TEACHERS’ PERCEPTIONS ON THE INFLUENCE OF SELECTED INSTITUTIONAL FACTORS ON IMPLEMENTATION OF TUITION FREE SECONDARY EDUCATION IN PUBLIC SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN WARENG SUB-COUNTY, KENYA

ABSTRACT
The launch of Free Primary Education (FPE) in Kenya in 2003 resulted to high enrolment of pupils in primary schools. However only a small proportion of those pupils who completed standard eight enrolled in form one due to lack of school fees which was a burden to many parents. In January 2008 the Government of Kenya declared Tuition Free Secondary Education (TFSE) in all public secondary schools in the country in order to cope with the high number of pupils completing standard eight. As expected, this led to a large number of students enrolling for secondary education. Despite the government input, reports from many parts of the country revealed that shortage of school facilities, instructional materials, teacher staffing and head teachers with good administrative skills among other challenges made it difficult to achieve the objectives of TFSE that is increased level of student enrolment, progression from one class to next and completion. The purpose of this study was to investigate teachers’ perceptions on the influence of selected institutional factors on implementation of TFSE in public secondary schools in Wareng Sub-County, Kenya. The study used descriptive survey research design. The target population was 34 head teachers and 452 teachers. A sample of 195 respondents was drawn consisting of 14 head teachers and 181 teachers. Stratified proportionate random sampling technique was used to select head teachers while random sampling was used to select teachers from the schools whose head teachers were selected. Two five point likert type of questionnaires were used to collect data from head teachers and teachers. The questionnaires were validated by a team of experts from the department of Curriculum Instruction and Educational Management. Reliability was determined by subjecting the instruments to a pilot study in six schools from Wareng Sub- County that did not take part in the study. Cronbach’s alpha was used to estimate reliability of the instruments, which was established at 0.843 for head teachers’ questionnaire and 0.816 for teachers’ questionnaire. Data collected were analyzed using descriptive statistics including frequencies and percentages. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to process the data collected. Results of data analysis were presented using frequency distribution tables, bar graphs and pie charts. The study established that more students were able to attend school as a result of tuition free secondary education though this stressed the available resources in schools. The first objective was to investigate teachers’ perceptions on the influence of facilities on implementation of TFSE, the study found that the school facilities were not adequate. On the second objective, the study concluded that most of the instructional materials in the study area were still inadequate though textbooks, globes, calculators, wall maps and curriculum guides were rated partially adequate. Majority of the respondents noted that the number of staff was not enough, forcing school management to employ Board of Management (BOM) teachers. On administrative skills, most head teachers agreed that their administrative skills were sufficient enough to manage the schools adequately while teachers’ opinions differed on this. The study therefore recommends employment of more teachers to cater for increasing student population and also to provide more funds to cater for more school facilities and instructional materials. The study is expected to provide valuable insights on the influence of institutional factors on implementation of TFSE. It is hoped that the findings of this study will help the Ministry of Education and the Teachers’ Service Commission to deploy appropriate resources and policy programs to be used to ensure successful implementation of TFSE.

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
Background of the Study
Education forms the basis upon which economic, social and political development of any nation is founded. Investment in education can help foster economic growth, enhance productivity, contribute to national and social development, and reduce social inequality (World Bank, 1998). UNESCO (2005) argues that the level of a country’s education is one of the key indicators of its level of development. Globally, education is recognized as a basic human right. The Human Rights Charter treats education as one of the human rights. Bishop (1989) notes that in 1948 the Universal Declaration of Human Rights laid down Article 26, that everyone had the right to education and that education would be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages.

Education for all has been discussed in international fora, for example United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and in World Conferences at Jomtien, Thailand in 1990 and its follow-up in Dakar, Senegal in 2000 (Republic of Kenya, 2005). Consequently, governments around the world have invested huge amounts of their expenditure on education. Before independence, education for most of the African countries including Kenya was geared towards perpetuating content inherited from the pre-independent past. The current re-thinking, however, ensures that the African is rooted in the culture of her environment and prepared for participation in nation building through educational reforms (Republic of Kenya, 1964). In 1963, when Kenya attained independence, the government committed itself to the provision of Universal Free Primary Education in tandem with the Addis Ababa Conference of African Ministers held in 1960 (Sifuna,1990). The conference promised to offer Universal Primary Education within twenty years. In 1963, the government declared a fight against three enemies of development; ignorance, disease and poverty. In light of this, the government adopted a policy of universal primary education (Republic of Kenya, 1964). Since then, the government’s effort to expand educational opportunities have been informed by various educational commissions, the key ones being the: Ominde 1964, Gachathi 1976, Mackay 1981, Kamunge 1988 and Koech 1999 commissions, all appropriately named after their respective chairpersons. Alongside these commissions were relevant policy documents such as the Sessional Paper No.6 of 1988 and the Sessional Paper No. 1 of 2005, the latter is a Policy Framework for Education, Training and Research.

