Determinants of mainstreaming life skills education curriculum in secondary schools in Tharaka south district, Kenya
Mugao, Veronica K
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The purpose of the study was to investigate the mainstreaming of Life Skills Education curriculum in secondary schools in Tharaka South District. Specifically, the study sought to establish the approaches used in teaching LSE and how they influence mainstreaming of Life Skills Education (LSE); assess the attitudes of secondary school learners towards mainstreaming of LSE, and there by determine whether in-service training equips teachers with knowledge necessary for mainstreaming LSE. It further assessed availability and adequacy of teaching and learning resources and their influence on mainstreaming of LSE; and established whether co-curricular activities in secondary schools influence mainstreaming of LSE in the district. The study was guided by the Social Learning Theory as postulated by Albert Bandura. Descriptive survey research design was adopted for the study. A sample of 50 teachers and 150 students was selected from a population of 114 teachers and 1,413 students using proportional, simple random sampling technique. Questionnaires were used to collect data from teachers and students. Statistical package for sciences (SPSS) was used to analyze quantitative data. The study established that LSE had not been adequately mainstreamed in schools across the district, and that half of the students did not have access to LSE. There was no common methodology on teaching of LSE. The subject mostly went unassessed. LSE was allocated to teachers at random irrespective of whether they had prior training. It was found out that teaching and learning approaches such as: discussion on relevant topic, having debates on relevant topics, having story telling sessions on different topics, use of case studies on how to solve particular social problems, use of invited resource persons with required life skill, having sessions for question and answers and the use of songs and dances on relevant themes were inadequately used in teaching and learning of life skills education. It was also found out that most teachers had not been trained on life skills education as indicated by 93% of teachers’ response. It was also found out that students had positive attitude to the learning of life skills education. Regarding the level of availability and adequacy of teaching and learning resources, such as; text books, magazines and newspapers, charts, posters video tapes and audio tapes on life skills education were available but inadequate in most secondary schools. The study established that students participated in co-curricular activities in secondary schools which included: debating clubs, family clubs, peer counseling club, journalism clubs, Debating club, Football competitions, Health clubs and Peer counseling club which they responded that they helped them to develop positive behavior, communicate effectively, build health relationship among their peers and be assertive. In view of the findings it was recommended that the funds should be availed by the Ministry of Education to procure specifically life skills teaching and learning resources, teachers to use variety of instructional participatory approaches and learners to be involved in wider learning activities. Ministry of education was also recommended to review current assessment approach of LSE and enhance effective mainstreaming of LSE through monitoring. The study concluded that most secondary schools were inadequately equipped with instructional materials for mainstreaming LSE curriculum, there was no common instructional approaches (methodology) mostly used by teachers to teach LSE, most activities students engaged in mainstreaming LSE and learning process were too narrow; and that LSE was not allocated in the time table in most of the schools. The subject mostly went un-assessed. The finding of the study may be significant to Kenya institute of education to inform them on the need to revise training of curriculum to incorporate life skills. From the findings it was recommended that the teachers should be trained on life skills to enhance effective mainstreaming of life skills education curriculum in secondary schools. In view of delimitations of the study, it was suggested that further research be conducted covering the entire Tharaka south district. Similar research should also be conducted in private schools.