Challenges to Teaching and Learning of Agriculture in Secondary Schools in Kakuyuni Division, Kangundo District, Machakos County, Kenya
Kabugi, Salome Waithera
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The purpose of this study was to find out the challenges facing teaching and learning of agriculture in public secondary schools in Kakuyuni Division. The objectives of the study were to: find out the current status in teaching and learning of agriculture, uncover the institutional-based challenges and determine the non-institutional challenges in the teaching and learning of agriculture in secondary schools. Descriptive Survey research design was used for the study. Questionnaire and observation checklist were used as the instrument for data collection. The study was carried out in all the 12 secondary schools in Kakuyuni Division. The study targeted form four Agriculture students, Headteachers and Agriculture teachers. A total of 120 respondents were targeted by the study (constituting 10 teachers, 10 head teachers and 100 form four students). Purposive sampling technique was used to sample Headteachers and agriculture teachers while simple random sampling was used to sample students. Data was coded and analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). On the status of teaching and learning Agriculture in secondary schools in Kakuyuni Division, it was found that all schools studied offer Agriculture as a subject. The study also found that Agriculture attracted few students compared to Business Studies with which it is paired in the curriculum. The major reasons for the choice of Agriculture were students’ personal interests as indicated by 64% and performance in the subject as indicated by 24% of the students who took Agriculture. The study further found that a 87% of the students’ indicated that they would consider taking Agriculture related careers. Regarding the institutional based challenges, the study found that resources such as school farm, Agricultural tools and Agriculture classrooms were inadequate. Other challenges included teacher workload and the nature of punishments given to students such as weeding flowers which affected their attitude towards learning Agriculture as evidenced by 78% of the student respondents. On the non-institutional challenges, the study found that unreliable rainfall and high poverty levels affected teaching and learning of Agriculture in schools. Other factors included inadequate Agricultural land, the fact that some students came from urban areas, the environment which is arid and semi-arid area which hinders Agricultural practice. The study concluded that the institutional based challenges facing teaching of Agriculture in schools include inadequacy of resources such as school farm, Agricultural tools and Agriculture classrooms. It was also concluded that the non institutional challenges facing teaching and learning Agriculture include: unreliable rainfall, high poverty levels, inadequate Agricultural land, the fact that some students come from urban areas and nature of the surrounding areas. The study recommended that schools should ensure that there are adequate classrooms and land for practical Agriculture work. It was finally recommended that other studies be done in other districts to determine the factors influencing the choice of Agriculture as a subject among students which was not a concern of this study.