Teaching life skills curriculum in primary schools in Lurambi division, Kakamega county, Kenya
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This study is a survey of the teaching of life skills curriculum in public primary schools in Lurambi Division of Kakamega County, Kenya. Life skills education was introduced in the Kenyan education curriculum by the government in 2008. This was with a view that acquisition of knowledge and psychosocial skills would enable learners to cope with problems they encounter in life and face them with vigor and skills. These problems arise from changes in the environment learners interact with and include drug and substance abuse, conflicts, early pregnancies, wastages, child abuse, school unrests among other anti-social behavior. Acquisition of Life skills promote good discipline in schools leading to good academic achievements and healthy relationships. Despite the good intentions the government and the curriculum developers had when introducing the curriculum, these problems still prevail hence giving room for this study. The objectives of this study were to identify teaching and learning resources used in teaching life skills and whether they were adequate, what issues affected teachers during its implementation, the attitudes the teachers and pupils had towards the subject, factors influenced by the community during implementation and lastly aimed at establishing the extent to which the subject was taught. Literature review was done from different sources which included written books, newspapers, magazines and the internet. The study adopted a descriptive survey method of investigation. Data was collected by means of questionnaires for teachers and pupils and interview schedules for the head teachers. From a population of 47 public primary schools, the study sampled 10 schools using convenient sampling basing on their location for ease of access. Respondents for the study included all head teachers, 30 teachers of life skills and a total of90 pupils. Data collected were analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics. The findings revealed that life skills was offered in all schools under study. All schools had life skills text books and chalk boards for use as learning and teaching aids though the text books were inadequate. A few schools also had charts and magazines. Majority of the pupils and teachers reported not to like life skills. Teachers also reported that they rarely taught life skills citing being overburdened with other teaching loads as the main cause. They observed that even though none of them had been involved in the development of life skills curriculum, very few had been trained on how to teach the subject. The head teachers also reported that teachers were getting very little assistance from the government and that life skills as a subject was not popular within the community. The study recommended that all schools were to give life skills the same priority accorded to other subjects during procurement of text books and also use teaching aids during its implementation. The study also recommended that teachers should be actively involved in curriculum planning and designing not only through in servicing but also through encouragement and support from the community, curriculum developers and the government.