Examination of quality education in private primary schools in Kenya: the case of Westlands Sub County in Nairobi County
Ondicho, Naom K.
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There is concern over the quality of education offered in Kenya's private primary schools, especially in the face of challenges graduates of these schools face when they transit to secondary schools. This paper is based on the findings of a study done in 5 purposively selected private primary schools in Westlands Sub-County, Nairobi County.The objectives of the study were to: Establish the type of curriculum children are exposed to in private primary schools, explore teaching strategies adopted by teachers in private primary schools, identify the available learner support facilities in private primary schools and explore strategies adopted by the private primary school stakeholders to post good results in national exams. The study adopted a descriptive survey research design. From the target population a sample of 160 respondents [5 head teachers, 30 teachers, 100 pupils and 25 parents) participated in the study. Data was collected using questionnaires, observation guides and interview schedules. Quantitative data was analyzed using quantitative approaches whereas qualitative data was analyzed thematically. Findings revealed that the curriculum in the selected schools matched with the recommended curriculum in public schools albeit with a few additional subjects and that teacher pedagogies were guided by the mean score. This determined the teacher-pupil activities in and out of class. Findings also showed that pupils had minimal time for socialization and eo-curricular activities for fear that this would rob them of valuable study time. It was further revealed that rote learning was encouraged and that pupils did not internalize content taught. The pupils felt overwhelmed with school work both at home and at school. Based on these findings, the study concluded that the education offered in someprivate pnmary schools was deceptive and lopsided as it impacted negatively on the pupils' social life and the aspect of quality of education as envisaged. The study recommended that MOEST ensures holistic approach is adopted if quality education has to retain its meaning and that teaching should also be focused on acquisition of problem solving skills. Key Words: Quality education, Private Schools, pedagogy, teaching and teaching resources