Teacher Management Practices By County Government and its Influence on Implementation of Early Childhood Education Curriculum in Homa Bay County, Kenya
Obuya, Edward Otieno
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Significant progress has been realized since the devolution of the management of Early Childhood Development Education including teacher management to the County Governments by the Constitution of Kenya 2010. However, there still exists some teacher management challenges which have continued to undermine the effective implementation of Early Childhood Development Education in the country. The purpose of this study was to establish how teacher management by the county government influences implementation of Early Childhood Education Curriculum in Homa Bay County. The objectives were: to assess the influence of teacher recruitment on implementation of pre-school curriculum, to investigate the influence of teacher remuneration on the implementation of pre-school curriculum, to establish the influence of continued teacher professional development on the implementation of pre-school curriculum and to determine the influence of teacher working conditions on the implementation of pre-school curriculum in Homa Bay county. This research was built on the framework of Herzberg’s theory of Motivation. Explanatory sequential design, a mixed method approach was employed. The target population for the study was 2245 respondents comprising 1319 teachers, 876 lead teachers and 54 education officials. Stratified sampling method was used to select the schools according to the following strata: Urban ECDE centres and Rural ECDE centres. A sample size of 599 comprising 313 teachers, 236 lead teachers and 54 county education officials were involved. Questionnaires were used to collect quantitative data while interview guides were used to collect qualitative data. A pilot study was conducted in four schools to ascertain the validity and reliability of the instruments. Reliability of the research instrument was tested using Cronbach’s alpha coefficient with an overall reliability score of 0.814. Validity was ascertained by experts from Kenyatta University, department of educational management, policy and curriculum studies. Qualitative data were analyzed thematically while quantitative data were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) version 24.00. Descriptive statistics included frequencies counts, percentages, means, standard deviations and variance whereas inferential statistics involved regression analysis. The formulated hypotheses were tested at 5% significance level. Results revealed significant influence of recruitment on curriculum implementation (R2 =.111, F= 28.823; p<0.05), the same as teacher working conditions (variance (R2 = .010, F= 2.435; p<0.05). Further analysis revealed that lead teachers working conditions significantly predicted implementation of pre-school curriculum (β1= .105, t=1.560; p<0.05). The findings indicated that recruitment polices are not being followed, remunerations are very low, teacher professional development training had positively influenced the implementation of the pre-school curriculum. The findings also indicated that the county government had not furnished adequate resources to preschools to enhance the teachers’ working situations, consequently compromising the implementation of pre-school curriculum. The study concluded that teacher recruitment, teacher remuneration, teacher continuous professional development and teacher working conditions positively influence curriculum implementation. The study therefore recommends that the County government of Homa Bay should undertake to work out better terms of service for pre-school teachers, enhance Teacher Professional Development (TPD) programmes and quality assurance services for ECDE centres to improve on the curriculum implementation in ECDE centres in the County. It further recommends establishment of public-private partnership to finance pre-school education in the county.