The status of teachers’ advisory centers in Homa-bay sub-county Kenya
Owuocha, Jacob Dollah
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The purpose of this study was to establish the current status of Teachers’ Advisory Centres in supporting the provision of quality education in Homa Bay Sub-County and the challenges hampering their proper use. This was based on the fact that the standards of education in Homa-Bay Sub-County have been deteriorating in the Kenya National Examination (K.C.P.E) from 2009 to 2011 despite the presence of nine Teachers’ Advisory Centres in the Sub-County. The objectives of the study were to establish the infrastructure and resources available and their status, the current activities at the Teachers’ Advisory Centres and challenges hampering the proper use of Teachers’ Advisory Centres in supporting the provision of quality education in Homa-Bay Sub-County. The researcher hopes that the result of this study may be useful in providing information on the current status of the Teachers’ Advisory Centres so that the relevant government authorities could evaluate its success. The study was guided by the general systems theory by Bertalanify (1972). The study adopted a descriptive survey research design and targeted 9 zones, thus 9 Teachers’ Advisory Centres and 9 clerks all of which formed a sample of the study. Three main research instruments used for data collection included the interview schedule, questionnaires and observation check list. Reliability of the instrument was determined using T-test-retest technique. Spearman rank order correlation was used to compute the correlation coefficient. Quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive statistics while qualitative data was analysed using content analysis. The study findings revealed that most Teachers’ Advisory Centres lacked personnel to support TAC tutors, with most of them having only clerks. It was also revealed that most TAC tutors were in charge of a high number of schools and were housed in permanent buildings although most centres lacked stores, display areas, lecture rooms and libraries. There was also a shortage of furniture, electricity and running water. Most centres were accessible but lacked reliable means of transport. It was further established that a majority of TACs had inadequate teaching resources which were in good condition but had one electronic teaching aid. The activities at the centres included induction courses, syllabus orientation courses, subject panel meetings, meetings to share communication from Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development and meetings to co-ordinate evaluation tests. Lesson observation, professional advice to teachers and assessment of syllabus coverage were the major activities undertaken by TAC tutors when they visited schools. The challenges hampering the proper use of Teachers’ Advisory Centres in the provision of support services included inadequate facilities, financial and human resources. TAC Tutors should initiate more teacher professional development activities for teachers to maintain quality in them. The Ministry of Education should ensure that TAC tutors are left to carry out their roles so as to avoid role conflict. The government should also hire more personnel. A similar study should be replicated to the rest of the Sub-Counties involving teachers, as their views would have shed more light on the status of TACs.