Factors influencing students' performance in the Kenya certificate of secondary education Examination in public secondary schools in Gatanga Division, Thika District
This study set out to investigate into the factors influencing students performance in KCSE Examination in Gatanga Division in Thika District. The division was chosen after comparing its KCSE results with the results of the four other divisions in the district during the period 1999 to 2003. According to the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) order of merit records for the five years, Gatanga had a mean score of D-, ranking last among the five divisions. The study investigated the availability of school facilities and teaching/learning resources, availability of teachers and the extent to which school-based curriculum monitoring was carried out in the schools. It also explored whether the time allocated by the Ministry of Education for syllabus coverage was adequate and the extent of parents' participation in school affairs. Based on these factors, five objectives 'were formulated for the study. Ten (10) questionnaires were administered to headteachers and 75 others to a randomly selected sample of form four teachers. Those returned dully completed were 8 from headteachers and 73 from teachers, an overall return rate of 95.3%. Data was analyzed mainly through descriptive statistics. Chi (X") square test was applied to establish the relationship between availability of the teaching/leaning resources and performance in KCSE examination. The findings of the study indicated that schools had enough teachers. However, students' performance in KCSE examination was poor. Some of the factors found to have a negative impact on the performance were:- i) inadequacy of some teaching/learning resources ii) Lack of efficient school-based curriculum monitoring iii) Inability by the teachers to complete the syllabuses in time iv) Students' characteristics such as indiscipline, poor entry behavior and freq uent absenteeism v) Inadequate parents' participation in school affairs mainly due to poverty. Based on these findings, the study recommends the following measures for improvement in KCSE performance in the schools:- • The schools.through the support of the Ministry of Education to raise funds through donor assistance, funds drive or ministerial budgetary allocation to equip the schools with facilities. • The headteachers and teachers to attend relevant courses in order to improve skills in school-based curriculum monitoring. • MoEST to re-examine the syllabuses with a view to reducing their scope without compromising what students aught to learn. • PT As and BoGs to organize forums for sensitizing the parents on the need to be committed to their children's school work.