The contribution of children’s involvement in housework to academic competence during early childhood at city primary school, Nairobi county.
Kulundu, Ambetsa Esther
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Early childhood education is now recognized as critical in laying the foundation for holistic development of young children during the formative years. Research in early childhood emphasizes the interplay between the home and the school in enhancing quality holistic experiences in children in the early years. However, the rise in industrialization and technological advancements in modern day society have led to a lot of changes in child rearing practices especially in the urban areas. These changes include: a greater number of mothers seeking employment, employment of domestic servants in the homes, a more demanding education system and so on. These changes have had tremendous effects on childhood experiences that have all along been significant to the development of children including the participation of children in housework. Participation of children in housework is a traditional practice that has been imperative in the holistic development of school children including academic competences. However, current research does not show whether this practice is still being upheld, especially in the urban households where the effects of modernity are the greatest. This gap in knowledge was the basis for conducting this study. This was a descriptive survey, whose purpose was to find out whether or not school children in urban households are being involved in housework and how this relate to their academic performance in the school activity areas. Qualitative methods of data collection and analysis were used during the study. Purposive sampling was used to select the specific settings and respondents relevant to the study. It was done among six to eight year old children, parents and teachers in City Primary School, Nairobi County. The sampling frame was 77 respondents which was 30.08% of the population. Naturalistic observations of the children at home and at school and in-depth interviews and questionnaires were the primary sources of data. In addition, document analysis, and field notes provided additional secondary data. A pilot study was conducted among children and parents at Ngara Road primary school, to test the validity and reliability of the instruments. Qualitative analysis procedures were used to analyze the data collected and the generated theory was compared to existing theory. The findings showed that most children in urban areas did not participate in housework. Children‟s main activities at home included doing school assignments, play and watching television. Schoolwork was a major competing force to children‟s participation in housework. The recommendation is that parents, teachers and policy makers should be enlightened on the role of housework in developing academic competence in early childhood.