Parental involvement in the formation of school and family partnerships in the implementation of Competency Based Curriculum: a study of public primary schools in Lang’ata Sub County

One of the aims of the change by the Kenyan government from 8-4-4 system of Education to Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) was to ensure that education is practical and responsive to the needs of the people. This was also in response to the need for whole-rounded education that would develop learners’ technical skills and individual talents. This journey, however, has not been smooth: it has been plagued by many challenges including the lack of parental involvement in the reform process and in its implementation. Parental involvement is crucial in creating partnerships among parents, schools and communities, hence should be given attention in curriculum implementation. Such partnerships help in improving learning outcomes and aiding in the success of the curriculum being implemented. This study, therefore, sought to investigate parental involvement in formation of school and family partnerships in implementation of CBC with a focus on public primary schools in Lang’ata Sub County. The study used Epstein’s theory of influence and explored the following objectives: communication, level of awareness of parents where learning at home is concerned; constituents necessary in structuring school and family partnerships through decision making; governance and advocacy activities where the implementation of the CBC is concerned; and finally, the challenges facing parental involvement in formation of these partnerships. The study adopted a mixed method approach whereby quantitative data was analysed using SPSS 20 while qualitative data was analysed using thematic analysis. The study found that there was a positive correlation between variables in parental involvement and implementation of CBC curriculum. However, public primary schools in Lang’ata Sub County had a challenge where communication was concerned. For example, the diary as a major communication tool was limiting because it was mainly used for assignments. In terms of parental awareness, parents engaged in assisting children with homework but were not involved in other curricular activities or decision making where school issues were concerned. On structural constituents of school and family partnerships, the public primary schools under study had Parent Associations’ that allowed some form of participation from the parents. The study however found out that independent advocacy groups did not exist. There were also no sufficient networks to link families with parents’ representatives. Finally, the study found out that some factors such as parent and family issues, and parent and teacher affected parental involvement. The study makes several recommendations to counter the above challenges, key among them being the need for the Kenyan Government to create policies that encourage advocacy groups to participate in public primary schools as a way of creating an independent voice in decision making. The study also proposes that schools should run parenting and family support programs to equip parents and sensitize them on the importance of their involvement beyond assisting in homework.
A Thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Education Management at Strathmore University
Parental involvement, School and family partnerships, Competency Based Curriculum (CBC), Lang’ata Sub County