Academic journal article Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies

Teachers' Training, Terms of Service and Head Teachers' Awareness of ECDE Policy Framework in Bungoma South District, Kenya

Academic journal article Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies

Teachers' Training, Terms of Service and Head Teachers' Awareness of ECDE Policy Framework in Bungoma South District, Kenya

Article excerpt

Abstract

This paper is based on a descriptive survey of the relationship between policy framework governing ECDE and actual practices in Early Childhood Development CeAntres (ECDCs) in Bungoma South District, Kenya. It examines the training that teachers of ECDE underwent, the terms and conditions of their work, and head teachers' level of awareness on ECDE policy. A sample size of 40 ECDCs was used. All the head teachers of the selected ECDCs participated. The teachers were selected through simple random sampling. Data was collected using questionnaires, interview and observation schedules. Data analysis was done using descriptive statistics and presented thematically. It emerged that policy framework governing ECDE programme in Kenya was not being fully practiced in the District. Most teachers had a certificate while a few had a diploma in ECDE. The training content was sufficient to make teachers competent. However, majority had never attended refresher courses since training. Moreover, most teachers did not enjoy harmonized terms and conditions of services, though the conditions of services were emphasized during inspection by QASOs. The study recommended facilitation of ECDE teachers by educational officers, cooperation of parents, administration, community leaders and MOE to improve the working conditions of ECDE teachers.

Keywords: teachers' training, terms, service, head teachers' awareness, ECDE policy framework, bungoma south district, Kenya

INTRODUCTION

The present curriculum for ECDE has been influenced greatly by the writings and activities of great philosophers of all times like Plato, John Dewey, Maria Montessori, Johann Pestalozzi, John Comenius, Jean Jacques Rousseau and Friedrich Froebel among others. Plato (427-347 AD) writes that the character of the young and tender being is founded and desired impression readily taken when the child is young or starting his or her life. He sees early years as critical for developing not only the child's body and healthy habits but also for fostering good thoughts, sports, games, plays and songs. This could lay foundation for wisdom, temperance, courage and justice which to him are cardinal virtues of the perfect citizen of the republic. To Plato, curriculum is to be linked to a continued concern for social betterment (Karanja & Githinji, 2009).

Comenius (1592-1670) wrote the first illustrated picture book for children and has advanced the concept that early learning determines what a person becomes (Nasibi, 2005). He suggests that in teaching children, the teacher has to follow the order of nature, build on the foundation of spontaneous reaction and teach repeatedly one thing at a time. The teacher has also to teach without coercion and discourage memorization without understanding. He emphasizes on learning by experience and experimentation and asserts that a child could be taught new knowledge by the teacher associating it with what is already familiar to the child, i.e. from known to unknown (Sifuna, 1986).

Rousses (1712-1778) and Pestalozzi (1746-1829) argue that conception of education includes the development of powers of the individual because the enhancement of a person's power means progress towards an improved society. To maximize the goodness of the person for such a society, the early years need attention. For Pestalozzi, this means loving care from others and the need for teacher guidance. He argues that the child should grow up whole, free, able and being led to solve the problems of living through his or her own experiences (Nasibi, 2005).

Froebel (1782-1852) was influenced by Pestalozzi. He demands for a co-operation rather than a competitive classroom situation and insists that social values would accrue from many of the plays of childhood. To him, play is the basis of early learning; the plays of childhood are the germinal leaves of later life, for the whole man is developed in these, in his tended deposition in his innermost tendencies. …

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