Teachers' opinions on the importance of in-service education and training on KCPE performance by public primary schools in Thika Municipality
Maina, Wilfred Wachira
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The central problem of the study was that despite the effort made by the government to provide in-service education and training to primary school teachers, poor performance in national examinations is still prevalent in most public primary schools. The government has invested substantial amounts of financial and human resources directed towards INSET programmes for primary school teachers in an effort to promote pupils performance particularly in the face of the social, technological and curriculum changes. To this end, the purpose of this study was to determine the impact of in-service education and training on KCPE performance in public primary schools in Thika Municipality. The objectives of the study were: To investigate whether the teachers implement the learnt skills after the INSETs, determine the teachers opinions on INSETS and determine the impact of INSETS on KCPE performance by public primary schools in Thika Municipality since 2003. The population of the study consisted of the 23 public primary schools in the Municipality. Stratified random sampling was used to select 20 schools for the study from which 20 head teachers and 60 teachers were involved in the study. Included, were 4 TAC tutors representing the 4 educational zones in the Municipality. Interview schedules and questionnaires were used for data collection. The study used descriptive design. The collected data were analyzed and presented using descriptive statistics of frequencies and percentages while the findings were reported in summary form using tables, figures and graphs. The study established that majority (98.33%) of primary school head teachers and teachers had attended in-service courses and that these courses had positive impact on their teaching and school management. The study also revealed that in-serviced teachers were faced with many challenges. The researcher recommends that the Teacher Advisory Center in the Municipality and the Municipal Quality Assurance Officers be empowered with more staff and finances to enable increased frequency of courses, increased supervision, provision of adequate materials and more effective evaluation and follow up initiatives. The study was also able to establish that, the major impact of the in-service education and training programmes on teachers according to 95% of the respondents was improvement in teaching methodologies. The results indicated that, most teachers used learner-centered strategies as learnt during the in-service training. With regards to impact of the courses on classroom practices, 91.67% of the respondents indicated increased co-operation of the pupils, interest in subjects and improved performance in examinations. Finally, the researcher was also able to give recommendations and suggestions for further research.