An assessement of the implementation of Mathematics alternative B curriculum in secondary schools in Embakasi district, Kenya
Mathematics alternative B curriculum was introduction in Kenyan secondary schools in 2009 in order to address the poor performance in mathematics by secondary school learners in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations and foster positive attitude towards mathematics. Despite being a simpler version of the two mathematics subjects offered in Kenyan secondary schools (Miheso-O'Connor, 2011), examination results indicate that performance did not improve as it was anticipated (KNEC statistic, 2011). The purpose of this study therefore, was to assess the implementation of mathematics alternative 'B' curriculum in secondary schools in Embakasi district in Nairobi in relation to teaching and instructional methods being used in the implementation of mathematics alternative B curriculum, the academic and professional qualification of teachers implementing mathematics alternative B curriculum; the adequacy of learning and teaching resources necessary for its implementation and determine learners' attitudes towards mathematics alternative B curriculum. The study was guided by Leithwood's model of evaluation of curriculum implementation. This study adopted descriptive survey design. The sample comprised of 9 principals/directors, 14 mathematics teachers and 232 students. Data were collected by use questionnaires, checklist and document analysis guide and analysed by use of descriptive and inferential statistics. The findings indicate that teachers used a variety of methods to teach mathematics in class. However, teachers rated themselves as using explanation and demonstration methods prominently. The study revealed that although, directors, principals and mathematics teachers were not in-serviced before the implementation of mathematics curriculum, the majority of them had the right academic qualifications to implement it. It was found that the implementation of mathematics alternative B curriculum was constrained by inadequate teaching and learning resources. It was established that students had positive attitude towards the mathematics alternative B subject. It can be concluded that schools were not adequately prepared to implement the mathematics alternative B curriculum. The study recommends that Kenya Institute of Education (KIE) initiate in-service courses for teachers implementing the curriculum. School administration should provide enough teaching and learning resources needed for implementation of mathematics alternative B curriculum as soon as possible. Higher education institutions should immediately come up with the training program for teachers for mathematics alternative B curriculum. This would enable teachers to handle learners struggling with mathematics as it is the case in Singapore. Finally, since the study was carried in an urban setting there is need to conduct a similar study in other districts to find out if the same findings will be obtained. A longitudinal study should be done to find out whether the two cohorts of learners that opted for mathematics alternative B subject face any challenge in career choice, development and in the job market.