A study of the preservice training of primary school teachers for vocational education in Kenya
The study was designed to examine the type of training the primary school teacher trainees undergo in the area of the vocational subjects-Art/Craft, Music, Home science, Business Education and Agriculture. The Problem. Following the introduction of the 8-4-4 system of education in Kenya, one of the problems to be dealt with was the question of provision of qualified teachers- especially in the area of technical and vocational education. This cadre of teachers was lamentably in short supply. Population Sample The study was conducted among the government primary teachers’ colleges in Kenya. At the time of the study, there were fifteen (15) teachers' colleges from which eight (8) were randomly selected as explained in chapter three of the dissertation. The eight principals of these colleges were respondents in the study. In addition, three hundred and twenty (320) students and eighty tutors were also randomly selected as explained in chapter three. Findings of the Study. After collecting and analysing the data, several findings were evident: - There is a considerable shortfall in the number of staff required by the college in each of the subjects studied. - The tutors enumerated various problem areas in their subject areas:- Art/Craft- Leatherwork, woodwork, puppetry fabric design, lithography, weaving, building construction and metal work. Music- Playing of musical instruments, playing western music, methodology and theory of music. Home science- Clothing and textiles, practical cookery, foods and nutrition, laundry and needlework. Business education:- Accounts, office practice and business records. Agriculture:- Farm structures, crop diseases, fertilizer calculations, farm tools, fish farming, soil ph, agricultural economics. - Students lack the ability to relate theory and practice in each of the subjects. Recommendations- Arising from the field study and the findings of the study, the following summary recommendations were made; - The graduate tutors in the colleges are severely handicapped as their university education in a primary teachers' college. It is therefore, recommended that: (a) The primary methods of teaching be incorporated in the teaching be incorporated in the teaching methods section of each teaching subject at the universities. (b) The bachelor of education (primary option) and master of education (primary teacher education) be revived, strengthened and started in all the universities faculties of education in Kenya (c) Since the current bachelor of education programs do not equip the graduates with primary methods of teaching, the new university college graduates posted to the primary teachers colleges should be given college based induction courses in how to teach at the primary school level and how to assess a lesson in a primary school. - The primary teacher education syllabus is too congested and ways should be worked out to make some subjects electives so that the trainees can take a manageable number of subjects. Conclusion. This has been a summary of the study and has attempted, in a nutshell, to present the problem, its purpose(s), findings and the recommendations. A detailed treatment of these aspects of the research is presented in the main text of the thesis.