Institutional factors influencing performance of Pupils in kenya certificate of primary education Examinations in public primary schools in Nyahururu District, Laikipia county, Kenya
The purpose of this study was to investigate the institutional factors that influence performance of public primary schools in KCPE in Nyahururu District in Laikipia County, Kenya. This study was guided by the following objectives: to determine the influence of head teachers’ administrative skills, availability of teaching and learning resources, pupils discipline and time management on academic performance of public primary schools in Nyahururu District. The theoretical framework was based on the two factor theory by Fredrick Herzberg where the researcher highlighted the influence of job satisfiers and job dissatisfies on academic performance by teachers and pupils. The researcher used descriptive survey research design; the sample population was 15 head teachers and 53 class teachers of standard 7 and 8 classes in public primary schools in Nyahururu District from a target population of 68 head teachers and 186 standard 7 and 8 class teachers . The research instruments were two types of questionnaires; one to be filled by class teachers, which had questions related to management of institutional factors that influence pupils’ academic performance in primary schools. On the data collection process, the researcher obtained a research permit from the National Council of Science and Technology, which was presented to Nyahururu District commissioner and the Nyahururu District Educational Officer to allow him to conduct the research in the primary schools of Nyahururu District. Content validity was also checked by the supervisors while the reliability was determined through test-retest technique and both found to be acceptable. The head teachers’ questionnaire had a co-efficient of 0.7 while the teachers’ questionnaire had 0.8 coefficient in reliability where Spearman’s product coefficient formula was used. On data analysis, the responses on the questionnaires were analyzed using descriptive statistics such as frequencies and percentages and presented in tables, graphs and pie charts. On the influence of head teachers’ administrative skills, the study reviewed that most head teachers discussed examination results with teachers in regular staff meetings, with a view to evaluate and improve on them. Class teachers also reviewed that head teachers motivated them on various ways to improve academic performance. Also all the head teachers were qualified and had a long teaching and administrative experience. On the impact of availability of teaching and learning resources, the study reviewed that most schools were either poorly or fairly equipped with various teaching and learning resources such as textbooks and other teaching aids. However examination revision materials were found to be easily accessible, most teachers were also making and using academic records appropriately and most teachers were giving assignments to their pupils. However over enrolment of pupils in classes and overloading of teachers in most schools may be a hindrance to good academic performance in public primary schools. Concerning the influence of pupils discipline on academic performance the study revealed that most head teachers indicated that indiscipline cases affected performance in their schools where learning was disrupted for individual pupils who were either absent from school or were doing punishment. Some of the pupils even influenced the weaker pupils into indiscipline. Although many teachers did not acknowledge indiscipline to be a major problem in their classes, all stakeholders have to play their roles in upholding discipline for better academic performance. Concerning the impact of time management on academic performance the study revealed lack of enough time for individual attention to pupils by teachers due to large class sizes and teaching loads, poor syllabi coverage in most schools and lack of time for revision and remedial work due to various causes which interfere with the teaching and learning programmes unduly. These problems may cause poor academic performance and therefore require urgent address. Finally the researcher has given recommendations to the various stakeholders on their various roles in improving academic performance in the district. For instance; head teachers to ensure more focused teaching on syllabus coverage, parents to promote better discipline and facilities for their children, quality and assurance and standards officers to visit the schools and advice head teachers and teachers more regularly and Teachers’ Service Commission to recruit more teachers and deploy them appropriately. These and other recommendations may help improve academic performance in the primary schools under study.