PERCEPTIONS OF SCHOOL MANAGERS ON ROLE OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY IN EDUCATIONAL MANAGEMENT IN PUBLIC SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN KAKAMEGA COUNTY, KENYA

ABSTRACT
Kenya is among those countries that have adopted the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) as a vehicle for educational change and improvement. Use of ICTs is known for transforming the quality of management of educational institutions worldwide. The government has encouraged investment in ICTs through the provision of grants to selected secondary schools to acquire computers. Secondary schools in Kakamega County have been beneficiaries of these grants. However, information on how these ICTs were used in educational management in schools remains unclear. The purpose of this study was to investigate the perceptions of school managers on role of ICTs in Educational Management in public secondary schools in Kakamega County. The study was guided by Rodgers Diffusion and Innovation Theory. Descriptive survey research design was used for the study. The study population comprised of 360 Heads of Departments, 45 Principals and 45 Directors of Studies from 45 public secondary schools that had benefited from ICTs grant. Using Stratified, purposive and simple random sampling techniques, a representative sample of 161 respondents comprising of 23 Principals, 23 Directors of Studies and 115 Heads of Departments (HODs) was selected to participate in the study. Three questionnaires, one for each category of respondents were used to collect data. Validity of the instruments was determined through expert judgment. Cronbach Alpha was used to estimate the reliability of the instruments. From the pilot, HODs, DOS and principals instruments had a coefficient Alpha of 0.889, 0.904 and 0.952 respectively. These were greater than recommended value of 0.70 which is acceptable for research purposes in Social Science research thereby making these research instruments reliable. Data was analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20. Results showed that schools that received grants had a variety of ICT facilities such as desktop and laptop computers, printers, LCD projectors and internet facilities. The study further showed that these facilities were inadequate. However, over 60% of these schools had acquired additional facilities from their own resources to meet their needs. These facilities were used mainly in instructional management such as the analysis of examination results, preparing of students mark sheets, generating report cards and revision materials. Besides, ICT was also used in financial and general administrative management though on a lesser extent. It was found that majority of respondents had no formal academic training in the use of ICT but had gained literacy through experience outside the formal learning. All respondents had received short in-service training to equip them with skills on ICT use. The use of ICT in educational management had made the school management more efficient therefore beneficial in educational management. The study recommends that the government to incorporates ICT training in teacher training colleges and increase time duration for in service training to enhance their integration capacity in school management as it was inadequate which is reason for inadequate use of computers in schools. Stakeholders should also put more effort towards improving and equipping schools with ICT facilities. These findings are useful to school managers, Ministry of Education and other stakeholders in education who are interested in promoting ICT use in school management.

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
Background to the Study
The world continues to rely greatly on technology because of the ever increasing changes brought about by demand for work to be done. Change is inevitable in any growth- oriented industry, and education sector is no exception (Unachukwu & Nwankwo, 2012). The rapid growth in the field of education has made governance in schools a very complex task. This however could be made simpler through the use of the latest technology for communication known as Information and Communication Technology (ICT) (Menjo & Boit, 2010).

Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are technologies which facilitate communication resulting in the processing and transmission of information electronically, which is more efficient than traditional modes of handling information. These ICTs include technologies and methods for storing, managing and processing as well as communicating information (Unachukwu & Nwankwo, 2012). Adebayo and Adesope (2007) describe ICT as a scientific, technological, and engineering and management technologies used in the handling, processing of information and applications related to computers. Omondi (2010) observed that today, the computer is one of these technologies that most people use in their everyday lives. ICTs could enhance the flow of information in a school in order to improve management decision making. To accomplish many of the school administrative and managerial tasks today, the use of ICTs has been advocated (Oloo, 2009). It has been argued that they are essential tools in almost every field of human endeavour because of their capabilities such as capturing, processing, storing and displaying information besides increasing productivity and competitiveness through information provision (Salerno, 2009). Preston and Cox (2000) argue that the importance of ICT is widely recognised both in schools and at home. While agreeing with this, Zhao and Frank (2003) add that ICT has contributed greatly to educational management in schools worldwide due to its role in the effectiveness, efficiency and quality service delivery in schools.

