The factors militating Against Effective Functioning of Students’ Leadership in Model National Secondary Schools in Kenya.

  • James Onkoba; Professor T.T. Bhengu; Dr S.D. Bayeni. (1.2.3). University Of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa.
Keywords: students’ leadership, interpretivist research paradigm, democratic processes of elections.


The study investigated the factors that militate against the effective functioning of students’ leadership. This study was guided by an interpretivist research paradigm. This qualitative study explored how the views of principals, teachers, students and student leaders illuminated the discussion in the broader literature around issues of student leadership, in particular on how schools facilitate the democratic processes of elections and functioning of Student leadership. Fifteen one-hour, semi-structured interviews were conducted with three council students, eighteen non-student councils, three principals and three teachers from the three Model National Secondary Schools. Three focus group discussions were conducted comprising six students from each school. This study utilised two non-random sampling: purposive and convenience sampling. The study concluded that leadership functioning is faced with a myriad of challenges. Most of these challenges, I can argue, relates to skills and knowledge deficits among school principals. These principals have found it difficult to let go of their past practices and adopt new ones that will be consistent with the new realities of 21st-century leadership and management. The study recommended that in order to obtain a supportive environment for effective functioning of student leadership there should be intensive training that may be provided by the employer, the Ministry of Education. Ministry of Education needs to develop training guidelines for student leadership to build the capacity of student leaders.