Determinants of students performance in chemistry in public secondary schools in Makindu division, Makindu subcounty
The purpose of the study was to investigate factors influencing student’s performance in Chemistry in Makindu Division in the Kenya certificate of secondary education (KCSE). A sample of 216 form three students from 4 secondary schools were randomly selected using both simple and stratified random sampling to participate in the descriptive study. The students were provided with questionnaires while their chemistry teacher and the District Quality Assurance and Standards Offices [DQASO] were orally interviewed. Descriptive, explanative and explorative statistics using ordinal scales based on measurements such as frequencies and percentages were used. These measurements were generated manually using coding of responses as derived from questionnaires. Results showed that student background characteristics; attitude related factors particularly Chemistry teacher’s negative perception of their learners abilities; in adequate use of resource in the teaching and learning process and negative socio-cultural factors as well as inappropriate learning environment were the major causes of the students’ persistent poor performance in Chemistry. It is recommended that the Ministry of Education through its various agents should, among other things, enhance supervision of curriculum implementation in schools. The study also recommends that the school managements, in conjunction with other stakeholders, should enhance teacher motivation and provide more and better teaching and learning facilities to enable a more conducive environment for learning. Finally, Chemistry teachers must enhance their teaching approaches by adopting a more practical approach to the teaching and learning practices that would motivate the students to perform better in the subject.