ICTs have revolutionized the way people work today and are now transforming educational systems (Watson,1998). Application of ICTs in education has gained a great momentum globally. In the USA and Canada, the use of Information and Communication Technologies accounts for 85 percent of its use in schools management (Braak, 2006).Computers infiltrated into the American schools in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s as a result of calls for educational reforms based on understanding that education needed to resolve a previous unknown deficiency called “ Computer Literacy”. However, more importantly, computers were perceived in the U.S.A to have the potential to revolutionalise school management as well as teaching and learning just as they revolutionalised many other aspects of modern life in the country (Omondi, 2010). In addition, introduction of ICT into schools brought great expectations for educational improvement (Tubin, 2011). Oppenheimer (2004), in Tubin, (2011) observes that in 1990’s alone the U.S.A spent 90 billion dollars on ICT in schools. This is because Information and Communication Technology is widely touted as not only being the backbone of modern school management, but an important catalyst for effective management and resource utilization (Pelgrum, 2001).

African countries are slowly integrating Information and communication technologies in the schools (Omondi, 2010). For example, the Ethiopian government provided 500 senior secondary schools with television broadcasting equipment as a way of enhancing the schools ICT infrastructure. In South Africa, the government has mandated schools to create computer media and resource centres so that teachers can use InformationandCommunication Technologies in managing school tasks (Van derwal& Pienaan,1996). In Botswana ICTs have changed management approachesas a principal in an office could multi-task and receive information from all corners of the school within a very short time (Batne, 2002). On the other hand, Tanzania has only a few private secondary schools around urban settings, especially in Dar es Salaam, that have access to ICTs.

Administrative and managerial operations in educational institutions rely heavily on information management for decision making (Makhanu & Kamper, 2012). Unachukwu and Nwankwo (2012) argue that schools require information to manage three main components namely students’, staff and general administration. ICT has tremendous potential to revolutionize the way information and knowledge is managed and communicated (Unachukwu & Nwankwo, 2012).

The potential of ICT to enhance human capabilities and revolutionize the management of organizations was first realized in the business world and in the military (Menjo &Boit, 2010). Importance of ICT contribution is also felt and recognized in the work place all over the world (Outa, Etta & Aligula, 2006). ICT therefore, has become a vital enabling tool that can no longer be ignored in the management of schools because quality and effectiveness of leadership make the difference between the success and failure of a school (Musungu & Nasongo, 2008).

Managing students’ and teachers’ affairs require reliable, timely and user friendly data ( Maki, 2008). ICT facilitates the keeping and managing of school records both for students and teachers. Student records include continuous assessment tests ( CATs ) marksheets, examination results analysis, fees, school attendance and disciplinary records as well as students’ bio-data. Teachers use ICTs administratively for record keeping, reporting students’ achievement, communicating with students, colleagues, parents among others. They also use ICT for lesson preparation. Maintaining data on staff and schools’ physical infrastructure such as number of classrooms and their capacities as well as financial records are important in order to help school administrators to streamline operations, monitor performance and improve use of physical and human resources (Salerno,2009).

Use of ICT in curriculum implementation enables teachers to find ready-made learning resources from the internet, create their own learning materials and engage students in the use of technologies for their indivindualized learning (Omondi, 2010). Additionally, computers are used in searching and evaluating information, carrying out experiments and simulations. Other aspects as allocation of teachers’ workloads, timetabling and efficient curriculum routine checks are operational ICT benefits in schools. Besides, ICT is crucial in the preparations and processing of examinations together with report cards. ICTs use assists and enables principals in keeping inventory records and undertaking of financial transactions (Menjo & Boit, 2010). These include donations and fees collection, and their utilization. This assists schools in effective and efficient financial management through structured approach that assists in decision making. Historically, the system of governance is based on sound record keeping so that irrespective of the executive head, the records forms the basis for governance, control and decision making (Ahmad, 2013)

Integrating ICT in educational management facilitates quick communication and ensures the running of schools is more efficient, modern and reduces bureaucratic burden ( Makhanu & Kamper , 2012). More than other technologies, computers related technologies have the potential to support and promote communication among schools, parents, central decision makers and businesses, thus fostering accountability, public support, and connectivity with the market place.

