Author(s): Mengistu Meresa, Menfese Tadesse, Nigussie Zeray and Getahun Haile
The study area has faced with school improvement program (SIP) implementation problems, in limited leadership roles, inadequate participation of stakeholders, lack of experience and skills among school principals, low coordination of school community that might have hindered the program from achieving its objectives in the selected schools in the study town. The main purpose of this study was, therefore, to assess the leadership roles and challenges on the implementation of school improvement program and thereby to identify the major challenges in relation to school principal role that affected proper implementation, and finding solution to ensure the success of SIP in Dilla city administration primary government primary schools. In order to achieve this purpose, mixed design-both quantitative and qualitative approach was employed as research method in the study. The study was conducted in five primary schools from a total of thirteen private and governmental primary schools in the study town administrations. Out of these, five schools was purposively selected from eight governmental primary schools found in Dilla city administration. Teachers and students were selected by simple random sampling technique where as the School principals, supervisors, District education office heads, parent Teachers Association (PTA) and others were selected by purposive sampling techniques. To gather data, questionnaires, interviews, focus group discussion (FGD), observation and document reviews were employed. After the data were gathered, analysis was made by organizing in tables and computing using frequencies, percentage, mean value, standard deviation, t-test. The findings of study indicated that school principals role had low practice in participating with stake holders and the extent of teachers’, students’ and parents’ in planning and implementing SIP was low; the mechanism principals used through which monitoring and evaluation practiced to support SIP implementation was not in position to effectively run SIP. Furthermore the level of participation of community members to offer necessary support was low. In addition most of activities across the four domains were implemented at moderate level and students’ achievement was also improved at moderate. Hence from the result of the study the overall principals role in the implementation of SIP was moderate. There was Shortage of budget, insufficient school facilities, Inability of school improvement committee to properly play their role, inadequate planning and low involvement of stake holders in the implementation of SIP and inadequate monitoring and evaluation were major factors that negatively affect SIP implementation.