Influence of classroom practice of home science on employability in Kakamega County: Kenya
Abwao, Linet Kuya
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Tackling unemployment through vocationalisation of education is a strategy that has worked in countries such as United States, Australia, United Kingdom, Switzerland and Mozambique among others. It is in the light of this that the study sought to evaluate the methods of teaching Home Science in secondary schools for the purpose of informing policy on quality education delivery in vocational education. Home Science is a vocational subject which, if effectively taught; impacts learners with practical skills and attitudes necessary in equipping graduates with the ability to transform themselves into self-employed citizens. This study sought to investigate the influence of classroom practice of Home Science on employability in Kakamega County. The study objectives were; to create sensitization on the problem of unemployment among the youths in Kakamega County, to examine the methods used in teaching Home Science in Secondary Schools in Kakamega County, to identify the competencies developed through Home Science that are related to employability in Kakamega County and to establish the challenges affecting the teaching and learning of Home Science in Secondary Schools in Kakamega County. The study adopted a descriptive survey design in which 188 respondents were sampled to take part. Respondents were identified from Secondary Schools in Kakamega Central teaching Home Science subject. Respondents from the study included students, Home Science teachers and head teachers. The study used questionnaires for Home science teachers and students and an interview schedule for head teachers in collecting data. To ascertain validity of data collection instruments, a pilot study was undertaken before administering the instruments to respondents and feedback from the pilot study informed the corrections in the data collection instruments. Reliability of data collection instruments was ascertained through the use of test-retest method where Cronbach’s Alpha coefficient was computed and found to be reliable. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were employed in the process of data analysis. Study data was analysed using Statistical Package for the Social Science (SPSS) version 22.0 for windows. Descriptive statistics included frequencies and percentages. These were used to summarize and describe the study data. Inferential statistics used in the study included regression analysis, t-test, Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient and Chi-Square. Inferential statistics were used to determine independence of scores and relationships between and among study variables. All statistical procedures were computed at 95% confidence level. Study findings revealed that there were significantly high rates of unemployment in Kakamega County. It was also found that class room lecture method, practical method, discussion method, group work, field work and project methods were the preferred methods for teaching Home Science in Secondary Schools in Kakamega County. Further still, the study established that offering Home Science in Secondary Schools in Kakamega County did not have a significant relationship with unemployment trends and that there was a statistically significant positive relationship between policies and effectiveness of teaching methods for Home Science in Kakamega County. The study has stretched the frontiers of knowledge with regard to the relationship between teaching methods and effectiveness of delivery on vocational subjects. Recommendations have been made regarding a number of measures that could enhance the quality and relevance of Home Science and other vocational education subjects in creating employment especially for the youthful school leavers. These measures include stakeholder involvement, limiting the number of schools teaching vocational subjects to only those with adequate equipment and increasing funding to support effective teaching and learning of vocational courses among others.