When the Trainer is Untrained: Stakeholder Incapacitation in Implementation and Utilisation of Open Educational Resources in Kenya
Open Educational Resources (OER) are geared towards promoting accessibility to education and to help overcome certain constraints to education associated with traditional ways of learning. However, these OERs can only be successfully rolled out and utilised in environments already enjoying certain infrastructural empowerments, including teacher-preparedness, availability of equipment to allow use of OERs and learner exposure and knowhow. This poses a major hurdle in many public and private schools in Kenya, which are in far-flung areas without electricity, mobile-phone connectivity, Internet services and serviceable roads that allow movement to a cyber cafe where Internet services may be accessed at a fee. These difficulties are encountered by both teachers and their learners. This paper seeks to discuss the challenges faced in implementation of OERs, especially by the teachers who are expected to sensitise learners to the availability and utilisation of OERs, while they themselves are either unaware of them, poorly trained to handle them or are under-facilitated to carry out their mandate. The study was carried out in Tharaka-Nithi County, Kenya. The county was chosen because challenges related to OER have been reported there. The county has 104 secondary schools. A sample size of 45 schools representing 20% of the respondents was considered sufficient for the study. A questionnaire was used to obtain data on the teachers’ ICT competencies, their awareness of and attitudes towards OER and the challenges they faced in the implementation of OER. The study found that utilisation of OER stands at about 3% as a result of ignorance regarding OER or a negative attitude towards them, poor ICT skills amongst the teachers and poor or inadequate resources within and around the schools.