Determinants of pre-primary school teachers’ provision of guidance and counseling services in Kasarani sub-county, Nairobi county, Kenya
Historically, guidance and counselling of young children at pre-school level were primarily the responsibility of their parents. 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 counselling in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions, not much is known on what happens at the pre-school level. Therefore, the study sought to investigate the determinants of pre-school teachers’ provision of guidance and counseling services in pre-schools in Kasarani Division, Nairobi County. The study was guided by five objectives: to find out the influence of teachers’ training on the provision of guidance and counseling services in pre-schools; to determine the influence of teachers’ academic level on their provision of guidance and counseling services in pre-schools; to find out the influence of teachers’ experience on the provision of guidance and counseling services in pre-schools; to determine the influence of teacher-pupil ratio on the provision of guidance and counseling services in pre-schools; and to find out the influence of the school administrator’ support on the provision of guidance and counseling services in preschools. The study was grounded on the basic assumptions that respondents would be willing to give information objectively and honestly and that the study sample would represent the target population in its major characteristics. Literature was reviewed against the key study variables and Albert Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory provided the platform upon which the study was grounded. The study adopted a descriptive survey research design. It targeted a population of 242 teachers and 184 administrators in Kasarani Division, Nairobi County from which a 30% sample size of the respondents was selected using stratified random sampling technique. Data was collected using both questionnaire and interview schedule. To ascertain the reliability and content validity of the data collection instruments, a test-retest method was employed on a sample that was similar but was not in the actual study. The questionnaire was prepared in such a manner that different items were integrated to ensure collection of maximum data. Data collected was coded and analyzed using descriptive statistics such as frequency and percentages with the aid of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software version 21. The analyzed data were 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, lack of experience and limited knowledge due to lack of training which make guidance and counseling not achieve its intended purpose in pre-school. The study concludes that training, academic level and experience of teachers were significant factors in provision of guidance and counseling. The study recommends that the Ministry of Education should consider professionalizing guidance and counseling services in pre-schools. The findings of this study may be beneficial to the school administrators by enabling them to have a better understanding of the guidance and counseling services being offered to preschool children in their schools.