Utilization of Secondary School Peer Teachers and Implications for Adherence to Teacher Competence Standards in Selected Counties of Western Region, Kenya
Wasike, Kasembeli David
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There has been an upsurge in the utilization of peer teachers in secondary schools in Kenya in the recent past. This is despite the Ministry of Education and Teachers Service Commission having insisted on only registered teachers being allowed to teach in Secondary schools. The current study aimed at investigating, analyzing and documenting the concept of peer teaching in Kenyan secondary schools and implications for adherence to teacher competence standards in selected Counties in the Western region of Kenya. The Western region was chosen due to the high prevalence of peer teachers and the value attached to education by the locals. This study was to benefit schools on how best to engage peer teachers. The study was descriptive in nature and the data collection method was an intra-national case study. This study was guided by Pierre Bourdieu’s Theory of Practice (1990) and was heavily influenced by the Scientific Method Approach as propounded by Noah and Eckstein. Three research instruments were utilized, namely; questionnaires, interviews and document analysis. The questionnaires were used to collect data from students, regular teachers, peer teachers and H.O.D’s. The interviews were conducted with the Principals, CDTSCs, B.O.M members, parents, students, peer teachers, regular teachers and H.O.Ds in the selected schools. Document Analysis was done on past K.C.S.E results records. The data collected was analyzed using a mixed method with a bias on qualitative data analysis approaches. Qualitative data was analyzed through thematic analysis: that is, coding and categorization of emerging themes from the data according to the objectives. While quantitative data was analyzed using both Descriptive statistics such as percentages and means and inferential statistics namely, ttest to establish whether there was any significant difference in the performance in national exams between classes handled by peer teachers and those by regular teachers. The data analyzed was presented in paragraphs and tables where applicable. The data indicated that there was a drastic increase in the number of peer teachers in secondary schools in the years 2010 to 2016. Majority of these were found in sub county schools. The schools assigned them all the duties of a teacher although in varied proportions depending on the school’s needs. The recruitment of peer teachers was schools-based, either by the Principal, H.O.Ds, adhoc committees or sometimes staff consultations. Majority of the peer teachers, teachers, Principals, B.O.M members and parents supported peer teaching as the best option for improving performance in schools. The proposed appropriate guidelines for peer teacher utilization were to begin with competitive recruitment, structured induction programmes, mentorship programmes and attendance of seminars and workshops to enable peer teachers acquire relevant teaching skills. In light of these findings, the study recommended that schools utilizing peer teachers should establish a competitive recruitment process that gives an opportunity to the best candidate to get the job. Equally, the candidates recruited should be taken through a rigorous induction process to enable them acquire relevant teaching skills. The government should also develop better mechanisms of implementing policies to ensure full compliance.