TEACHERS’ AND PRINCIPALS’ ATTITUDES TOWARDS SCHOOL INSPECTION IN SELECTED PUBLIC SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN KENYA’S NYANDARUA DISTRICT

ABSTRACT
Great emphasis has been placed on the quality of education in Kenya. The procedure used in quality assurance has been a subject of debate among educationists. Over the years, teachers and principals held negative attitudes towards the approach used in school inspection. They complained that the approach lacked clear objectives and was fault finding rather than trying to identify and improve standards. However, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology published a handbook for inspection in the year 2000, which spelt out the uniform approach to inspection of schools. This study aimed at determining the attitudes of public secondary school teachers towards inspection of schools since the new approach was introduced. The study adopted a cross-sectional research design. Principals and teachers from public secondary schools in Nyandarua District formed the population of the study. A sample of 12 schools was purposively selected out of 34 schools that had been inspected at least once between the year 2000 and 2004. All teachers and principals from selected schools were respondents, forming a sample size of 204. Teachers‟ and Principals‟ Attitudes towards School Inspection Questionnaire (TPASIQ) was used to determine the attitudes of teachers and principals towards school inspection by experience, designation, type of inspection approach and professional qualification. Principals‟ Attitudes towards Inspection on School Management (PAISM) was used to determine principals‟ attitudes towards inspection on school management by size of the schools they headed. A panel of experts in education from Egerton University was used to establish validity of the instrument. The instrument had an α reliability coefficient of 0.795. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used in data analysis from TPASIQ and PAISM. A one way ANOVA, Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient and t-test were used to test the null hypotheses at α = 0.05. The findings of the study showed that there was a significant relationship between type of inspection approach and attitudes of teachers and principals towards inspection. The reseacher concluded that the old approach to school inspection is still in use despite the Ministry‟s new initiative. It is recommended that inspectors require further training and sensitization on the current approach to inspection.

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
Background Information
Teachers play an important role in development and implementation of the curriculum (Ndirangu, 2004). According to the Republic of Kenya (2003), the teacher resource is one of the most important inputs into the education system. Being critical classroom instructional activity and curriculum delivery, they are a critical determinant of educational quality. A report of the sector Review and Development Direction indicated that teachers are among other variables like curriculum, teaching and learning materials, physical facilities and institutional management that impact greatly on the quality of education (Republic of Kenya, 2003). The knowledge, intelligence and professional skills that teachers possess have a direct bearing on the quality of education provided by schools in any country (Ndirangu, 2004; Tisher & Wideen, 1990). Concern about the quality of teaching in schools in East Africa has seen the creation of various commissions appointed to review and evaluate the education systems at all levels and recommend measures and strategies for their improvement (Rarieya & Tukahirwa, 2006).

Though quality, a major concern in education today among parents, employers and the public at large is an abstract concept, there are parameters for measuring it which include what and how it is learnt and examined (Editor Daily Nation, 2004). According to the editor, quality also refers to the ability of graduates to apply what they learnt in real life situations so that they can fit in the world of work and live in harmony with others.

Few people working in education would argue at the beginning of the 21st century for an education system which does not include some process of school inspection (Learmonth, 2000). The importance of inspection in the total education process cannot be overemphasized. According to Commonwealth Secretariat (1998), inspection is important for; ensuring quality, improving and maintaining standards, evaluation of performance of teachers and schools, monitoring instruction, identifying needs of schools, collection of data, provision of professional development for teachers, provision of advice to teachers and providing feedback to the Ministry of Education and other stakeholders. The Kamunge Report of 1988 underscored the importance of inspectorate and went further to recommend the training of head teachers as the first line of inspectors of their schools (Republic of Kenya, 1988). Inspections provide an independent, external evaluation of the quality and standards of the school, its management and the development of its pupils (Office for Standards in Education, 2003).

