Influence of teacher characteristics on pupils’ academic performance in public primary schools in Kenya: a case of Akithi division, Meru county, Kenya
The purpose of this study was to establish the relationship between teachers’ characteristics and pupils’ academic achievement. The study was guided by education production function which connects pupils’ academic performance to teachers’ characteristics. The study objectives were to: establish how the teachers’ attitude on teaching influences the pupils’ academic performance, examine how demographic characteristics of teachers influence the pupils’ academic performance, assess how teachers’ qualification influence pupils’ academic performance and establish how teaching experience of a classroom teacher influence pupils’ academic performance. The study was conducted in Akithi Education Division, Meru County in Kenya. The target population was comprised of the head teachers of the 29 primary schools in the division, the teachers and pupils of classes seven and eight. The study applied a descriptive research design. A questionnaire and an interview guide techniques were used for data collection. Data was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistical techniques. The study revealed that teacher characteristics have enormous influence on pupils’ academic performance in public primary schools. The teachers’ attitude on pupils, the demographic characteristics of teachers and their qualification had a significant influence on pupils’ academic achievements. The researcher therefore recommends immediate measures taken on reducing teacher - pupil ratio so as to enable individual education programmes taken on learners, device away of monitoring and evaluating the curriculum implementation in schools to ensure complete syllabus coverage is done. Further research can be done so as to establish the extent of influence of other education factors such as gender, social-economical effects, environmental and peer pressure.