ROLE OF MANAGEMENT IN PERFORMANCE OF ECONOMIC STIMULUS PROJECTS IN EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS, NYERI SOUTH DISTRICT, KENYA.
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The purpose of the study was to establish the extent to which specified management issues affected performance of ESP projects in the educational institutions of Nyeri South District. The institutions in which the projects were being implemented included D.E.B Muslim, Kericho, Muhito and Thukuma primary schools. The secondary schools under the programme were Muthuaini, Kihatha, Muruguru, Giakanja, Mukurweini Boys, South Tetu and Kihuthi secondary schools. A descriptive research design was used. Both qualitative and quantitative research methods were applied. The target population included all the project team members of projects under ESP in educational institutions of the two constituencies of Nyeri South District, which are Nyeri Municipality and Mukurweini constituencies. Judgmental and stratified sampling procedures were used. The rationale behind using judgmental sampling was that the extent to which each member of Board of Governors or school committee was involved varied, with some taking key roles, for example the school principal or headmaster. Questionnaire and structured interview guide methods were used for data collection. Stratified sampling was used because different problems could be experienced in different categories of team members. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 20 for windows. The analysis involved descriptive content for qualitative data and descriptive statistics for quantitative data. Results from the analysis were presented using frequency tables. Findings revealed that majority of the projects had been organized into life cycle phases and necessary information concerning the projects had been availed to them. Some project management tools were largely in use for the projects while others were less utilized. Financial management tools were available for most of the projects. However, conformance of actual spending to the budget was on average. On procurement, most of the projects had the materials they needed. Majority of them however did not have a specialized materials manager. Majority of the projects used the earliest start schedule, whereby resources were committed at the earliest possible time. The researcher concluded that project management skills were evident but some important planning tools were missing. This was attributed to inadequate sensitization on the tools‟ importance. Commitment of stakeholders was found to be high, which was attributed to their being involved in the project from the very beginning in identifying the needs. On finances, the researcher found that the committees made good use of the available funds, and concluded that this was due to the project management skills members were in possession of. On procurement, the researcher concluded that materials managers should be dealing with procurement issues and not project managers. The researcher recommended that all head teachers and principals should be provided with project management skills. Further recommendations were that private institutions of learning should be included in development programmes like ESP, and that identification of projects should be guided by needs and not local politics. It was also recommended that the ministry of finance should monitor allocation and spending to ascertain that money allocated for projects in the national budget is spent as stated in the budget. In addition, procurement of future projects‟ materials should be left to materials‟ managers as opposed to project managers. The researcher recommended further research on a larger sample of the ESP because the programme is country wide, and to have other sectors besides education also researched on.