While ICT can do a lot in school administration and management, available data suggest that the majority of developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa are lagging behind in the information revolution despite tremendous progress in the field (Zhao& Frank, 2008). Not surprisingly, the quest for adoption of ICT in educational management has been problematic and would require fundamental policy interventions, availability of ICTs in schools and clinical supervision until take off is guaranteed ( Makhanu & Kamper, 2012)

Secondary schools in Kenya are increasingly becoming complex multidimensional organizations with lots of human, financial and physical resources. Management of such an array of resources is bound to overwhelm the abilities of today’s principals if they are not aided in the performance of their duties by technology. These developments therefore dictate that schools modernize their tools of conducting business to enhance management and leadership effectiveness (Menjo & Boit, 2010).

Kenya is one of the African countries that have put considerable emphasis on ICTs in education to address the concerns of efficiency, effectiveness and quality service delivery (Kukali, 2010). The government of Kenya has made progress towards transformation of all educational institutions in the country to be ICT compliant as attested by the interest shown on ICT in the number of government policy documents (Republic of Kenya 2001, 2005). In 2005, the ministry of education developed a Kenya Education Sector Support Programme (KESSP) that highlighted ICT as one of the priority areas in educational management aimed at mainstreaming ICTs in school management (MOE, 2005). In 2006, Kenya developed an ICT policy aimed at improving the livelihood of Kenyans by ensuring the availability of accessible, efficient, reliable and affordable ICT services (MOEST, 2005).

The KESSP considers ICT as one of the priority investment programme and catered for financial resources for ICT which gave rise to ICT grant in schools. Indeed the last two decades have witnessed a lot of effort by the government of Kenya towards the realization of transforming all educational institutions in the country to be ICT compliant. The government is currently in the process of supplying free laptops for standard one pupils in schools across the country. This laptop project is among the many government initiatives to integrate ICT in schools for curriculum delivery and in management. To make the project succeed, the government intends to digitize school curriculum, train teachers and provide the laptops. Wanjala (2013) in her research on teachers’ perceptions on the use of ICT in management observes that the government through the ministry of education had made great initiatives towards developing ICT infrastructure in secondary schools by providing grants for computer laboratories and provision of ICT facilities.

Secondary schools in Kakamega County have been acquiring computers through purchase or donations since the 1990s. This has been enhanced by the government of Kenya through the economic stimulus program which was a pilot programme that targeted 45 schools in the County in 2011. The secondary schools were each given a grant of Kshs. 877,500 to purchase ICT equipment (MOEST, 2012). The grant was to assist schools to buy ICTs in order to improve schools’ managerial efficiency and effectiveness thereby achieve their set goals, which had not been a priority in Kenyan schools (Menjo & Boit, 2010). In view of these efforts by the government of Kenya to embrace ICT in education, this study therefore seeks to investigate what ICT tools are available in secondary schools in Kakamega County and how they are used in educational management.

Although ICT has contributed greatly to educational management in schools worldwide as observed by Zhao and Frank (2008), there is limited use of ICTs in school management in Kenya (Menjo & Boit 2010). This is attributed to a myriad of challenges facing many schools with regard to adoption of ICTs in educational management. This has resulted to a slow rate of adoption of technology despite its promise and potential for use in educational management in schools (Makhanu & Kamper, 2012).

What is of most concern is that ICT literacy among school managers is also very low, especially those that live in the rural or remote parts of Kenya (Menjo & Boit, 2010). Despite the investment by the government on ICTs for schools, there is very little information on availability, adoption and use of ICT in educational management of schools in Kakamega county and how these affects the management of public secondary schools in the area.

Statement of the Problem
The adoption and use of ICTs in educational management in developing countries remains elusive despite a decade of large scale investment in ICTs. Kenya Vision 2030, which is intended to make Kenya a middle level economy by lowering cost of doing business, improving quality of services provided, improving security and providing Kenyans with a friendly working environment, has placed ICT in schools at the centre of achieving the vision. The Ministry of education has made remarkable initiatives towards this end by providing ICT equipment to five selected public secondary schools in every constituency in the country. Kakamega County benefited by having 45 selected public secondary schools from its nine constituencies receiving a grant of Kshs. 877,500 for each school to purchase ICT equipment in the year 2011 as a pilot project that would later be rolled out to all secondary schools in Kenya. These ICT facilities were intended to be used both for teaching / learning and in educational management in these counties. While the benefits of ICT in school management cannot be disputed, there is limited data on the use of these ICTs to facilitate school management in Kakamega County. This study was intended to provide information to fill this gap.

Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study was to establish perceptions of school managers on role of the information and communication technology in educational management in public schools in Kakamega County, Kenya.

The Objectives of the Study
The objectives of this study were to:

i) Establish the availability of ICTs in public secondary schools in Kakamega County for educational management.

ii) Establish perceptions on teachers ICT literacy levels in public secondary schools in Kakamega County.

iii) Determine the perceptions on the role played by ICTs in educational management in public secondary schools in Kakamega County

iv) Assess teachers perceptions on the role of ICTs in educational management in public secondary schools in Kakamega County

v) Investigate the perceptions on challenges facing ICT implementation in educational management in public secondary schools in Kakamega County.

Research Questions
The study sought to answer the following questions:

i) What ICT facilities were available in public secondary schools in Kakamega County for educational management ?

ii) What were the perceptions on ICT literacy levels among teachers in public secondary schools in Kakamega County?

iii) What were the perceived roles of ICTs in educational management in public secondary schools in Kakamega County?

iv) What were the perceptions of school managers on the role of ICTs in the educational management in public secondary schools in Kakamega County?

v) What were the perceived challenges in ICT implementation in educational management in public secondary schools in Kakamega County?

Significance of the Study
Although this research was conducted among the 45 public secondary schools in Kakamega county that have benefited from ICT grants, the outcome of this research would provide new insights that would enable Ministry of Education to engage in more effective measures of ICT policy implementation which may include prioritizing and equipping managers with knowledge and skills necessary for successful ICT implementation. The findings of the research are likely to assist the Ministry to identify and consequently address some of the challenges that inhibit effective implementation of ICT in educational management. Additionally, the findings of the study may inform the

Ministry of education of the need to provide more ICT grants for the purchase of more ICT facilities.

The findings may also provide public secondary schools’ administrators with information that would assist them lead the way for ICT implementation in educational management. This in turn would raise ICT profile in educational management in schools.

The study would help the future researchers to make references to this work with the aim of building more knowledge in the field of ICT and education management. The study may further provoke scholars in the field of education to carry out more research on ICTs in schools or stimulate debate and search for solutions to challenges affecting ICTs policy implementation in public secondary schools in Kenya.

Scope of the Study
This study was limited to public secondary schools in Kakamega County sampled from public secondary schools that received grants to purchase ICT facilities which at the time of this study were 45 schools in total. This study was confined to principals, directors of studies and heads of departments, all totalling to 450. Directors of Studies and Heads of Departments were involved in the study because they deal with curriculum management and academic affairs of students hence they would be in apposition to provide objective opinion on availability and use of ICTs in schools. The study was conducted in 23 public secondary schools selected from the 45 public secondary schools that benefited from ICT grants in the County using, questionnaires. The study specifically sought to establish the availability and use of ICTs and their perceived influence on Educational Management in Secondary Schools in Kakamega County.

Assumptions of the Study
For the study to elicit the required responses, the following assumptions were made:

i) The respondents that were involved in the study were honest in providing the needed information on ICT use for educational management.

ii) There are some educational management tasks in public secondary schools that require the use of ICT

iii) Most school managers were trained and are ICT literate.

iv) The ICTs are already an integrated part of sampled school data processing at all levels

Limitations
The study was limited to public secondary schools in Kakamega County that had received the grant to purchase ICT facilities and so only the views of the principals, directors of studies and HODs from these schools were considered in this study. The views of other stakeholders including teachers were not considered, even though their views could compliment or even contradict the views that were received from the respondents.

Further, the use of questionnaires as in this study is known to have limitations as to the accuracy of the information that may be obtained from the cross-section of the respondents (Mugenda & Mugenda, 2003). Thus only a few schools were studied. The findings of this research were therefore only generalizable to schools with similar characteristics and educational setup. This limitation was addressed by choosing a sample size that is highly representative.

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