Factors that influence curriculum implementation among private secondary schools with an influx of refugees in Nairobi North District, Kenya
Ibrahim, Larry B
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Sustained conflicts in the Horn of African countries of Somalia, Eritrea, and Ethiopia, countries in the Great Lakes region (Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Burundi), and Southern Sudan have pushed many people out of their homes and forced them to become refugees in Kenya and other peaceful neighboring countries. All refugees present in Kenya have come from a variety of educational backgrounds in which languages other than English are used as media of instruction in schools in their countries. This makes these refugees get problems fitting into the Kenyan education system which uses English as a medium of instruction. This study sought to establish factors that influence curriculum implementation among private secondary schools with an influx of refugees in Starehe Division of Nairobi North District. In addition, the study also sought to establish the availability and adequacy of learning and teaching resources in private secondary schools in the study area. The main purpose of this study was to investigate factors that influence curriculum implementation among private secondary schools with an influx of refugees in Nairobi North District. The study used a cross-sectional descriptive survey method in which data was gathered once in order to determine factors that influence curriculum implementation among private schools with an influx of refugees. The target population for this study comprised of head teachers, teachers and refugee students. Random sampling was used to select 14 schools from 15 in Starehe division, Nairobi North District. This is because Starehe Division is home to very many refugee families from the Hom of Africa countries of Somalia, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Djibouti. Random sampling was also used to select 92 teachers from a total of 120 teachers. Random sampling was also used in selecting 313 out of 1700 students sampled. All head teachers were purposively sampled for this study. Questionnaires were used to collect data from respondents. All completed questionnaires were returned. Data was then analysed using descriptive statistics such as frequencies and percentages. From the analysis, the study found that all schools had qualified and experienced head teachers most of whom had at least a Bachelor's degree while some had a Master's degree. The study revealed that all schools had engaged qualified staff and that the lowest qualified among teachers held a Diploma in Education. The study revealed that availability of adequate learning and teaching resources and facilities influenced curriculum implementation. The study revealed that both academic and professional teacher' qualifications influenced curriculum implementation greatly since qualified teachers prepared and taught better lessons. Another finding was that admission of refugee student throughout the year was having a negative influence on curriculum implementation. Based on the findings, the study concluded that schools admitting refugee students throughout the year should be encouraged to put in place mechanisms to help them settle in their new environments. This will enable them to quickly adjust to life in a foreign country where they find themselves studying in a new education system. The study recommended that head teachers and management boards be encouraged to put in place an orientation programme to introduce learners and their parents to the needs of the local education system. The study also recommended that schools should explore the possibility of sharing some resources - science and computer laboratories - to help improve curriculum implementation. Lastly, the research recommended that the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology in conjunction with UNHCR explore possibilities of funding education of urban refugees on the same line as is done in the refugee camps. This will make it possible for the poor urban refugees to access education and accelerate the achievement of EFA goals.