Communication function of student governing council in the administration of public secondary schools: a case of Awendo sub-county - Kenya
Oliech, Anne Akinyi
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The role of communication function of Student Governing Councils (SGCs) in the administration of Public Secondary Schools is increasingly becoming important. Currently, the government in partnership with other stakeholders has made it mandatory for schools in Kenya to have active SGCs who should play active roles including communication between the students and the school administration. However, it is not empirically established what exact communication functions these SGCs exercise in Awendo Sub- County. It was in light with this that the researcher sought to investigation the communication functions of SGCs in the administration of public secondary school in Awendo Sub-County, Migori County, Kenya. This study examined the understanding, implementation and the success of the communication functions of SGCs in the administration of public secondary school in Awendo Sub County. The study employed qualitative research design. The target population for the study was 24 principals, 24 deputy principals and 118 student leaders making a total population of 166. The students leaders was selected from 3 schools out of the 24 public secondary schools based on the category of the school i.e. girls, boys or boarding. Simple random procedure was used to randomly choose the student leaders from the 3 public secondary schools. The research instruments were a structured questionnaire distributed to each participant. The study revealed that the students as well as the school administrators understand the communication functions of SGCs. Majority of the schools have fully implemented the communication functions and have acknowledge its success in the administration of public secondary schools. The student councils have acted as a channel of communication between the students and the school; a role that this research have discovered to be significant for school administrative purposes. However, when undertaking this communication function, the SGCs have faced various challenges such as being termed as a sell out by other students, lack of motivation as well as the inability to handle issues such as drug abuse, homosexuality and indiscipline cases in schools. The study concludes that the communication function of SGCs is not yet exhausted in various school and further investigations should be done to ascertain how it can be strengthened. The study recommends that the student councils should be trained in order to acquire skills that will enable them overcome the challenges. In addition, benchmarking programs should be encouraged for the student councils to learn how their colleagues do it elsewhere.