School based factors' influence on students performance in Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education in Murang'a South District, Kenya
The purpose of the study was to establish the influence of school-based factors on academic achievement of students in KCSE in Murang'a South District. The objectives of the study were to: determine the influence of school's proper use of facilities and resources on academic achievement of students in KCSE in Murang'a South District; identify nature of teachers training and morale and influence on academic achievement of students in KCSE in Murang'a South District; and determine the influence of school's instructional policy and its implementation on academic achievement of students in KCSE in Murang'a South District. The study adopted a descriptive survey design targeting 102 principals, 1020 teachers and 15,000 students in 102 public secondary schools in Murang'a South District. Stratified random sampling was employed to select ten (10) schools (5 of the top performing schools and 5 of the bottom performing schools in the district.). All the principals from the sampled schools took part in the study. Simple random sampling was employed to select 50 teachers (5 per school) while 300 students (30 per school) were randomly selected giving a total of 350 participants. The study employed questionnaires as the main research instruments for data collection. Before the actual data collection, piloting was done on two secondary schools to test the reliability and validity of the instruments. Descriptive statistics was used to analyze the quantitative data obtained. The statistics used included frequency counts, means, and percentages. On the other hand, qualitative analysis considered the inferences that were made from the opinions of the respondents. This analysis was thematically presented in narrative form and where possible tabular form. The results of data analysis were presented in frequency tables, bar graphs and pie charts. The study established that lack of enough learning and teaching facilities in schools had contributed to poor performance in KCSE results. The facilities that appeared most inadequate in schools were lCT equipment, library, diary, experiment books and farm tools for agriculture. The study also established that most of the teachers had attended training, which reflected positively on KCSE performance of students since the teachers were able to perform their duties effectively and efficiently. The study further, established that good instructional policies had a positive effect on performance of students since schools which had strong instructional policies performed better in KCSE compared to those which had weak instructional policies. The study recommends that school heads should ensure that their schools have adequate teaching-learning materials to enhance learning and student performance in national examinations; school heads also need to encourage teachers to perform to the best of their knowledge by giving them incentives like trips, monetary rewards in good subject performance among others ;schools need sound instructional policies and culture for good academic performance; further, the Ministry of Education should ensure that the secondary school curriculum is not overburdening to both teachers and students but instead encourage learning and also endeavor to equip schools with adequate physical and human resources; among other recommendations.