Teacher Evaluation of the Principal's Leadership Characteristics Related to Computer Studies Implementation in Rongo District, Kenya

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the principal's leadership characteristics related to computer studies implementation in selected secondary schools in Rongo district, Kenya. The study investigated the principal's computer proficiency and attitude towards the computer studies in their schools. This study adopted a comparative descriptive research design which compared the variables influencing the implementation of computer studies in schools that were teaching computer studies and those that were not. Twelve selected secondary schools participated in this study of which six (6) had implemented and six (6) had not implemented computer studies. One hundred and forty three (143) teachers sampled from the 12 secondary schools took part in the principals' evaluation. The data for the study was collected using questionnaires and were subsequently analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics. The analyzed data was presented in form of tables. It was then interpreted and findings were highlighted. The teachers of the schools that have not implemented computer studies have higher evaluation of the risktaking leadership characteristics of their Principals than the teachers of the schools which have implemented computer studies. However, the Principals of both schools have similar teacher evaluation of their computer proficiency and attitude toward computer studies. These findings imply that computer studies implementation in secondary schools does not necessarily depend on leadership or personal characteristics. Possible further research areas related to technology leadership are suggested: the influence of contextual factors on leadership, technology leadership as viewed from perspectives of different stakeholders, and relationships among various leadership factors.

Keywords: Teacher; Evaluation; Principal; Computer studies; Implementation, computer proficiency, attitude, risk-taking.

INTRODUCTION

Since 1980, integration of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in education has been compulsory in the developed nations, but in the developing nations like Kenya, ICT integration in education is considerably new, small scale and experimental in nature (GOK, 2005). Access to computer facilities is still one of the major challenges in Africa and Kenya in particular. While the ratio of one computer to fifteen students is the norm in most developed countries, the ratio in Africa stood at 1 to 150 students (GOK, 2005). In Kenya, the ratio is 1 computer to 120 students at secondary level (GOK, (MOEST) and Kenya Education sector Support Project - KESSP, 2006).

According to National Alliance Rainbow Coalition (NARC) party election manifesto of 2002, the government pledged a provision of free primary education for all Kenyan children which kicked off in January 2003. While overwhelming challenges in primary schools have overstretched the meagre resources in these schools, the problem was compounded further in 2008 when the Government of Kenya (GOK) came up with the partial free secondary education. This placed more demands on the government and the administration of secondary schools in the implementation of computer studies, most of which have few established computer laboratories and inadequate staff to manage the program at the examination level.

The government is keen to utilise ICT and other resources to increase access to education for all Kenyans. The following background was necessary as key policy on ICTs. For example, in March 2004, the government funded the design and development of the e-govemment strategy to provide a common framework and direction across the public schools and all other sectors. The policy was intended to enhance collaboration within and among government institutions as well as between the business community and the citizens of Kenya in regard to the development and implementation of ICT. The ICT policy (GOK, 2005) indicated that standards would be developed for hardware, software, and training requirements which considered the use of refurbished computers in schools and provided additional guidance as appropriate. …