SCHOOL FACTORS INFLUENCING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF LIFE SKILLS EDUCATION IN PUBLIC PRIMARY SCHOOLS IN ATHI-RIVER DISTRICT, KENYA

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The purpose of the study was to investigate the school factors influencing the
implementation of life skills education (LSE) in public primary schools in Athi River
district, Kenya. Five research objectives were set  to guide the study. They aimed at;
establishing the adequacy of time allocated to LSE, analyzing teachers’ perceptions on
their preparedness to implement LSE, assessing the  availability and adequacy of the
learning and teaching resources for implementation  of LSE, analyzing the
appropriateness of the teaching methodologies in the implementation of LSE and
analyzing learners’ attitudes towards the implementation of LSE.  The study adopted the
descriptive survey design to find out school factors influencing the implementation of life
skills education. The sample size comprised of 93 teachers and 336 pupils. Data were
collected by use of questionnaires for both the life skills education teachers and the
students.  The reliability of the research instruments was ascertained by a test and a re-
test exercise on the pilot study sample.  The findings indicated that there was consistency
(r = 0.84) signifying that the instruments were reliable.  Findings revealed that time
allocated to LSE affected the implementation of life skills education. For example,
teachers stated that LSE was allocated 1 lesson per week on the time table while the
maximum required number of lessons allocated were 3 per week. Inadequate time
allocation led to inadequate content coverage hence affecting the implementation of the
LSE curriculum. Findings on the effects of teachers’ perceptions as to their preparedness
to implement life skills education revealed that teachers’ perceptions had a positive effect
on LSE curriculum implementation. Findings on the effect of availability and adequacy
of learning and teaching resources on the implementation of life skills education revealed
that resources for teaching LSE were not adequate which negatively impacted upon the
implementation of LSE.  The research findings also showed that teaching methodologies
influenced the implementation of life skills education. Demonstration and question and
answer methods were preferred by a majority. Findings on the influence of learners’
attitudes to life skills education on the implementation of life skills education revealed
that learners had a positive attitude. Based on the findings, the study revealed that time
allocated to LSE affected the implementation of life skills education. Teachers indicated
that time allocated for teaching LSE was inadequate which resulted in inadequate content
coverage hence negatively affecting the implementation of the LSE curriculum. Based on
the findings it was recommended that headteachers should take a leading role in ensuring
that time allocated to LSE in their schools is in accordance with the guidelines provided
by the Kenya Institute of Education.  The study further recommended that the
government through the Ministry of Education (MoE) should have in-service courses for
teachers since training is an important component of curriculum implementation.  Based
on the findings of the study, it was suggested that an investigation on the influence on the
gender of the teacher on LSE implementation should be conducted.

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