Factors influencing the implementation of life skills education in secondary schools in Kinango district, Kwale County
Kitimo, Marieta M.
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The Ministry of Education introduced Life skills Education program with the intention to empower children with appropriate information and skills to deal with social and health problems affecting the nation including the fight against HIV infections, The purpose of this study was to determine the problems and challenges that impede the effective implementation of Life Skills Education in Kinango District. The researcher draws on Cornbleth's (1990) notions of the structural and social contexts to study the contexts of the school organization, classroom environment and social-economic-political context in which the curriculum is implemented. Despite the Ministry of Education (MOE) mandating the implementation of LSE in all secondary schools, many students in Kinango are dropping out of school due to early pregnancies, sexually related illnesses, drug and substance abuse and the influence of joining unlicensed groups that take part in robberies, and other crimes. Those that remain in school often are the cause of student unrests and participate in destruction of school property. The study endeavored to determine the trends in the implementation of LSE, the challenges that principals and teachers face in the implementation of LSE and suggest possible solutions to these challenges. There are 16 secondary schools in Kinango District with an approximate population of 5000 students. Stratified sampling was used to select 10 out of 16 schools; each strata representing girls only schools, boys only schools, and mixed schools. All the principals of the 10 participating schools were purposively selected. Simple random sampling was used to select 40 teachers and 100 form four students giving a total of 150 participants. A questionnaire for teachers, one for students and an interview schedule for principals were used as the main data collection tools. Quantitative data collected was coded and entered into an SPSS programme for analysis. Descriptive statistics such as frequencies, means and percentages were used to analyze the quantitative data. Qualitative data was arranged into themes and analyzed in narrative form. Data was presented in frequency and percentage tables, bar graphs and pie charts. The study established that most schools in Kinango District offer LSE which is allocated one lesson per week. It was established that school heads ensured that LSE was clearly outlined in the class timetable, time allocated for LSE was not used for syllabus coverage and LSE teachers had adequate and relevant training in that field. The study revealed that the major factors which undermined implementation of LSE in schools as; lack of enough teaching/learning materials, non examinable status of LSE, heavy workloads caused by shortage of teachers and lack of trained teachers on LSE. The study recommends that: the head teachers should make sure their schools have enough teaching materials; the Ministry of education should ensure that Life skills education is made examinable. This would help to change the attitude developed by students and teachers towards LSE and hence give more attention to it.