Previously, inspection of schools was authoritarian and autocratic and was intended for maintaining and for observance of departmental rules (Mohanty, 2002). Inspectors were seen as fault-finders who were mainly interested in reporting teachers to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MOEST) without giving them any advice to enable them to improve their teaching techniques (Commonwealth Secretariat, 1998). However, present supervisory services are meant to inspire, stimulate, co-ordinate and guide teachers in their professional growth hence promoting initiative, freedom, resourcefulness, belongingness and enthusiasm among teachers, pupils and the community (Mohanty, 2002; Commonwealth Secretariat, 1998; Sisungo, 1988).

The function of inspectorate entails the inspection of schools and teachers to determine if the curriculum is being effectively implemented and if the education programmes are being delivered thus, acting as an important quality audit department (Republic of Kenya, 2000).

However, developing supervision and evaluation systems that are logically safe and that look good on paper will not ensure instructional improvement (Duke & College, 1987). The stress of inspection can be so demoralizing that teachers can become seriously deprofessionalised, even in a school which is not failing and has strong leadership (Jeffrey & Woods, 1996). Cullingford (1999), points out that many schools hope to „survive‟ the experience, but the overload of preparation is bound to lead to anxiety, exhaustion and anticlimax.

Since the establishment of the inspectorate division in Kenya‟s MOEST over thirty years ago, school inspectors have been operating through circulars and guidelines (Republic of Kenya, 2000). As a result, the inspector‟s physical presence had not been felt to the required standards and furthermore, induction courses that they went through lacked comprehensive programme or definitive training packages which may not have given the inspectors adequate inspectoral skills (Republic of Kenya, 2000).

According to the Republic of Kenya (2000), research carried out before the publication of a handbook for inspection, indicated that teachers mistrusted the inspectors for several reasons. The inspection visit was often poorly planned and lacked clear objectives, the inspector often seemed to be checking on schools rather than trying to identify and improve standards, and that focus was mainly on building administrative systems rather than teaching and learning. Lack of professional support led to low morale on the part of teachers, many of whom complained that they were just „gropping‟ in the dark

From the foregoing, there is a possibility that teachers expected to receive inspectoral services and hence improve their output or performance, may not be fully benefiting. That not withstanding, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, in collaboration with the British Government through Strengthening Primary Education (SPRED) project II, published a handbook for inspection of educational institutions. According to the Chief Inspector of Schools (2000), the document empowered the inspectors to adopt a principle-centred leadership approach in their supervising rule in quality assurance.

According to Nyandarua District Education Officer, the District Education Board (DEB) has been convening annual educational stakeholders meetings since the year 2000. During these meetings, the MOEST officials, members of Parliament, civic leaders, members of Parents Teachers Association (PTA) and Board of Governors (BOG), principals and teachers of secondary schools review the general performance of schools in Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination for the preceding year and discuss way forward for the improvement of education standards in the district. The discussions are guided by the school inspection panel reports.

The main objectives of this inspection exercise centres around assessment of each school‟s performance, benchmarks and advising the stakeholders. According to Republic of Kenya (2004), the benchmarks focused upon are effectiveness of school management and administration in managing the physical and financial resources of their schools, quality and effective supervision of curriculum implementation, adequacy and relevance of school‟s infrastructure towards welfare of learners, teaching and non-teaching staff, quality implementation of co-curricular activities and related activities in promotion of an all round developed individual and quality of implementation of co-curricular and „hidden‟ curricular activities for development of all round individuals. The Panel inspection reports address areas of weaknesses and strengths of schools in general but curriculum areas are given more emphasis. Principals and teachers are allowed to express their opinion on areas that need to be prioritised in promoting education. However, in spite of the Ministry of education‟s new initiative, the question that may be raised is what attitudes teachers and principals in secondary schools hold towards school inspection.

