Factors influencing the choice of science subjects in Kenya’s secondary schools: a case study of Langata High School in Nairobi County
Students in Kenya’s secondary schools have been often faced with the problem of indecision when they are about to choose the science subjects in their third form of the secondary school education. With good background, students still need to develop themselves on the subject areas they are keenly interested in and particularly that they have potentiality for. The overall aim of this research was to gain a deeper understanding of the factors influencing the choice of science subjects in Kenya’s secondary education schools, a case study of Langata High school in Nairobi County. The study would be of great significance to the school management because it would help the management fraternity in understanding the factors affecting the choice of science subjects. The study adopted a descriptive survey design. The population for this study was all students in Lang’ata High School in Nairobi. Sample size of 11 teachers and 150 students was drawn from the teachers and the students from form two to four. Primary data was collected by use of a questionnaire. The study generated both qualitative and quantitative data. Quantitative data was coded and entered into Statistical Packages for Social Scientists (SPSS Version 17.0) and analyzed using descriptive statistics. Qualitative data was analyzed based on the content matter of the responses. The study found that that the school encouraged students to take up science subjects. Science subjects were competitive in the job market. Students had developed a career path that they strived to achieve/attain in life. The study revealed that the teacher influenced the subject choice. The study found that gender did not influence choice of subject. Teachers influenced choice of science subjects’. The study concludes that when students are allowed to choose which classes to enroll in increased motivation and independence which in turn increased a student's performance. Students had developed a career path that they strived to achieve/attain in life. A student's attitude about a teacher has a large x impact on their attitude toward a class. Different perceptions men and women have in regards to their ability and competency in those certain classes influenced choice of subject. School has a great role to play in influencing students’ choice of science subjects. The study recommends students to have good attitude towards science subjects. They need to consider their interests, personal academic goals while choosing subjects. Competent and qualified teachers should teach science subjects. Science teachers should strive to be enthusiastic, well spoken, knowledgeable, caring, and helpful. Gender differences should be discouraged amongst students. Women should be encouraged to change their perceptions in regards to their ability and competency. Parents need to help students when making their study choices. The school should support subjects and careers decision making.