The Role of the Christian Church in Curriculum Development in Kenya: A Case Study of Cisret and Create Inservice Teacher Education Programs
Malusu, Joseph Masingule
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Introduction of the Primary Christian Religious Education (1980) Syllabus into schools in ] 981 and in 1985 following the national implementation of the 8:4:4 System of Education in Kenya faced many curriculum problems connected with lack of resources; deployment of unqualified teachers, a new ecumenical Christian approach to the teaching of Christian Religious Education as opposed to past specific church approach. Teachers were equally confused with the many fast changes in the Primary Christian Religious Education. Some teachers felt inadequate to teach the Programs of Pastoral Instruction which were part of the new Christian Religious Education Syllabus. The Christian Church responded to the problems of teaching the Primary Christian Religious Education (1980) Syllabus by launching lnservice Education Programs in1981 (CISRET) and 1982 (CREATE) for Catholic and Protestant teachers of Primary Christian Religious Education respectively. However, since the Inservice Programs were launched, no independent objective study had been carried out to determine the worth of the Programs in meeting the needs of teachers for the implementation of the Primary Christian Religious Education The purpose of the study was to investigate the role of the Christian Church in curriculum development in Kenya with specific reference to the contribution of CISRET and CREATE Inservice Teacher Education Programs to the teaching of Christian Religious Education in Primary Schools. The study was focused on analysis of the Programs in relation to the implementation of the Primary Christian Religious Education curriculum in Kenya in order to establish their worth. Specific objectives,research questions were formulated and assumptions made on the basis of Lewy's (1977) curriculum rationale for Inservice Teacher Education Programs to guide in the investigation. The study sample was composed of two hundred and ninety-six graduates of the CISRET and CREATE Inservice Programs who were selected through quota sampling method; two sponsors; six trainers; two Directors of the lnservice Programs, and ten Field Officers, who were all selected through purposive sampling. Information relating to the purpose of the study was collected through questionnaires, interviews and observation checklists which were constructed to answer specific research questions and discussed with experts in the field of study before using them. The collected data was then categorized, coded and summarized using both quantitative and qualitative descriptions, according to the following three major themes that emerged in the study in relation to the research questions: Needs assessment of the Graduates of CISRET and CREATE Curriculum Activities of the Graduates of CISRET and CREATE Curriculum Design and Implementation of CISRET and CREATE The findings indicated that the main objective of the Inservice Education Programs, that of providing the trainees with new knowledge, attitudes and skills to implement the Primary Christian Religious Education curriculum, has been sufficiently achieved. The conclusions reached show the importance of Continuous Inservice Education for Teachers (INSET) Programs [or curriculum implementation.