Teacher Mentoring Programme in Secondary Schools in Kisii Central Kisii County, Kenya
Onsongo, Gladys Nyakerario
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Despite the fact that trained teachers leave institutions of higher learning with professional documents that certify their qualifications, the training exercise and period are not adequate to guarantee delivery of quality services by the new graduates or appointees. Beginning teachers are reported to find it challenging to perform their duties as competent professionals do. The main objective of this study was to find out the role of teacher peer mentoring in the instructional program, impact of teacher peer mentoring on teacher performance, challenges facing peer mentors and ways of improving their activities in the endeavor to see to it that newly recruited or appointed teachers are supported to settle down in the shortest time possible, so as to be able to carry out assigned duties effectively. The objectives of this study were: To establish the nature of peer mentoring conducted in secondary schools, challenges faced in peer mentoring, how the current practice of peer mentoring could be improved, and the length of time taken in the mentoring programme. Mentors need clear definition of their roles in order to enhance peer support: Literature on implications of mentoring for administrators, necessary conditions for mentor service, the need to train mentors, benefits of mentoring to mentors, and the need for mentoring support services has been reviewed. The study was done in Kisii Central Kisii County which has 48 (Forty eight) public secondary schools. 12 principals, 24 mentors and 24 proteges in 12 schools (25% of the population) were involved. The study adopted a descriptive survey research design and stratified sampling was used which ensured that all school categories participated. Data was collected by use of standardized questionnaires for mentors and mentees, and interview schedules were administered to principals from sampled schools. Data collected was organized, coded and analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences SPSS (software). The findings of this study include: Mentoring programmes are non-existent in secondary schools, roles of mentors are not clearly defined, beginning teachers face challenges in settling down due to inadequate mentoring support. Mentors not undergoing training, absence of systems in schools to recognize appreciate and motivate mentors, disregard of mentoring as an essential aspect in supporting beginning teachers and the mentees feeling insecure were found to be challenges in peer mentoring. It was also established that intervention measures include: Mentors to be trained before being assigned a beginning teacher, appreciate the role of mentors in school by reducing their duties and teaching work load to create time for mentoring, provision of resource materials and opportunities to enhance skill and knowledge in mentoring, facilitated through workshops and seminars. The study recommended the development of mentoring programmes by the DEB or school, KIE to develop and produce literature on mentoring to facilitate relevant workshops, the TSC to include the department of mentoring among those it assigns HODs on promotion, pre service teacher training should offer a unit on peer mentoring to create awareness on the significance and need of the same.