Students, teachers, head teachers and parents' perceptions towards streaming in secondary schools in Molo district, Nakuru county, Kenya
Omiena, Joseph Otieno
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Placement of learners in various streams based on their perceived academic abilities remains a controversial educational practice all over the world. While some educationists opine that it is the best practice for the realization of students' educational outcomes, some have associated it with various ills that bedevil education outcomes among learners. Many studies however, view streaming as a bad practice despite its widespread use in schools. This study therefore sought to investigate students, teachers, head teachers and parents' perceptions towards streaming in secondary schools in Molo District; Nakuru County, Kenya. The study adopted socialleaming theory developed by Albert Bandura. Literature reviewed was in line with the study objectives, research questions, and was from within and without Kenya. Further, the literature was in line with the topic of study students, teachers, head teachers and parents' perceptions towards streaming in secondary schools. The study adopted a descriptive survey design while a purposive sampling technique was used to sample the secondary schools used in this study. From a population of 11330, a sample size of 318, took part in the study. This included students, teachers, head teachers and parents (PTA members). The validity and reliability of the research instruments were ensured before the instruments were administered A reliability correlation coefficient of 0.7 using Pearson's Product Moment formula for test re-test was adopted for the study. Using interview schedules and questionnaires, data was collected, coded and analyzed using SPSS version 11.5 for windows la07. The presentation was done using tables, percentages, pie charts and bar graphs. From the study, the main findings were that 66.7% of secondary schools in Mojo District practiced streaming yet 53.8% of the respondents felt that it was a bad educational practice. Further, 59.7% felt that streaming was an undependable method of achieving the best educational outcomes. From the findings, it was concluded that streaming was a common practice in Molo District secondary schools yet many stakeholders did not view it as an effective practice that could enhance students' educational outcomes. It was alsoconcluded that there was disconnect between service providers and the clients on the best mode of students' placement within schools in the district. In light of this, it was recommended that school managers should adopt ability mixing to promote equity for the realization of better educational outcomes. It was also recommended that school head teachers should consult parents and students on deciding the best mode of students' placements. It was further recommended that there was a need to replicate this study using a larger sample from a wider administrative unit such as a County.