The main coping Strategies being Applied by teachers and school Managers to Implement Life Skills Education in Trans- Nzoia West District, Kenya
Orodho, John Aluko
Osero, Peterson Ondieki
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The gist of this study was to investigate the copping strategies applied by teachers and school managers to implement life skill education in secondary schools in Trans-Nzoia West District, Kenya. This study used Social Learning Theory or Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) by Albert Bandura (1986), which explains that children learn to behave through both formal instruction (for example how parents, teachers and other authorities and what role-models tell them to behave) as well as observation) amongst others. A descriptive survey research design was adopted for the study. From the target population of 1800 students, 150 teachers and 37 principals in 37 public secondary schools in the district, stratified random sampling technique was adopted to draw 15 principals, 30 teachers and 180 students yielding 225 subjects. Questionnaires were used to collect data from teachers and students while interview schedules were used to collect data from the principals. Quantitative data from questionnaires were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) while qualitative data from interviews were analyzed thematically. The main findings were that: the teachers and school managers were not well prepared to implement lifeskills education because of the fact that not only were the teachers not specifically trained to handle LSE, but they also claimed that since LSE is not examinable subject, it was also an added burden in the context of the high student-teacher ratio due to inadequate teaching force. In addition, although instructional resources are fairly available in most schools visited, they were grossly inadequate. While the attitude towards LSE education was positive amongst students, the teachers had negative attitude. It was evident that teachers and school managers had adopted various largely appropriate and participatory copping strategies including discussion, debates, brain-storming, case studies and storytelling amongst students and teachers to implement the LSE curriculum. What remains to be established is the extent of effectiveness of the applied strategies in meeting the objectives of LSE curriculum. It is thus recommended that relevant Government Ministries and semi autonomous Agencies (SAGAs) should fast track staff development initiatives through in-service training to equip teachers and school managers with relevant knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for the implementation of LSE curriculum not only in the study locale but in other counties experiencing similar constraints in the country.