The influence of awarding of subject teachers on chemistry performance in secondary schools in Limuru district, Kiambu county
Chemistry is an important subject at the secondary school level and forms a core requirement for major professional courses at the university including engineering, pharmacy, nursing and medicine. Chemistry like other science subjects is crucial for the development of skills for industrialization of the country. The continuous low performance of chemistry has sent out an alarm as this would affect the ability of professionals. This study has shown that performance of chemistry in KCSE examination is very low, an indication that there is an underlying problem that must be solved so that the injection of qualified skilled human resource in to the labour market in not compromised. This research has contributed to this national concern by showing that the awarding of subject teachers has contributed to the low performance of chemistry at the national examinations. The objective of the study was to determine if schools award teachers on the basis of the subject mean score, if teachers are affected by the awarding of teachers, determine if the awarding of teachers affect students attitudes towards a subjects and if awarding of subject teachers influence the performance of chemistry. The study identified five (5) schools using purposive sampling techniques that included one (1) national school, one (1) provincial school, two (2) district schools and one (1) private school. Day and boarding schools, boys, girls and mixed schools categories were also considered. From the sampled schools, ten (10) students from each of the four forms were selected. One (1) administrator was selected each of the five schools. One (1) chemistry teacher and one(1) other teacher also participated in the study. Piloting was carried out in two schools in the District not included in the study. The schools were randomly chosen. This allowed errors encountered during piloting to be corrected before the main study. The data was collected using questionnaires for students and interviews for school administrators and teachers while examination analysis records were used to investigate subjects’ performance in national examinations. The data obtained was analyzed using descriptive statistics and was presented with aid of percentage Table s and pie charts. The study established that all schools award teachers based on KCSE examination results. The study also found out that school administrators have low opinion of teachers whose subjects score low mean score and are therefore not awarded. It was also evident from the study that chemistry teachers rarely receive awards as their subject score low mean score and chemistry as a subject rank at the bottom. The study found that students have developed negative attitudes towards chemistry. The study showed that chemistry teachers are negatively affected because they are rarely awarded. It is evident from this study that awarding of teachers has an influence on the performance of chemistry. The study recommends schools stop awarding teachers based on the subject mean score and instead award teachers using other parameters that will provide a level playing ground to all teachers. Schools should conduct awareness campaign to change the negative attitudes developed by administrators, teachers and students towards chemistry.