Determinants of the development of students talents in co-curricular activities in secondary schools in Mwatate district, Kenya
Schools offer after school activities for the benefit of the children. The researcher intended to find out whether the current environment in secondary schools provided learners with opportunities to discover their talents, develop, nurture and make careers out of them in their future life. The main objective of the study was to examine the determinants of the development of student's talents in co-curricular activities in secondary schools. The study sought to establish the influence of funding; infrastructural facilities; teachers' roles and parental involvement on development of student's talents in co-curricular activities in secondary schools in Mwatate District, Kenya. The study used descriptive survey design to investigate how various factors influenced the development of co curricular talents among students in secondary schools in Mwatate District. Students' responses were compared against teachers and principals responses in order to test the hypotheses in this research. A total of 170 students from 17 schools in the district and 17 co-curricular teachers were sampled as the respondents. In addition, three randomly selected secondary school principals acted as key informants in the study. Data was collected using questionnaires from the three different types of respondents. The data analysis included both qualitative and quantitative methodologies. Content analysis was used to analyse the qualitative responses, while descriptive statistics was used to analyse quantitative data. Use of computer aided tools of XLSTAT helped in hypotheses testing. The researcher believed that the present study will encourage students to introspect and find out their innate co-curricular talents. The findings indicated that 60% of students stated that funding for co curricular activities was inadequate which affected their participation in games and sports. 71 % of students felt that there were no adequate co curricular infrastructural facilities in their schools. 76% of students thought that there was no positive parental involvement in co curricular activities. The research had the following recommendations: Each of the co curricular activity should be costed and adequately funded to ensure that all students have an opportunity to participate; The curriculum for teacher training should include professionalism in co curricular activities; Parents should be sensitized in identifying, nurturing and developing their children's co curricular talents; career guidance on co curricular activities to talented and gifted children be offered regularly in the school. The researcher recommended for further research in the following areas: development of children' talents from early childhood centers, primary schools and institutions of higher learning; The transition of talented learners from formal schools to professional co curricular clubs; The operationalization of the Ministry of Education talent centers in Secondary schools ..