Mito Everlyne Atieno and Enose M.W. Simatwa
Every year, the Teachers Service Commission appoints new principals to manage schools in Bondo District whenever vacancies arise due to natural attrition, demotion and resignation. The newly appointed principals are expected to perform their duties efficiently and effectively. This is because new employees are enthusiastic and very keen in performance of their duties, furthermore they are appointed to improve the quality of work because they are better trained, have more current education and may have fresh new ideas in management of schools. Nevertheless, being new in their work stations, the newly appointed principals are likely to face challenges in their areas of operation such as finance, personnel, student and curriculum management. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to find out challenges faced by newly appointed principals in the management of public secondary schools in Bondo District, Kenya. A conceptual framework showing dependent, independent and intervening variables of the challenges was used to guide the study. The study employed descriptive survey research design. The study population comprised 22 experienced principals, 6 newly appointed principals, 28 deputy-principals, 249 teachers, 28 Board of Governors chairpersons, 28 Parents Teachers Association chairpersons and 1 District Quality Assurance and Standards Officer. Data was collected using closed-ended and open-ended questionnaires; and in-depth interviews. Face validity of the instruments was established by experts in educational administration. Findings of the study revealed that newly appointed principals in public secondary schools face challenges in the management of students, teachers, finances, support-staff and those that arise from parental involvement in school activities. These challenges included, indiscipline, failure to pay school levies, threats, dropout, staff incompetencies and budgeting among others. Based on the findings, the study recommended that Teachers Service Commission and the Ministry of Education should put in place strategies to help reduce the challenges faced by Newly Appointed Principals such as induction programme for Newly Appointed Principals, in-service courses focusing on Newly Appointed Principals, and pre-service training courses focusing on management issues. The findings of the study are important to stakeholders in education especially educational administrators and policy makers such as Teachers Service Commission and Ministry of Education as it provides them with a needed description of challenges for newly appointed principals which they should consider in developing strategies to help newly appointed principals become effective and efficient managers.
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