Challenges faced in teaching of home science in primary teacher training colleges in Embu and Meru Counties, Kenya
The central problem of this study is that despite the great importance placed on home science subject in the family life there are problems inhibiting its implementation in all levels of education especially in teacher training colleges. The purpose of the study was to assess the teaching of home science in PTTCs in Embu and Meru Counties. The objectives of the study were to:examine the support provided by KICD to home science tutors in PTTCs in Embu and Meru Counties; determine the problems encountered by trainees in learning home science; examine the challenges experienced by heads of subjects and home science tutors in teaching and implementing the home science syllabus in PTTCs; determine the methodologies used to teach home science in PTTCs and identify the teaching and learning resources available for home science education in PTTCs. Also of interest to the researcher was the level of collaboration between the KICD personnel and the home science tutors in PTTCs. The target population for the study was all the five PTTCS in Embu and Meru Counties. The target respondents included all those who are directly involved in home science teacher education in PTTCS. These are the teacher trainees, home science tutors, home science heads of subject and the subject panel representative at KICD. The total population for the subjects of the study consisted of 14 home science tutors, 5 subject heads, 1,118 trainees from the PTTCs and one subject panel member. Two types of sampling procedures were employed in this study; purposive and simple random sampling. Purposive sampling enabled the researcher to sample the KICD home science subject panel representative and the home science subject head from each PTTC while the trainee sample was selected using simple random sampling based on the ratio of the student population in each college. The study utilized a combination of instruments. This included trainees and tutors questionnaire, an interview schedule for the subject panel representative and an observation schedule for observing the real classroom situation. Data collected were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Frequency distributions, tables and percentages were used to present the analysed data. This was done using the statistical package for social sciences (SPSS). The study findings revealed PTTCs receive support from KICD in various ways. The study also divulged numerous challenges encountered by trainees in learning home science in PTTCs and challenges experienced by heads of subjects and home science tutors in teaching and implementing the home science syllabus in PTTCs. Methodologies used to teach home science in PTTCs were also assessed. The study also assessed the availability and unavailability of teaching and learning resources for home science education. It was recommended that; tutors should be encouraged to use as many teaching and learning resources as possible to set an environment which is simulative and conducive to learning and in which the trainees can be easily guided through the discovery of knowledge on their own. Tutors should also concentrate on individual students to guide trainees specifically on their difficult areas either in theory or practical lessons.