Effects of an in-service workshop for teachers on frequency of pre-school children's accidents in selected divisions in Nairobi, Kenya
A High number of accidents among children in school have been reported and in order to curb them, the City Centre for Early Childhood Education in Nairobi, Kenya was to conduct a refresher or in-service workshop for teachers on child safety-care. It was however not known whether or not, safety-care in-servicing would have a positive impact in influencing teachers' safety-care skills, thus reducing the high number of accidents among children thus the need for the current research. The Quasi Experimental research design using the pre and post test approach with an Experimental and Control group was used. Out of 541 pre-schools in Nairobi Province, random selection of 54 (10%) preschools was done and then they were evenly distributed amongst 3 divisions of Nairobi, ending up with nine schools in both the Experimental and Control group respectively. A similar number of teachers from each pre-school were selected. Half or nine of the teachers in each division were trained while the other half was not. This sample was adequate for an experimental design. Data were collected in five different phases: during piloting, pre in-servicing or Baseline Study phase, and post in-servicing phases in Rounds 1, 2 and 3, using a pre and post quasi experimental research design. The test-retest technique was used to test the instruments and Cronbach Alpha Coefficient used to correlate the test items. Descriptive and Inferential statistics were used to analyse data. Descriptive analysis involved use of frequency tables, means and percentages. For inferential analysis, One-Way ANOVA was used to test the six null hypothesis on the significant differences amongst teachers knowledge, beliefs and practices towards preschool children's accidents as well as actual number of pre-school children's accidents attributed to human factors and those in the pre-school play and learning environments. Results show positive effects of in-service training on teachers' knowledge, beliefs and practices towards accidents, which ultimately translated into reduced number of accidents among children particularly in Round One of the study. However, after the Baseline Study and subsequent in-servicing of teachers, the number of accidents progressively started to increase but at times the positive effect lasted until Round 2 and in some instances up to Round 3. This pointed to the fact that in-servicing if not done periodically may not be very useful. The reason was that, time lapse seemed to interfere with the teachers' ability to remember safety-care techniques imparted during in-servicing. To effectively curb accidents among children, it was therefore recommended that teachers be in-serviced regularly at least once a year if possible so that they retain knowledge gained during in-servicing workshops. The curriculum developers could also separate the subject on Safety from Health, Nutrition and Care so that it could be taught alone more comprehensively in order to give it the weight it deserves. This would ensure that children's safety right is provided adequately.