Implementation of life skills education in public primary schools of Nkuene Division, Meru County, Kenya
Gituma, Esther Kirigo
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Regardless of their diversity in culture, economic condition and social and political structures, developing countries share a set of common and well defined goals. The introduction of, life skills education at both basic and 'tertiary education is meant among .other things, to improve all aspects . of quality education, ensuring equitable access to appropriate learning and facilitating education for. all (EFA) and Millennium Development Goals (MDG) initiatives'; The purpose of this study was to explore the status of implementation of Life Skills Education in Nkuene Division. The study examined how the programs are being implemented in primary schools in Nkuene Division. The study intended to meet the following objectives: to find out the status of implementation of Life Skills Education, to establish teachers' opinion towards .Life Skills Education, to determine 111emethod! pedagogics of implementation or Life Skills Education and lastly, to investigate the preparedness of primary schools in the implementation of Life Skill Education. The targeted population consisted of the District Education Officer, 12 head teachers and72 teachers and 180 pupils. All the 12 head teachers and the District Education Officer formed part of the sample. Purposive sampling was used to select 6 teachers of Life Skills Education in each school representing lower and upper primary classes which was equivalent to 19.7% of the total population of teachers. Data was collected using a questionnaire, interview guide and observation schedule. In an attempt to improve the validity and reliability of the questionnaire, a pilot study was conducted in two primary schools in Nkuene Division. A Spearman's correlation co-efficient of 0.82 allowed the use of questionnaire for data collection. Data obtained was analyzed using statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) to determine the status of the implementation of LSE in the Division. The study found out that in terms of in-service training, teachers were not adequately prepared to implement LSE. In an attempt to implement it, it was found that they encountered problems like inadequate teaching and learning resources and inadequate guidance on the implementation. Besides, LSE curriculum is yet to be implemented in a number of schools. Curriculum developers need to organize in service courses to guide teachers on the implementation of LSE. The researcher recommended that every school should have a L.S.E motto, whose reinforcement should start immediately the pupils join the school. Such a motto would ensure that every school is sufficiently equipped to adapt the whole school's approach to L.S.E. There is a need for teachers to receive training in L.S.E. in the teachers training colleges. Teachers in the field should also attend in-service training on L.S.E., seminars and workshops where they can get acquainted with the relevant knowledge and skills which is necessary for their teaching and guidance roles to their pupils. The MOEST should ensure there is monitoring and evaluating of L.S.E. Making L.S.E education examinable will ensure that the subject is being taught in all primary schools effectively. Involving parents andcommunities in the development of life skills curriculum can help to ensure their acceptance of sensitive issues. The ministry or education, the school governance and the parents should source funds to purchase material: for implementation of life skills education. The researcher suggests that a study should be conducted on the strategies being employed by school, administrators to cope with. the, challenges faced in implementation life skills education to pupils. The present study has not addressed a wide scope. A more extensive study that would cover larger samples should be conducted. This will verify the findings of this study about the status of implementation of L.S.E. It is also important to conduct a study to find out the parents assessment on the teaching of L.S.E in primary schools and at home. This may enable an opportunity to map out the parents' /communities assessment on the subject and also it could give a chance to the teachers to know the expectations of the parents! community.