Social Sciences and Humanities

Effectiveness of Heads of Schools in Supervising Teachers’ Teaching Activities in Secondary Schools in Kagera Region, Tanzania

Adolphina Mwesiga, Evans Ogoti Okendo,
Article Date Published : 28 April 2018 | Page No.: SH-2018-91-117 | Google Scholar

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Abstract

Head of schools are considered imperative in education system for influencing teachers’ teaching commitment to improve school performance and attaining quality education. This necessitated the need of this study to investigate the effectiveness of heads of schools in supervising teachers’ teaching activities in secondary schools in Kagera region. The study was guided by transformational theory. The reviewed literatures indicated the availability of several studies on school leadership and commitment of teachers as factors for school performance. However, still there was a need for investigating the effectiveness of school headship in supervising teachers’ teaching activities in secondary schools as a central variables for effective teaching in secondary schools, due to persisting challenges constrains on leadership effectiveness and education performance. The study employed convergent parallel design from mixed research approach. The target population of the study included all head of schools, academic masters/mistress and teachers in public secondary schools in Kagera region. The sample size comprised 32 schools, 32 head of schools, 32 academic masters/mistress and310 teachers. Probability and non-probability sampling techniques used to sample participants. Instruments for data collection was questionnaires, interview guide and document analysis guide. The study carried out a piloting study into two schools; comprising ten (10) participants. Content validity was established to ensure the validity of instruments, split half method used to ascertain the reliability of questionnaire, dependability and credibility determined the reliability of interview guide. Descriptive statistics used to analyze quantitative data with the use of SPSS version 22 and thematic analysis used for qualitative data analysis. Hypotheses were tested by Pearson Correlation. Results suggest strong significant relationship between school headship and teachers teaching commitment.

Statement of the problem

Headship in education plays a central role for successful implementation of educational policies, curriculum and all education programmes concerning the achievement of academic performance and attainment of quality education in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (URT, 2014). To achieve this, effective head of schools are required for effective management of schools, alongside with teachers who are dedicated to professional commitment to ensure effective teaching and learning. Thus, underperformance apparently manifested in schools for quite number of years, whereby students perform poorly and got marginal pass of division IV or failed completely (Mkumbo, 2012; Twaweza, 2013; BEST, 2012-2016), would be directly related to both headship and teachers ineffective management of schools and teaching.

Moreover, the way head of schools foster teachers commitment was considered a question of discussion. Teachers misconducts on the other hand reviewed as challenge for effective teaching. For example, the low attendance rate of teachers is reported to be 10% to 13% in primary and secondary schools, (Twaweza, 2011; Betweli, 2013; Bilinga & Mfaume, 2016). The fact that teachers are not observing professional codes of ethics and conducts their devotion to students and their performance might be jeopardized. There has been a little focus in assessing the effectiveness of school heads of schools in supervising teaching effectiveness as a key factor for achievement in schools and attainment of quality education in secondary schools. Therefore, this was the focus of this study

Literature review:

School headship is a key aspect in education system as it plays a crucial role in achieving intended goals of education. It is therefore, defined as a process whereby the school leader struggle to fulfil their position roles including the influence of his/her teachers to participate in the implementation of curricula, education programmes, school activities and improves students academic performance (Gebreselassie, 2015). Thus, the successful implementation of education programmes, policies and strategic plans will always depend on effectiveness of leadership in schools. This is supported by Cypr s, &Breckner (2013), who argued that great schools do never exist apart from leaders.

A school leader is also recognized as chief executive in improving schools and achieving significant results in education. Effective school leader should be responsible, answerable, and committed to communicate the school vision, mission and goals, developing school strategic plans, monitor teachers, students teaching and learning activities, and motivating teachers and students by providing them with proper teaching and learning materials. Either, they are supposed to create conducive environment that teaching and learning can take place effectively (Rajbhandari, 2014). In order to meet the above aspects there should be critical leaders under specific nature and characteristics. With critical leaders in schools would allow a quick understanding of evaluating all situations as they appear, and thinking critically followers and their needs, communicating the intended results and anticipating the future performance. This would probably allow the building of higher level of influence and credibility.

The main factor for successful school leadership would be determined by the nature of leaders in terms of communication, ability, knowledge and skills, behaviors, flexibility, personality traits and many others. Day & Sammons (2016) in their study on successful school leadership in UK education, found the important of focusing on leadership nature and characteristics when discussing the issue of effective leadership, so as to affect job satisfaction and performance for teachers, students and successful implementation of education policies.

