Effectiveness of school boards in the improvement of educational practice in Tanzania

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University of Dar es Salaam
The purpose of the study was to investigate the effectiveness of school boards in improving educational practice. It was hoped that the study findings would threw light on the problems facing the boards in the administration of Colleges of National Education and suggest ways and means of solving them. A conceptual framework developed to guide investigation into the problem stressed on six criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of college boards namely goal attainment, power and control, autonomy of board members adaptability and flexibility, formalization and efficiency of college boards. The study was conducted in Colleges of National Education in the Eastern and Southern Highlands zones because they possessed all characteristic features for the study. Information was collected through interviews, questionnaire and documentary review. Instruments were pilot tested at Korogwe College of National Education in order to validate them before they were administered to the sampled group. Quantitative data were tallied, frequency counts converted made and percentages calculated before data was tabulated. On the other hand qualitative data were subjected to content analysis in order to extract relevant information. Data collected through interviews and questionnaires showed that college boards were effective in advising the principal in disciplinary cases but ineffective in matters involving academic and professional judgments which needed members who are knowledgeable about college affairs. Data from the above mentioned sources and from documentary review showed that college boards were ineffective in promoting better education and initiating feasible projects, but effective in solving college problems and in making recommendation on the management of colleges to the Commissioner. On decision making, documentary data indicated that board members were not autonomous in making decisions on the management of colleges. Questionnaire data also revealed that over half of the board members did not understand the contents of the 1978 Education Act. This was also supported by documentary evidence. On board membership the majority of respondents maintained that the composition was representative but it did not satisfy an expert view of an appropriate mix of expert and lay members. Information form questionnaires revealed that college boards had managed to reduce discipline problems in most colleges except Mkwawa where cases of indiscipline were still rampant. Questionnaire data also revealed that board members were found to be efficient in keeping up with changes in college programmes. Generally attendance in board meeting was unsatisfactory due to poor communication and members not being paid sitting allowance. It was therefore recommended that composition of boards should constitute an appropriate mix between lay and technical members, feedback on appeals to the commissioner should be prompt and board members should be well informed about their roles. Furthermore it was recommended that board members should be given sitting allowance to encourage attendance and that there was general public need to be well educated on the functioning of school boards. It was also suggested that future research ought to cover more zones, other levels of education and criteria for election board members in order to have a sound basis for making broader generalizations.
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School management organization, Tanzania, School administrators, Rating of, Education
Lweja, W. Z (1983) Effectiveness of school boards in the improvement of educational practice in Tanzania,Masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at ( )