Challenges faced by teachers in providing pre-school education in non-formal pre-schools in Kibera slums, Nairobi County
Wachieni, Beatrice Wairimu
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Pre-school education is critical for successful completion of primary and secondary school education. It reduces engagement in high risk behaviors. The quality of pre-school education especially from demographic groups that are socially and economically disadvantaged is therefore crucial. The purpose of this study was to investigate the challenges experienced by teachers in providing preschool education in non-formal pre-schools in Kibera slums. The objectives of this study were: To find out the possible challenges faced by pre-school teachers, teacher/child ratio, the language of instruction, and the nature of physical facilities in non-formal pre-school centres in Kibera slums. The study also sought to find out whether the teachers teaching in non-formal pre-schools in Kibera slums were trained and the possible solutions to the challenges in non-formal pre-school centres. The study was guided by human capital development theory of Becker (1994). The study adopted an exploratory research design that utilized qualitative technique that enabled the researcher to obtain relevant data from sampled centres and respondents. Thirty non-formal pre-schools were sampled using simple random technique. This was 50% of the targeted population of sixty non-formal pre-schools. From each sampled pre-school, one teacher was randomly sampled. The instruments used in data collection were questionnaires for teachers and observation schedules. Piloting was done in two non-formal pre-schools that were randomly sampled within Kibera slums. All the pre-school teachers returned their filled in questionnaires. Data collected were analyzed qualitatively using themes. Kibera slums had poorly built classrooms in non-formal pre-school centres most of which were iron sheet or mud-walled. The environment in the non-formal preschool centres was found to be very poor. Children in the non-formal pre-school centres were of different ages. The teacher/child ratio was established to be 1:52. The centres also had no places for children to play. Teachers used Kiswahili as the language of instructions but most of them were not professionally trained in ECDE. The study recommends that the government should come up with strategies of inspecting classrooms used in non-formal pre-schools. Training programmes for pre-school teachers in the non-formal pre-school centres in the slums that would suit their financial abilities were also recommended. The study recommends that a study be carried out on the kind of curriculum offered in the non-formal pre-school centres. The study also recommends a study on challenges faced by teachers in formal pre-school centres in Kibera slums.