TEACHERS’ PERCEPTIONS ON HOW SELECTED SCHOOL FACTORS AFFECT LEARNING IN PRE-SCHOOLS IN MERU SOUTH DISTRICT, THARAKA NITHI COUNTY, KENYA

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The objective of early childhood program is to build a strong foundation for cognitive,
socio-emotional and health development through learning that will enable children to
maximize their learning potential upon entering primary school.  However, concerns have
been raised regarding the learning in public early childhood centres in Kenya. The goal of
this study was to determine teachers’ perceptions on how selected school factors affect
learning in early childhood centres. The study utilized descriptive survey research design.
A sample of 79 ECE teachers was selected using stratified sampling. Questionnaires and
interview schedule were used to collect data. The quantitative data collected was
analyzed using the SPSS programme, while qualitative data was analyzed thematically.
The study established that the teachers perceived that staffing in public early childhood
centres was low and that supervision of learning by head teachers was inadequate. The
study further found that the learning resources were inadequate including the learning
facilities for both indoor and outdoor environment. All these perceptions had a negative
influence to learning outcomes. This study concludes that teachers held mixed reactions
on how staffing, supervision, resources and learning environment affected learning in
ECE. This study makes a raft of recommendations among which includes training of all
head teachers to be effective institutional managers. This will make them learn more on
supervisory roles. All the stakeholders should co-operate in provision of learning
materials such as textbooks, toys, charts, and other teaching aids. School infrastructure
should be improved, especially classrooms, desks and teaching/learning material; there is
need for fair distribution and utilization of available resources so that all schools in need
are adequately catered for and the government to provide enough funds so that schools
can meet other challenges; and employing more qualified teaching personnel in order to
deal with the problem of high pupil-teacher ratio.

Author: 
MARY MURUGI MUGAMBI
Unit: 
COMMTECH

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