Factors affecting performance in Kenya certificate of secondary education: a case of Shimo-la-tewa school, Mombasa County
Chivatsi, Gladys Nyamvula
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Shimo-la-Tewa School in Mombasa County has continued to register a steady decline in Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) performance since 1989 despite admitting some of the best students in the region. This has raised concern among the local community and leadership. This study was set to establish school based factors that affected students' performance in KCSE. The study investigated the status of physical facilities, teaching and learning materials and identified challenges experienced by students, teachers and the administration. The study used survey research design. The population under study was stratified into non-overlapping subpopulations of administrators (HODs and the Principal), subject teachers and students. Data was collected using questionnaires and analyzed using qualitative and quantitative methods with the help of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) and Microsoft Excel. The study established that the possible factors of poor performance in KCSE included low levels of motivation and reward among students, teachers and Heads of Departments (HODs), poor state of the school's physical and boarding facilities, lack of performance target setting by students, the subject teachers and HODs, absenteeism of students, lack of school fees, understaffing, inadequate learning and teaching materials and low parents' involvement in the academic progress of their children. To enable the school improve on its academic performance and restore its lost glory, the study recommended that the school should diversify its revenue collection and increase student funding through enhanced bursary allocations, improve school infrastructure and boarding facilities, strengthen guidance and counselling and enhance motivation and reward for both students and teachers toboost their commitment and morale. Consideration should also be given to integration of lCT in teaching and learning, internal and external quality assurance and standards assessment. The school policy makers should encourage parents and BOM participation in students' academic "clinics", implement the suggested strategies within a specified time frame and request for more teachers from the TSC. Benchmarking with the best performing schools in the country cannot be overemphasized.