Barriers to the implementation of general science curriculum in secondary schools in Kagundo District
Mwangi, Wangari Florence
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There are over 3000 secondary schools in Kenya. They are categorized as National, Provincial and District schools. The Secondary Education Curriculum expects all students to study at least two pure science subjects and pass regardless of the entry behavior and career interest. This has been frustrating for learners that would like to pursue art- related courses and careers and those that are in institutions with poorly equipped laboratories. There are many learners in the Non-formal education and private students who may not be able to access the science laboratories resulting to low achievement in the science subjects. A General Science Curriculum has been introduced to cater for learners in both-the formal and non-formal setting. The central problem in this study is the implementation of General Science Curriculum in Kangundo District Schools which has not been impressive owing to many schools not opting for it. However, no study has been undertaken to establish barriers to the implementation of General Science Curriculum in the District. To this end, the main purpose of the study was to investigate barriers to the implementation of General Science Curriculum in Kangundo Schools hoping that the outcome will go a long way to improve the situation. The method used in this study was that of descriptive survey design. The study was done in Kangundo District of Machakos County and involved four secondary schools. The target population was twenty five (25) secondary schools. Four (4) provincial schools, seventeen (17) District secondary schools which are all mixed and four (4) private secondary schools. The total number of students in the twenty five schools was eight thousand nine hundred twenty (8,920). The science teachers in these schools were seventy five (75). Purposive sampling was used to select four public District Secondary schools. Simple random sampling was used to select 200 (23.3%) student out of eight thousand nine hundred and twenty (8920). The sample size for the study was two hundred 200(23.3%) students, twelve (12) teachers and four (4) principal. It is from these groups the data will be analyzed. The data for the study was collected through questionnaires that were personally administered by the researcher to the students and science teachers. The principals, teachers and students were interviewed by the researcher for further in-depth information. The findings were presented in summary form using frequency distribution tables, bar and pie-charts. The study found that students wanted to study general science if it is offered in their school, teachers were not in-serviced, principals had no clear policy and K.N.E.C interfered with the implementation. Based on these findings it is recommended that the Ministry of Education should re- consider the initial objectives of General science in secondary schools in Kenya, provide a clear policy of its implementation, in-service and pre-service courses to be provided to teachers. Further the K.N.E.C should have the interest of the student and not the school. Finally more research needs to be done by K.I.E with a view to establishing other barriers to the implementation especially in formal education system.