Impact of managerial competencies of heads of departments on students' academic performance in secondary school in Magarini sub county, Kilifi county, Kenya
The study sought to examine the impact of managerial competences of Heads of department on students’ academic performance in secondary schools in Magarini Sub-county, Kilifi County. The main objective o the study was thus; to examine the influence of Team building competences by HoDs on students’ academic performance, to assess the influence of planning competences by HoDs on students’ academic performance, to analyse the influence of organizing competences by HoDs on students’ academic performance, to determine the influence of co-ordinating competences by HoDs on students’ academic performance as well as to determine the influence of monitoring and evaluation competences by HoDs on students’ academic performance in Magarini Sub- county in Kilifi County, Kenya. From the literature review, the conceptual framework was drawn based on a set of five attributes, which may have had impact on students’ academic performance. They were namely; Team building, planning, organizing, co-ordinating and monitoring and evaluation which formed the dependent variables. Ten Public secondary schools were selected for the study from which 10 principals/headteachers, 10 deputy heads and 50 (5 per school) HoDs were purposely selected for the study. The descriptive survey design was used and the questionnaire as well as the interview schedule were the main research instruments. The data collected was analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. The findings of the study showed that the general competence criteria used in appointing HoDs in schools were their levels of decision-making, problem solving capability and communication skills especially when handling meeting. The study revealed that all respondents alluded that team building competence by HoDs served to create an atmosphere of that facilitated effective learning. Another finding showed that 93.3% of the respondents were to the view that planning competence was essential in the sense that it focused on learners achievement. The study also revealed that 91.7% of the respondents concurred that organizing competences by HoDs greatly helped in dividing work and activities into meaningful departmental or group teaching/learning roles. Regarding co-ordination competence by HoDs, 96.7% of the respondents indicated that meeting co-ordinated by HoDs served as corrective functions for improving the quality of teaching and learning in the schools. The study also revealed that 93.3% of the respondents were in agreement that HoDs had familiarity and competence in translating curriculum objectives into teaching/learning activities as well as knowledge in book keeping and record keeping. Based on the findings, it was concluded that HoDs as managers play key and pivotal roles in enhancing students’ academic performance hence enabling the overall school performance improvement. The study recommends that HoDs should progressively and continually grow their knowledge, skills and competence by concentrating on on-going professional development programmes, to enable them stimulate and nurture their own professional growth and that of other teachers. Evidently, teachers to grow their knowledge skills and competences throughout their career hence instead of concentrating on programmes that donate single training event, HoDs should concentrate on a set of course, individual learning projects, conferences, group discussion, problem solving activities, case studies and stimulation exercises. This would eventually translate into enhanced students’ academic performance in the schools.