The first Commission, after independence, came up with the Report of the Kenya Education Commission (Republic of Kenya, 1964) that sought to reform the education system inherited from the colonial government to make it more responsive to the needs of independent Kenya. The Commission proposed an education system that would foster national unity and the creation of sufficient human capital for national development. Sessional Paper No: 10 of 1965 on African Socialism and its Application to Planning in Kenya formally adopted the Ominde Report as a basis for post-independence educational development (Republic of Kenya, 1964).The Report of the National Committee on Educational Objectives and Policies(Republic of Kenya, 1976), focused on redefining Kenya’s educational policies and objectives, giving consideration to national unity, and economic, social and cultural aspirations of the people of Kenya. It resulted in Government support for ‘Harambee’ schools and also led to establishment of the National Centre for Early Childhood Education (NACECE) at the Kenya Institute of Education (KIE) (Republic of Kenya,1976).The Report of the Presidential Working Party on the Second University in Kenya(Republic of Kenya, 1981) led to the removal of the advanced (A) level of secondary education, and the expansion of other post-secondary training institutions. In addition to the establishment of Moi University, it also recommended the establishment of the8:4:4 systems of education and the Commission for University Education (CUE).

The Report of the Presidential Working Party on Education and Manpower Training for the Next Decade and beyond focused on improving education financing, quality and relevance (Republic of Kenya, 1988). This was at a time when the Government scheme for the provision of instructional materials through the National Textbook Scheme was inefficient and therefore adversely affected the quality of teaching and learning (Rotich, 2004). From the recommendations of the Working Party in 1988, the Government produced Sessional Paper No 6 on Education and Training for the Next Decade and beyond. This led to the policy of cost sharing between government, parents and communities (Republic of Kenya, 1988).The Commission of Inquiry into the Education System of Kenya was mandated to recommend ways and means of enabling the education system to facilitate national unity, mutual social responsibility, accelerated industrial and technological development, life-long learning, and adaptation in response to changing circumstances (Republic of Kenya, 1999). The subsequent report, popularly known as The Koech Report recommended Totally Integrated Quality Education and Training(TIQET). While the Government did not adopt the Report due to the cost implications, some recommendations such as curriculum rationalization have been adopted and implemented (Abagi, 1992).

Recent policy initiatives have focused on the attainment of Education for All (EFA) and, in particular, Universal Primary Education (UPE). The key concerns for the government were access, retention, equity, quality and relevance, and internal and external efficiencies within the education system (Achoka, et al, 2007). The effectiveness of the current 8-4-4 structure and system of education had also come under increasing scrutiny in light of the decline in enrolment and retention particularly at the primary and secondary school levels. The Government had shown it’s commitment to the provision of quality education and training as a human right for all Kenyans through the introduction of Free Primary education (FPE) in 2003 and Tuition Free Secondary Education (TFSE) in 2008 whose implementation the study seeks to investigate. Despite this positive move towards attainment of increased enrolment, progressive retention and completion rates in secondary schools, it is not clear how institutional factors such as facilities, learning resource materials, teacher staffing and head teachers’ administrative skills have influenced implementation of this program.

Just before the December 2002 general elections, the major opposition parties formed a coalition (NARC) that eventually won. During its campaigns, NARC promised to offer free primary school education. And true to its promise, after taking over in December 2002, through MoEST, the NARC government introduced FPE in January 2003. And as was expected in a country where a substantial proportion of children were out of school, the response was overwhelming. According to UNESCO’s assessment report, after the introduction of FPE in Kenya in 2003, an additional 1.5 million children were able to attend school for the first time (UNESCO, 2005). The free primary initiative had been key in enhancing access, retention and completion at the primary level as propagated by the Ominde Education Report (Republic of Kenya, 1964). The challenge that emerged for the government was to ensure that pupils graduating from primary school access secondary education. To address this challenge, the government introduced TFSE in 2008 as earlier promised in the 2007 election campaigns.

The launch of TFSE in 2008 was meant to address illiteracy, low quality education and low completion rates at the secondary level, high cost of education and poor community participation (Republic of Kenya, 2005).Unlike the FPE initiative, which had reference to enormous conventions, resolutions and literature, TFSE initiative could have been triggered by the politically charged climate that engulfed the country during the 2007 general election which implied that the country may not have been very prepared for its implementation. However, there was government commitment to increase transition from primary to secondary by seventy percent in all districts (Ohba, 2009). Despite the government’s desire to have 100% transition from primary to secondary education, it remains unclear how institutional factors such as school facilities, learning resources, teacher staffing and head teachers’ administrative skills were put in place in order to cater for the projected rise in enrolment in public secondary schools.

According to the TFSE policy, the government was expected to meet the tuition fees of KShs 10,265 per student, while parents were required to meet other requirements like lunch, transport and boarding fees for those in boarding schools, besides development projects. This was in line with the government commitment to ensure that regional special needs and gender disparities were addressed (Ohba, 2009). These efforts were a positive move towards the realization of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Education for All and vision 2030. Based on the experience on the implementation of FPE, it would be expected that implementation of TFSE was to be faced with a myriad problems. Research on FPE indicated that there were many challenges facing its implementation (Republic of Kenya, 2005). For example, UNESCO (2005) carried out an assessment of the Free Primary Education programme in Kenya in 2005. The assessment found out that some of the major challenges facing free primary education initiative were increased student numbers; shortage of teachers; lack of clear guidelines on admission; lack of consultation with teachers and parents; delay in disbursement of funds by the government; and expanded roles for head teachers.

