Institutional factors influencing pupils’ performance in mathematics at Kenya certificate of primary education in Kathonzweni sub county, Makueni county, Kenya
Scholars have stated that performance in Mathematics depends on improvement of quality of classroom practices. Other factors include adequacy of resources and the number of learners. The purpose of this study was to investigate the institutional factors influencing pupils’ performance in mathematics at Kenya Certificate of Primary Education in Kathonzweni Sub County, Makueni County, Kenya. The study used a descriptive research design. The target population comprised of 90 head teachers, 420 teachers and 1342 pupils from class 8 in Kathonzweni Sub County, Makueni County. A sample of 30 head teachers, 73 teachers and 232 pupils was taken. The study used Head teachers, teachers’ questionnaires, and pupils’ focus group discussion guide for the purpose of data collection. The quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive statistics such as percentages, frequencies, mean and standard deviation assisted by Statistical Package for Social Sciences. The qualitative data from the open-ended questions in the questionnaire was analyzed using content analysis. The study found that majority of head teachers (76%) indicated that the number of mathematics teachers in their schools was not adequate. In addition, the study observed that subject knowledge, teaching ability and experience affect performance in mathematics to a very great extent. The study also found that revision papers and mathematics main textbooks help improve performance in mathematics to a very great extent. Majority of the head teachers (68%) indicated that the learning resources provided by the government are not adequate given the curriculum the learners are supposed to cover. The study found that majority (48%) of primary schools in Kathonzweni Sub-County, had a teacher-pupil ratio of above 1:40. The study concludes that, adequacy of mathematics teachers affect performance in mathematics. The study also concludes that, provision of learning resources affects performance in mathematics to a very great extent. Finally, the study concludes that, professional support influence pupils’ performance in mathematics. The study recommends that, the government should ensure that there are adequate mathematics teachers in all primary schools by employing more teachers that are qualified. The head teacher should ensure that their schools have adequate teachers as well as leaning resources such as classrooms, textbooks and exercise books, mock papers from different counties, financial resource for mathematics contests and monthly tests. The study also recommends that, teachers and pupils should be given professional support so as to improve performance in mathematics in the sub-County.