Factors influencing performance in national examinations in public secondary schools in Bondo District, Siaya County, Kenya
This study sought to investigate factors that influence the performance of national examinations in public schools in Bondo District. Quality of education in Kenya is judged by the performance in examination; hence it was important to undertake this study. The study was guided by the following objectives, to: establish learning resources which were required in the schools to realize performance in examinations; investigate how management contributes to performance in national examinations and; identify the roles of education office towards improvement of performance in national examinations. The study was significant to education officers and teachers in Bondo district in that it would help them address factors that contribute to low performance in examinations. In reviewing literature, secondary data from the library and information from the education office was reviewed; the said data together with primary field data were analysed to help come up with the necessary recommendations. The theoretical framework that guided the study was Education Production Function by Summons. The theory states that educational outcomes are a function of various inputs that are employed in the education process. The theory was operationalized by a conceptual framework to operationalize and explain the variables. The research desigu that was used was descriptive survey which focused on determining the status of the defined population within the district. The study targeted 10 out of 18 schools in the district. A sample size of 110 teachers was targeted out of a possible 340 in the district. The main data collection tool was a questionnaire although unscheduled interview based on qualitative approach was also conducted. The data were presented in form of tables and analysed using inferential and descriptive statistics. Among the findings of the study was that learning resources were necessary for teaching and learning yet adequate classrooms were lacking. This interfered with the performance in examinations. The laboratories in particular were not equipped to the required standards hence this affected the performance of sciences. The Board of Governors were involved in the corporate planning and direction of the school but this still did not match with the performance of examinations which for the last six years stood at a mean grade of 5.9 against the expected mean of 7.5. It was also found that education officers rarely inspected curriculum instructions. Most schools were inspected only once in a year. The study recommended that inspection by education officers be more regular, at least four times per school per year. The study also recommended that more education officers be employed to cope with this demand in school inspection. Teachers were also inadequate in number hence more teachers were required to comply with the requisite Curriculum Based Establishment. The study recommended that further research be conducted in feeder primary schools to secondary schools in Bondo to establish the cause of poor performance in Kenya Certificate of Primary Education which seemed to be a spill over into secondary examinations performance. The study also recommended for further research that more comprehensive studies be undertaken to include a larger population in order to ascertain whether or not the problem transcends other districts. The findings of this study will hence be useful contribution to the corpus of knowledge in the on-going study of student performance with particular reference to performance in natioual examinations, in Bondo, Kenya, Africa and even internationally.