Extent of public support for physical education in Kenya
Chumba, Janet Muhalia
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Physical Education (PE) is a compulsory subject for all learners in all the public primary and secondary schools in Kenya. The curriculum for the subject is centrally developed by a panel of experts at the Kenya Institute of Education (KIE). However, inspite of the teaching of the subject in the school system being mandatory, it is not examinable. Due to the physical nature of the activities designed to be undertaken, coupled with the fact that the no examinations are undertaken, a number of research and scholarly works have noted that little attention tends to be directed to the subject in terms of actual teaching and resource allocation. The researchers and scholars have therefore, consistently questioned the support and status that is attached to the subject. Consequently, this study was carried out to determine the extent of public support for the subject. An exploratory survey research design was adopted for the study. The respondents included 50 teachers from public schools, 49 university PE students, 22 university non-PE students and 13 parents who were randomly selected. A questionnaire containing items that captured seven statements relating to either the importance attached to PE or measures that are crucial to promoting the status of the subject viz-aviz other academic subjects was used to collect data. The data was analyzed descriptively and with computation of chi-square at 0.05 level of significance. The results revealed significant public support for PE as a subject and on the measures that would uplift its status. Based on the findings, it is recommended that stakeholders in the teaching-learning of the subject should capitalize on the popular support that the subject commands to jointly direct their efforts towards implementing measures that are crucial to making the subject brought at par with the rest of the subjects in the School system in Kenya.