Influence of head teachers’ leadership styles on pupils’ academic performance in selected public and grant aided secondary schools in eastern province of Zambia..

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Phiri, Eunice
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The University of Zambia
This study explored the influence of head teacher’s leadership styles on pupil academic performance in grant aided and public schools in Zambia. A Case study design which used mixed method embedded correlational model was employed. Data was collected using semi-structured questionnaires and interviews. The sample consisted of 95 respondents, 84 Teachers, 6 Head teachers and 5 Education Standard Officers at the district level. The head teachers and teachers were drawn from three grant aided and three public schools in the Eastern province of Zambia. Purposive sampling procedure was used to select the schools and the Head teachers while simple random sampling was used to select the teachers. Qualitative data was analysed through thematic analysis. While quantitative data was processed and analysed using Statistical Package for Social Science(SPSS 16.0) and Microsoft Excel 2013 to generate frequencies, graphs and percentages. Overall, the study established that the head teachers from grant aided schools exhibited democratic to autocratic leadership styles while their counterparts from public schools were more of autocratic to laissez-faire type of leadership. The study further established that teachers from grant-aided schools alluded their schools good academic performance to their Head teachers leadership styles which are exhibited through rewarding performing teachers and pupils, supervising teachers activities in schools, interacting freely with teachers and prioritising the buying of teaching and learning material for the school. On the other hand, the study also established that teachers from public schools alluded their schools average performance to their head teacher’s leadership styles exhibited through inadequate supervision and not rewarding performing teachers as well as not prioritising the buying of teaching and learning materials for the school. Furthermore, the study established that from 2014 -2016 grant-aided schools have been performing better (above 98 %) while public school have been performing average (below 60%). The discrepancy in performance is attributed to a number of factors emanating from the choice of leadership style adopted by head teachers such as: inadequate supervision, inadequate and inappropriate teaching and learning materials, over enrolment, learner and teacher absenteeism among other factors. Based on the findings, the study recommended that: Ministry of Education should make education management training mandatory to all Head teachers. This will help them enhance their leadership skills and in turn improve pupil academic performance. Education officers through Head teachers Associations should encourage Head teachers of grant-aided schools to twin with Head teachers from public secondary schools as a way of urging them to learn from each other. Head teachers in public secondary schools to ensure that internal monitoring is taken serious and themselves should demonstrate this by supervising teacher’s and pupils academic activities in school frequently this will make teachers to be proactive in their duties. Furthermore, Head teachers should make the procurement of teaching and learning materials in schools a first priority in order for the school to have sufficient academic resources. Head teachers should also develop a culture of rewarding performing teachers and pupils in school. This will in turn develop intrinsic motivation in both teachers and pupils.
Leadership styles. , Leadership styles of head teachers.