Determinants of academic performance in Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education in public secondary schools in Kiambu West District, Kenya
Mwangi, Newton I
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The purpose of the study was to investigate the determinants of academic performance in Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education Examination in public secondary schools in Kiambu West District, Kenya. Four research questions were formulated to guide the study. The review of the related literature focused on factors that affect academic performance in national examinations. This study adopted the ex-post-facto research design. Simple and stratified random sampling techniques were used to select the participants for the study. The sample consisted of 260 teachers, 246 students 36 principals and the DEO Kiambu West District. Data was collected through the use of questionnaires in the case of students and teachers while interview schedule was used to collect data from the Principals and the District Education Officer. The data collected was coded using the SPSS computer program. The data was further analyzed and interpreted to provide meaningful and final results. The researcher presented the findings of the research in percentages and frequency tables. Open-ended questions were analyzed using excerpts of the respondents. The findings revealed that, majority of the teachers (72.8%) did not use apparatus in the teaching of science subjects while 55.6% of the students felt that their science laboratories were not well equipped. From the study, 55.7% of the schools had no libraries and where they exist, they were poorly equipped. Lecture method was widely used than any other method of teaching while 63.8% of the sampled students had scored 201-300 marks out of 500 marks hence poor academic background. Most teachers live outside the schools as indicated by 57.3% of the students' respondents, hence remedial teaching during morning and evening was not possible. From the study internal supervision of the implementation of the curriculum by the principals need to be intensified. The research revealed that, there was inadequate assessment done by department of quality assurance and standard officers from the ministry of education. For example 50% of the students stated that, these officers do not visit their schools. Majority of the students (56.9%) revealed that, the syllabus was never covered before the end of every year. Based on the findings it was recommended that the board of governors should equip the science laboratories, libraries and put up teachers houses. A variety of teaching methods should be used to create interest and focus on value addition of the learners due to their low KCPE marks. There is need to intensify the assessments by the Quality Assurance and Standards Officers as well as the internal assessment by the principals. There is need to conduct a similar study in other parts of the country that would be useful for comparative purposes. This study investigated a limited number of factors that impacts on performance in KCSE namely teaching and learning resources, teaching methodologies, students' entry behaviour and the supervision of implementation of curriculum. There was however other factors that may influence academic performance in KCSE examination that needs to be researched on.