INFLUENCE OF ECONOMIC STIMULUS PROGRAM’S MANAGEMENT ON PRIMARY SCHOOL INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS IN SOUTHERN PART OF KITUI COUNTY, KENYA
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The aim of this study was to assess the influence of Economic Stimulus Program (ESP)
project management in the implementation of the ESP primary school infrastructure
funded projects in Southern Part of Kitui County. The objectives of the study were to
establish the influence of economic stimulus projects’ management skills on primary
school infrastructure; influence of involving community in the economic stimulus
projects’ management on implementation of primary school infrastructure, influence of
economic stimulus projects’ financial management on implementation of primary school
infrastructure, influence of politics in economic stimulus projects’ management on
implementation of primary school infrastructure and influence of school head teachers in
economic stimulus projects’ management on implementation of primary school
infrastructure, in Southern Part of Kitui County. A survey research design was adopted.
This study targeted a population of the 104 ESP primary school infrastructure committee
members in the 8 ESP primary schools of the 4 constituencies of the Southern Part of Kitui
County. Purposive sampling was used to select constituencies the Kitui Central and
Mutito constituencies due to the nature of the Financial State Data that was collected for
this study, the respondents’ familiarity and confidence with the researcher were necessary
for successful collection of this kind of data. A sample size of 32 was sampled which was
30% of the population, the minimum recommended representative sample of the
population if the target population is small as the 104 for this study. Questionnaire and
interview guides were used for data collection. Lecturers from the department of extra
mural studies in the University of Nairobi ascertained the validity of the instruments, by
reading through so as to ensure that there are no double meanings or ambiguities in the
items. A test-retest pilot study using 10 ESP primary school projects management
committee members in one of the primary schools out of the 4 schools in the Southern
Part of Kitui County were conducted to ensure that the questionnaire was reliable. The
ESP school used for pilot study was not included in the actual data collection process.
The questionnaire was personally administered to the sample ESP primary SIC members
and the face-to-face interview by the researcher during data collection period.
Quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive statistics such as frequency
distributions, percentages, mean values and standard deviation values and the findings
were presented in frequency distribution tables and explanations were discussed in
between these tables. Qualitative data were analyzed by grouping similar thematic data
from the head teacher interviews and narrations of verbatim quotations and reported
pictorially with pictures of the photographs that were taken at the ESP project
construction sites. From the study findings it was concluded that the ESP primary school
structural infrastructure projects were timely and it had made positive impacts in these
schools and in academic performance in the 2011-KCPE examination. The assumption
that the politically selected ESP primary SIC members and the head teachers were
knowledgeable in project management skills was unfortunate. Since Primary Teacher I (PI)
Certificate usually involves lower levels of financial and project management training, these
skills were inadequate in the three selected ESP primary schools. Although, the
community was not involved in the implementation of the ESP projects, they were happy
with the initiative, because it had relieved parents the payment of projects’ funds. The
head teachers were not actively involved in the ESP project implementation. There
commendations of the study were that: There was need for competent and skilled ESP
primary SIC members and head teachers so it was imperative for all ESP project managers to
at least take a course in project management to be effective in implementing these
projects.Also recommended were use of other units of public administration instead of the
constituencies as the ESP funds’ disbursement and sharing units to avoid the
politicization of the ESP projects. Suggestions for further studies on ESP funded projects
for comparison with these findings were recommended.