African nations are working towards enhancing the quality of education their citizens' access. However, to determine how effective their interventions are, they conduct evaluations. According to Conn (2017), an evaluation is paramount in determining the end of an intervention. The African country of focus will be Kenya. Historically, in Kenya, the evaluation of the education system is mostly funder-driven, whereby interested parties or funders sponsor an evaluation (Fischer, Vadapalli & Coulton, 2017). However, the situation is changing and the government is taking charge in line with its manifesto. There are various evaluation models that an organization, nation, individual, or business can implement. The various stakeholders in the Kenyan education system require evaluations for various reasons such as noting the effectiveness of the interventions and what can be done to enhance the effectiveness of the system (Kyalo, MuIwa, Matuta & Rutere, 2014). In the exposition, I will discuss the intervention strategy Kenya has put in place, its objectives and goals, the practice theory used, its description, and the research method used during its evaluation.
i) Intervention Strategy
An intervention strategy is a plan to enhance the outcomes of an activity or process (Great Britain, 2003). In the Kenyan context, the education sector is characterized by numerous challenges that the government tries to eradicate. Such challenges reduce the quality of education and it is a norm to see striking tutors annually because of various reasons, the major one being reimbursement (Gikungu & Karanja, 2014). Additionally, non-governmental establishments try to intervene by offering learning materials to needy student and institutions in pursuit of excellence in academics. Different stakeholders have different intervention strategies with a common goal of enhancing the quality of education in Kenya. During my vacation to Kenya, I volunteered under an NGO and visited various schools and noted that the state of the educational resources the students were using was wanting. We resulted to implementing a community-led intervention. A community-led intervention strategy is a plan implemented by a non-governmental institution to benefit the people in a community (Andersson, 2017).
ii) Goals and Objectives
The goal of the intervention strategy was to enhance the quality of education the children were receiving. Before the intervention, close to ten students would share a book during class hours (Hardman, 2001). As an NGO, we donated several copies of the books to some of the schools reducing the number of children sharing a book to three. Making the books available ensured each child had an opportunity to use the books thus enhancing his or her understanding. Additionally, student participation in class increased drastically since the children could comfortably read out paragraphs in the books when requested by the tutors. According to research, quality education safeguards the future of the children since they will have access to better jobs and will be in a position to assist the needy in the society (, 2011).
iii) Intervention Description
According to Awiti, Onderi, and Raburu (2016), the quality of education offered enables a student to prosper in the future. Poor education standards deprive numerous students a chance to make it in life thereby affecting the country's economy adversely in the future years when the students are adults. Our intervention was a result of the need for additional learning resources. We bought some books and made copies of other books that were unavailable for purchase in the bookshops and handed them over to the school's authority. Despite offering a remedy to the impending situation, we went against the copyright laws that forbid unauthorized photocopying of content for distribution (Gasaway, Montgomery, Strauch & Carson, 2013). However, we made some efforts to reach the publication houses to assist in the procurement of some books that were out of print and we were given the go-ahead to photocopy them. The process took several days to complete and within a week the students and the community were happy with the effort we made.
iv) Three Practice Skills Used
During the intervention, three practice skills were in use and can be grouped into either micro or macro practice skills. Macro practice skills are interventions offered on a larger scale resulting to its impact felt by the entire community (Burghardt, 2014). Micro practice skills are interventions offered on a smaller scale and affect an individual such as basic communication skills (Applegate, 2016). During the duration in Kenya, one fact was evident the students in lower levels were not well versed with spoken English language (Hsieh, Ionescu & Ho, 2017). We taught them basic communication skills focussing on asking closed and open questions. Another micro practice skill we implemented was teaching the students to listen and express themselves freely (Erreger, 2014). The NGO provided students with books and other learning resources thereby affecting the entire community hence a macro practice skill. Students were able to study with ease and contention thanks to the timely help we offered. Furthermore, the community was happy and it praised the efforts made to enhance the quality of education in their locale.
