The development and operation of headteacher support groups in Kenya: a mechanism to create pockets of excellence, improve the provision of quality education and target positive changes in the community
International Journal of Educational Development Volume 22, Number 5 ISSN 0738-0593 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
The paper examines how the training of all primary school headteachers in Kenya has led to the development of headteachers support groups (HTSGs) in zones and communities. Heads have been encouraged to form small clusters of approximately six schools within reasonable reach of one another. The purpose of the groups or clusters is to provide a forum for headteachers, community members and education officials in the area to share ideas, seek ways of supporting each other and manage their knowledge. Schools in Kenya depend a great deal on the support of parents and the community in general. The paper shows how clusters can develop into ‘pockets of excellence’ and impact on the local schools and community thus empowering them to seek more efficient ways of supporting the headteacher. Aspects such as empowerment, particularly for women, poverty alleviation and local economic growth are discussed with reference to an improvement in the management of schools and the development of a localised ‘learning centre’ within the school clusters. The paper suggests that training and learning can have a ‘rippling’ effect at the grass-roots level and cause ideas and strategies to originate as a bottom-up process which can complement the more conventional cascade top-down effect. It is recognised that there is much to be gained by investing in the intellectual capital of the individual stakeholders and what PRISM believes to be social capital in the collective mix of the membership of headteachers support groups.
Herriot, A., Crossley, M., Juma, M., Waudo, J., Mwirotsi, M. & Kamau, A. The development and operation of headteacher support groups in Kenya: a mechanism to create pockets of excellence, improve the provision of quality education and target positive changes in the community. International Journal of Educational Development, 22(5), 509-526. Elsevier Ltd.