Challenges facing implementation of life skills education in secondary schools in Trans-nzoia West District, Kenya
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Though Life Skills Education is being implemented in secondary schools, effective teaching is hampered by several factors. The purpose of this study was to investigate challenges facing implementation of Life Skills Education in secondary schools in Trans- Nzoia West District. To achieve this purpose, the study was guided by the following objectives: to determine teachers' training on Life Skills Education, find out teachers' and students attitudes towards implementation of Life Skills Education in secondary schools, establish the level of availability and adequacy of teaching/learning resources for implementing Life Skills Education in secondary schools, analyze on the teaching/learning strategies adopted by teachers to implement Life Skills Education in secondary schools and find out suggestions of teachers and students on the ways of improving implementation of Life Skills ducation in secondary schools. A descriptive survey design was used for the study. The target population for the study was secondary schools with a total population of 1965, which constituted: 1800 students, 150 teachers and 15 principals. Out of the 37 public secondary schools in the district, the study sampled 17 schools, giving 46% (including 2 schools for piloting which were not included in the actual study). Stratified sampling techniques were used to group schools into two strata. The study targeted principals, teachers and students of the sampled schools. Purposive sampling technique was used to sample teachers and principals, while simple random sampling technique was used to sample students. A total of 225 respondents were sampled for the study; this constituted: 15 principals, 30 teachers and 180 students. Questionnaires were used to collect data from teachers and students while interview schedules were used to collect data from the principals. Piloting was done to test the validity of the instruments of the study. Reliability was determined by seeking advice from the supervisors. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to analyze quantitative data while qualitative data were analyzed thematically. The study found that most teachers had not been trained on Life Skills Education as indicated by (80%) of the teachers interviewed. It was also found that teachers had negative attitude while students had positive attitude towards teaching of Life Skills Education. Regarding the level of availability and adequacy of teaching and learning resources, the study found that teaching/learning resources such as: charts and pictures, magazines, newsletters, pamphlets and video tapes were available but inadequate in most secondary schools studied. The study finally found that teaching strategies such as: discussions on relevant topics, having debates on relevant topics, having story-telling sessions on different topics, use of case studies on how to solve particular problems, having sessions for questions and answers and the use of songs and dances on relevant themes were inadequately used in the teaching of life skills education. The findings of the study will be significant to KIE as they will use them to revise the training curriculum to incorporate Life Skills Education. Though Life Skills Education is being implemented in most secondary schools studied, it was concluded that effective teaching is hampered by school context factors and therefore, making it difficult for teachers to deliver the relevant content appropriately. The study recommends that teachers should be trained on Life Skills; this was viewed as the best strategy for ensuring effective implementation of Life Skills curriculum in secondary schools.