Influence of teacher-pupil ratio and availability of reading materials on reading achievement levels of standard three pupils in Kenyenya Sub-County, Kisii County, Kenya
Obunga, Elijah Orangi
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Reading ability is one of the basic requirements which enable people to engage themselves successfully in their daily activities. Reading achievement determines the child‟s success in school and eventual career development. Despite this, there are low reading achievement levels among standard three pupils. The purpose of this study was study the influence of teacher-pupil ratio and availability of reading materials on reading achievement levels of standard three pupils in Kenyenya Sub-County, Kisii County, Kenya. The study was guided by the following objectives: to establish reading achievement levels of standard three primary school pupils, to establish the influence of pupil-teacher ratio, text books-pupil ratio, story books- pupil ratio and charts-pupil ratio on reading achievement levels of standard three primary school pupils. This study was guided by Lev Vygotsky‟s sociocultural theory. Descriptive survey and correlation research designs were used. The independent variables included pupil-teacher ratio, text books-pupil ratio, story books- pupil ratio and charts-pupil ratio. The dependent variable was the reading achievement levels of standard three pupils. Cluster and simple random sampling methods were used in this study. The population for this study comprised of all primary school and all standard three primary school pupils out of which 65 primary schools were sampled for observing reading materials and 355 standard three pupils were sampled for testing reading ability. The validity of English reading test was established by concurrent validity and the validity of the observation schedule was achieved by item review. The researcher used inter-rater (inter-observer) method to determine the reliability of the observation schedule which was found to be +0.85 using the Cohen‟s Kappa index. The test re-test method used to test the reliability of the reading test was found to be +90. Quantitative data was collected from reading test and observation schedule. The data was presented using frequency tables and analysed using chi-square, simple regression and multiple regression using SPSS version 20 computer software. The major findings indicated that majority of standard three pupils were at word level; there was a significant relationship between pupils‟ reading achievement levels and pupil-teacher ratio, textbook-pupil ratio, story bookspupil ratio and charts-pupil ratio. In the recommendations, the ministry of education should organise refresher courses to equip teachers with reading literacy skills in order to assist pupils acquire reading competency, there is need for the government through Teacher Service Commission to increase the number of teachers in primary schools, ministry of education should provide policy guidelines on the development of teaching and learning resources. Also, teachers should improvise own ways of helping children to acquire reading skills. Teachers should initiate book harvesting programme where they will engage different stakeholders to collect new books for their schools and should develop reading charts from locally available materials. Further research should be conducted at pre-primary school level which is the foundation for developing reading skills in the learners to unearth the possible school level challenges.