Extent of student council involvement in decision making in public secondary school programmes Kwale County-Kenya
Karani, Haron Mwabwanga
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The purpose of this study was to find out student council involvement in decision making in public secondary school programs of Kwale County, Kenya. The study investigated the extent to which student council members are involved in management and decision making of key school programs to fill the knowledge gap between theory and practice. This study was of a descriptive research design. The target population was a total of 924 executive student council members in the 77 public secondary schools of Kwale County while the sample size was 147respondents. Purposive sampling was employed because of the small size of population and the need to study its characteristics intensively. Student council members from 21 schools were selected on the basis that, representation of boys and girls in the student council was not uniform but was a factor of intervening variables such as student leadership abilities, school culture and school administration attitudes. The data collection tool was a close-ended questionnaire based on five point Likert scale. When Cronbach’s alpha reliability coefficient was verified for the research tool, the results produced a reliability coefficient of 0.819. Validity of the research tool was established by engaging education professionals on the relevance of the questions to the study. Data analysis was done using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences and MS Excel spreadsheet software. The results were presented in frequency tables and percentage. This study revealed that the highest proportion of the student council members perceived non-involvement in administrative programs. This is extreme in financial budgeting, construction of physical facilities and employment of school workers whereby students mainly perceived they are never involved. Further, the study established that majority of the student council members suggested lack of adequate involvement in academic programs decision making by the students. To a large extent, the study indicated that students perceived non-involvement in deciding guidance and counseling programs. Also, the study established inadequate involvement in co-curricular decisions by the student councils. This is acute in games clinics, determination of training time and also in writing and directing of plays and songs. Generally, the study revealed that student councils members were not adequately involved in administrative, academic, co-curricular and guidance and counseling programs decision making. In all cases there was however a notable indication that the student council is somehow involved in all the four program areas being investigated. The school administrators therefore need to involve student leadership in all the four key areas of the study in promoting achievement of school goals. Further research needs to be done on how non-involvement of the student council in decision making impacts on cohesion and the general school climate. In conclusion, student council perception of involvement in school programs decision making was below average.