Factors that contribute to poor performance in Mathematics and Science in secondary school in Kikuyu district in Kenya.
Kinyua, Faith Muthoni
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CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION 1.1 Background of the study Educational testing has been with us but recently has demanded new attention as government has increased both their investment in and their attention to the problem of measuring educational achievement. The function of the test used to find out what some people know or could do. Education performance management is increasing due to a growing desire to gain political control of educational practices and have accessible indicators of accountability. With increased frequency and intensity individual members of political economy are required to transmit to the opportunity market place scores on standardized examinations that purport to be objective measures of the abilities, talents and potentials. Testing has become one of the major sources of information for reducing uncertainty 10 determination of individual merit and in allocation of merit based educational, training and employment opportunities. Major institutions require applicants to supplement their records of academic achievements with scores on standardized test. Thus standardized tests being used as a measures of individual merit and as predictors of the future classroom and work-place performance plays a role in allocation of educational training and employment opportunities. In Kenya, mathematics and sciences are compulsory subjects in the secondary school level This is because these areas are important to domestic and international competitiveness. Due to the new policy on industrialization, Kenya chose to begin changing the mathematics and sciences classrooms with a real will to challenge the existing problems. Report by the Teachers Service Commission(TSC) in 1996 said that there was shortage of mathematics and science teachers, and the attrition rate among teachers in these subjects was higher than in other subjects. Many teachers have left teaching for green pastures, which are the better paying private schools or the private . sector.In 1997, the Government through TSC attempted to stem this problem by paying teachers, 1 of 'special' subjects including mathematics and science. three increments higher than their colleagues ( Kanja et al 2001) During the 1990's mathematics and science performance in national examinations dropped significantly, and this has been a major concern for the society The Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) raised concern over the poor performance in KCSE examinations. In 1996 KNEC identified inadequate coverage and practice and inability to master simple and basic concepts as the reasons for poor performance. These had serious implications of lack of admissions to careers and institutions of higher learning in future. This implies that there is minimum competency test where student needs to pass exams on certain basic skills for them to graduate from high school. The creation is informal and teachers determine their content and standards used for scoring hence test being used for colleges and universities admission. Employers also took particular interests in this problem and criticized the schools' inability to teach mathematics and sciences subjects and students' interests in classroom teaching had deteriorated. 1.2 Statement of Problem Proficiency in mathematics and science is an important outcome of education. In an increasingly technological society, the ability of workers to solve complex scientific problems and to use advanced mathematical skills are crucial components of the Nation's ability to compete in the global marketplace. Early success in mathematics and science is important, both because a firm foundation in basic principles is necessary before more complex material can be mastered and because early success can keep young people interested in these fields.Despite of the launch of strengthening mathematics and science educations (SMASSE) to enhance mathematics and science education by in-servicing secondary school teachers in the country with assistance of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in Kenya. There has been public outcry about the poor performance of mathematics and sciences at secondary school level The study ought to find out the factors contributing to poor performance of Mathematics and Sciences in secondary schools in Kikuyu district in Kenya . 1.3 Research Objectives 1. To determine factors attributed to poor performance in Mathematics and sciences in secondary schools in Kikuyu district. 2. To establish the effect of each of the factor towards Mathematics and sciences performance in secondary schools in Kikuyu district. 3. To determine the measures to be used to Improve the performance of Mathematics and sciences in secondary schools. 1.4Research Questions 1. What are the factors attributed to poor performance in Mathematics and Sciences in secondary school? 2. Is there any relationship between factors that affects performance in Mathematics and sciences in secondary school? 3, What are some of the measures to be used to improve Mathematics and sciences performance in secondary school? 1.5 Significance of the study This research is useful to the educators who may get an insight of some of the factors that are attributed to poor performance and the ways of improving Mathematics and sciences in secondary school. This could help in improving their pedagogy skills. The research will also help the education policy makers who may gain knowledge on some of the factors to consider in policy making. This may help in making policies that ensures that what the students learn in school can also help them in their daily lives. The research will also help the Kenya institute of Education or curriculum developers who may consider the effects of these factors in the implementation of the curriculum. The curriculum developers may ensure that all these factors are taken care of. This will ensure that the needs of every student are considered. The government may take into consideration these factors in policy making and allocation of resources in education in particular sciences related subjects. Mathematics and sciences plays a very big role in the economy development of any country and thus more funds may be required in these areas. The research may be useful to the academician, who may get the basis for further research. This may simply form the basis upon which other academician may wish to conduct further study, or determine the factors affecting the performances of other subjects. For example, the arts subjects. 1.6 Basic assumptions of the study The basic assumptions in this study are: the secondary schools have qualified professional teachers and are guided by the same curriculum, all the secondary -" schools have the same learning environment, that is, there are no disparities, Mathematics and sciences subjects are performed poorly, and there is continuous evaluation of sciences related subjects. 1.7Limitation of the study Since time was limited, the study was conducted to some of the schools in Kikuyu district in Kenya. This implies that not all secondary schools in Kikuyu district were considered. The schools selected formed a representation of the entire Kikuyu district. 4 Human resources who answered the questionnaires' and some of them were unwilling to cooperate. The tool for the data collection is a questionnaire, which one may have little to do once you administer to the concerned people to fill. This means one relied on the information given in the administered questionnaire. 1.8 Delimitation of the study The study focused on the secondary school performance in Math's and Sciences hence cannot be used to generalize on performance in other subjects in secondary school and other levels of education. This is because, the questionnaire were only given to students who were studying mathematics and the three sciences together with their teachers. The study is limited to the secondary schools that use the 8-4-4 systems only and the factors may not apply to other systems of education. The study will focus on Maths and sciences teachers hence the views for other professionals are restricted.
xmlui.dri2xhtml.METS-1.0.item-description-sponsorshipUniversity of Nairobi
SubjectFactors that contribute
Poor performance in Mathematics and Sciences
Kikuyu district in Kenya.
Post-diploma in Education, of the University of Nairobi