Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

Joseph C. Rost, PhD, Director; William P. Foster, EdD; Edward Kujawa Jr., PhD


children & youth, educational system, oppressive military-political governments, school administrators, school effectiveness, Uganda


How and why did the Ugandan educational system survive the political and economic instability of the dictatorial governments between 1971 and 1986? What did the school administrators do to make sure that the nation's schools survive the political turmoil? The purpose of this researcher was to determine the impact of oppressive military and political governments on schools. Secondly, the researcher wanted to determine the extent to which the school administrators acted as instructional leaders in ensuring that the school effectiveness survived the enormous political constraints during this period. Four research questions explored qualitative interview data from the school administrators, reputationally selected from eight secondary schools, five tertiary institutions in and around Kampala surrounding areas, and administrators from the Ministry of Education agencies. The researcher also utilized an instructional leadership questionnaire survey and content analysis to supplement the secondary schools data. The study concluded that the oppressive military governments were responsible for a cumulative negative effect on school effectiveness. This effect was most obvious in the fluctuating scores and overall but slight decline of the students' performance on academic examinations taken at the end of their secondary education, in the pervasive lack of instructional materials for the students and teachers to use, and in the political interference of military and government officials in the operation of the schools. The results also indicated that some governmental decrees constrained the school administrators. Although the administrators generally kept a low profile during this period, there was clear evidence of some school administrators and some Ministry of Education officials acting more as instructional leaders than managers. These administrators played a crucial leadership role in ensuring that the schools survived the political and economic chaos that was going on around them and the schools and, even more important, in surviving the educators actually delivered a surprisingly high quality education during these 15 years.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access