Constraints to Implementation of Life Skills Curriculum in Secondary Schools in Kiambu County, Kenya
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Though Life Skills Education is being implemented in secondary schools, effective teaching seems to be hampered by several factors. The purpose of this study was to investigate constraints to implementation of Life Skills Education in secondary schools in Kiambu County, Kenya. The study was guided by the following objectives: to determine the extent to which principals have supervised implementation of the Life Skills Education, to evaluate the students’ and teachers’ attitude towards teaching and learning of LSE, to establish the type of in-service training that the LSE teachers have been exposed to and to find out the teaching and learning resources available for teaching of LSE in secondary schools in Kiambu County. This study was informed by Problem-Behavior Theory and Social Learning Theory. The study adopted descriptive survey design and generated both qualitative and quantitative data. The target population comprised sample frame of 7012 students, 248 teachers of LSE, 248 schools principals and the assistant director in charge of LSE in Kenya Institute of Curriculum Studies. The sample size was 752 representing 10% of the population. The researcher used questionnaires to collect data from teachers and students while interview schedule was used to collect data from the principals and the Assistant director at Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development. Piloting was done to test the validity and the reliability of the instruments of the study. Both quantitative and qualitative data was collected based on the study objectives. The quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive statistics. The major statistics produced by Statistical Package for Social Sciences include: mean, standard deviation and frequency distribution. Findings were presented using tables, graphs and charts. The findings of this study show that in many schools, Life Skill Education was not taught at all. Some of the challenges mentioned by principals who admitted not to have supervised implementation of Life Skill Education include lack of materials and teachers trained in LSE. Furthermore, both teachers and students had positive attitude towards teaching and learning of LSE. On the other hand, majority of the students under study admitted that they were able to manage their emotions better after being exposed to Life Skill Education. Majority of the teachers agreed that the in-service training they had been subjected to is relevant in teaching LSE. Moreover, most students admitted that some teachers used role play, question and answer instructional methods as well as storytelling techniques; all of which are teaching methods of Life Skill Education. However, the findings further show that a considerable proportion of students did not see their teachers employing these methods. Further, time allocated for Life Skill Education was also found to be inadequate with some teachers sighting that the lessons never existed in the timetable. The interview with the Assistant Director in charge of Life Skills Curriculum at KICD further revealed that no in-service training has been conducted since 2008 due to lack of finances. The study recommends that the Ministry of Education should compel principals to ensure Life Skill Education is taught in all the schools by developing a framework that outlines its clear implementation plan. The findings of this study may be significant to the teachers, students, principals and curriculum developers with regard to addressing the constraints identified hence enhancing effective implementation of LSE.