Factors influencing academic performance of pupils in mathematics in Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) Examination in Kitui West District, Kitui County Kenya
Mwandikwa, Joseph M
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The purpose of this study was to establish the factors influencing the academic performance of pupils in mathematics in KCPE examination in Kitui West district using questionnaires with a view of improving performance in mathematics in the district and in the country as a whole. The study was based on five specific objectives:- 1. to determine the extent to which human resource(staffing) influences the academic performance of pupils in mathematics in KCPE, 11. to establish the effects of physical resources on the Academic performance of pupils in Mathematics in KCPE, to establish the influence of the pupils attitude towards mathematics; iv. to determine the extent to which the methodology used to teach mathematics influences the academic performance of pupils in KCPE, v. to establish whether there is any difference in performance in KCPE in mathematics when categorized in gender and age. The study applied a descriptive survey design because it is appropriate for educational fact finding and fields a great deal of information which is accurate. It also enables the researcher to gather data at a particular point in time and use it to describe the nature of the existing conditions. The study also revealed that the mean score for mathematics has been revolving around 46- 50%, and the highest mean score ever recorded in some schools was 60% but only in the year 2009. This means there has been dismal performance of mathematics in public schools in Kitui West. The study revealed that there is shortage of teachers in public primary schools in Kitui west district. 48% of the head teachers said that their schools have 5-10 teachers on average. This affects the teaching of mathematics because the teachers are not enough to handle all the classes at the same time. The study revealed that essential physical resources like improvised materials, charts, graph papers and geometrical set are inadequate. Alongside inadequacy of the physical resources many teachers do not clear syllabus as indicated by 16% of teachers who said that they clear syllabus in time. The study also established that there are other factors that affect the performance of mathematics and they include pupils absenteeism, distance of school from home, lack of lunch at school, not doing homework in time and lack of proper lighting at home.