Influence of participation in extracurricular activities on academic performance of primary school students in Kitui Central District, Kenya
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Although some of the earlier conducted studies long before I carried out this research project, assessing the influence of specific extracurricular activities on academic performance had indicated that there were positive correlations between students' scholastic achievements with specific extracurricular activities here marked for expediting the academic performance, there were still doubts whether, all of such academic success can be entirely pegged on participation in extracurricular activities. The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of participating in extracurricular activities on upper primary school students' academic performance in Selected Kitui Central District Schools of Kitui County, Kenya. The study objectives were to establish if participation in sports, participation in music/drama and participation in volunteer community work service activities have influence on students' academic performance. Together with determining if participation in the informal (television (TV) viewing and engaging in school clubs and societies) establishing the social influence of extracurricular activities on students' academic performance in Kitui Central District, Kitui County, Kenya. This study finding would be significant in giving additional guidelines to the educationists, teachers, students, policy makers and both the national and international community of the benefits of extracurricular activities as part of play activities for children which enhances physical, psychosocial, emotional and cognitive development of children throughout their life time. The literature review was carried out in accordance to the study objectives in which important revelations that guided the study were unraveled. The study adopted a descriptive survey design. The study'S survey instruments used were a questionnaire for teachers and an interview guide for the researcher used in recording some of the observed features of interest to the study in the process of data collection. The teacher questionnaire was distributed to the 18 randomly selected teachers out of the 52 teachers using simple random sampling, following a prior purposive sampling for the selection of the 4 youth centres cum special sports' schools established in 2009 in Kitui Central District from among other 660 primary schools. The study findings revealed that, students playing sports, music/drama, involved in volunteer community service work and the general social influence derived from participation in extracurricular activities improves students' academic performance. But the study did not establish any positive correlation between the participation in informal (television (TV) watching and engaging in school clubs and societies). Therefore, it was concluded that extracurricular activities positively influences students' academic performance with varied effect of the influence depending on the specific extracurricular activities in which the particular student is involved in. The study recommended a mutual coexistence of both extracurricular and the formal curricular learning activities so as to allow the students to maximize in academic achievements.