Editorial

 Editorial

Jennifer Wanjiku Khamasi Ph. D

Associate Professor of Family and Consumer Science Education

 

I am happy to present to you Volume 6 of JASEML which comprises of 6 chapters presented herein as follows:

  1. “Equitable Leadership as an Emerging Concept among School Principals in Kenya: An Institutional Perspective”by Perez Oyugi;
  2. The Changing Roles of School Managers: Where the Rubber Meets the Road” by Nobert Wanjala Wanyonyi and Irene Simiyu;
  3. “Career Development Challenges Faced by Undergraduate Student Mothers in Public Universities in Kenya” by Joyce M. A. Lugulu;
  4. “Research Experience versus Research Theory:  The Journey of a Novice Qualitative Researcher” by Khadiala Khamasi;
  5. “The Use of Design Process in the Production of Goods and Services by the Informal Sector in Kenya” by Wamalwa Chrispinus W. Mukoche; and lastly
  6. “Practice of Sustainable Agriculture in Kenya’s Public Secondary Schools” by Ouma O. Peter and Masese M.

Chapter 1 is about a study that took place both in Kisumu, Kenya and Ontario Canada. It was informed by constructivist grounded theory approach and 7 principals from Kisumu and 5 from Ontario participated in the study. The paper discusses equitable leadership amongst school principals in Kenya, a concept and practice that the Perez Oyugi finds new in the Kenyan education landscape. 

 

Nobert Wanjala Wanyonyi and Irene Simiyu in Chapter 2 contend that, the roles of school managers are changing rapidly. The authors argue that most principals are unprepared and consequently the phenomena of change management overwhelms them, particularly because education stakeholders expect the school managers to ensure that every child sails through the education system to completion; despite the fact that, most school managers do not have the skills needed to handle emerging issues in the schools.

Chapter 3 is a report of a study conducted in 3 public universities in Uasin Gishu County, Kenya; on the challenges faced by undergraduate student mothers in the respective study sites.  The author discusses challenges such as stigma, financial constraints, lack of appropriate accommodation, misunderstandings with spouses and family, and inability to balance motherhood and studies. These challenges affect retention and completion of student mothers in public universities.   

 

In Chapter 4, Khadiala Khamasi reminds us that research can be an overwhelming process for a beginning researcher; a factor that those who teach research methods often overlook.  She takes the reader through her experiences as a novice researcher.  The paper could serve as a reader for lecturers who teach research related courses to post graduate students. 

Chrispinus Wamalwa in Chapter 5 discusses results of a survey that investigated the production process in the informal (Jua Kali) sector in Kenya. He made the assumption that design technology impacts on the quality of the goods and services produced. However, the findings show that the design process in the Jua Kali production was limited and the author recommends training seminars for the Jua Kali sector in order to promote use of design technology and consequently enhance efficiency and a value. 

The last chapter by Ouma and Masese discusses the importance of agriculture education given that agriculture is the mainstay of Kenya economy because the sector:

contributes directly 26 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) … supplies the manufacturing sector with raw materials … generates tax revenue … to support the rest of the economy … also accounts for 65 per cent of Kenya’s total exports, it employs over 40 per cent of the total population, and over 70 per cent of the rural population depend on agriculture for their livelihood (Government of Kenya, 2011, pg. x). 

The authors remind us that ‘Secondary school agriculture in Kenya is intended to make learners acquire useful agricultural skills for production and environmental protection’. The aim of the study therefore was to: ‘assess the knowledge level of public secondary school agriculture teachers towards sustainable agriculture; to determine sustainable agriculture practices carried out in schools and to establish the perception of secondary school teachers of agriculture towards environmental sustainability’. The survey findings paint a grim picture on the quality of teachers who teach agriculture in secondary schools in Kenya and point to the need for teacher education institutions to align the agriculture education curriculum to the goals of the agriculture sector and to also rethink ways in which teachers are trained. 

The six paper touch on issues that will always be important to the education sector that is school leadership, research methodology, factors that inhibit progression and timely graduation from college, and vocational education as offered through courses such as technology and agriculture education. The discussions presented are calling for dialogue and more research that is aimed at transforming practices. 

 

References

Government of Kenya (2011). Agricultural Sector Development Support Programme, Ministry of Agriculture, Nairobi.  Source: http://www.nafis.go.ke/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/asdsp-program-doc-after-signing-1-jan-12.pdf