. The involvement of pupils in management and decision making improves academic performance as it makes them feel more confident in their learning. Further, the study established that pupils’ personal development and democracy benefit their learning about sharing power, as well as taking responsibility. Parents’ involvement in their child’s learning process offers many opportunities for success- improvements on child’s morale, attitude, and academic achievement across all subject areas, behaviour and social adjustment. The study recommends that the government of Kenya should provide opportunities for career development and training for primary school head teachers so as to improve the head teachers' managerial skills, interpersonal skills as well as time management skills. This study also recommends that head teachers as well as the management of public primary schools should ensure that teachers are involved in planning and management issues like budget planning, development and implementation of a strategic plan and organizing function. Further, parents are encouraged to participate in decision making and should be consulted before making decisions.