Factors Influencing Teachers’ Perception On The Effectiveness Of Smasse Project On Teaching Of Mathematics In Secondary Schools In Westlands District, Kenya
The main objective of this study was to investigate factors influencing teachers‟ perception on the effectiveness of SMASSE project on teaching of mathematics in secondary schools in Kenya. The study was carried out in Westlands District, Nairobi County and focused on the head teachers, heads of Mathematics department and teachers of Mathematics. The study sought to establish teachers‟ attitude towards the effective implementation of SMASSE project in the teaching of mathematics, determine the extent to which teachers‟ perception influences the effective implementation of SMASSE project in teaching mathematics, determine the adequacy of the teaching materials in the effective implementation of SMASSE project and to assess the role of the school administration in the effective implementation of the project towards the teaching of mathematics. The study employed a survey research design that targeted eight (8) public schools in Westlands District, eight (8) head teachers, eight (8) heads of mathematics department and thirty six (36) Mathematics teachers. The study employed purposive sampling where only the TSC employed teachers who had attended the SMASSE in-service training were interviewed. The data obtained was analyzed using SPSS and output presented in form of frequency distribution tables for interpretation. The study revealed that most teachers had a negative attitude towards SMASSE program which could be traced to the environment under which it was done and the benefits that they receive from the project. A significant percentage of the teachers (33.3%) of the teachers felt that SMASSE was not useful. This is despite the fact that over 60% of the respondents indicating that SMASSE had affected their teaching since it enhanced their professional development. Additionally over 80% of the respondents agreed that the themes and topics taught during SMASSE were relevant. However, over 50% of the HOD and 32% of the teachers indicated that the facilitators did not communicate their content clearly. The study further revealed that 69.3% of the teachers and 67.6% of the HODs agree that SMASSE activities delay the coverage of the syllabus since they were numerous and involving. With their current workloads it was not possible to undertake such activities. It is also interesting to note that 48% of the HODs and 40% of the Mathematics teachers felt that the time spent during the INSET was not managed properly. The teachers agreed that adequate materials were needed for successful implementation of the programme though funding was low, 68% of the teachers had indicated an increase in the materials though this was still inadequate. Administration is considered an important pillar for implementation. The teachers however felt that they were receiving little help from the administrators. Supervision was lacking as HODs only concentrated in checking Schemes of work and records of work at the expense of lesson plans. The study showed that 66.7% of the HODs rarely checked lesson plans while 60% of them never supervised lessons in class. The study recommended the following: there should be adequate materials to facilitate the implementation of the project; more teachers should be employed to ease the workload. Similarly, professional facilitators who can best manage the seminars and training should be employed. Additionally, the project should target schools with less teaching facilities. Consequently, there should be more financial support from the government and non-governmental organizations to facilitate implementation of the project. The SMASSE project can be best implemented if it is incorporated in the teachers training programs in universities and colleges.