Influence of selected lerarners' characteristics on their academic achievement in public secondary schools in Trans Nzoia and west Pokot counties, Kenya
Simiyu, Patrick C
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Learners’ characteristics have been the global subject of on-going debate as reflected, for example, in the effective schools movement in the United States of America. The debate has prompted national as well as local scholars to focus on improvement of academic achievement among learners in different categories of schools. This study investigated the influence of selected learners’ characteristics on students’ academic achievement in day secondary schools in Trans-Nzoia and West Pokot Counties in Kenya. The target population consisted of 30 head teachers, 240 teachers and 2,560 Form Four school learners all totalling to 2,830 respondents. The stratified sampling procedure was used to identify 374 learners, 79 teachers and 30 head teachers. The ex-post facto and co-rrelational designs were employed. Questionnaires for learners and teachers, an interview schedule for head teachers, and a document analysis guide were used to collect data. Instruments’ reliability was established through the split-half technique, yielding reliability coefficients of 0.8 and 0.75 for learners and teachers instrument respectively. The validity of the instruments was established through a pre-test. Descriptive statistics which included the mean and standard deviation together with inferential statistics, using Chi - Square interactive, t-test and multiple regressions were used to analyse data. The study established that most learners had a favourable attitude towards day schooling which influenced the learners’ academic achievement positively. The results further showed that the entry behaviour (Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) mean score) significantly influenced the learners’ academic achievement. The study recommended strengthening of the policy on construction of day secondary schools in most primary schools, hence reducing the cost of education. This could improve the KCSE performance of day scholars in secondary schools. In light of the findings, the study suggested that a comparative study should be undertaken in private secondary schools to establish the influence of the learners’ characteristics on academic achievement.
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