Statement of the Problem
Before the year 2000, school inspectors in Kenya operated through circulars, which were not regular and did not offer uniform recommendations. They were issued by particular officers and their content had diverse directives depending on what the officer saw as the problems. When inspectors went to schools, they focused more on fault finding instead of advising and encouraging teachers. Consequently, the teachers felt threatened and because they mistrusted the inspectors, they rarely made their views known for fear of being reprimanded (Republic of Kenya, 2000). They had negative attitudes towards school inspection. Due to these inconsistencies in the circulars, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology published a handbook for inspection which provided recommendations that were not contradictory.

Panel inspection, which involved fewer but more effective school inspectors was emphasised. However, it was not clear whether the new approach was sensitive to the teachers‟ and principals‟ teaching experience, designation, professional qualification and size of the schools which the principals headed. There was inadequate information in terms of the extent to which the new initiative had changed teachers‟ attitudes. If this information were known it would have improved school inspection by ensuring that teachers‟ feelings, suggestions and recommendations are taken into account. This study sought to determine the attitudes of public secondary school teachers and principals towards school inspection in Nyandarua District using the panel approach.

Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study was to determine the attitudes of selected public secondary school teachers and principals in Nyandarua District towards school inspection. The study sought to determine differences in attitudes towards school inspection by teachers‟ and principals‟ professional qualification, experience, designation, school size which the principal heads and the type of inspection approach.

Objectives of the Study
The study was guided by the following objectives:

(i). To determine whether type of inspection approach is related to teachers‟ and principals‟ attitudes towards school inspection.

(ii). To determine whether there was a difference in attitudes towards school inspection among teachers and principals by their teaching experience.

(iii). To determine whether there was a difference in attitudes towards school inspection among teachers‟ and principals‟ by their professional qualifications.

(iv). To determine whether there was a difference in attitudes towards school inspection between teachers and principals.

(v). To determine whether there was a difference in attitudes towards inspection on school management among principals by school size.

Hypotheses
The objectives of the study were achieved by testing the following hypotheses at 0.05 alpha level.

H01 Type of inspection approach has no statistically significant relationship with teachers‟ and principals‟ attitudes towards school inspection.

H02 There is no statistically significant difference in attitudes towards school inspection among teachers and principals by their teaching experience.

H03 There is no statistically significant difference in attitudes towards school inspection among teachers and principals by their professional qualification.

H04 There is no statistically significant difference in attitudes towards school inspection between teachers and principals

H05 There is no statistically significant difference in attitudes towards inspection on school management among principals by school size.

Significance of the Study
A new approach to school inspection requires new skills and insight that help teachers improve their instructional programmes, both curricular and co-curricular through the practices of better teaching methods. This study is expected to provide a framework for doing that and to offer school inspectors an opportunity to evaluate their work performance through teachers‟ and principals‟ attitudes towards them. It will provide an opportunity to education policy formulators to assess the impact of the inspection approaches in facilitating the provision of quality and standards of education in schools. On the basis of the findings, teachers‟ suggestions would be useful in improving the new approach to schools inspection.

Scope of the Study
The study was carried out in provincial and district secondary schools in Nyandarua District. This was because most teachers and principals in these schools are employed by Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and are likely to have had a continuous teaching service, holding various responsibilities in their current or previous schools. These teachers and principals have varying teaching experiences and qualifications. They have been inspected either using previous approach which involved close monitoring, fault finding, autocratic and authoritarianism or current approach which is self directing, advisory, allows for teacher creativity and democratic.

Limitations of the Study
The findings of this study might not be generalised as applicable to all teachers and principals in all types of schools including private secondary school teachers who are rarely panel inspected. However, the study might be useful to anyone interested in the area of school inspection. Secondly, because of the current on going restructuring of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, changes are expected to take place and the inspectorate department might be added other responsibilities in formulation and implementation of education programmes in Kenya.

Assumptions of the Study
For the purpose of this study, the researcher made the following assumptions:

(i) All teachers and principals from the selected schools were serving in their current stations when school inspection took place.

(ii) Respondents would be frank in giving information when filling in the questionnaires.

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Item Type: Kenyan Material  |  Attribute: 102 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: KSh900  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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