Relationship between class size, pupils’ engagement in reading and teachers preparation in lower primary public schools in Nyeri south sub-county, Kenya
Wanini, Giku Mary
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Reading serves as the major foundation for academic ability for all school based learning without which, the opportunities for academic and occupational success are limited However not all children acquire reading ability that easily and therefore difficulty in learning how to read crushes the excitement and love for learning that most children have when they enter school. Hence considering Kenya’s policy issue of 50:1 as the pupil-teacher ratio per class, this study established that class size has an effect on children’s performance in reading. This study was guided by the following objectives; To find out the relationship between class size and pupils classroom engagement; To find out the relationship between class size and reading outcomes; To determine the relationship between class size and teacher’s preparation in teaching reading skills; and finally, To establish the challenges associated with class size and reading outcomes. This study was guided by Lev Vygotsky theory .This study adopted correlation research design to enable the researcher establish the relationship between variables. Data was collected by use of questionnaires. The instruments were piloted in two schools and validity was determined from the results of the pilot study with the help of the expert judgment and reliability was established via split–half technique. Purposeful sampling was used to select class one and two teachers from a total population of 523 teachers in the three education zones. In addition to obtain a 36% sample, stratified sampling was applied to categorize schools into three zones. Simple random was used to select schools from each educational zone however; the zone with the highest number of schools was awarded more representation. Data was collected by use of questionnaires that was administered to lower primary school teachers in Nyeri South sub-county. In addition, document survey was done to check the trend of performance in reading. For data analysis, three hypotheses were formulated as per the study objectives hence chi-squire was used to establish the relationship between class size and reading outcome. The results from the data analysis were presented using tables. It showed that there is significant relationship between class size and pupils classroom engagement. It is also evident that a relationship between class size and pupils reading mean score. The data also proved that there is no significant relationship between class size and teacher preparation. The lower primary public teachers find it difficult to give individual attention and get a satisfactory knowledge of pupils needs in a large class. Finally, the researcher was also able to give recommendations and suggestions for future research that is the education policy should be restructured to recommend 25:1 as the new pupil-teacher ratio. The government should increase the number of teachers to cater for the increasing number of children and should be equipped with strategies of handling large classes.