Leadership Dynamics Facing Principals in Managing Schools within Devolved Government Structure in Mbeere South Subcounty, Kenya
Mwangangi, Musyoka Moshe
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Leadership dynamics that face principals while managing educational institutions in the world and Kenya in particular are not clearly understood. The situation is compounded further when the context in which principals’ function is fundamentally changed as it happened in Kenya upon promulgation of constitution of Kenya 2010. The constitution of Kenya 2010 introduced devolution in the governance of the republic of Kenya which radically and fundamentally introduced different structures and chains of command in the management of state affairs including education. During this dispensation, principals have found themselves faced by leadership challenges brought about by the new political and administrative system. Mbeere South Sub-county has had a fair share of challenges in the provision of education during the dispensation of the devolved government structure. This study sought to evaluate leadership dynamics that face principals while managing education within the devolved government structure in Mbeere South Sub-county in Embu. The objectives of the study were to; establish leadership dynamisms with regard to decision making function that the principals faced while managing secondary schools in the devolved system of government in Mbeere south sub-county in Kenya; find out leadership dynamisms with regard to delegation function that the principals faced while managing schools in the devolved system of government in Mbeere south sub-county in Kenya; determine leadership dynamisms on time management function that the principals faced while managing schools in the devolved system of government in Mbeere south sub-county in Kenya and analyze resistance to change by principals while managing schools in the devolved system of government in Mbeere south sub-county in Kenya. The study adopted the descriptive survey research design. A sample of 60 principals, 3 QASOs and 38 teachers was selected from the target population that comprised of three education officials, 60 principals and 381 teachers. Purposive sampling was used to select the education officials and principals while Stratified random sampling was used to select teachers. Questionnaires and interview guides were used to collect data. A pilot study was conducted to assure validity and reliability. The reliability of instruments was ascertained by test-retest method. Quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and presented in frequency counts, means and percentages. Qualitative data was transcribed and coded in thematic clusters. The study established that pprincipals were not effective decision makers, teachers (52%) felt that principals leave school programs stagnated when they attend official duties; 66% and 58% of principals observed that they did not avail and maintain timetables and use diaries and programs of events due to excess demands from the devolved structures (Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and Ministry of Education Science and Technology (MoEST). The Quality Assurance and Standards Officers (QASO) report indicated resistance to change by principals. In conclusion, there were mixed reactions regarding the influence of decision making, delegation, time management and resistance to change on principals’ secondary school management in the devolved structures. It is recommended that harmonization of TSC and (MoEST) policies could help streamline operations.