This study assessed the primary school teachers’ perception of head teachers’ curriculum supervision in primary schools in Emgwen Division of Nandi North District. The study sought to determine the primary school teachers’ perception of the role of head teachers in communication of school mission, involvement in curriculum supervision, visible presence in the school and provision of resources. Research design used was a descriptive survey based on contingency theory of leadership. Proportionate sampling was used to categorize schools according to zones and twenty schools were selected in the five zones. A total one hundred and twenty teachers and twenty head teachers participated in the study .Head teachers were sampled purposively in each school while teachers were sampled randomly from each department. Questionnaires were used in collecting data. A pilot study was done in two schools in the neighboring Kapsabet Division to establish reliability of research instruments whereby test-retest method was used. A correlation coefficient of 0.71 was obtained. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics involving means, standard deviation, percentages and frequencies. Findings revealed that head teachers did not clearly involve teachers in the formulation of the school mission and neither were they involved in curriculum supervision. Furthermore they were not visibly present in every part of the school compound. The Study recommends that the government should provide funds to train head teachers and also provide sufficient resources. Head teachers should clearly explain the school mission and involve teachers in the formulation of the mission. They also have to be in school most of the time. It is expected that the findings of the study will be useful to policy makers and other stakeholders including head teachers and teachers on how to improve leadership
Head teachers are charged by the Ministry of Education (MOE) and their employer, the Teachers’ Service Commission (TSC) with the responsibility of treating teachers as professionals through giving them autonomy to act upon their work, creating a positive climate of high expectations for staff and students, frequent monitoring of results and providing feedback to teachers and students, helping staff to identify and assist students with learning problems. According to Republic of Kenya (2000), being the head of an institution is a very demanding role to play. It involves being a good curriculum supervisor. A good leader is not an autocrat but someone who knows exactly what is going on, delegate’s authority to colleagues effectively so that the complexity of managing a school can be effectively addressed.
An effective head teacher should provide supervision especially in the areas of classroom teaching to enable him/her supervise curriculum organization management and implementation. Head teachers should play the role of internal inspector (Kihumba, 2008). According to Findley and Findley (1992), if a school is to be an effective one it will be because of the leadership of the head teacher. Although the head teacher must address certain supervision tasks to ensure an efficient school, the task of the head teacher must be to keep focused on activities which pave way for high student achievement
Head teachers from successful schools believed that their previous experience in high performing schools helped them hold higher expectations for students. Head teachers were more likely to create time for teachers to collaborate and to provide them with structured support. This included the head teachers’ frequent attendance of departmental meetings (Association for supervision and Curriculum Development, 2005). Thus as a curriculum supervisor, the head teacher is the pivotal point within the school who affects the quality of individual teacher instruction, students’ achievement and the degree of efficiency in the school functioning. He or she must be knowledgeable about curriculum development, teacher and instructional effectiveness, supervision, staff development and teacher evaluation. Schools can make a difference to students’ performance and head teachers curriculum supervision is one factor in that success or failure.
The head teacher is considered the curriculum supervisor of a school programme. He or she is expected to possess superior knowledge about curriculum and instruction and to provide expert leadership in all areas of the program. He or she is in-charge of a community of teachers, students and support staff for guidance and direction. The head teacher has the major task to ensure that all school activities are conducted smoothly without tension, collision and frustration by making sure that there is proper planning, control, supervision and use of school facilities for the benefit of the students.
Ngala (1997) in a research carried out in Eldoret Municipality observed that head teachers management practices namely, supervision, utilization, motivation, staff development, allocation of instructional resources and communication with teachers affected the achievement of primary pupils. The study concluded that proper management of teachers is important in the enhancement of pupil academic achievement. Primary schools in Emgwen Division Nandi North District have consistently recorded poor performance in national examinations. While this could be attributed to various factors, this researcher sought to establish the perception of primary school teachers on the curriculum supervision duties of head teachers in the area of study.
1) To establish primary school teachers’ perception of the role of head teachers in communication of the school mission.
2) To investigate primary school teachers’ perception of the role of head teachers in supervision of the curriculum.
3) To determine primary school teachers’ perception of the role of head teachers in maintaining visible presence in the school compound.
4) To asses primary school teachers’ perception of the role of head teachers in provision of curriculum resources.
The role of the Head teacher as a Curriculum Supervisor
Supervision is the ability to use authority, power and influence in the process of managing and administering resources at work to produce results. It is a social influence in which one person is able to enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task. Yuki (2002) describes leadership as a social process in which a member or members of a group or organization influence the interpretation of internal and external events, the choice of goals or desired outcomes, organization of work activities, individual motivation and abilities, power relations, and shared orientations.