The role of teachers advisory centres in curriculum evaluation in upper and lower Nyakach divisions
Kowino, Joash Obwana
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This study was a descriptive survey research on the role of Teachers Advisory Centres in curriculum evaluation in Upper and Lower Nyakach divisions of Nyando district, Nyanza province, Kenya. Gay (1976) recommends descriptive research design because findings can be easily disseminated to majority of readers. The main question that the study set to answer was how the Teachers Advisory Centres carry out curriculum evaluation activities and which constraints hinder their smooth operations. Data were collected by the use of questionnaires which were administered personally by the researcher on the Teachers Advisory Centre tutors. The questionnaires consisted of both open-ended and closed-ended questions. The Teachers Advisory Centre Tutors were purposefully selected as the study directly affected them. As such eight (8) Teachers Advisory Centre Tutors, five in Upper, and three in Lower Nyakach Division were served with questionnaires. Another set of questionnaires was administered on twenty-four (24) randomly sampled headteachers of primary schools, three in each zone. The questions were both open-ended and closed-ended type. This was to corroborate the information given by the TAC tutors in order to establish the reliability of their information. Apart from the above, all the zonal inspectors of schools (ZIS) in the various zones where the study was carried out were purposefully selected for an interview. This selection was necessary as the zonal inspectors are the overseers of the curriculum implementation process of which curriculum evaluation is an aspect. Moreover, the Teachers Advisory Centre tutors work hand in hand with the zonal inspectors of schools. Given above, eight (8) zonal inspectors of schools were interviewed to provide data for the study. Observation checklists were also used to supplement data through questionnaires and interview schedules. The piloting of the research instruments was carried out in three randomly selected TAC offices and three inspectorial offices sampled on the same basis. Eight headteachers were also randomly selected for the piloting exercise. Piloting took two weeks while data collection took three months. In total 40 respondents participated in the study. Data analysis was done using the qualitative method where information collected through questionnaires, interviews and observation checklists were transcribed into a written form. Data were then organised as per the research questions and objectives of the study. Results of the data analysis were presented in tables of frequency distributions and simple percentages. According to the findings, the teachers Advisory Centres participate in curriculum evaluation in primary schools in Upper and Lower Nyakach Divisions. They organize evaluation panels that are patronized by the zonal inspectors of schools. These panels consist of teachers and some stakeholders in education like parents and representatives of the local provincial administration. In such panels are also key resource teachers who assist in inservicing of other teachers in order to prepare them for the evaluation exercise. The findings of this study discovered that TACs also evaluate the curriculum to determine its relevance and recommend to the Ministry of Education what improvements should be made on teacher performance, instruction, materials and the entire curriculum development process. This evaluation is done at local levels. Several recommendations were made. Among them the researcher suggested the formalization of the training of TAC in curriculum issues instead of promoting class teachers to become TAC tutors and then inservicing them. The researcher also suggested the establishment of TAC funds by the Ministry of Education to assist in greater involvement of the TAC in curriculum development in the nation. Involving them in curriculum project piloting will be a greater challenge to them. Finally the researcher suggested that a formal curriculum evaluation panel assisting the TAC in the zone be established by the Ministry of Education.