In line with the assessment of FPE, this study selected school facilities, instructional materials, teacher staffing and head teachers’ administrative skills. Just like FPE, TFSE would be expected to experience increased student numbers which would in turn impact on school facilities, instructional materials, teacher staffing and head teachers’ administrative skills to handle the expended roles. It was however not clear how institutional factors such as school facilities, learning resources, teacher staffing and head teachers’ administrative skills influenced the implementation of TFSE in Wareng district. This was the concern this study sought to investigate.

Statement of the Problem
Education is key to national development. This however can only be achieved when quality education is offered to all citizens. In an effort to enhance enrolment, progressive retention and completion after the FPE initiative of 2003, the Government of Kenya introduced TFSE in 2008. The Government and other development partners have endeavored to provide facilities for the realization of TFSE. Implementation of TFSE has been a challenge in the whole country. In a paper presented during a KESI course for Deputy principals at Tom Mboya labour college, Kisumu (10th -23rd August, 2008), Aboka, the then Nyanza Deputy Provincial Director of Education, identified thirteen challenges facing TFSE implementation. These included, among others, shortage of school facilities, instructional materials, teacher staffing and head teachers with good administrative skills. Due to these challenges it is difficult to achieve the objectives of TFSE, that is increased level of student enrolment, progression from one class to next and completion. In regard to Wareng Sub-County, these concerns are not founded on any systematic studies or supported by data. The study therefore sought to determine teachers’ perceptions on the influence of the named institutional factors on implementation of TFSE in public secondary schools in Wareng Sub-County, Kenya.

Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study was to investigate teachers’ perceptions on the influence of school facilities, instructional materials, staffing and head teachers’ administrative skills on implementation of TFSE in Wareng Sub-County.

Objectives of the Study
The study was guided by the following objectives;

i. To determine teachers’ perceptions on the influence of school facilities on implementation of TFSE in public secondary schools.

ii. To find out teachers’ perceptions on the influence of instructional materials on implementation of TFSE in public secondary schools.

iii. To establish teachers’ perceptions on the influence of staffing levels on implementation of TFSE in public secondary schools.

iv. To determine teachers’ perceptions on the influence of head teachers’ administrative skills on implementation of TFSE in public secondary schools.

Research Questions
The study was further guided by the following research questions;

i. What are teachers’ perceptions on the influence of school facilities on implementation of TFSE in public secondary schools?

ii. What are teachers’ perceptions on the influence of instructional materials on implementation of TFSE in public secondary schools?

iii. What are teachers’ perceptions on the influence of staffing levels on implementation of TFSE in public secondary schools?

iv. What are teachers’ perceptions on the influence of head teachers’ administrative skills on implementation of TFSE in public secondary schools?

Significance of the Study
The findings of the study may be useful to the Ministry of Education as it points out areas that require deployment of appropriate resources and facilities and to help the review of policy on TFSE. This study also provides information to Teachers’ Service Commission (TSC) that will help in reviewing staffing policy. Head teachers, teachers, education officers, parents and the community as a whole may benefit from the research findings by mobilizing resources, improvising and optimizing utilization of the available instructional materials and teaching staff. The study may also provide a base on which other research may be carried out on other factors affecting secondary education in Kenya.

Scope of the Study
According to Mugenda and Mugenda (2003), scope refers to the boundaries of the study. Study only focused on the institutional factors influencing implementation of the Tuition Free Secondary Education in Wareng Sub-County. The private schools were excluded since they are not funded by the government. The full boarding schools were also excluded because only day schools were under study. The study was delimited to head teachers and teachers. The teachers’ responses on institutional factors influencing implementation of TFSE formed the study’s core values. The factors on learning and teaching resource materials, school facilities, teacher staffing and head teachers’ administrative skills were investigated.

Limitations of the Study
The researcher faced the following limitations:

In data collection, the study relied on questionnaires, which include self-assessment measures for head teachers. As pointed out by Sharma (2008), individuals tend to overrate themselves on desirable traits and underrate themselves on undesirable traits. This means that some head teachers may have overrated themselves in some of the factors which may lead to the wrong conclusion that TFSE is not influenced by institutional factors. To overcome this, the researcher collected data on administrative skills from school head teachers and corroborated with that from teachers. Generalization to other parts of Kenya should be done with caution because Wareng Sub-County has characteristics that are only unique to it.

Assumptions of the Study
This study was carried out under the following assumptions;

The respondents would be willing to avail the information as stipulated in the questionnaires and provide honest responses that reflect the real influence of institutional factors on implementation of TFSE. The respondents were in a position to identify the factors that impact on quality of education in their schools and that all public secondary schools in Wareng Sub-County faced similar challenges in the implementation of TFSE policy.

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Item Type: Kenyan Material  |  Attribute: 99 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: KSh900  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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