An analysis of principals' instructional leadership role: a case of Gatundu District
Leadership today deals with complex phenomena because of the complexity of industrial, social or political organization, globalization and technological advancement especially in information technology. Research on effective schools points to the crucial role leaders play in establishing and monitoring quality schools for all students. This study examined the various leadership roles of a school principal as an instructional leader. The objectives of the study were: to investigate the current instructional leadership skills practiced by the principals, to identify the influence of the principals' instructional leadership skills on the school performance, to identify the challenges that principals face in executing their leadership roles and to recommend strategies for improvement on the challenges. This study was a survey carried out in sixteen government and four private owned secondary schools in Gatundu District which now falls under Kiambu County. Some schools were sampled to represent the entire district and a descriptive survey research design was used. The data collection instruments included questionnaires, records and observation. The target population was a total of twenty secondary schools that were sampled through purposive sampling. The two research questions addressed by the study were answered using descriptive statistics. The results showed that principals in Gatundu District showed high level of instructional leadership responsibility but they missed out on some important skills like teamwork i.e. cultivating amicable relationships with stakeholders, sensitizing board of management and communities on the importance of supporting principals. The researcher recommended that principals should get a firm grip of their school curriculum in order to be able to offer useful advice/ assistance to the teachers, since one can only give what he/she has. In order to have teachers who can impart the right knowledge and also meet the challenges of being teachers at every point in time, they must be engaged in several staff development programmes to constantly update their knowledge hence funding should be given to principals to run the programmes. If the recommendations are well effected, ,it will be apparent that schools will have improved instructional leadership practices, improved academic performance, improved teacher performance, and reduce student truancy.