Factors that influence implementation of life skills education in public secondary schools, Kigumo district, Murang’a county, Kenya
Life Skills Education was introduced in the Kenyan School Curriculum to foster the development of all round individuals upon graduating from secondary school. LSE aims at promoting behavior change by developing the attitudes, knowledge and skills which enable the individual to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life. As shown in the background, the poor academic performance and the reported many cases of students’ unrest in Murang’a County seem to suggest that, the objectives of Life Skills education have not been achieved. This study therefore sought to assess the factors influencing the implementation of life skills education in secondary schools in Kigumo District, Murang’a County. The study was guided by the following objectives: to assess the attitudes of teachers and principals towards implementation of life skills education in secondary schools, in Kigumo District; to assess whether the teaching methods used by teachers influence implementation of life skills education; to establish whether availability of learning resources influence implementation of the life skills education; and to determine whether teachers’ characteristics in terms of professional qualification and in -service training influence implementation of Life skills education in secondary schools in Kigumo district. The study used a descriptive survey design targeting all the principals, life skill teachers and form three and four students in Kigumo District. Simple random sampling was used to select 444 students while purposive sampling was used to select 53 teachers and 35 principals. Three different questionnaires designed for principals, teachers and students were used to collect data for the study. Before collecting the actual data, a pilot study was conducted in two schools in Kigumo District. The aim of the pilot study was to ascertain the reliability and validity of the data collection tools. Data was both qualitative and quantitative. Quantitative data collected was coded and entered into an SPSS programme for analysis. Qualitative data was put under themes consistent with the research objectives. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was also used to analyze the data. The study established that the negative attitude among teachers and principals undermined implementation of life skill education in school curriculum; most of the teachers’ utilized LSE lesson to teach other subjects since the subject was not examinable. It was established that teaching methods also influenced the implementation of LSE. The findings revealed that role plays, discussions, drama and use of resource persons were effective on implementation of life skill education in schools. However, case study, story telling, songs/dances, debates, miming and field visits did not have any significant influence on implementation. The study further established that shortage of teaching and learning materials negatively influences realization of life skill education in the schools curriculum. The study recommends that the government should commit itself and budget for financial support to schools in terms of provision of teaching and learning materials needed for programme implementation; school principals should ensure that teachers don’t utilize LSE lesson to teach other subjects; among other recommendations.