The extent to which teachers of catholic program of pastoral instructions apply life approach in primary schools in Kasarani District, Nairobi
Nderitu, Wambui Mary
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The quality of education at any level is measured by its ability to equip learners with skills to live and operate as useful members of the community. Life Approach is a strategy used in the teaching of Christian Religious Education in Kenyan schools and is geared towards this end. It was adopted by the Kenya Catholic Secretariat in the teaching of Catholic Program of Pastoral Instruction (CPPI) following its recommendation in a workshop attended by representatives of various churches in Limuru in 1974, (Talboid, 1979). Since the CPPI was introduced in 1972 and subsequently, Life Approach in 1974, no systematic investigation has been made to determine if teachers apply Life Approach as they teach the subject. Such an investigation would help to determine whether those teachers have the necessary professional and academic capacity to apply it or if there are any underlying factors that would hinder its effective application. This study was set to investigate the extent to which teachers of the Catholic Program of Pastoral Instruction in primary schools in Kasarani District in Nairobi Province applied Life Approach as they taught the subject. Further, it was expected to come up with suggestions on how the use of Life Approach in the teaching of Catholic Program of Pastoral Instruction could be improved. A purposive Sampling technique was applied to identify schools that would be used in the study. Data collection instruments included a questionnaire prepared for 60 teachers of CPPI in both public and private schools. An observation checklist was used to assess a sample of 10 lessons. In an attempt to improve the validity and reliability of the questionnaire, a pilot study was conducted in two schools in Kiambu District. The study found out that in terms of pre service and in service training, teachers were not adequately professionally prepared to apply Life Approach in the teaching of CPPI. In an attempt to use it, it was found that they encountered problems like shortage of time, inadequate teaching and learning resources and inadequate guidance on the use of the approach. It was concluded that not all teachers of CPPI were using Life Approach partly because they had not been adequately prepared to use it in the teaching of the subject and also they lacked adequate teaching and learning materials to support the teaching of the subject using Life Approach. Besides, the manner in which CPPI was organized in most schools under study was inappropriate and could not allow for effective application of Life Approach. Curriculum developers need to organize in service courses to guide teachers on the use of Life Approach. PPI books and other reference materials should be included in the `orange' book so that schools can order for them through the approved procedures. Teachers of CPPI are also advised to source for information and resource materials from the Diocesan Resource Centers. Finally Supervision of teachers' preparation and delivery of CPPI lessons by the head teachers should be enhanced.