Teacher-related factors that affect implementation of the integrated secondary school christian religious education syllabus in Mombasa district, Kenya
There have been many curriculum changes in Kenya since independence. These changes are usually implemented after a report of a commission appointed by the government. For example in 1985 Kenya changed its education system from seven years of primary education, four years secondary, two years of high school and three years of first degree in the university to eight years of primary education, four years of secondary school and four years of the first degree in the university. The 8-4-4-education system is mainly characterized by its integrated (broadfileds) approach in contrast to the previous system, which emphasized a separate subjects approach. When the integrated approach was introduced in Kenyan Secondary Schools, teachers were inadequately in serviced. Research has shown that without in service course, teachers encounter problems in implementing a new curriculum innovation. (Porter, 1975; Hawes, 1979; Malusu, 1997). In addition, pre-service training alone is insufficient to provide teachers with all the skills and knowledge in implementing the school curriculum (Porter 1975; Oluoch, 1982). The success of a curriculum innovation, therefore, depends on the preparedness of the implementers (teachers) (Oluoch, 1982). Like any new curriculum innovation, the 8-4-4 program presented new challenges to teachers, it required new knowledge, skills and attitude to implement it effectively (Hawes 1979; Oluoch 1982; Malusu 1997). In addition, it required the in servicing of teachers to keep the teachers abreast of the new strategies of implementing the new curriculum innovation (Oluoch 1982). Most importantly, teachers were to be convinced on the necessity of the innovation since they are the main agents of implementation (Hawes, 1979). From the literature reviewed, there is no empirical evidence to show how well teachers were prepared to implement the integrated secondary school syllabus (1985) under the 8-4-4 system and the challenges they encounter. This study intended to investigate teacher related factors affecting the implementation of the integrated Secondary school C.R.E. Syllabus (1985). This study was carried out within Mombasa District, Coast Province of Kenya. The research design was a descriptive survey. Ten schools were purposively selected for the study to obtain qualitative data from the teachers of integrated C.R.E. syllabus. Information on the teachers' experiences on the implementation of the C.R.E. course was obtained by the use of a questionnaires, interview and observation schedules. Information regarding the experiences and opinions of heads of department (humanities) and head teachers was sought through the use of interview schedules. The data was analyzed and interpreted qualitatively. Although most teachers were generally of sound academic and professional competences, they did not have a clear understanding of the concept of integration in relation to the teaching of integrated C.R.E. curriculum. Therefore, they encountered a number of problems in the implementation of the new curriculum innovation. The study hence, recommends that the course be taught in universities to the teacher-to-be by qualified staffs that are competent in the thematic (broad fields) approach to C.R.E. curriculum. The study also recommends continuous in-service training for all the teachers of integrated C.R.E. curriculum among other recommendations.