K School factors influencing the implementation of life skills education in public primary schools in Athi-River District, Kenya
The purpose of the study was to investigate the school factors influencing the implementation of life skills education (LSE) in public primary schools in Athi River district, Kenya. Five research objectives were set to guide the study. They aimed at; establishing the adequacy of time allocated to LSE, analyzing teachers' perceptions on their preparedness to implement LSE, assessing the availability and adequacy of the learning and teaching resources for implementation of LSE, analyzing the appropriateness of the teaching methodologies in the implementation of LSE and analyzing learners' attitudes towards the implementation of LSE. The study adopted the descriptive survey design to find out school factors influencing the implementation of life skills education. The sample size comprised of 93 teachers and 336 pupils. Data were collected by use of questionnaires for both the life skills education teachers and the students. The reliability of the research instruments was ascertained by a test and a re-test exercise on the pilot study sample. The findings indicated that there was consistency (r = 0.84) signifying that the instruments were reliable. Findings revealed that time allocated to LSE affected the implementation of life skills education. For example, teachers stated that LSE was allocated 1 lesson per week on the time table while the maximum required number of lessons allocated were 3 per week. Inadequate time allocation led to inadequate content coverage hence affecting the implementation of the LSE curriculum. Findings on the effects of teachers' perceptions as to their preparedness to implement life skills education revealed that teachers' perceptions had a positive effect on LSE curriculum implementation. Findings on the effect of availability and adequacy of learning and teaching resources on the implementation of life skills education revealed that resources for teaching LSE were not adequate which negatively impacted upon the implementation of LSE. The research findings also showed that teaching methodologies influenced the implementation of life skills education. Demonstration and question and answer methods were preferred by a majority. Findings on the influence of learners' attitudes to life skills education on the implementation of life skills education revealed that learners had a positive attitude. Based on the findings, the study revealed that time allocated to LSE affected the implementation of life skills education. Teachers indicated that time allocated for teaching LSE was inadequate which resulted in inadequate content coverage hence negatively affecting the implementation of the LSE curriculum. Based on the findings it was recommended that headteachers should take a leading role in ensuring that time allocated to LSE in their schools is in accordance with the guidelines provided by the Kenya Institute of Education. The study further recommended that the government through the Ministry of Education (MoE) should have in-service courses for teachers since training is an important component of curriculum implementation. Based on the fmdings of the study, it was suggested that an investigation on the influence on the gender of the teacher on LSE implementation should be conducted.