Factors influencing the performance of female headteachers in relation to national examination results: a case of Sinda district of Eastern province, Zambia.
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This was a cross-sectional descriptive study on factors influencing the performance of female headteachers in Sinda District of Zambia. The study sought to explore the school and community-based challenges facing female headteachers. The study used a sample of thirteen female headteachers who were purposively selected for in-depth interviews. Similarly, purposive sampling was used to select Ministry of General Education Officials for expert interviews. Data collected were analyzed thematically and verbatim alongside the themes to amplify the informants' voices. The research findings indicated that female headteachers performed an array of roles over human and material resources, management roles and control of institutional system as well as maintaining the school discipline. School-based factors affecting female headteachers were found to cut across the uncooperative nature of the male staff members as well those in the governing boards and committees‟ delays in government funding for the school projects and material supplies; increased pupil ratio; and discrimination especially at teacher deployment request. The Study concluded that community-based and school-based factors interacted in a mutually reinforced manner. Therefore, they greatly affected the administrative functions of the female headteachers. Similarly, the burden of family care, dual teaching and administrative duties were found to challenge the efficiency of the female headteachers. However, the study noted that the Government's move to introduce compulsory administration and management course played a significant role in improved skills on headteachers necessary for successful school management. The study recommended that the Government through the Ministry of General Education should mount sustained community sensitization programme on supporting the female headteachers in realizing the goals and do away with retrogressive cultural perceptions about the females' leadership abilities. Similarly, there was need to increase the uptake of management courses by junior female headteachers as a means of preparing them for future administrative roles in the schools.
The University of Zambia