Academic Staff and Students’ Participation in Science and Technology Programmes in Public Universities, Kenya
Wanyama, Bernard Wasilwa
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:This paper argues that despite the government commitment to the implementation of admission policies like targeting enrolment of 50% of all students in science and technology related courses and significantly expanding them, only 29% of students were studying a course in Science and Technology by the year 2016. Such scenario implies that the country is seriously lagging behind in the realization of Kenya Education Sector Support Programme (KESSP I) participation target of 50%. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between academic staff and students’ participation in these Programmes. The study employed descriptive survey design to target 31 public Universities, 237 lecturers teaching Veterinary and Manufacturing Engineering Programmes, 107 Heads of Departments (HoDs) and 31 Academic Registrars. Purposive sampling technique was employed to select three Public Universities, 12 HoDs, 24 lecturers, and three Academic Registrars who participated in the study. Interview schedules were administered to lecturers, HoDs and the Academic Registrars while structured observations schedules were utilized to collect data. Qualitative data was analyzed thematically and reported in form of tables, quotations and narrations while quantitative data was analyzed by use of frequencies, percentages, means, and bar graphs. It was established that 69% of the academic staff had their highest qualifications of Masters, only 25.2% were in the rank of Senior Lecturer and above, acute shortage of facilities extremely undermined the mode of delivery and the lecturer-student ratio was 1:18.It recommends that Universities should establish structures for supporting lecturers to move away from transmission–based lectures to problem-based learning, strengthen staff development programmes, scholarships and provision of lecturers’ book and research allowances and payment of non-practising allowance in order to respond to the challenge of attracting, motivating and retaining staff.