Influence of devolved government system on education administration in public schools in Makadara district, Nairobi county.
Julius, Mzungu Otundo
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ABSTRACT Devolution is one form of decentralized governance which aims at ensuring the participation of citizens. Devolution led to devolved government system with each unit being autonomous in nature and governed by the Governor. While some public functions were devolved to the counties others were partially devolved; pre-primary education was devolved to the counties while all other functions of the education sector were left to the national government. This study sought to establish the influence of devolved government system on education administration in public schools in Makadara District, Nairobi County. The study objectives were; to identify effects of devolution on education administration in public schools in Makadara District; to identify strategies employed by the devolved government system on education administration in public schools in Makadara District and to identify challenges faced by education administrators within devolved government system in administering education in public schools in Makadara District. The study used Descriptive survey research design. The target population was 401 respondents who comprised 38 Board of Management representatives, 320 teachers, 38 principals of public schools of Makadara district and education administrators including one District Education Officer, two Quality Assurance and Standards Officers, one Education County Director and one TSC County Director. Cluster sampling then random sampling were done to achieve a sample of 141 respondents used for the study. Two sets of questionnaires and an interview schedule were used as the research instruments for the study. Piloting of the research instruments ensured reliability while expert opinion was used for validity purposes. The data collected was analyzed by use of Statistical Package for Social Sciences and presented in tables. The study found that devolution greatly affect education administration in public schools in Makadara District as it led to better transparency and accountability. There has been schools upgrading and more students have benefited from bursaries. Since students' performance is affected by the administrative function, devolved government system has undertaken various interventions to ensure that school going children attend school such as parent and students' sensitization, provision of basic facilities and lunch programs. It was further deduced that education administrators are faced with numerous challenges within devolved government system in administering education in public schools such as overlap in roles of county government officers and Municipal Education Officers. The study recommends that the Ministry of Education should provide clear guidelines and well outlined job descriptions for each stakeholder in the education system to enhance coordination and avoid conflicting roles. There should be close supervision of the students by the teachers working closely with parents. The parents should also be enlightened on the major role they should play in enhancing their children academic achievement. Further, the monitoring and evaluation interventions should also be enhanced in the area to ensure that the education system in the area is meeting the required standards and according to the set plan.