Implementation of Government Policies on Classroom Organization in Early Childhood Education Centres in Bungoma East Sub-County, Bungoma County, Kenya: A Comparative Analysis
Munandi, Emily Khakasa
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Early childhood education plays a crucial role in laying the foundation for further education and character formation of children. For children to achieve good results in any early childhood class, a good classroom set up plays a role in helping children develop positive attitudes towards learning and it offers ideal opportunities for children to achieve social interactions. To ensure proper classroom organization and hence quality education, countries have policies on Early Childhood Education (ECE) classroom organization. Policies are important as they tend to focus on how teachers act toward classroom organization. This study investigated the implementation of government policies on classroom organization in early childhood centres in Bungoma East Sub-County. Specifically the study sought to achieve the following objectives: To analyze the teaching and learning aids arrangement and display in early childhood classroom to establish its consistency with the government policy on classroom organization; to examine the seating arrangement of children in order to establish if it is consistent with the government guidelines on classroom organization; to assess the process of grouping children and its consistency with the government policy on classroom organization and to examine how material distribution is done and if it is consistent with the government policy. The study was guided by Cultural Lag Theory By William Ogborn. The sample consisted of 15 ECE centres, 15 ECE headteachers, 60 EeE teachers and 3 ECE officials. Descriptive study design was employed to conduct the study. The research instruments used were questionnaire for teachers, interview scheduJes for headteachers and EeE officials, observation checklist and document analysis. Data collection was done by self- administration of the questionnaire and collected after one week. Face-to-face interviews with headteachers and ECE officials were conducted at their convenient time and the researcher used an observation checklist to ascertain the availability of class displays and corners in classrooms. Quantitative data were coded and summarized into frequencies and percentages with the help of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Qualitative data from the Questionnaire, interview schedules, document analysis and observation checklist were summarized into themes as they emerged from responses and presented in a narrative form. The study revealed that in both urban and rural ECE centres in Bungoma East Sub-County, the implementation of arrangement and display of teaching and learning materials policy is low; the policy on' seating arrangement is to a small extent being implemented in urban ECE centres as compared to rural ECE centres where implementation is low and in both rural and urban ECE centres the implementation of the policy on grouping of children and material distribution is equally low. The study recommends that teacher training, in-service, capacity building seminars and workshop need to be organized to involve all stakeholders if the policy on classroom organization in ECE centres has to be fully implemented.