Factors influencing teacher performance on implementation of free primary education in City Council primary schools in Nairobi province, Kenya
Imonje, Rosemary Mukabwa K
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The Free Primary Education (FPE) initiative was first declared in Kenya in 1974 and re-declared in January 2003. The implementation of FPE led to an increase in the enrolment of pupils in public primary schools which grew from 5.2 million pupils in 2002 to 8.3 million pupils by 2008 (Republic of Kenya, 2008). This increase in enrolment led to overcrowding, overstretched facilities and teaching materials, and high pupil-teacher ratios (Republic of Kenya, 2005). In such a situation, the question was: how were the teachers able to perform their classroom duties and responsibilities with such increase in enrolments? The purpose of the study was to investigate the factors that influenced teacher performance in the implementation of FPE in City Council Primary Schools (CCPS) in Nairobi province since 2003. The objectives of the study were: to examine the ways in which increased enrolments, availability of materials, physical facilities and equipment; teacher qualification and training, deployment of teachers, and abolition of fees on tuition; have influenced teacher performance in the implementation of FPE in City Council Primary Schools in Nairobi province since 2003. Descriptive survey research design was employed for this study. Stratified, simple random and purposive sampling techniques were used in selection of schools, head teachers and teachers. Ninety nine (99) City Council Primary Schools were selected. Ninety nine (99) head teachers, four hundred and sixty (460) teachers were selected for the study. Research instruments for data collection included head teachers' interview schedule, teachers' questionnaire, observation schedule, and document analysis guide. The findings of the study revealed large classes of over 100 pupils that were brought about by increase in enrolment. Overcrowding in the classrooms; overloading and overworking of teachers was reported by 87.8% of teachers. The teaching - learning materials were adequate, showing a Pupil: Textbook ratio of 1: 1 in Mathematics, and 1:2 in English, Kiswahili, and GHCRE and 1:4 in Science. Facilities such as playfields, sanitation blocks, classrooms and classroom spaces were inadequate. Teachers (80.0%) and all head teachers had attained a professional status of 'P 1 'certificate level. All head teachers reported that they had teacher shortages. Head teachers (90.0%) reported a decline in teacher morale caused by the abolition of fees on tuition and user charges. Recommendations from the findings included; policy guidelines on enrolment and cross- transfers of pupils should be drawn in relation to age, class size and teacher establishment. Adequate facilities including classrooms and classroom space, desks, and sanitation blocks needs to be put in place. The content and duration of in- service courses should be reviewed to reflect on methodologies and child centered skills during the implementation of FPE. Recruitment of teachers should be considered to ease teaching loads in large classes in City Council Primary Schools. Tuition for weak pupils needs to he resumed, with incentives that can reinforce teacher performance in City Council Primary Schools.The areas for further research from the findings of the study included a study on factors that influence equity in teacher deployment, and the influence of tuition on pupil performance in public primary schools in Kenya .