Their purpose was to provide an overview of the growing body of international literature that examines the nature and purpose of school leadership. They evidenced that school leaders have the key role to play in setting directions, and creating a positive school culture, including proactive school mindset, supporting and enhancing staff motivation and commitment. They came up to the conclusion that, an effective leadership is characterized with the application of instructional and transformational leadership which deals with teaching process, in and out classrooms and promoting better academic outcome. The study had deficient of what makes leaders effective, there many aspect which would indicate leadership effectiveness, in this case issues like leadership skills, knowledge and personal ability. One would have to question on; is it leadership behaviour of accountability to their leadership roles that makes a leader effective or something else. However, this study focused on transformational leadership looking on how school leaders influence teachers commitment in relation to their ability of achieving supervisory role. The practice of transformational leadership in school headship and for the matter of effective teaching seem imperative in improving education results in the sense that effective leaders transforms matters in day to day teaching activities.

Many studies assume that the use of instructional and transformational leadership approaches would increase the level of organizational commitment and job satisfaction (Uysal, Aydin, &Sarier, 2013). A comparative study conducted by Chen, Cheng & Sato, (2016) on effects of school principals leadership behaviors between Taiwan and Japan. The study analyzed leadership behaviour and its impact on school effectiveness. The findings of the study found that Japan has stronger leadership with instructional leadership behaviour in comparison to Taiwan, which base on their culture-related. They recommended that, to achieve school effectiveness, teachers job performance, and teachers organizational commitment instructional leadership behavior should be adopted.

In relation to this, the current study did not rely much on the review to trust leadership styles only as determinants for successful school leadership, instead other factors were considered. For example, effect of education policy, leadership training, effective supervision, monitoring and evaluation of teaching activities and other factors which affects leaders for their effectiveness. For example, competent leaders as mentioned in the above aspects, would require appropriate knowledge and skills, and be aware of their leadership roles. This would likely help leaders perform their leadership effectively and influence followers attention to commitment. However, the effectiveness of leadership in schools should not be confined to leadership styles as in Chen et al, but the all situation of instructional and managerial roles which was assumed to be collectively in the aspect of transformational leaders, limited to its critical element of transformations. This was particularly meant to address a global rapid change which demands graduates who can fit to world workforce. From this aspect therefore, school leadership is needed to transform schools into higher level of performance by means of building a higher level of teachers commitment.

Currently, there has been a global increase demand of education performance, quality education and world market requirement of personnel, while the expectation of parents and education stakeholders on good product of education becoming their sake. From this standpoint countries and or governments become obliged in strengthening education system and prepare their people who can fit in this scenario, as necessitated. Thus, studies concentrate on diversity aspects towards the issue.

Duze (2012), on his study of the changing role of school leadership and teacher capacity building in teaching and learning in Nigeria, found the importance of school leadership in today s global world in building teachers capacity and make theme fit and cope the world development. A successful leader will have to focus largely on technical aspect needs as a paradigm shift towards great focus of human development. According to the study leaders are potential in fostering teachers fulfill their responsibility. However, Duzes perspective is that leaders need to adopt an instructional leadership as a strategy that can enhance teachers capacity under which relevant and compulsory programmes must be introduced for aspiring and serving school teachers. These leaders can set clear goals, managing curriculum, monitoring and evaluating lesson plans and scheme of works, and supervising daily school activities and teachers teaching works. The most important thing the study put forward is to develop a teacher leadership rapport to improve learning and knowledge sharing effectively and efficiently. Despite the study perspective of changing role for school leadership as a focus on instructional leadership, there must be consensus regarding the important components of what makes a leader competent or successful. For example level of training, quality of leadership, autonomy and support which might hinder effectiveness of leadership. A transformational leaders was the best focus of this study with believe that it combines all issues. From the concept of a master manager as addressed by Quinn (1988) the ability of a transformational leaders is the use of all leadership behaviors when they are needed.

Other scholars, (Day & Sammons 2016; Swamy & Swam, 2014) supports that, if leaders are ambitious to effective achievement will be mostly confined on their instructional role which guides them involve in setting clear vision and goals, allocating resources to instruction, planning and managing the curriculum, decision making, monitoring lesson plans, and evaluating teachers teaching and trust the staff to reach their goals and give full play for staff's potential. Furthermore, a complexity change of education is no longer avoided, it now forces everyone in this field to rethink about education goals implementation currently and for future, making comparison on demands of what everyone should know, learn and hold, for revolutionary changes in education. It is an issue of mandate for education stakeholders to consider changes in education which demand capacity building of teachers and leaders, collaboration and acknowledging technological use in teaching and learning process.

Zaka (2013) in his study conducted in New Zealand on a case study of implementing the blended teaching and learning as a teaching approach in New Zealand secondary schools, aimed at examining the complexity of blended teaching and learning approach implementation by researching the roles of students, teachers, school leaders and other educational stakeholders. The findings indicated that, the introduced new approach of facilitating students-centered learning was effectively implemented because of principals (school leader). Teachers were very committed, ready and interested on the programme, also students and parents cooperated in the programme. He further recognized readiness of education stakeholders in News land to be a strong weapon for this success.

