Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Nipael Mrutu

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Winston Massam


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


The emergence and spread of COVID-19 in the world prompted most governments to close all educational institutions to halt the spread of the virus. Schools in Kenya were closed for nearly 7 months, resulting in a learning loss. The Kenyan government promoted online learning through mass media such as television and radio, while the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) uploaded learning resources to their i-cloud educational portal. However, students and teachers faced several challenges that made it difficult for such headteachers to provide effective support for online learning. The researcher selected two primary schools, two headteachers, two deputy headteachers, two senior teachers, and twelve teachers to conduct the study. Purposive sampling was used to select all the respondents, and semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions were also held with the selected teachers. The study gathered and recorded the lived experiences of 18 participants. Thematic analysis was used in the research to represent the support provided by headteachers to conduct online learning. Parental engagement was evident in the online classes and teachers tried to ensure equity, but this was not adequately addressed. The study noted that although teachers had received training in facilitating online learning, this was not done well. The study highlighted key challenges that hampered the smooth implementation of online learning, divided into three categories: challenges shared by both students and teachers, challenges faced by students, and challenges faced by teachers. Internet fluctuations and interruptions, background noise, and a lack of data bundles were among the difficulties that both students and teachers experienced. Shared devices, lack of parental or guardian supervision, some parents' lack of cooperation, and poverty were obstacles that students had to overcome. The scheduling of the online classes, downloading and installing the applications that supported online learning, and dealing with interruptions from their children at home while teaching online were all challenges experienced by teachers. The study recommended solutions to the identified challenges and suggested the areas that needs further research.