Perceptions of teachers on the implementation of Christian Religious Education curriculum in public secondary schools in Kajiado North District, Kenya
Itonga, Millicent K
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Religion plays a great role in individual's moral development throughout history of mankind through acquisition of values and beliefs. Christian Religious Education (CRE) was introduced into Kenya school curriculum since the inception of formal education with the sole responsibility of inculcating in each generation those forms of knowledge, skills, values and attitudes which society needs to prosper. Despite the teaching of CRE in schools there is little positive change in behaviour among the students. The purpose of this study was therefore to investigate perceptions of teachers on the implementation of Christian Religious Education (CRE) in public secondary schools in Kajiado North. The major issues considered were the extent to which teachers' qualification affects their perception on the implementation processes, the extent to which school policies, instructional materials and method of CRE evaluation affect their perception on implementation of CRE curriculum. The study adopted a descriptive survey research design to investigate perception of teachers on the implementation of CRE curriculum. This design was appropriate as it is used to collect information about people's attitudes, opinions and habits. The instruments that were used for data collection were interview guides for the Principals and the questionnaires for the CRE teachers. The questionnaires were used for the study as they are quick to administer and can collect information from many respondents simultaneously. The research instruments were pre-tested to establish their validity and reliability. The revealed anomalies were corrected. The data was then collected from the sampled schools after the permission was sought from the National Council of Science and Technology and the DEO's office in Kajiado North District. The questionnaires were distributed to the sampled schools. Some were filled immediately, while others were left behind and picked later. The qualitative data captured from open-ended questions was organized into various themes and patterns and reported in a descriptive manner. The quantitative responses captured from the closed-ended questions were tabulated, coded and analyzed by use of the Statistical Package for Social Sciences computer software. The study revealed that all the sampled CRE teachers in the district were academically qualified although they rarely attend in-service courses. All the sampled schools had enough instructional materials. Nevertheless the teachers complained that they did not have enough time to make use of them due to some policies that required the teachers to finish the CRE syllabus within a specified time. It was also revealed that there was a problem of teacher/student ratio in some schools although the teachers had reasonable workloads. The study revealed that CRE is performed well in the district although most of the learning and teaching is examination-oriented. The conclusions drawn from the study are that, although the CRE teachers are academically qualified, their failure to attend in-service so as to develop them professionally was likely affecting CRE curriculum implementation in the district. The study also concluded that although most of the schools had adequate instructional materials, lack of enough time to make use of the available materials was also likely affecting CRE curriculum implementation in the district. Finally, it was concluded that although CRE is performed well at KCSE, most of the teaching and learning is examination-oriented which does not lead to a less extent moral development among students in the district. The study therefore recommended that Kenya Institute of Education should organize in-service courses for teachers. The DEOs and school Principals should sensitize the teachers on the importance of these seminars. Availability of instructional materials can lead to teaching and learning only if used for the purpose they are designed for. The study therefore recommends that schools should establish policies which allow students enough time to interact with these resources. Lastly, the Kenya National Examination Council should reexamine the method of evaluating CRE. Meanwhile, the schools and parents should establish systems of awarding those students who portray non-examinable traits such as honesty and cleanliness.