An Investigation Into The Provision Of Guidance And Counseling Services By Pre-School Teachers In Kasarani Division, Nairobi County, Kenya
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What is commonly called “pre-school” is increasingly being viewed as the most significant of all stages in the education of children. Historically, young children below public school age have been primarily the responsibility of their parents as far as nurturance and personal guidance are concerned. However, the demands of modern life have so intensified that the normal home, school and community influences are no longer adequate to assist children. Despite many studies carried out on guidance and counseling in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions, not much is known on what happens at the pre-school level. The purpose of this study was to investigate factors that influence the provisions of guidance and counseling services by pre-school teachers in Kasarani Division and also to determine the support given by school administration to teacher-counselors. The objectives of the study were to examine factors that influence the provision of guidance and counseling services by pre-school teachers such as pre-school teachers’ training, experience, level of education, teacher-pupil ratio and type of school management. The dependent variable was exemplified by pre-school teachers’ provision of guidance and counseling while pre-school teachers’ training, experience, level of education, type of school management and teacher-pupil ratio exemplified the independent variables. The study adopted a descriptive survey research design and data was collected using questionnaires and interview schedules. Questionnaires were administered to the pre-school teachers while interview schedules were used to collect more information from the administrators and deputy head teachers. The target population was all pre-school teachers and all administrators and deputy head teachers in Kasarani division. Stratified random sampling was used to select the schools and simple random sampling was used to select 74 pre-school teachers while purposive sampling was used to select 56 managers and deputy head teachers. Reliability of the instruments was determined by the use of test-retest method while the validity of the research instruments was determined by conducting a pilot study. Data collected was coded and analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software and was presented in form of tables, charts and graphs. Thematic analysis was used to present qualitative data. The study found out that the administrators support to guidance and counseling is inadequate and this is coupled with challenges such as heavy workload, lack of resource materials, lack of support from parents, inadequate time, limited knowledge due to lack of training which make guidance and counseling not to achieve its intended purpose in pre-school. Based on these findings, the researcher recommended provision of skills through training and in-service courses, support from parents, the school administration and the Ministry of Education. Guidance and counseling is a continuous process hence the teacher requires ample time with the child.