Influence of students' involvement in decision making on academic performance in public day secondary schools in Embu West District, Kenya
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Previous studies have indicated that the Kenyan Government has been doing a lot to enhance education among its citizens since independence. However, it is the responsibility of every educational institution particularly secondary schools, to establish strategies through which good academic performance is realized. This study sought to establish the influence of students' involvement in decision making on academic performance in public day secondary schools in Embu West District of Kenya, which constituted the target population. This District was chosen due to its persistent poor results in Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examinations. The study was descriptive cross-sectional in nature and was based on four main objectives, namely: to establish whether involvement of students in making choices of schools; setting score targets; determining the teaching methods and in establishing rules and disciplinary measures which affect academic performance. Random sampling method was employed and for the purpose of data collection, questionnaires and in-depth interviews were used. Research instruments were developed for the purpose of measuring variables against each of the objectives. The study employed both qualitative and quantitative approaches to data analysis, which was done using descriptive and inferential statistics to achieve the objectives. The study respondents were students, parents, teachers and principals of schools. The study established that only 55%, (n=10) of parents involved students in choosing schools, though majority of students, 93%, (n=97) wished to be involved. Although it is extremely important to involve students in setting of score targets for ownership, only 34%, (n=97) of them were involved. It was also established that majority of respondents which was 70%, (n=12) affirmed students' involvement in choosing the teaching methods and establishing disciplinary measures against the fellow student offenders, though this was done to a low extent. It is hoped that the results of this study will benefit students, teachers, parents and even the Ministry of Education as it seeks to formulate new policies, modify the already existing ones so as to fully involve students in decision making. This may ensure decision ownership, leading to hard work and consequential good performance.