Effects of School and Home-Based Factors on Secondary School Students’ Performance in Science Subjects in Kirinyaga Central District, Kenya
Kanyoro, Alice Wanjiru
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With the country’s vision of industrialization by 2030 students’ performance in science subjects to produce the expertise to drive the country to its realization has been given the first priority. The effect of school and home-based factors may have a considerable effect on students’ performance in science subjects at Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education(K.C.S.E.).The government has provided support, policy framework and teachers. It has also prioritized science performance in Kenya. However compared to other subjects, students’ performance in science subjects has been below average. This study aimed at investigating the effect school and home-based factors on students’ performance in science subjects. The study was guided by the objectives of establishing the influence of students’ role on performance in sciences, influence of family background on performance in sciences, influence of school environment on performance in sciences and effects of peer influence on performance in sciences. The study utilized descriptive survey research design. Stratified random sampling was used to obtain the study sample. The population study of thirty two public secondary schools was divided into two strata; county school and sub-county schools. The county schools were further stratified into girls’ boarding schools and boys’ boarding schools. Purposive sampling was used to select Form Two students because they had not yet selected the subjects. Random sampling was used to select the desired number of respondents from each stratum on proportionate basis. The study used questionnaires to collect data from the deputy principals, Science teachers and form two students while interview schedules were used to collect data from Heads of science Department and parents. These provided information on financial status of families, family sizes, teacher-student relationships, school influence and involvement of learners in co-curriculum activities, relationship among students, school size and parental involvement in school activities. The questionnaires were pre-tested to establish their validity and reliability before being administered to the respondents. The statistical packaged for social sciences (SPSS) was used to aid in data analysis. The analyzed data was represented using frequency distribution tables and pie charts for easier interpretation. The study established that there was significant relationship between gender and students’ science performance; males performed better than females. Adequate time allocation resulted in better sciences performance while the students who participated in co- curriculum activities performed well in sciences as compared to those who did not participate. The study established that parents with high level of education had their children performing well in sciences. Students who live with both parents performed better in sciences than those without both parents. The students who stayed with the mother had good performance compared to those who stayed with only the father, grandparent or at children homes. Children of financially stable parents performed better in sciences than those who come from financially unstable parents. The research found that peer influence and peer negligence significantly influenced science performance. The research established that the county schools had better science performance than sub-county schools, that the availability of material resources and good student/teacher relationship influenced the students’ science performance positively. The greatest influence on science performance was by B.Ed. and diploma holder teachers while B.Sc. holder teachers had the least influence.