Academic Staffing and Implication on the Quality of Bachelor of Education Program in Selected Public Universities in Kenya
Njoroge, Antony Johnson
MetadataShow full item record
The preparedness of graduates from Kenyan universities has raised questions in the job market. For instance, a large percent of graduates are believed to be unfit for the teaching jobs. In this regard, this study intended to establish the implication of academic staffing on the quality of Bachelor of Education Program in public universities in Kenya. The study employed descriptive research design hinged on comparative study methodology (Problem solving Approach) proposed by Brian Holmes. The respondents included: Bachelor of Education Program academic staff, Bachelor of Education Program students, Deans, chairpersons in the School of Education and the Chairperson, Commission for University Education (CUE) in the Ministry of Education. Kenyatta University and University of Nairobi were sampled for the study. The sample comprised of 30% of the targeted academic staff, who were selected randomly to participate in the study. Structured questionnaires, interview schedules and document analysis were used to collect the data. A pilot study was conducted at Moi University. Various descriptive (mean, standard deviation and frequency distribution) and inferential (t-test) statistics were employed at different stages of analysis. Qualitative data was analysed through narration and prose discussion. The findings revealed a number of issues relating to academic staffing, especially full-time teaching staff, in the sampled universities. During the study period (2007-2016) the two universities (UoN and KU) had generally employed more lecturers and tutorial fellows compared to the proportion of senior lectures, associate professors and professors. Notwithstanding, one academic staff was teaching more than one course unit in a semester while others were the only staff relied upon in the department to teach a certain course unit. Moreover, most of the academic staff had scheduled units throughout the semester with majority teaching 14 hours per week. Additionally, some academic staff were involved concurrently in instruction of students within the university and supervision of others on teaching practice. Add to this the requirement to conduct research and publish. Such a huge workload makes it hard for all the obligations to be performed adequately. The respondents also admitted that increase of part-time academic staff was a disadvantage to the quality of B.Ed program since part-time staff were not involved in quality assurance and other important administrative tasks. Majority of the academic staff observed that on many occasions students failed to achieve 75% class attendance meaning that such students were not adequately instructed. It was noted that the proportion of self-sponsored students had surpassed that of government sponsored ones over time. Some classes, especially those involving common units, went as high as 400 students. Another problem affecting the B.Ed program is inadequate space in lecture halls. This was more prominent in common units such as those shared in the school of education including educational foundations and educational psychology. The study recommends that the universities management should adopt the model of mentor supervisors and regulate their recruitment, incentives and reporting in order to reduce the burden of B.Ed Academic Staff participation in teaching practice.