An investigation of the quality of secondary education in Nkuene Division of Imenti South District, Meru county
Development of education in Kenya is guided by the education Act of 1968 which empowers the education minister to promote education at all levels both quantitatively and qualitatively . This implies that any educational development and expansion should strike a balance between the two aspects. The primary purpose of this study was to investigate into the quality of secondary education in Nkuene Division of Imenti South District, Meru county. The main objective was to propose strategies and policies planners of education can employ to increase quality of secondary education. The study also sought to indentify challenges facing quality of education and suggest ways of addressing them to ensure match between quality and quantity of secondary education in Kenya. Literature review explored qualitative and quantitative aspects of educational expansion at global, regional and more specifically Kenya. The researcher adopted an exploratory approach using descriptive survey design. The survey design enabled the researcher to collect definite information about people attitudes, opinion or any other variety of educational issues. The study targeted 17 public secondary schools with a population of 17 principals, 136 heads of departments (HODS), form four students in the 17 schools and 1 District quality assurance and standards officer (DQASO). A sample of eight (8) schools was picked through stratified sampling with 5 heads of departments each, (Humanities language, mathematics, science and technical department); 8 principals of the sampled schools,56 form four students and 1 Quality assurance and standards officer. Data was collected from Heads of department, students and principals using questionnaire, interview schedule for district quality assurance and standard officer and observation schedule for the researcher. A pilot study was undertaken to pre-test the reliability of the instruments before the main research was rolled out. Construct validity of the instruments was be assessed by the supervisors. A pilot allowed for modification of instruments at this stage to improve their reliability and validity. Data was analyzed with the aid of statistical package for social sciences (SPSS).On teacher adequacy, 68% of students indicated lack of teachers in all subjects. Regarding teaching materials, 52% indicated lack of a functional library cruel in learning process while 48% having functional libraries. A whole 75% of students show that teachers check assignments sometimes while 76% sometimes recover missed lessons.75% of principals do not attribute unsatisfactory performance to increased enrollment though DQASO indicates that increased enrolment has affected quality of education in upcoming schools. The study established that it is not necessarily the increased enrolment that has led to poor quality of education but rather, the fact that the provision of other related services such as teachers has not kept pace with this increment in enrolment. Accordingly, the study recommended the that there is a need to provide adequate facilities such as lab equipment and libraries if the quality of education is to be kept high, hire more trained teachers, increasing the frequency of inspection of the schools and exploring ways of boosting the morale of the teachers and the provision of adequate teaching and learning materials can be possible viable strategies for enhancing quality of education, in order to create a balance between quality and quantity of education provided in Nkuene Division.