The study further investigating the challenges faced the programme, and found that not all teachers were willingly with the teaching approach, and some had very little knowledge on it. He finally suggests that, school leaders must play their vital role of building teachers capacity and interest on the new approach, as well as theoretical and practical seminars for school leaders. I agree with Zaka s study (2013), that teachers should be provided with in-school professional development opportunities, seminars, workshops, and regular consultations, without ignoring leadership skills, efforts, competence and role played on teacher motivation, leading to teacher retention, and school performance, maintenance and teaching commitment. The observed challenges would be resolved with the practice of transformational leader who is normally obliged to influence intellectual stimulation in updating followers knowledge and skills.

A study conducted by Wolhuter, Van der Walt & Steyn (2016) in South Africa on a strategy to support educational leaders in developing countries to manage contextual challenges. Focus group discussion was conducted, purposive sampling was adopted and the target population based on community as a whole and not school based. The study pointed out three sets of contextual forces important for a leader to take into account. Such as Such as; the contours of the education system in which school leadership, organizational change and development occur; societal and international contexts. Results maintained that education leaders in developing countries need to understand the contextual factor impacting on their future as education leaders which would support them employ an effective strategy of dealing with complex challenges of the future. On the other hand, Kuluchumula (2012); and Yariv, (2011) indicated the alarming challenge in educational leadership, as lack of leadership skills as the external source of weak performance. This indicates a remarkable challenge of poor management skills and inadequate supervision in schools which results to the failure of dealing with school issues and teachers difficulties. The quality of school achievement depends largely on the competence of school leadership, implying the importance need of leadership training before holding such position.

Acquiring leadership skills is to enable leaders solve educational challenges, and deal with stakeholders especially teachers and their professionalism effectively. It is difficult to confirm exactly if leadership training is a global challenge or the issue of few countries. In general this might be a serious challenge where leaders are not trained, and where leadership development programmes is likely not considered as important. Tanzania is among the countries facing this challenge in some extent, where even the appointment of head of school depend much on experienced teacher rather that knowledge, skill and abilities (Komba&Nkumbi, 2009).

However, providing school leaders with required skills must not be disregarded. Thus, there should be special programmes for leadership training and development. Under such circumstances school leaders, teachers, students and other workers are expected to perform well, as a result of effective school leaders who are capable and confidence to influence follower (Musa, 2014). Teachers commitment on the other hand is possible when leaders have ability of influencing them. This could mean that teachers normally become what head of schools make them to be. In the same line of thought, Boyd, Grossman, Ing, Lankford & Wyckoff (2009) attempted to investigation the reason for a serious challenge of teachers turnover in the United States which was ranging to 84% of teachers leaving the profession yearly. A study observed the influence of school administrators as a main factor on teachers retentions decisions. The findings provided evidence that the school administrators is an important factor in teacher retention decisions, in a sense that maintenance of teachers in their profession is confined to their leaders role in terms of motivations, work recognition, job satisfaction, security, training and the like. The study however, could have indicated more on the important roles of school administrators in influencing their workers retentions. This study considered the important role of head of schools in relation to their teachers, it was therefore attentively to investigate the extent head of schools perform the supervisory roles to influence teachers in terms of their teaching profession

Methodology:

The study employed the convergent parallel design, focusing on collecting, analyzing, and merging qualitative and quantitative data and results at one time. In this case, the quantitative and qualitative strands was conducted concurrently but independently. The quantitative strand was used to collect data from teachers, on practices of teaching and the actual levels on their commitment as per teaching profession. Qualitative on the other hand was employed to understand the reality of head of schools, on their experiences, and leadership practices in improving teachers commitment. The target population of the study included head of schools, academic masters and teachers in secondary schools, in Kagera Religion. A sample of 352 participants was drawn from a total number of 3961, which is around ten percent of the entire population. A study sample comprised 32 head of schools, 32 academic masters and 288 teachers, with a total of 352. Both probability and non-probability sampling procedures were used to select participants of the study. The study utilized questionnaires, interview guide, and document analysis guide for data collection.

Discussion of findings:

Head of Schools Supervision of Teachers Teaching Activities in Secondary School:

The study sought to find out the effectiveness of head of schools in fostering teachers teaching professional commitment through their supervisory roles of teaching activities of teachers. As per the Ministry of Education, head of schools are determined as the main actors in school supervision (URT, 2009). Head of schools are accountable with teachers professional responsibilities and accountability in teaching. The study therefore sought to investigate whether head of schools perform their responsibilities effectively in terms of supervising the day to day activities of teachers to foster their professional commitment. The responses were summarized and presented in Table 1

Table 1 Teachers Responses on HoS Supervising Teaching Activities in Secondary Schools (N=288).

