A survey of problems encountered in the teaching of geometry in uppper primary classes of Kericho district in Kenya
Chemunyan, Joseph Kibet A.
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The study looked at the problems encountered by primary mathematics teachers in teaching geometry. The study involved twenty six. (26) teachers, of whom 1 were trained. A questionnaire was administered to them and it sought information about: the teacher, his qualification, his preparedness, the teaching facilities and assessment of pupils work. The results of the study revealed that the primary mathematics teachers in Longisa Educational Zone of Kericho District encounter problems in teaching geometry. These teachers have to cope with the challenging problems especially when it comes to the teaching methods and strategies. Some have problems with the subject matter itself. With the introduction of new elements to the syllabus some of the trained teachers find themselves in difficulties. Yet still there are those teachers who are trained and conversant with the current syllabus but are faced with classroom problems. These are overcrowded classes, absence of teaching-and learning resources, medium of instruction, and overcrowed curriculum. Analysis of primary mathematics teachers' responses revealed that teaching geometry needed: more time allocation, small class size, variety of teaching and learning resources and exploratory approach. The recommendation was made for. The teachers, to the Kenya Institute of Education (KIE) , Ministry of Education and the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC). Teachers are to: i) be well conversant with all the topic areas in the syllabus, ii) form mathematical associations, iii) teach for understanding but not as competing to complete a syllabus KIE shbuld; review the overloaded 8-4-4 system of education with the intention of making it manageable. In reviewing, attention should be given to the area of geometry in that it needs more time allocation. The MinIstry of Education should: i) ensure that all teachers receive formal education. At their training the trainees should have an option of seven subjects of which mathematics, English, Science/Agri. •be compulsory. The continuous education on the job must be seen in the teaching profession. Therefore, In service training, workshops, refresher courses, and seminars must be organized. (ii) have a policy on the number of pupils per class. Twenty (20)pupils a class should constitute a minimum number of pupils making a class, but a maximum of 30 pupils, iii) have policies of facilities such as class libraries, coursebooks and geometrical sets. The presence of these facilities guarantee successful learning. with the cost-sharing policy, parents are expected to meet the cost of these facilities. Since not all the parents can afford to get the required facilities, fund-raising could be conducted so that with the money collected, library facili ties are provided, enough course books and geometrical sets are made available. And finqlly the KNEC should include two sections in the KCPE mathematics paper, one having multiple test items whereas the other, essay type of test items.