Title

Implementation of a secondary school strategic plan: a case study

Date of Award

2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Simon Karuku

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Marriote Ngwaru

Department

Institute for Educational Development, East Africa

Abstract

Strategic planning is an age-long phenomenon that mankind has engaged in from time immemorial in an effort to ensure that one's future is assured. The contemporary society which is characterized by uncertainties and volatility has warranted even a more future-oriented eye for the world citizenry in order to successfully navigate the seemingly rough socio-economic, political and cultural terrain. This study sought to investigate how secondary schools in Kenya are engaging in the process of strategic plan implementation (SPI). The study took a qualitative case study design approach and was carried out in a secondary school that was purposively sampled. The study participants comprised of the school's Principal, Deputy Principal, Board of Governors Chairperson, Parent-Teacher Association Chairperson, seven heads of departments, six parents' representatives and six students. Data were gathered through one-on-one interviews, focus group discussions after which a detailed document analysis was done. The study revealed that the stakeholders partially understood the meaning of strategic planning and carried out the implementation exercise despite their inadequacies in how to practically implement a school's strategic plan. A number of factors were found to facilitate schools' SPI despite there being a number of other factors which inhibited the exercise. In particular, strategic leadership, active stakeholder participation and government support were found to greatly facilitate SPI, while inadequacy of funds, minimal expertise and emergencies arising from misplaced priorities were the major inhibitors of the exercise in the study school. The study findings implied that active participation of all stakeholders and the government as well as putting priorities correct were essential in seeing a school's SPI to its fruition. The study recommends that there should be a strategic review committee in schools to consistently monitor progress in a school's SPI. Furthermore, there is need for all stakeholders to be brought on board so that a common future destiny can be mooted. There is also need for secondary schools to plan within their financial means so that the problem of inadequacy of funds can be put to rest once and for all. For Kenya, the attainment of the second Millennium Development Goal on universal primary education and the realization of the Vision 2030 are both strategic tasks whose realization can only come to pass if schools will rise to the occasion and play their roles as the basic vehicles in the realization of these two daunting objectives.

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