An assessment of the roles and challenges of primary school cluster supervisors in Metekel Zone
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This study was conducted to assess the roles and challenges of primary school cluster supervisors in Metekel zone. To study the problem, five basic research questions were drawn. The focus of these research questions was benefits teachers gained from cluster supervisory practice; contribution of cluster supervisors for the improvement of the schools’ management; actual functions of cluster supervisors; professional preparation of cluster supervisors; and challenges cluster supervisors. To conduct the study, descriptive survey design was employed. Multistage sampling technique was employed to select the sample Woredas, cluster centers, schools principals and teachers. By this, six Woredas Education Officers, 18 cluster supervisors, 26 schools and principals and 94 teachers were included in this study. Questionnaire was the main data gathering instrument for this study. Thus, 94 teachers, 23 school principals, and 15 cluster supervisors filled the questionnaire. An interview was also conducted to enrich the quantitative data. As a result, six Woreda Education Officers, three school principals and three cluster supervisors, totally 12 participants were interviewed. To observe the comments written on the schools' logbooks and to assess the working conditions, particularly the availability and conditions of basic facilities for cluster supervisors, an observation was conducted in 18 cluster centers using structured checklist. Quantitative data collected through questionnaire was analyzed by using mean scores and ‘F’ test by suing SPSS v.16.o. Percentage was also used to analyze the quantitative data gathered by using structured checklist. The data gathered through interview was discussed in line with questionnaire. Consequently, the main findings emerged from this study were: benefits teachers gained from cluster supervisors practice was insignificant; the contribution of cluster supervisors for the improvement of the school’s management was insufficient; school visits by cluster supervisors were irregular; cluster supervisors were not well prepared to give the required service; and the working conditions were unfavorable for cluster supervisors. Finally, to minimize and if possible to solve the problems, the following recommendations were drawn: arranging short term refresher training and discussion forums; providing professional on the job training, experience sharing and manuals and guides for cluster supervisors; supervising far away schools from cluster centers by WEO and providing a means of transport and other basic resources for cluster supervisors; and conducting further investigation regarding factors that impede cluster supervisory practice.