An Exploration of Teachers’ Attitude towards Life Skills Education: A Case Study of Secondary Schools in Thika West District, Kiambu County, Kenya

Susan N. Githaiga, Gathanwa Lucy Wanjiru, Ruth Thinguri


The purpose of this study was to explore the attitude of teachers towards teaching life skills education as a way of developing the practice of morality through secondary schools in Kenya. To achieve this the researchers used researcher objectives with the aim of establishing the extent to which life skills education was being taught in secondary school, how life skills education training had equipped teacher to teach it in schools and to identify challenges teachers were facing in implementing life skills education. In addition to recommend measures to be undertaken to improve practice of morality in secondary schools.The researchers sampled 12 public secondary schools which constitute 30% of all public secondary schools Thika West District. Four mixed secondary school, four girls boarding secondary schools and four boys boarding secondary schools. The target population was the head teachers and teachers. Purposive sampling technique was used to sample teachers and a total number of 60 respondents were sampled.Data for the study was collected using questionnaires which had both open and closed question.The data collected was then analyzed using both quantitative and qualitative techniques. The research findings revealed that majority of secondary schools in Thika West District were offering life skills education butallocating a single lesson in a week.This implied that very little time was spent on it and thus the coverage wasvery little.The conclusion was thatthe learners are not well prepared and equipped with psychosocial competencies that would help them to manage their social-moral lives in a healthy and productive manner.The research findings also revealed that some schools had no time allocation for the subject and had to teach it after regular classes or any other available time. The conclusion then was that life skills education was not given enough attention as it should to equip the learners with adaptive skills that would enable them to deal effectively with the demands of everyday life. According to the majority of the teachers, this was due to heavy workloads due to understaffing and had to make good mean score and therefore utilized the lesson to teach other examinablesubjects. The implication was that thelearners were inadequately prepared to deal with demands and challenges of every day’s life. This could be the reason why most secondary schools students are resorting to risky behaviors such as drug abuse, riot, violence, student’s dropout and pre-marital sex among others.The study recommends that the government through the Ministry of Education to put strategies for effective implementation of theprogramme in secondary schools in Kenya. This should include in-servicing teachers who are the programmeimplementersin schools. In additionthe government through the Kenya Institute of Education should avail all the necessary teaching and learning materials for effective implementation of the subject. The teachers service commission (TSC) also needs to employ adequateteachers to ease the workload. More so monitoring and evaluation of theprogramme to be carried out to determine its effectiveness at all levels and identify areas that could be improved.

Keywords: Attitude, life skills, developing, practice, morality, secondary schools, KiambuCounty, Thika.

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