v) Practice Theory Used or Suggested
In the course of the intervention strategy, we employed the rational choice theory whereby our ideas were based on the ideology that all actions are rational in character and that people calculate the risks involved before making a decision (Staff, 2014). When we were photocopying the books we were aware of the possibility of penalties and litigation. However, we made the necessary steps and inquired before making the move. To implement our strategy we adopted the task-centered practice model where we defined specific goals to achieve in the short-term (Sawant, 2016). We collaborated with the school authorities, the students, and the community to effect our intervention strategy.
Evaluation is a way of making a judgment about the effectiveness of an intervention strategy implemented. The results of an evaluation may be positive, neutral, or negative. Positive results indicate that an intervention strategy was successful, neutral results indicate the strategy had no impact, while the negative results indicate the strategy implemented failed or made the situation worse.
i) Research Method Used
In the evaluation, the best method to adopt would be the mixed method. Mixed methods encompass both qualitative and quantitative methods due to the diversification of concerns raised (Hughes, 2013). Qualitative methods focus on concerns that cannot be quantified such as the value added or when something occurred. On the other hand, quantitative methods focus on concerns that can be quantified such as the number of pupils, the number of books available, the number of teachers, and the number of classes (Jervis & Drake, 2014). When mixed methods are used, a researcher is able to obtain data for both quantifiable and non-quantifiable elements in the case study or research. Moreover, mixed methods allow for the capturing of all available data regardless of its nature that is necessary to make a research credible and complete (Katsirikou, Skiadas, & Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Libraries. 2010).
ii) Rationale for Method
Enhancing the quality of education requires both quantifiable and non-quantifiable data. During our implementation of the intervention strategies, several aspects were prevalent; we needed to know if the strategy in place was effective or defective. We needed to know the number of books we would require to enhance the quality of education. Furthermore, the number of students was important in determining the number of books required. The data was quantifiable hence the need for quantitative research methods (Ortiz, 2007). We conducted the quantitative research using observation and surveys. A number of students were given questionnaires to fill thereby guiding our intervention strategy. Qualitative research methods came to play when we were conducting some comparisons and contrasts before and after implementing the intervention strategies. We could not quantify the results hence qualitative method came to our aid. Using both methods gave us a reason to use the mixed methods of research (Morgan, 2013).
To ensure the method is successful and effective, I would ensure that the questionnaires used are easy to comprehend and have multiple answers. Additionally, the surveys would entail different respondents from different academic levels to ensure the core problems are identified. The tutors would assist in spreading the information about the research study being carried out to ensure the respondents feel free when answering the various queries. On the other hand, questionnaires would ensure anonymity of the respondents. According to research, it is evident that anonymity when collecting data enhances the response rates of individuals (Saris & Gallhofer, 2007). Ensuring anonymity gives a respondent courage to answer questions truthfully without fearing instances of victimization. The research would take a couple of days to ensure the responses received are adequate to form a conclusion on the state of affairs. Giving information early in advance prepares the respondents both physically and mentally; I would ensure the respondents know of the research early in advance to ensure a maximal response rate.
African nations are working towards enhancing the quality of education their citizens' access. Intervention and evaluation are useful when implementing a strategy. The intervention comes in to solve an existing issue or problem while evaluation aids in determining whether the intervention implemented is effective. The Kenyan education system requires additional attention and investment to bring to par with the international educational standards. Students from various backgrounds flock the educational institutions with the hope of bettering their future only to be met by harsh conditions such as lack of adequate learning resources. Moreover, the government is reluctant in the manner it remunerates the tutors leading to their frequent boycotts that impact students negatively. There is a need to research further on the Kenyan education system to enhance the quality of education on offer. Education is key to better life on the African continent; children struggle day and night to ensure they uplift their families in the future. Various research techniques will give adequate information on the state of the education system in the nation.
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