Influence Of Principals’ Leadership Styles On Student Truancy In Public Secondary Day Schools In Nakuru Municipality, Kenya.
xi ABSTRACT This study aimed at investigating influence of principal’s leadership styles on student truancy in public secondary day schools in Nakuru Municipality. This was motivated by the fact that School leadership plays a key role in improving school products. The objectives of the study were: to determine the influence of democratic leadership style on truancy, the influence of autocratic leadership style on truancy, the influence of leissez faire leadership style on truancy and the influence of charismatic leadership style on truancy. The study targeted principals, class teachers and form four students in the 22 public day secondary schools in the Municipality. In this regard, all the 22 principals were included in the study population together with 240 class teachers and 2943 form four students. A descriptive survey design was adopted whereby stratified sampling was used to identify the specific respondents for the study. Data collected was done using questionnaires for class teachers and form four students and interview schedules which targeted the principals. Data analysis was conducted using descriptive statistics where data was organized in frequencies and percentages. Data presentation was done using tables. The findings of the study showed that truancy was a problem experienced in all the schools under study. Democratic and charismatic leadership styles were popularly used by the principals in the municipality. The various leadership styles employed by various principals had a great impact on truancy. Autocratic leadership style was found out to be associated with harshness and leaders who practice this style of leadership are always distant from teachers and students. Such leaders made decisions without consultations and imposed the decisions on teachers and students. They are more likely to face opposition from teachers and students. This style was associated with the highest rates of truancy in schools. Laissez Faire leadership style was established to be associated with absentee leaders who delegated most of their work and were extremely lenient with teachers and students. It was also associated with high rates of truancy. Charismatic leaders greatly inspired and motivated teachers and students and were good role models thereby controlling truancy among learners. Democratic leadership style was the most effective in curbing truancy cases among students since these leaders made consultations before making any decisions, were friendly and made necessary follow ups. They were available when needed. It was concluded that the four leadership styles used by principals greatly influenced school attendance by the learners. The study recommended awareness campaign among school administrators to enhance their understanding on the circumstances in which each leadership style is appropriate. The study also recommended wide adoption of democratic and charismatic leadership styles to help curb rising cases of truancy among learners.
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