An assessment of the influence of school management committees on pupil performance in the Kenya certificate of primary education in Njoro sub-county Kenya
Performance in pubic primary schools in the country has been on the decline especially after the introduction of Free Primary Education. A survey on the pupils performance in KCPE in 2010 showed that there was a decline of up to 3.9% in the mean score from 257 in 2002 to 247. It also indicated that while disparities in performance in the school categories continued to widen in 2010 compared to previous years. Studies reveal that overall school performance is influenced by the school management committee in place. This study sought to assess the effectiveness of school management committee in influencing Public primary school performance in KCPE in Njoro Sub County, Nakuru County. Specifically the study sought to; assess whether the SMCs were conversant with their mandates and the approach they used to execute their mandate in influencing performance of KCPE in public primary schools in Njoro Sub County. The study also sought to identify the challenges they face in these tasks. The study employed a descriptive survey design targeting 244 respondents who included head teachers, teachers and school committee members from fifty nine public primary schools within Njoro Sub County using the systematic random sampling technique. Structured questionnaires were used as the research instruments. The data was descriptively analysed with the aid of Statistical Package for Social Scientists (SPSS) computer software version 21. The findings revealed that the SMCs claim that they were conversant with the Education Act of 1980 did not translate to their expected execution of their mandate in their schools. Critical areas such as ensuring transparency and accountability in the provision of learning resources, equipping or teachers and pupils and supervision of the learning activities were areas where the SMCs had demonstrated less influence. Second, it emerged that conflict among SMCs members was an impediment to how the SMCs approached their mandates in the schools. Failure to understand their roles was leading to duplication of roles and duties and bred conflict among them. Finally, the SMCs often operated in a school environment that was supportive but lacked adequate funding. This underscored the need for the schools management to diversify their sources of funding to be able to meet the schools need adequately. There was also the issue of communication. The findings revealed that communication between the SMCs and the teachers in the schools was not effective and this affected their level of collaboration. It is recommended that; the SMCs and where possible with the head teachers and other members of the school administration in the area regularly attend seminars and workshops to sensitize them on their roles and how to approach them as members of the school management; there is need for the SMCs to work on conflict resolution among their members so that their work in the school may not suffer from discord among them; communication between the SMCs and the teaching staff which are critical to the preparation of the students for the national exams was wanting and thus needs to be addressed. The teachers are themselves important stakeholders in the school as the primary managers of the pupils and, hence, their inputs and recommendations should be considered by the SMCs. It is recommended that studies be done on; the influence of school management committees on teacher mobility in primary schools and the role of the school management committees in encouraging pupil retention in primary schools.
- School of Education