HoS Normally used to; SD (%) D (%) U (%) A (%) SA (%) Mean(SD)
Check teachers preparation of scheme of works and lesson plans. 18(6.3) 48(16.7) 13(4.5) 172(59.7) 37(12.8) 3.56(1.10)
Check teachers less on notes. 5(1.7) 37(12.8) 85(29.5) 67(23.3) 94(32.6) 3.72(1.10)
Visit to the classrooms to observe teachers lesson presentation and issuing sound feedback. 5(1.7) 87(30.2) 13(4.5) 30(10.4) 153(53.1) 3.83(1.39)
Observe teachers attendance and punctuality in school and class attendances. - - 18(6.3) 115(39.9) 155(53.8) 4.48(0.61)
Check students exercises to find out teachers output of work. 5(1.7) 46(16.0) 67(23.3) 38(13.2) 132(45.8) 3.85(1.21)
Inspect pupils assessment record books to find out how teachers make use of continuous assessment records. - 59(20.5) 39(13.5) 82(28.5) 108(37.5) 3.83(1.14)
Visits to the students play grounds and other extra curricula activities. - 41(14.2) 10(3.5) 34(11.8) 203(70.5) 4.39(1.08)
Keep teachers attendance/reporting book - - - 96(33.3) 192(66.7) 4.67(0.47)
Ensure teachers accomplishment of syllabus on time - 41(14.2) 33(11.5) 58(20.1) 156(54.2) 4.14(1.10)
Give evaluation feedback to teachers - 46(16.0) 46(16.0) 64(22.2) 132(45.8) 3.98(1.12)
Holding meeting for teaching evaluation to gather with teachers - 46(16.0) 15(5.2) 38(13.2) 189(45.6) 4.28(1.13)

Source: Flied Data 2018

SA(5)=Strongly Agree, A(4)=Agree, U(3)=Undecided, D(2)=Disagree and SD(1)=Strongly Disagree

Results in Table 1 show that majority of teachers are aware of head of schools responsibilities of supervising teachers teaching activities. For example, teachers agreed that head of schools check teachers preparation of scheme of works and lesson plans 172(59.7%), visit to the classrooms to observe teachers lesson presentation and issuing sound feedback, 153(53.1%), observe teachers attendance and punctuality in school and class attendances 155(53.8%), check students exercises to find out teachers output of work 132(45.8%), inspect pupils assessment record books to find out how teachers make use of continuous assessment records 108(37.5%), visits to the students play grounds and other extra curricula activities 203(70.5%), keep teachers attendance/log book 192(66.7%), ensure teachers accomplishment of syllabus on time 156(54.2%), give evaluation feedback to teachers 132(45.8%), and holding meeting for teaching evaluation together with teachers 189(45.6%).

The Ministry of Education in Tanzania trust head of schools as the most important element for improving school performance and attaining quality education through their leadership roles, especially supervisory role to ensure successful implementation of curricula. Therefore supervising teachers teaching responsibilities becomes a core function of head of schools. From the above findings it can be argued that head of schools are effective in terms of supervising, guiding, observing and evaluating teachers teaching practices and the teaching and learning process in and outside classrooms. The study is in contrary with a study conducted in Uganda by Madunda, Onen, Musaazi & Oonyu, (2016) which revealed that head of schools in Uganda were ineffective in supervising teachers teaching activities and the consequences teachers were not committed to teach which lead to poor performance. For instance, Teachers were not committed in preparing lesson plans, scheme of work and lesson notes. From teachers responses therefore, the study came to conclude that poor commitment of teachers may be attributed by ineffective head of schools, in relation to poor or ineffective supervision of teaching activities, whereas teachers lack opportunity of recognizing areas of their weakness.

The findings on the other hand concurred with the transformation leadership theory with the view that an effective leader accomplishes supervisory roles and ensure effective and efficiency of subordinates. In so doing the study came to believe that the effectiveness of head of schools revealed from teachers strives teachers to their professional commitment in secondary schools.

Academic Masters/mistress and Head of Departments Supervising Teaching Activities in Secondary Schools

The study though to found out the extent to which head of schools delegates power to their immediate supervisors in school activities as delegation is a main factor of an effective leader. Academic masters are important figures in secondary schools as academic issues as concerned. Head of department also are appointed to perform duties for particular subjects and teachers workload on subjects they teach. Therefore, head of schools delegate supervisory responsibilities to academic masters and head of departments to deal with teachers teaching activities. Teachers therefore, were required to indicate the extent of their awareness on whether academic master and head of departments perform supervisory duties, and fulfil their responsibilities effectively. The results are as presented in table 2 and Table 3

.

