Influence of teacher appraisal on improvement of students’ academic performance in public secondary schools in Vihiga sub-county, Kenya
The Government through the Ministry of Education has invested heavily on teachers’ appraisal with the hope of improving educational standards. This is evidenced through massive funds directed to the Department of Quality Assurance and Standards in charge of teachers’ appraisal within the Ministry of Education since the introduction of subsidized secondary education in 2003. Despite this massive investment on teachers’ appraisal by the Government, much is yet to be achieved in terms of improved educational standards. This study outlines the most relevant issues concerning teacher appraisal in secondary education with particular emphasis to Vihiga Sub-county guided by the following objectives; To establish the extent to which appraisal of teachers on planning and preparation influences improvement of students’ academic performance, to determine the extent to which appraisal of classroom environment influences improvement of students’ academic performance, to assess how appraisal of teachers professional responsibilities influence improvement of students’ academic performance, to assess how teachers appraisal on classroom instructions influences improvement of students’ academic performance in public secondary schools in Vihiga Sub-county. Descriptive survey design was adopted as a blue print that guided the study. This enabled the researcher to collect and analyze data using both qualitative and quantitative approaches. The study sampled 145 respondents for the study which included; 132 teachers and 13 principals. Stratified, purposive and random sampling techniques were applied in selecting appropriate samples used in the study. Data collection was done using a structured questionnaire. The collected data was analyzed using descriptive statistics in the form of frequencies and percentage tables with the aid of SPSS (Statistical Packages for Social Scientists). Qualitative data was transcribed, organized into various emerging themes guided by the objectives of the study and reported in a narrative way. Findings of the study revealed that; all teachers 97(100%) in Vihiga Sub-county planned their lessons before attending classes. Appraisal of teachers on adequacy of planning and preparation by principals, HODs and subject heads before attending classes assisted on improvement of students’ academic performance to a large extent at 70(72.2%), 67(69.1%) and 57(58.8%) respectively. Appraisal of teachers on adequacy of classroom environment by school principals assisted on improvement of students academic performance to a large, medium and small extent at 57(59%), 28(29%) and 12(12%) respectively. Appraisal of teachers’ on professional responsibilities assisted in improvement of students’ academic performance to a large, medium and small extent at 54(56%), 31(32%) and 12(12%) respectively. 67(69%) teachers acknowledged that appraisal of teachers during classroom instructions assisted in boosting students academic performance to a large extent while 30(31%) held a contrary opinion. Based on the study findings, the study recommended that: Principals to identify factors responsible for the dismal performance of most public secondary schools in Vihiga Sub-county other than teachers’ planning and preparation. Spacious classrooms with good ventilations be initiated to adequately accommodate learners during the teaching/ learning process. Teachers’ professional responsibilities be appraised regularly as a pre-requisite requirement of ascertaining their level of preparedness before and during the actual teaching. Teachers to initiate myriad ways of appraising students during the teaching/learning process in order to gauge their level of content mastery.