Influence of school based factors on student performance in KCSE in public secondary schools in Masaba South district, Kisii County, Kenya
Akunga, James O
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The purpose of this study was to establish the school based factors that influence performance of Kenya certificate of secondary examinations (KCSE) in Masaba South District. Four research objectives were formulated to guide the study. The research adopted a descriptive survey design. The sample comprised of 35 teachers and 110 head teachers. Data was gathered by use of questionnaires. Data were analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively. Findings revealed that teachers were handling two subjects with most of the head teachers handling the same number of lessons. High workload by the teachers of 19-24 lessons with others over 24 lessons per week hindered teaching and learning hence affecting performance. Findings further revealed that physical facilities affected students' performance. For example out of all schools visited, majority did not have the required teaching learning materials which affected students' academic performance. Findings also revealed that supervision by the head teachers influenced students' academic performance. It was noted that in many schools head teachers did not hold staff meetings to discuss academic standards. Head teacher respondents did not supervise teachers. Based on the findings it was concluded that head teachers and teachers' characteristics influenced students' performance. The study also concluded that schools neither had a library nor labs as the main teaching facilities for enhancing learning in the school. There was also lack of qualified personnel to arrange the shelves and index the books for easy retrieval. Equipments were not enough where labs existed; with few qualified technicians to take up practical sessions of the lessons. The study also concluded that that supervision by the head teachers influenced students' academic performance. There was evidence of lack of supervision as head teacher cited lack of teachers' cooperation in supervision, commitment, motivation, humiliation and understaffing as the main challenges encountered in schools. Based on the findings of the study it was recommended that head teachers as school administrators should be empowered by being provided with the required facilities to improve academic performance of students. It was also recommended that in service education programs should be provided because they offer the quickest way of introducing changes and improvements in secondary education. The research further recommended that head teachers should be in serviced in areas of supervision of mathematics so that they can assist teachers in the teaching and learning. Lastly, head teachers should conduct supervision with an aim of assisting teachers in teaching and learning. The researcher therefore suggested that since this research was conducted in district, a similar study should be conducted in other districts to find out how school based factors influence academic performance. It was also suggested that a study on relationship between head teacher training and its effect on performance of KCSE. Since this study was delimited to teachers and head teachers, there is need for a study on the parental role in the performance of students in KCSE.