Table 2 Responses of teachers on Academic Masters Supervising Teaching Activities in Secondary Schools (N= 288)

Academic Masters used to; SD (%) D (%) U (%) A (%) SA (%) Mean(SD)
Check teachers preparation of scheme of works and lesson plans. - - 10(3.5) 108(37.5) 170(59.0) 4.56(0.56)
Check teachers less on notes. 10(3.5) 41(14.2) 18(6.3) 85(29.5) 134(46.5) 4.01(1.19)
Visit to the classrooms to observe teachers lesson presentation and issuing sound feedback. 28(9.7) 39(13.5) 49(17.0) 115(39.9) 57(19.8) 3.47(1.23)
Observe teachers attendance and punctuality in school and class attendances. 23(8.0) 39(13.5) 18(6.3) 59(20.5) 149(51.7) 3.94(1.36)
Check students exercises to find out teachers output of work. 38(13.2) 5(1.7) 86(29.9) 64(22.2) 95(33.0) 3.60(1.32)
Inspect pupils assessment record books to find out how teachers make use of continuous assessment records. - 51(17.7) 5(1.7) 68(23.6) 164(56.9) 4.20(1.12)
Visits to the students play grounds and other extra curricula activities. 5(1.7) 41(14.20 36(12.5) 39(13.5) 167(58.0) 4.12(1.19)
Keep teachers attendance/reporting book 10(3.5) 46(16.0) 68(23.6) 20(6.9) 144(50.0) 3.84(1.29)
Ensure teachers accomplishment of syllabus on time - 52(18.1) 15(5.2) 67(23.3) 154(53.5) 4.12(1.14)
Give evaluation feedback to teachers 5(1.7) 46(16.0) 33(11.5) 38(13.2) 166(57.6) 4.09(1.22)
Holding meeting for teaching evaluation together with teachers 5(1.7) - 51(17.7) 34(11.8) 198(68.8) 4.28(1.22)

Source: Flied Data 2018

SA(5)=Strongly Agree, A(4)=Agree, U(3)=Undecided, D(2)=Disagree and SD(1)=Strongly Disagree

From Table 2 a considerable number of teachers indicate that they were aware with duties of academic masters in supervising teaching activities in secondary schools. The findings show that teachers agreed and strongly agreed that academic masters in secondary schools Check teachers preparation of scheme of works and lesson plans 170 (59.0%), Check teachers lesson notes 134 (46.5%), Visit to the classrooms to observe teachers lesson presentation and issuing sound feedback 115 (39.9%), Observe teachers attendance and punctuality in school and class attendances 149 (51.7%), inspect pupils assessment record books to find out how teachers make use of continuous assessment records 164 (56.9%), visits to the students play grounds and other extra curricula activities 167 (58.0%), keep teachers attendance/reporting book 144 (50.0%), ensure teachers accomplishment of syllabus on time 154 (53.5%), give evaluation feedback to teachers 166 (57.6%), and holding meeting for teaching evaluation to gather with teachers 198 (68.8%). Only few teachers agreed that academic masters check students exercises to find out teachers output of work 95 (33.0%).

Table 3. Responses of Teachers on Head of Departments on Supervision of Teachers Teaching Activities (N= 288)

Responsibilities of head of departments SD (%) D (%) U (%) A (%) SA (%)
Check teachers preparation of scheme of works and lesson plans. 15(5.2) 222(77.1) 23(8.0) 28(9.7) -
Check teachers lesson notes. 18(6.3) 134(46.5) 41(14.2) 83(28.8) 12(4.2)
Visit to the classroom to observe teachers lesson presentation and issuing confidential feedback 10(3.5) 208(72.2) 44(15.3) 19(6.6) 7(2.4)
Ensure teachers accomplishment of syllabus on time 38(13.2) 157(54.5) 28(9.7) 44(15.3) 21(7.3)
Check students exercises to find out teachers output of work 46(16.0) 146(50.7) 29(10.1) 61(21.2) 6(2.1)
Inspect pupils assessment record books to find out how teachers make use of continuous assessment records. 38(13.2) 110(38.2) 24(8.3) 99(34.4) 17(5.9)
Holding meeting for teaching evaluation together with teachers 33(11.5) 143(49.7) 27(9.4) 78(27.1) 7(2.4)

Source: Flied Data 2018

SA(5)=Strongly Agree, A(4)=Agree, U(3)=Undecided, D(2)=Disagree and SD(1)=Strongly Disagree

As shown in Table 3. Teachers were asked to indicate their views on head of departments supervising teaching activities. The findings indicate that majority of teachers disagree that head of departments in secondary schools check teachers preparation of scheme of works and lesson plans 222(77.1%), check teachers lesson notes 134(46.5%), visit to the classroom to observe teachers lesson presentation and issuing confidential feedback 208(72.2%), ensure teachers accomplishment of syllabus on time 157(54.5%), check students exercises to find out teachers output of work 146(50.7%), inspect pupils assessment record books to find out how teachers make use of continuous assessment records 110(38.2) and holding meeting for teaching evaluation together with teachers 143(49.75%).

Generally the findings from teachers on the extent academics and head of departments supervise teaching activities suggests three aspects; first imply that head of schools delegates supervisory responsibilities to their subordinates to simplify the leadership loads. The findings is in agreement with Bakhda, (2010) who state that delegation of duties has something to do with giving a top leader an opportunity of reducing workload and become the overall supervisor and performance of other leaders under him or her. In fact head of schools have a lot of duties to perform, so it is difficult for them perform all duties on their own, and if they do they would be limiting the fact of good performance and leading to less effective. In leadership principles delegation of power is important for an effective leader to inspire the abilities and skills of subordinates. From this finding the study may conclude that head of schools in secondary schools are effective in relation to delegation of supervisory roles to their immediate supervisors.

