Influence of teachers on performance of students in English language in public secondary schools in Kenya: a case of Mumias District, Kakamega County
In Kenya secondary schools, English was the main language of instruction and compulsory in secondary school curriculum. In many degree programmes a minimum grade of C+ was required in English subject. However, the performance in the subject nationally was poor, and Mumias District was no exception. The study sought to investigate influence of teachers on the performance of students in English language in public secondary schools in Mumias District. The purpose of the study was to establish to what extent teachers' academic qualification, attitude, workload and professional advancement influenced students 'performance in English language. The research was carried out in Mumias District, Kakamega County. Descriptive survey research design was used in the study. Teachers' influence on performance would be independent variables and English performance would be the dependent variable. Instruments for data collection would be questionnaires. Two types of questionnaires would be administered-one to the heads of English panel departments in schools and the other to teachers of English language. Data would be analyzed using descriptive statistics and inferential statistics. ANOVA statistics would be used for data analysis with the aid of statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) version 12.5 for windows. Quantitative data would be analyzed using descriptive statistics such as frequency counts, means and percentages. Qualitative data would be transcribed in to themes, categories and reported in an ongoing process as themes and subthemes emerge. Validity of the instruments would be measured and assessed by a team of experts in the area from the department of Extra Mural Studies, University of Nairobi. The research findings would go along to influence policy guidelines in Education. The Ministry of Education would benefit from the findings and hence work out and formulate policies that would benefit education sector in general especially in English language syllabus for secondary schools. Among the conclusions were, first was that teachers' workload affected students' performance in English. Extra responsibilities assigned to the teacher, number of teachers, students' enrollment were some of the aspects that played an important role in determining the outcome of students' performance in English. More responsibilities assigned to the teacher inhibited his or her performance in teaching as there was no adequate time to prepare for the lessons and hence lowering productivity. Teachers' professional advancement also played an important part in determining students' performance in English language. Attendance of external workshops and seminars in English and other courses for professional advancement equipped the teacher with necessary current knowledge and skills that would make him or her better teacher. The following recommendations were made. First, the school management to ensure that teachers of English prepared adequately for the lessons by preparing necessary documents such as lesson plans. Secondly the government would as well introduce some incentives in schools like presidential award, scholarships to reward both students and teachers who put in more efforts to improve the performance in the English language.