Implementation of Government Policies on the Teaching of English: A Comparative Analysis of Secondary Schools in Nairobi City County,Kenya.
Kimamo, Damaris Wambui
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Language is important for communication to take place. A universal language is vital for global communication. One of the internationally accepted languages of communication is English. Thus, the government of Kenya has come up with policies that ensure that at the end of secondary school, students are able to communicate competitively using the English language. However, there has been a worrying concern from both employers and educationists that employees and graduates, respectively, have poor English language skills. The aim of this study was to establish the existing gaps between stated government policies on the teaching of English in secondary schools in Kenya on one hand and on the other the actual school practices during the implementation of these policies. Also it set to establish the challenges that teachers of English face when implementing the government policies on teaching English in public secondary schools in Nairobi County. This study was based on structural functionalism theory by Durkheim. It adopted descriptive research design which was carried out in public secondary schools in Nairobi County. The study had a target population of 480 from 60 Schools which included: the heads of English department and teachers of English who are charged with the role of implementing government policies on teaching of English. The study employed purposive sampling where the schools’ Heads of English Department (HODs) and teachers of English were sampled into 62 respondents composed of 8 HODs and 56 teachers. Out of the 60 schools the researcher used random sampling and 8 schools were sampled. Questionnaires and observation checklists were used to collect data. To assess the validity of instruments, a pilot study was conducted and the results were analyzed and used to modify and remove ambiguous items on the instruments used in the study. Its reliability was established using the test-retest method. Data was analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively. The qualitative data was grouped into different categories which helped establish the themes drawn from the objectives of the study. Through the use of the statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) programme, quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive statistics percentages, frequencies, and tables where appropriate. The study established that full implementation of the government policies on teaching of English was lacking in all the secondary schools sampled. English was not being fully taught as an integrated subjected, syllabus was not completed within the prescribed period of time and it was also noted that teachers of English experienced a lot of challenges during the implementation of government policies on teaching of English. The study recommended: that teachers of English access regular professional development programs to enhance their teaching and acquire skills to enable them overcome some of the challenges they were facing during teaching; The Kenya National Examination council (KNEC) to come up with oral and listening examinations to help students achieve communication competence in English as these examinations were not available.