Influence of institutional characteristics on academic achievement of class 8 pupils' in Subukia District, Kenya
Kiruga, Margaret W
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In this study, descriptive survey design was carried out with the aim of investigating the Influence of Institutional Characteristics on Academic Achievement of Class 8 Pupils in Subukia district. The study sought to determine the influence of school physical facilities on academic achievement of class 8 pupils to establish the influence of assessment on academic achievement of class 8 pupils, to determine the influence of teacher pupil ratio on academic achievement of class 8 pupils, to determine the influence of school type on academic achievement of class 8 pupils, to establish whether teachers qualification influence academic achievement of class 8 pupils and finally to establish the influence of truancy, lateness and absenteeism on academic achievement of class 8 pupils in Subukia district. The literature review revealed that there is need for schools to have adequate physical facilities for example classrooms, desks, libraries, textbooks among others. Assessments should also be done regularly to ensure that students recall and release what they have learned. Teachers also identify the areas of concern through assessments. Teacher-pupil ratio, school type, teachers qualifications, truancy, lateness and absenteeism of pupils were also dealt with in the literature review and these factors seemed to be influencing academic achievement. Data was collected using questionnaires. There were two sets of questionnaires. One for the headteachers and another for the teachers. Part one of the questionnaire touched on the background information of the headteachers or the teacher. Part two of the questionnaire dealt with the institutional characterstics that influence academic achievement of class 8 pupils as in the objectives above. To establish whether the instrument would collect the relevant data, a pilot study was carried out in schools. This enabled the researcher to improve reliability and validity of the instruments used. Using stratified survey design, data was collected from 18 schools from 18 headteachers and 179 teachers sampled from the poor performing schools in the district. The schools were chosen from each division in the district that is Kabazi division, Subukia division and Mbogoini division. Data was analysis using the statistical; package for social sciences (SPSS) version 19 for windows. The descriptive statistics were presented in the form of frequencies, bar graphs chi, square, and percentages. On school physical facilities the research found that majority of the schools had inadequate physical facilities and classes were crowded. Assessment was also not done regularly in majority of the schools. Most schools assessed students twice a term which was termed inadequate. On teacher-pupil ratio, the researcher found that most schools had inadequate teachers. The schools in the Subukia district were all mixed. The researcher found this to be a cause of poor performance in the district. Teacher qualification was overwhelming. Majority of the teachers especially headteachers were of low qualification. They were in ATS iv and below. This was found to be a major cause of poor-performance and upgrading of such teachers through seminars and self advancement learning is needed. Truancy, lateness and absenteeism was also found to be contributing factors to poor academic achievement of class 8 pupils. The study further concluded that physical facilities for example classrooms, desks, libraries and toilets, text books when inadequate have a significant influence on performance. Analysis done revealed that schools with scarcity of these facilities influenced the performance of the school negatively. On assessment, the researcher found that assignments and homework was given and marked by teachers as recommended by the ministry of education. Exams given were inadequate. Most schools assessed their pupils twice a term. Majority of school scored less than 250 marks in class 8 exam, which showed assessment was significant in performance of pupils. On teacher pupil ratio, very few schools had over 15 teachers though majority of the schools had over 500 pupils. The researcher therefore concluded that the performance of the schools was below 250 marks due to this understaffing. This makes the teachers overstretched and performance of the pupils is compromised. The type of school was found to have an influence on performance. All the 18 schools under study were mixed and also performed poorly. This showed that type of school has a significance on academic achievement of pupils. Teachers qualification was found influence academic achievement most headteachers and teachers were ATS IVS and below. This means that the level of teachers had significant influence on academic achievement. Highly qualified teachers had enough material for their students. School discipline which is indicated in this study by truancy, lateness and absenteeism were found to be major causes of poor performance since most pupils missed classes. In view of the findings and implication of the study, the researcher recommended that since physical facilities were found to have significant influence on academic achievement, the infrastructure funds allocated to schools in Subukia district should be increased. This would enable the school headteachers to add the inadequate physical facilities for example classrooms, libraries, desks text books and toilets. Assessment of students, assignments and home works should be given regularly and marked by teachers .. the schools in Subukia have inadequate teachers and therefore the teacher- pupil ratio should be lowered by employment and recruitment of more teachers by the TSC. This will enable teachers to cover the syllabus with ease. The schools in Subukia district are all mixed. This has led to the poor performance in these schools. The government and stakeholders of such schools should make some of these schools single sex. The researcher also recommends that the qualification of teachers be raised so that students can be taught by knowledgeable and highly qualified teachers. Such teachers have confidence in their work and teaching. The TSC should also allocate headship to highly qualified teachers to act as role models to the pupils and other teachers. Low qualified teachers should attend other courses and seminars to upgrade themselves. The community and school administration should minimize truancy, lateness and absenteeism in schools which have been found to have a significant influence on academic achievement. Such problems could have been caused by pupils walking long distances or poor transport facilities. Pupils who come late to school, should move to the nearest schools from their homes. Pupils with the habit of truancy and absenteeism, should be guided and counseled. Parents of such pupils should be encouraged to ensure their children attend school regularly. Further research on comparative study should be carried out in other districts and urban areas since the study was carried out in rural and semi arid areas. It also wishes that further research be done in larger sample of schools in the district whereby other factors may be revealed which this study never revealed. Since the researcher dealt with institutional characteristics influencing academic achievement of class 8 pupils, further research should be carried out to find out how family background can influence academic achievement of pupils. Further research should also be conducted on the influence of child labour as it may be leading to truancy, lateness and absenteeism in schools.
University of Nairobi, Kenya