PLANNING SKILLS BY HEADS OF SCIENCE DEPARTMENT AND ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN SCIENCE SUBJECTS IN PUBLIC SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN NANDI COUNTY, KENYA

CHERUIYOT ALFRED, NGENO VIVILINE, KIBETT JOASH K.

Abstract


Curriculum and instructional planning is important to ensure that academic activities run without
interruption in an academic year or term. Heads of departments (HODs of Science) play a pivotal role in
implementation of curriculum in secondary schools. Planning is one of the functions vested on HODs to
ensure proper implementation of curriculum in their departments. This paper therefore looks at HODs
planning skills towards academic performance improvement in three science subjects in public
secondary schools in Nandi County, Kenya. The decision to choose HODs of science was due to the
importance that is placed on science subject but which has recorded below average performance
compared to other subjects in Kenya Certificate of Secondary School. The three science subjects under
investigation are; Physics, Biology and Chemistry for secondary schools. The study used mixed method
research design. The study had three target populations that comprised of 231 heads of departments,
231 principals and 693 teachers. The sample size of the study was determined using Krejcie and
Morgan formulae of determining sample size and comprised of 23 principals, 128 HODS of science and
247 teachers who were selected through stratified random sampling. Data collection was through
questionnaires and interview schedule. Analysis of data was performed through quantitative and
qualitative methods. The correlation analysis was computed from HODs and science teachers’ data.
The study discovered that most of them only planned for science practicals to be conducted on
occasional basis by teachers in the department. Moreover, the HODs of Science ensured that the
planned activities were conducted as planned. However, the HODs of Science were found not to have
proper planning skills on ICT usage, acquisition of instructional material and conducting training needs
assessment for teachers. The computed correlation statistics showed that there existed significant
influence (p<0.05) between planning skills by HODs of Science and academic performance of students
in sciences in public secondary schools in Nandi County. The study recommends that HODs of Science
need to be informed by Quality Assurance and Standards Officers (QASOs) that they need to be
proactive and not reactive to the responsibilities under their docket. Participatory planning practices
needs also to be embraced by HODs of Science for improved implementation and execution of set
objectives and targets.


Keywords


Planning, Skills, Quality, Performance, Sciences HODs

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