Influence of principals’ management practices on discipline among students in public secondary schools in Matungulu Sub-County, Machakos County, Kenya
Malonza, Bernard Itumo
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School principals play an important role in the socialization process of students from where they learn to regulate their own conduct, respect others, manage their time responsibly and thus become responsible citizens. However, the situation is different in Matungulu Sub-county with rising cases of students’ indiscipline. Thus, the purpose of this study was to assess the influence of principals’ management practices on students’ discipline in public secondary schools in Matungulu Sub-county, Machakos County, Kenya. The study was guided by the open systems theory and assertive discipline theory. The study applied mixed methodology and thus adopted concurrent triangulation design. The study targeted 44 principals, 44 senior teachers and 620 student leaders from which 22 principals, 22 senior teachers and 243 student leaders were sampled. Student questionaires and principals and senior teachers interview guides were used to collect data, whereas magnitude and frequency of indiscipline incidences were collated through document analysis. Content and construct validity of research instruments were ascertained through scrutiny by two university supervisors. Reliability of the instruments was determined using test retest technique. Qualitative data were analyzed thematically along the objectives and presented in narrative forms. Quantitative data were analyzed descriptively using frequencies and percentages and inferentially using linear regression analysis with the aid of Statistical Packages for Social Science (SPSS 23). The study established that levels of indiscipline among students in public secondary schools were very high. In one of the schools, there were 22 incidences of students unrests/class boycotts in a span of two years. Most of unrests were linked to school food, rules and regulations, school routine and lack of dialogue. In most of the schools students were not involved in setting school routine, food menu and school rules. Additionally, most principals communicated by delivering harangues during morning assemblies and hardly initiated the recommended two way communication through open barazas. All the formulated null hypotheses were rejected signifying that all the independent variables had a significance influence on the students’ discipline. The study cocluded that most public secondary schools in Matungulu Sub-county were yet to embrace participatory leadership. The study findings may form basis for enhanced involvement of students in school management. The study recommends that principals should involve students more in decision-making, motivate and empower peer counselors and manifest behavior patterns which help them reinforce a desirable behavior among students.
Africa Nazarene University