Effects of Institutional Variables on Early Literacy among Public Primary School Pupils in Vihiga County, Kenya
Amunavi, Obeywa Herbert
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Low literacy skills and performance among primary schools in Kenya have been found to be caused by poor instructional and evaluation methods. To this effect, TUSOME literacy programme undertook to carry out in-service training of lower primary teachers on reading skills with the view to improving literacy skills acquisition among lower primary school pupils. However, there seem to be a disconnect between literacy investment and learner reading achievement in the country and particularly in Hamisi sub-county. To address this, this study hypothesized that un-favourable school literacy environment could be a major reason for non-attainment of literacy in the sub-county. Thus, this study sought to assess the influence of school factors such as schools‟ physical infrastructure, instructional materials, teacher in-service training and supervision by Head teacher and TAC‟s on literacy on lower primary school pupils in Hamisi Sub-county. The objectives of the study were to; establish the influence of schools‟ physical infrastructure on literacy, examine the effect of instructional materials on literacy and find out the effect of teacher in-service training on literacy among lower primary school pupils in Hamisi Sub-county. The study finally sought to evaluate the role of supervision by Head teacher and TAC‟s on literacy among lower primary school pupils in Hamisi Sub-county. The target population was 10103 people comprising of 141 head teachers from 141 primary school in Hamisi sub-county, teachers‟ advisory centre officials, 1900 literacy teachers, 7980 class 1 and 2 pupils. The study used a cross-sectional survey research design to sample 2 Curriculum Support Officer, 14 head teachers, 28 teachers and 56 pupils. The research instruments were piloted in one public and one private primary school that were not included in the final study. The validity of the instruments was tested using content validity while the reliability was tested through test-retest method and Cronbach‟s alpha used to test the internal consistency of the responses of the two tests. Questionnaires, reading tests and observation checklist were used to collect data while in analysis, quantitative data in form of frequencies, means, standard deviations and percentages were found and data presented in tables. Quantitative data was entered into a Statistical Package for Social Sciences computer software. Analysis encompassed discussion use of means, percentages and summary. Data was presented using tabulation and charts. The study revealed that physical facilities in a number of the schools are inadequate and hence the study concluded that adequacy of teaching and learning resources in school influenced pupils‟ literacy achievement in public primary schools. Majority of the teachers regularly attended in-service training on how to teach reading at least once per term. The study recommends that the government should increase the funding to schools so as to cater for the essential teaching/ learning aids. The Ministry of Education Science and Technology should consider reviewing its supervisory support to teachers and support to schools.