Factors Influencing Performance Of Students In KCSE And Management Strategies For Improving KCSE Performance In Public Secondary Schools In Nakuru District, Kenya.
Since independence, the Kenya Government has given education high priority in its development agenda. This is in recognition of the strategic importance of raising the overall education level of Kenyans within the context of poverty reduction and economic growth. In this regard, education is not only perceived as a welfare indicator but also as a key determinant of earnings and therefore an important exit route from poverty. Therefore, government investment in the education of the people is identified as one of the pillars of the Government’s overall economic recovery strategy. Student’s academic performance has dominated current discussions on education circles and the student’s performance leaves much to be desired. This has resulted in finger pointing among stake holders. The overall educational policy of the government of Kenya is to achieve education for all. The priority is to ensure equitable access and improvement in quality and efficiency at all levels of education. The ultimate goal is to develop an all inclusive and quality education that is accessible and relevant to all Kenyans for self reliance. The factors influencing performance of students in KCSE and management strategies for improving KCSE performance in Public Secondary Schools in Nakuru District were assessed in the study. The specific objectives of the study were; to find out teacher-student ratio and its influence on KCSE performance of students in Public Secondary Schools in Nakuru District, to establish the influences of indiscipline on KCSE performance of students in public Secondary Schools in Nakuru District, to examine the schools management styles and its influence on KCSE performance of students in public Secondary Schools in Nakuru District and to assess management strategies which can be used to improve performance in KCSE in Nakuru District. The study used a descriptive survey design and structured questionnaires were used to collect data in the selected 12 Public Secondary Schools. Questionnaires were used to collect primary data while secondary data was obtained from published materials and review of documents from schools. The study targeted Principals, Teachers, Education Officers, PTA class representatives and students from selected schools who were used for data collection. The sample used 12 Public Secondary Schools from the 24 Public Secondary Schools in the District. The schools were selected using stratified random sampling and were categorized into Public Day Secondary Schools, Public Girls Boarding Secondary Schools and one Public Boys Boarding Secondary School. A sample size of 256 was used which included 12 Secondary School Principals, 2 officers from The Ministry of Education, 36 teachers, 12 PTA class representatives and 194 students selected from every school. The data obtained was organized, checked for completeness and analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences. Self-administered questionnaires were used to collect data. 256 questionnaires were administered and the return rate was 91%. Findings showed that 56% of the respondents felt that Teacher-student ratio though a significant factor, contributed little to the overall performance of students in KCSE. 82% of the respondents felt that Student indiscipline was another significant factor but which again had minimal impact on the overall performance of students in KCSE in Nakuru District. The variable with the highest impact on student academic performance was school management style where 68% of the respondents indicated that School management style played a vital role in determining the overall performance of students in KCSE. 73% of the respondents indicated that motivation of teachers and students was the best strategy to improve students’ academic performance. The study recommends that the number of teachers be maintained and where the teachers are not adequate, the number to be increased through employment. This can be done by the government or the BOG. Indiscipline results in overall decline in performance of students in KCSE, and therefore it is critical for the vice to be arrested. Also school management was found to be wanting regarding motivation. Schools should device strategies that will help motivate their students and staff in order to make them perform better. The study will benefit Education Officers, Principals, Teachers and other stakeholders in Nakuru District since the results obtained will help them in improving KCSE performance of students in Public Secondary Schools.