The findings of the study imply that academic masters in secondary schools perform effectively their responsibilities of supervising the daily teaching activities as indicated by teachers. Table 3 teachers indicated that academic masters perform all duties effectively, which can be indicating the possibility of promoting teachers professional commitment in secondary schools. It may also imply that head of schools create conducive environment to academics to perform their roles soundly. This is in line with URT, (2010) which directs responsibilities of academic masters to assist head of schools in supervisory roles on duties of ensuring prepared schemes of work, lesson plans, lesson note, and others. However, this cannot be achieved out of leaders will. The findings tend to suggest the fact that academics in schools once delegated to the academic office are automatically obliged to dealing with academic matters of students, teachers and schools at large. This position further demands academics to supervise ways teachers are preparing to teach, in terms of observing scheme of works. Lesson plans, lesson notes and effective ways of teaching. However, the study was limited from investigating the level of mandatory academics have to provide necessary teaching materials to teachers, which might affect their effectiveness in relation to fostering teachers professional commitment.

The findings in Table 3. Further Shows majority of respondents disagreed with all the items given that head of department do not supervise their teaching activities. The findings may imply that head of departments are not delegated the supervisory roles in the subjects they lead or their performance is poor. It may also indicate that head of departments are not aware of what are their responsibilities. This findings tend to confirm what was found out by several other studies like Jaca, (2013), Urio, (2012), Plessis, (2014) and Manaseh, (2016). These studies established that head of department knowledge and ability of influencing teachers profession was limited. They could not manage subjects they were expected to supervise and that they lack leadership and management skills. Further studies indicated lack of involvement of head of departments in curriculum development and decision making in school management. This studies may also indicate the issue of ineffective communication and relationship between head of schools and head of departments. It must be noted that, the important role of heads of department in fostering teachers commitment should not be ignored. Heads of departments can be used by head of schools as a linking factor between head of schools and teachers in class activities.

Supervising teaching activities in secondary schools is the most factor as far as teachers commitment is concerned. Therefore, from this findings one has to believe that teachers would be committed to their teaching profession as far as supervision roles from head of schools and academic masters is performed. In line with teachers information, it was necessary to find out the more information from academic masters/mistress themselves on whether they accomplish their responsibilities of supervising teachers teaching activities. To achieve this academics were required to point out whether supervision in school were; Always, Frequently, Occasionally, very rarely, or never done in their schools. Table 4. represents the results of academics who participated in this study.

Table 4. Responses of Academic Masters on Supervision of Teachers Teaching Activities in Secondary Schools (N= 32)

Responsibilities of Academic masters/mistress N R O F A
Check teachers preparation documents (scheme of work and lesson plans). - - - 14(43.8) 18(56.3)
Check teachers lesson notes. - - - 6(18.8) 26(81.3)
Observe teachers ways teaching process - 5(15.6) 16(50.0) 11(34.4) -
Observe teachers attendance and punctuality in school and class attendance. 3(9.4) 2(6.3) 6(18.8) 11(34.4) 10(31.3)
Check pupils exercises to find out teachers put of work. 4(12.5) 7(21.9) 6(18.8) 8(25.0) 7(21.9)
Observe teachers and students relationship 2(6.3) 6(18.8) 7(21.9) 11(43.4) 6(18.8)
Observe teachers behaviors 1(3.1) 5(15.6) 3(9.4) 17(53.1) 6(18.8)
Record and keep teachers discipline book (s) 2(6.3) 7(21.9) 9(28.1) 10(31.3) 4(12.5)

Source: Flied Data 2018

A(5)=Always, F(4)=Frequency, O(3)=Occasionally, R(2)=Rarely and N(1)=Never

The findings in Table 4. concur with the responses given by teachers in table 4.6 who indicated that academic masters/mistress accomplish their responsibility of supervising teaching activities in secondary schools effectively. It indicate that academics in secondary schools normally perform daily supervisory role for teaching activities in different ways. For example; majority indicate that always they check teachers preparation documents (scheme of work and lesson plans) 18(56.3%), check teachers lesson notes 26(81.3%), and frequently observe teachers ways teaching process 11(34.4%), observe teachers attendance and punctuality in school and class attendance 11(34.4%), observe teachers and students relationship 11(43.4%), observe teachers behaviors 17(53.1%), record and keep teachers discipline book (s) 10(31.3%) and ensure teachers accomplishment of syllabus on time 8(25.0%).

