Effects of language of instruction on performance of refugee children in public primary schools in Starehe District, Kenya
Manguti, Alice M
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of language of instruction on performance of refugee children in primary education in public primary schools in Starehe District. Specifically, the objectives of the study were to establish the extent to which refugee children are affected by language of instruction in education performance; to examine the extent to which remedial teaching in language of instruction affects education performance of refugee children; to establish barriers faced by teachers in using English language among refugee children and to determine the challenges of language of instruction on academic performance of refugee children. This study adopted descriptive survey design where the population was 29 public primary schools, 29 headteachers 576 teachers and 2,500 refugees in Starehe district in Nairobi. purposive sampling was used to select the schools which had refugee children.18 public primary schools in Starehe district were selected. One headteacher was picked from each selected school giving a sample size of 18headteachers. purposive sampling was used to select 54 teachers, 3 from each school. According to Mugenda & Mugenda10% of the refugees were selected giving rise to a total of 288 refugees. Questionnaires were used to collect data because they are much more efficient in that they permit collection of data from a much larger sample. Focus group discussions were also used to get information from children who could not express themselves by filling the questionnaires. The findings of the study showed that majority (55 .6%) of the schools as represented by headteachers, had between 16 and 20 teachers and the rest had above 25teachers.Findings on the number of refugees in the respective schools showed that; in 2010 we had the highest number of refugees as represented by a mean of 5.2 and standard deviation of 1.1. Findings on the number of streams in each class showed that majority (61.1%) classes had 3 streams and the remaining (38.9%) had two streams. Regarding the teachers response on the number of lessons they teach per week, majority 80.8% revealed that they have over 30 lessons per week. Regarding origin of refugees majority were from Somalia followed by those from Congo. From the study, the researcher concluded that, the performance of refugee pupils in public primary schools is adversely affected due to lack of adequate learning facilities like storybooks particularly those of English and Kiswahili. This can improve their language. As indicated by the findings, the refugee pupils showed that the commonly used language in their country was Somali and Arabic which is not official in Kenya as an instructional language. Therefore, the Ministry of Education should employ more learning resources in English and Kiswahili. Teachers should also be employed to take care of the rising number of refugees to all public primary schools to enhance better performance in such schools. Recommendation for further study include;A study on other factors other than the language of instruction should be carried out to determine the extent to which they affect performance of refugee children in public primary schools in Starehe district. The same study should be done in other districts and in secondary schools to determine if the outcome will be the same.