Development of kiswahili education In Kenya between 1900 - 2000
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The purpose of this study was to gather information on the historical development of Kiswahili education and establish the extent to which this development could be linked to the present challenges experienced in the teaching and learning of Kiswahili. Specifically, this research aimed at collecting information on the changes and innovations in instructional methods and resources, the policies and the curricula that have been in place since 1900 and give suggestions and recommendations for dealing with these challenges. The study was confined to Kenya. Both the historical and analytic methods were used in the collection and analysis of data. It drew heavily from both the primary and secondary sources of information. Snowball, purposive and convenience sampling methods were used in the selection of respondents. Interviews with members of staff in the departments of educational foundations, curriculum and educational communication and technology, and teacher college trainers in Kiswahili education were carried out. External and internal criticisms were used in the analysis of the data collected. In some cases triangulation process was applied in the analyses to avoid uncertainty from conflicting data from different sources of information. Findings from the data obtained revealed that at the inception of the discipline in the country, Kiswahili language was not delineated from Kiswahili education. The duo was seen as one or reference to one was mistakenly used to refer to the other. Consequently, little was done to develop theories and methods specific to Kiswahili education. The trend has continued to date. Similarly no policy was put in place during the colonial period that explicitly spelt out how Kiswahili education was to be implemented in teachers’ colleges. After independence, policy statements made sounded ambivalent and are yet to be clearly spelt out. Still, innovations that have been done in both the production of material and human resources from the colonial period throughout the post-independent era were quite insignificant. Hence, this rendered the whole process of Kiswahili education a vicious circle. Furthermore, it is evident that the curricula and syllabuses that were designed from 1900 up to 2000 hardly considered the emerging issues of the times. From the findings and conclusions, it is recommended that a Policy on Kiswahili education and an instruction model should be developed. Similarly, the content of Kiswahili education should be regularly reviewed to cover emerging issues. Further regular research in the area of Kiswahili education should be conducted and seminars organized to disseminate findings. This should be the responsibility of the higher institutions of learning in conjunction with the Kenya Institute of Education.
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