The findings tend to suggest the same responses obtained from teachers that, academic in secondary schools are effective in supervising teachers teaching activities for looking at schemes of work, lesson plans lesson notes and teaching activities at large. Findings from academics also indicated that 16 (50.0%) participants were unsure with observing teachers ways of teaching process in classroom. Enike, Eyiene, & Mercy (2015) observed that supervisory practice of classroom observation enhance teachers performance and role effectiveness. The circumstances of academics not observing teaching process in classrooms might undermine both the effectiveness of academics and or teachers teaching effectiveness and commitment. However, the findings on this aspect may imply that academic masters could be limited in performing some roles. For example providing teachers with required teaching materials like; text books, teaching aids, chocks, pens, and so on; this could not be fulfilled due to insufficiency resources and funds which has been a common problem to our schools. They could also be overwhelmed with lots of roles including teaching. This can limit them from accomplishing other duties as observed in the findings above.

Findings from teachers and academic masters imply that schools had effective head of schools and academics, certainly, effective teaching process and committed teachers, regardless of miner matters issues observed.

In line with the data above, interview with head of schools on the other hand was conducted. It sought to find out the understanding of head of schools on the aspect that their leadership is utmost factor to influence teachers commitment in their teaching professional. Responses from all participants pointed out that it is their responsibility to ensure that teachers are working accordingly and students are performing well. For example, one head of school said;

Of course, it is my responsibility to ensure that teachers are at school at the required times, are teaching well, and preparing teaching documents for class presentation. So, at the level of school head teachers have a unique position which demands effective performance of a school. But there is no way I can achieve this in absence of teachers, and not only teachers but also committed one. So it is my responsibility make them committed.

The researcher posed a probe question on what are the responsibilities of head of schools in fostering teachers teaching commitment in secondary schools. Responses indicate that head of schools seem not have common roles to all schools, because every head mentioned responsibilities different from the other. The responsibilities mentioned include; supervise teaching activities of teachers, advice teachers when is needed, assign workloads and ensure every teachers attendance at school and in the classroom. When they were asked if they fulfill the mentioned responsibilities effectively, some agreed while others seem not to be sure. One respondent said;

You know the problem is that I have a lot to do here ate school and outside the school, issues like meetings, and nowadays we have meetings with several leaders almost every week or twice a week. When I come back to school I have many things to plan and monitor, every time there is a knock on my office; students, parents, teachers and so on. It is difficult to give attention on teachers all the time, and in this case I hand over this responsibility to second master or academic and I am sure they do well.

The responses from the above interview tend to suggest that head of schools delegating duties to their immediate supervisors cannot be disregarded. This indicates what Ruto, (2011) said that normally head of schools have complex leadership roles, which demands them to share their responsibilities with others in schools under delegation principle. Other participants from interviews had a bit contradicting understanding, as they consider supervising teachers all the time as disturbing them. Like the one who said;

I do not have to supervise teachers all the time because I know teachers are mature and they know what they must do as employers, and once I know they are at school, I know they are teaching.

This opinion given from the above response concur with a study by Azi & Azi (2016) conducted in Nigeria on job satisfaction for teachers, which suggest that teachers need less supervision as longer as they are satisfied with their job and needs, it is possible to perform their duty willingly abiding to their professional requirements. However, for the case of job satisfaction in our area would require further investigation.

For the case of supervising teachers teaching activities, head of schools were asked, how they supervise and monitor the teaching process. Majority of participants mentioned the way they supervise teaching activities as; Checking preparation documents like scheme of work and lesson plan., Check students excise books to see if teachers are giving exercise and mark them, Teachers must sign class journals every time when they attend classes and teach, they write down what they have covered; a topic, subtopic or other activities done by that day, Every Friday all preparation documents are collected to the office of head of school to see the work done by teachers throughout the week and what have been covered and Pass around during period hours to see if teachers attend classes and if they are teaching well. But this is rarely done because most of head of schools seem to have lot of works, in relation to what has been mentioned by one of head of school above, so they seem not to have enough time of observing what is taking place in classrooms during class hours, as they said they fail to do that because of minimal time.

The researcher was eager to know what measures head of schools take just in case a teacher is not preparing teaching documents or is inefficient. Responses show that normally, for those who are lazy to prepare, and not performing their duties accordingly, are called and warned, sometime by warning letter and if they do not change further measures take place.

For teachers who are not doing well because of not mastering the subjects they teach, or being lazy we just keep eye on them to see if can improve and if not we just report to DEO for further measures.

Supervision of teachers teaching activities is outlined as one among the important element of determining a transformational leader (Hughes, 2014). These findings therefore indicates that head of school possesses this value of being transformational leaders as they fulfil this responsibility of supervising and monitoring teachers work. In performing this responsibility, sometimes academic masters are assigned to perform this duty as it was previously mentioned that head of schools are sometimes overwhelmed with lots of work. This in contrary might undermine the effectiveness of head of schools in case they lack the ability of keeping an eye tacking on teachers work, unless they build ability of delegating power to teachers who are capable in performing these responsibilities effectively.

The findings from all teachers, academic masters and head of schools were further supplemented with documents observed from schools. The researcher sought to have a look on logbooks, scheme of works, lesson plans, class journals, and continuous assessment report.

