Factors influencing performance of students in Chemistry in public secondary schools in Kajiado North District, Kenya
This study aimed at investigating factors that influence performance of Chemistry in public secondary schools in Kajiado North District. The objectives of the study were: To establish the attitude of students toward Chemistry, To investigate the professional qualification of Chemistry teachers, To investigate staff development of teachers teaching Chemistry, To investigate evaluation of Chemistry, To establish the teaching and learning methods used and the adequacy of teaching and learning resource needed in teaching Chemistry. The descriptive survey design was used to investigate factors that influence performance of students in Chemistry in public secondary schools in Kajiado North District. Data was collected using three sets of questionnaires; teachers' questionnaire, students' questionnaire and class observation schedule. These instruments were piloted and tested for validity and reliability. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used in the data analysis. Findings of the study, indicated that factors that influence performance of chemistry in public secondary schools in Kajiado North District were attitude of students' towards chemistry, Professional qualification of Chemistry teachers, Staff development of Chemistry teachers, evaluation of Chemistry subject, teaching and learning methods used in teaching Chemistry and teaching and learning resources needed in teaching Chemistry. The study recommended that school stakeholders should find out why the students performance in Chemistry is low despite most of the students having a positive attitude towards Chemistry subject. Further recommendation suggests the need of organizing more seminars, workshops and in service courses. This may enhance staff development amongst Chemistry teachers. Chemistry teachers should also organize symposiums to sensitize students on the practical applications/careers related to chemistry and carrying out continuous evaluation tests. This would enhance understanding of chemistry subjects amongst students and help them to choose careers which are chemistry oriented. The study suggested that similar study should be carried out in districts adjacent to Kajiado North District and the results be compared for generalization purposes.