A comparative study of the effectiveness of trained management Headteachers with those untrained: A study of selected Schools of Chongwe District

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Mbobola, Alfred
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Considering the invaluable roles and contributions of education to meaningful individual, social and national development, nobody will dispute the fact that its proper management and administration by competent leaders should be a national concern. MOE (1996) identifies education management as a priority in order to make schools effective, efficient and qualitative in nature.The Ministry notes that ‘… excellence is not something that happens to a school; it is something that must be deliberately and painstakingly created and maintained …’Most government schools in the country were run on trial and error basis by school managers with less or no managerial skills. The majority of the head teachers were promoted to positions of head teacher with almost no skills of instructional leadership or educational management of running public organizations which resulted in standards falling; misinterpretation of government policies, compromising quality, low performance of learners to the next grade, and inefficiency in service delivery. By 1990, Zambia had joined the rest of the world in automating the educational sector in management and educational leadership skills in order to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2013. Despite the fact that some head teachers have had skills in management and leadership; this has had very little impact on the effective running of public educational institutions. Government’s desire is to have public educational institutions run by officers who understand the needs of the community, and with a passion of realization of government policies.Most schools in the country are in the state where they are in terms of leadership development due to poor managerial relationships with subordinates and the clients. A series of studies have been undertaken on many issues relating to Education Leadership and Management of government institutions yet few researchers have explored the issue of comparing the effectiveness of head teachers trained in Education Leadership Management Courses with their counterparts who have not been trained in selected, primary and secondary schools.The study used the qualitative and quantitative research designs. It targeted school head teachers of primary and secondary schools, those trained in Educational Leadership Management and their counterparts without any form of management skills, teachers, pupils and parents. A sample was drawn using purposive and random sampling procedures.Questionnaires, interview guides, focus group discussions were some tools used to collect data. Quantitative data were analyzed into descriptive statistics with the help of the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software while qualitative data were transcribed and summarized into narrative reports for easy understanding.The study discovered that government schools had a serious shortfall of skilled educational leadership management human resources to run government institutions with a vision and passion to bring about positive change in the learning institutions and hence the need to train and re-train in- service staff in educational leadership management. Government to enact a statutory law through parliament that promotion to headship be based on passing an administrative programme from a recognized institution. Introduction of short intensive leadership and management courses. The study also discovered that there was poor parenting/guidance and high poverty levels in some communities contributing to a fall in the standard of education in the country, hence the need to involve Ministries like Community development Mother and Child Heath, Home affairs and Defense.
School Management and Organization , In-service training