Documents indicate that supervision is being done by head of schools and academic masters. Preparatory document used by teachers are mostly adequate used and supervised. For example, logbooks scheme of work, lesson plans and class journals are mostly adequate used. According to MoEVT, (2013) head of schools are responsible in ensuring proper record keeping mechanism of preparatory documents, in terms of supervision and monitoring teachers teaching works. This is adhered according to the data above. However, majority of schools were not sure if assessment report and syllabus report are available, as they were not available at all and when they were asked why there was no such documents, respondents said, they do not have such system of giving syllabus report, few of them said reports were not yet prepared. This might indicate the weaknesses of head of schools in that area, because the stipulated roles from MoEVT, (2013) keeping proper records and giving reports on time is mandatory to ensure that the curriculum is implemented according to current regulations, lessons are taught, tested, marked, and returned to students and teachers make corrections, which demand continuous assessment reports. Therefore, attention on this area should be improved for future education needs.

Hypothesis Testing:

The literature used in this study indicated that supervision of teaching activities is among the factors which indicates the effectiveness of school heads in fostering teachers professional commitment. Hypothesis was developed to test a significant relationship between school heads effectiveness and teachers professional commitment. The hypothesis stated that:

Ho: There no significant relationship between school headship effectiveness and teachers level of commitment in secondary schools.

Table 5. Below presents the relationship between school headship effectiveness and teachers teaching professional commitment

Descriptive Statistics Mean Std. Deviation
school leadership effectiveness 4.07 .780
teachers commitment 4.62 .356
correlations
school leadership effectiveness
school leadership effectiveness Pearson Correlation 1 .680**
Sig. (2-tailed) .000
N 288 288
teachers commitment Pearson Correlation .680** 1
Sig. (2-tailed) .000
N 288 288
**. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).

Source: Flied Data 2018

Pearson product moment correlation was conducted to determine if there was a significant relationship between headship effectiveness and teachers teaching professional commitment. Table 5. Show responses from participants indicating that, school heads in secondary schools are effective with M=4.07 (SD, .78) and teachers teaching professional commitment M=4.62 (SD=.356). The Table also indicate that the relationship between headship effectiveness and teachers teaching professional commitment is strong (r = .680, n=288) and the correlation coefficient is very high significantly with (P < 0.000). These findings means that the effectiveness of headship in schools, supervising and monitoring teaching activities is an important factor in fostering teachers teaching professional commitment, in terms of preparing teaching document, attending classes, effective teaching in schools.

Conclusions:

The findings of the study indicated that heads of school are effective in performing supervisory responsibilities well. Findings show that heads of school normally check teachers preparations of scheme of works, lesson plans, students notes and visit to the classrooms to observe teachers lesson presentation and issuing sound feedback, observe teachers attendance and punctuality in school and class attendances, check students exercises to find out teachers output of work, inspect pupils assessment record books to find out how teachers make use of continuous assessment records, visits to the students play grounds and other extra curricula activities, keep teachers attendance/log books, ensure teachers accomplishment of syllabus on time, give evaluation feedback to teachers and holding meeting for teaching evaluation together with teachers. Head of schools on the other hand mostly delegates supervisory responsibilities to their immediate supervisors like academic masters/mistress to supervise the daily teaching activities. Academics also perform the supervisory role effectively.

The findings on the other hand showed that academic masters have no influence on teachers teaching commitment as the study show that head of departments despite of their significant on the subjects they lead, but they do not supervise teachers teaching activities. The study revealed also that head of schools are overwhelmed with many responsibilities out and inside schools, which limits their time and ability of dealing with teachers upright. They also not delegate power or responsibility to head of departments in supervisory roles of supervising teachers teaching activities.

Recommendations:

The study recommended that head of schools need to recognize the importance of heads of department in secondary school and delegate them power of supervising teachers works on their subjects and stipulate their roles to enhance effective supervision at the school level.

The study recommended that head of schools should develop strong techniques and skills to manage effectively headship roles especially supervision of teaching activities in their schools by utilizing effective supervisory strategies that works well in their schools.

The Ministry of Education and top leaders in education should give full mandate to heads of school to deal with teachers who fail to observe teaching profession without distraction and long process. This would increase their accountability to head teachers. Issues like punishment in case of any misconducts, teachers professional development and incentives for teachers who performs well could be handled at school level.

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Article Details


Issue: Vol. 6 No. 04 (2018)
Page No.: SH-2018-91-117
Section: Social Sciences and Humanities
DOI: https://doi.org/10.18535/ijsrm/v6i4.sh04

How to Cite

Mwesiga, A., & Okendo, E. O. (2018). Effectiveness of Heads of Schools in Supervising Teachers’ Teaching Activities in Secondary Schools in Kagera Region, Tanzania. International Journal of Scientific Research and Management, 6(04), SH-2018. https://doi.org/10.18535/ijsrm/v6i4.sh04

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