The Effectiveness of head Teachers in their Managerial Roles in a dual Administrative School System: The Case of selected schools in Army Aided High Schools in Zambia
Phiri, Ameck Chilembwe
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Head teachers play a pivotal role in the management of schools as they are an important conduit between government and the community. As such, they are supposed to be adequately trained in Education Management for purposes of managerial effectiveness. As leaders, they should possess managerial skills such as vision, delegation, organizational and resource management, communication, policy formulation and analysis, motivation and conflict resolution to mention but a few. Head teachers in Army-aided High Schools are appointed by the Director of Education of the Zambia Army as opposed to the Ministry of Education where they are appointed by the Teaching Service Commission. As such they are faced with the dichotomy of reporting to different systems that is, the Zambia Army (highly bureaucratic, commandist and formalized) and the Ministry of Education (liberal). Furthermore, these Head teachers do not have relevant Management training. This problem is compounded by their (Head teachers) being weaned from the normal school system at an early stage. This poses an administrative challenge as they are out of touch with current trends in the normal school system. This study found out the views of immediate stakeholders in Army-aided High Schools on the effectiveness of selected Head teachers in their managerial roles. The sample was drawn from three provinces, four districts and four High Schools. All the Schools were headed by male Head teachers who were military personnel. The sample had a total of 115 respondents drawn as follows: four Head teachers; 40 teachers (male and female) who included Heads of Departments; 70 pupils (male and female) and one senior officer from the Directorate of Education of the Zambia Army. Data on the roles of the Head teachers were derived from questionnaires and interviews with Head teachers. A number of variables relevant to managerial effectiveness were used. These included: i.Delegation ii. Vision iii. Communication iv. Resource Management V. Accountability/transparency vi.Motivation vii.Conflict Management viii. Monitoring and Assessment ix.Staff Turnover. From the responses and views of the respondents, the overall analysis was that Head teachers in Army-aided High Schools were not as effective as they ought to be because they were not trained in Education Management. Against this background, there is need for the Education Directorate (Zambia Army) to sponsor them. The study also revealed the following:a.There were no relevant teaching/learning materials which were current, and these were in short supply. b.The dual administrative school system did not have any negative effect on the managerial effectiveness of these Head teachers. c.Pupils were generally satisfied with the management of the dual administrative School system. Although the majority of these Head teachers were not university graduates and had not been adequately trained in Education Management, the seminars organized annually by the Directorate of Education of the Zambia Army greatly sharpened their skills. Furthermore, the Head teachers would be more effective if there was policy harmonization between the Zambia Army and the Ministry of Education.
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