Life skills education implementation and perceptions on its effect on discipline in secondary schools in Kangema District, Murang'a County, Kenya
Mugo, Titus K.
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Life Skills Education is aimed at equipping the learners with psychosocial competencies that would help them make informed decisions, solve problems, think creatively and critically, communicate effectively and build healthy relationships. However, the rising cases of indiscipline in schools in Kangema district characterized by many students' unrests seem to suggest that, the objectives of Life Skills education have not been achieved. This study therefore sought to investigate Life Skills Education and perceptions on its effect on discipline in Kangema district, Murang'a County. The study was guided by the following objectives: To establish how life skills education is taught in secondary schools, to determine teachers' competencies in LSE, to find out the availability and adequacy of LSE teaching and learning resources in schools, To determine perceptions on the effect of life skills education implementation on students' discipline and to determine possible teaching strategies which can be put in place to enhance life skills education. The study used a descriptive survey design targeting the teachers, form I-IV students and the principals in Kangema District. Stratified random sampling was used to select the students into subgroups of form (I-IV) and then systematic sampling used to sample 101 students from each subgroup. Purposive sampling was used to select teachers who teach LSE and eliminated those who didn't teach LSE, then, Simple random sampling was used to select 51 teachers from all the teachers who teach LSE in the selected schools. All the 11 principals in the 11 selected schools were used in this study. Two different questionnaires designed for the teachers and students were used in the study. An interview schedule for the principals was used to collect data for the study. Quantitative data from questionnaires were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) while qualitative data from interviews were analyzed thematically. The study established that LSE is taught in most of the secondary schools in Kangema but teachers were never trained on both LSE content and methodology.LSE teaching and learning materials were both unavailable and inadequate, majority of teachers and principals perceived that LSE has effects on students' discipline and teachers commonly used traditional methods to teach LSE instead of the recommended participatory methods. The study, therefore, recommended that Higher education institutions should fully incorporate Life Skills Education as part of teachers' education; secondary schools administrations should allocate more monetary resources to procure LSE teaching and learning resources. Curriculum supervision should be intensified to ensure effective LSE implementation and teachers involved in LSE teaching should be allocated less workload to enable them prepare and implement LSE curriculum effectively.