Influence of parental characteristics on KCSE performance in public day secondary schools in Abothuguchi Central Division, Imenti Central District
Mutuaruchiu, John M
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The purpose of the study was to investigate the influence of parental characteristics on KCSE performance in public day secondary schools in Abothuguchi central division, Imenti central district. The specific objectives of the study were to investigate the influence of the following parental characteristics on KCSE performance: income levels, level of education, attitudes towards education, family setup and level of involvement in learning activities. A target population of 12 public day secondary schools was identified from which a sample of forty eight students in six of these schools was taken. Simple random sampling was used to sample the six schools. These schools had 423 form four students who have enrolled for KCSE examination. 48 students were sampled using stratified random sampling and their parents acted as the respondents. Interview schedules were used as data collection tools. Questions were tailored to capture the required information as per the research objectives. Pilot study was done in three schools from the neighboring division to ascertain the reliability and validity of the instrument. Data was analyzed using computer software for social studies (SPSS). Analyzed data was presented in frequency tables and interpretation done using descriptive methods. The study found that the level of income of parents in this region is below average. This is because most parents are peasant farmers getting very little proceeds from farming and hence poor mode of fees payment and other educational requirement. As a result most students are sent away from school and take long to . resume learning ultimately leading to poor academic performance. The research also found out that most parents have low levels of education which also impacts negatively on performance. Parents' attitude towards education of their children is positive. Many parents wish that their children get the highest level of education and they also value the education for both the boy and girl child in line with gender equality and the vision for national development. Family structure is also vital to performance of students in public day secondary schools as it is noted that parents- in the study area are not fully involved in their children's learning activities. This is contributed by the low levels of the parents' education. The research recommends that there is need for the parents to diversify their sources of income, government to increase funds to implement free secondary education and parents to take an active role in the learning activities of their children. The study further recommends that parents to be sensitized on the children's bill of rights so that laws and regulations are enforced where parents fail to pay school fees for their children. Churches and other social organizations are required to champion campaign to strengthen family ties so that home environment can be conducive for learning. Parents should also be encouraged to discuss with their children to set education targets. Finally, the study has recommended areas for further research. These include: research on similar variables in boarding secondary schools, further research to be done to investigate other factors determining performance in school and an evaluation study to be carried out on the impact of free secondary education programme.