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Role of Head Teachers in Education

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Kanunga High School teacher addresses students Kanunga High School teacher addresses students

The education system in Kenya is examination oriented whereby a student is judged by the outcome of his final year examination results. Schools are not judged by the number of students who go through their doors but by the number of students who perform well in national examinations thereby determining the quality of a school. One factor that influences students performances in national examinations is the leadership and organizational management of individual schools.

In order to improve students’ performance, head teachers are required to improve the management of the school in general.  This can be done by setting a clear vision for the school and communication the vision to all the stake holders involved including teachers, students and parents who then support the fulfillment of the vision.  This is done by giving instructional leadership, provide resources and be visible in every part of the institution that account for the students academic performance.

There is a direct link between head teachers’ leadership styles and students’ academic performance not only in Kenyan but throughout the world in general.  Identifying the leadership styles used by head teachers of both primary and secondary schools helps in establishing whether the head teachers’ leadership styles plays a role in students’ academic performance in The Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) and Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) country wide.

One of the roles of a head teacher is to promote students’ academic performance.  They provide professional leadership for quality and improved standards of learning.  Motivation can be used as one of the strategies in academic excellence.   Some of the motivational strategies used by head teachers in academic achievement in secondary schools involve rewards, guiding and counseling, special recommendations to motivate teachers. It is recommended that head teachers enhance teacher motivation in order to achieve good academic results.

According to Sushila (2004), a scholar says the head teacher is the leader in a school, the pivot around which many aspects of the school revolve, and the person in charge of every detail of the running of the school be it academic or administrative. The head teacher should be involved in making most of the decisions of the school. It is therefore important that, the head teacher is a leader, a thinker and a decision maker. A discreet head teacher will employ teamwork as a working strategy. S/he will set up committees and smaller groups of members of staff to investigate ideas or strategies. It therefore behoves the head teacher to be a good team player upon whom the performance of a school is appraised.

Kwakwa (1973),also a scholar describes the head teacher as the keeper of keys, the director of transportation, the coordinator of correspondence, the quartermaster of stores, the divisor of intricate schedules, the publisher of handbooks, the director of public relations and the instructional leader; the head teacher is a key person in any education system. S/he takes care of the final arrangements for the education of students in a school. His/her role cannot be taken for granted.

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