Public Primary School Headteachers Involvement in Early Childhood Curriculum Implementation in Nandi County Kenya
Shigali, Sore Evans
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Pre-primary schools in Kenya are established for the major purpose of providing conditions and services to enable children to grow, develop and learn in readiness for primary education and future levels of learning. In order for these institutions to accomplish this main objective, proper administrative and managerial practice must be established. Most Early Childhood Development and Education (ECDE) centers of public primary schools and those attached to them are not getting appropriate managerial and administrative services from headteachers of such schools. Lack of significant management and administration impedes effective implementation of Early Childhood Education (ECE) curriculum and transition of children to primary school. The purpose of this study was to establish the degree of participation in curriculum implementation, of headteachers of public primary schools in Early Childhood Education programs in Emgwen Division of Nandi Central District, Nandi County. The main objective of the study was to establish headteachers’ management abilities in ensuring the implementation of the ECE curriculum and the strategies they put in place to facilitate transition of children from pre-primary to primary school. Exploratory approach using descriptive survey research design was employed. The study targeted a population of 7 quality assurance and standards officers (QASOs), 74 headteachers of all the public primary schools in Emgwen Division and 74 Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) teachers. The education officers were purposefully sampled. The randomized cluster sampling was adopted using the lottery method to come up with an equal number of schools in every zone (Kapkangani, Chepkumia, Kapsisiywa, Kaptel and Kamoiywa). From each sampled school, the researcher scheduled an interview for the headteacher. The pre-primary teacher in the ECDE center within such a school and 1 ECDE teacher from one of the centers attached to it were given a questionnaire to fill. This sample group was selected using the simple random sampling technique of the lottery method to ensure every individual had a chance to be selected. Stratified random sampling method was employed to select respondents from the strata of headteachers who had received training in ECE and those who had not. Apart from the Quality Assurance and Standards Officers (QASOs) who were treated to purposive sampling, all the other groups in the study had a sample size of 30%. Thematic-based analysis and presentation of collected data was done qualitatively and organized systematically using descriptive statistics of tabulation of frequencies and percentages. The study found that administrative and management functions of headteachers in ensuring ECDE curriculum implementation in ECDE centers in public schools were not quite well performed. Based on these findings, the researcher concluded that the effectiveness of headteachers of public schools in executing the two major functions; managerial and curriculum implementation was minimal at the ECDE level. As such, the study recommended among others, the need for a well-integrated approach that seeks to involve the central government through the Ministry of Education in linking up with the county governments and other stakeholders in implementing Early Childhood Development and Education programs. The findings and recommendations of the study, if considered, will help headteachers and QASOs realize the gap in administrative and curriculum implementation at ECDE centers and take necessary measures to curb the situation. Policy developers will come to know of the gap in policy direction to headteachers in their involvement in ECE curriculum implementation and transition of children from the pre-primary to primary level. This is because there is need to put policies in place that will go a long way in improving the status of management in public ECDE programs in tandem with dynamics facing this sub-sector of education following the implementation of the constitution that has seen ECDE functions devolved to county governments.