Analysis of teachers' attitudes towards proposed introduction of sex-education in Kenya: a case of special schools in Central Province
Njue, Francis Manyatta
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The main purpose of this study was to identify and analyse the attitude of teachers in special schools towards proposed introduction of sex education in the school curriculum. The study aimed at determining whether teachers' social-demographic variables such as sex, highest academic qualifications, school level (secondary or primary), religious affiliation, and length of teaching experience had any influence on their attitudes. The target population for the study was teachers in special secondary and primary schools in Central province, Kenya. The sample was drawn from three special secondary schools and four special primary schools catering for the hearing impaired, physically handicapped, visually impaired and mentally handicapped learners. Stratified random sampling and purposive sampling were used to select sample primary and secondary special schools respectively. A total of seven special schools and seventy (70) teachers of both sexes, ten (10) from each of the selected schools comprised the research sample. Two instruments were used to collect data. A piloted researcher-made questionnaire and a semi-structured interview schedule were applied to elicit teachers' attitude towards introduction of sex education. The questionnaire was applied on the total sample, while the interview was given to only four teachers who represented a male and a female at primary and secondary school levels respectively. Data was analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. A pilot study was undertaken to check and enhance validity and reliability of the research instruments before commencement of the actual study. Analysis of data was done by use of the Statistical Packages for Social Sciences (SPSS) at significance level of 0.05. The findings of the study indicated that teachers in special schools had highly positive attitudes towards introduction of sex education with a mean of 4.14 and a standard deviation of 0.28. School level (primary or secondary), gender, religious affiliation and length of teaching experience had no significant influence on the teachers' attitude. Only the highest academic level showed some influence. The differences in mean scores on attitude among teachers with different highest academic qualifications showed a significant difference at 0.05 level of confidence. However, there was no correlation between the mean scores of individual groups and their highest academic qualification. Teachers also demonstrated a high level of knowledge in their perceived implications of introduction of sex education in the school curriculum. This was evident in the numerous statements of advantages of sex education in response to part C of the questionnaire, which was also corroborated during the interviews. On the strength of the findings, it was recommended that teachers be empowered and encouraged to put their positive attitude into practice by assisting learners in acquisition of healthy, sexual behaviours and adjustments as they struggle through adolescence into adulthood.