Determinants of differential Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education performance and school effectiveness in Kiambu and Nyeri Counties, Kenya
Nyagosia, Patrick Ogecha
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The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between school effectiveness and academic performance in public secondary schools of Kiambu and Nyeri Counties, Kenya. The objectives of the study were to: establish the strategies being employed by public secondary schools to improve students' academic performance; determine the relationship between the academic performance improvement strategies employed and the performance of students in KCSE; and identify academic performance improvement lessons that can be learnt from schools that consistently perform well at the KCSE level. The study was guided by the Effective Schools Model by Lezotte (2010), which states that an effective school is characterised by seven correlates namely: instructional leadership, focus on school mission, safety and orderliness of schools, expectations for success, home-school relations, frequent monitoring of students' progress, and opportunity to learn for students. The research employed a survey design targeting all secondary schools' principals, heads of departments, teachers, and education officers in charge of all the 873 provincial and district public secondary schools in Central region. Data was collected in provincial and district public secondary schools in two counties - Kiambu and Nyeri. Stratified sampling technique was used to select 40 schools for the study, 20 each from Kiambu and Nyeri Counties. The sampled schools were stratified according to performance, that is, those that have been consistently performing well for the last five years (2006-2010), and those that have been consistently performing poorly for the same period. All the principals of the sampled 40 schools took part in the study. Simple random sampling was used to select 360 teachers (120 HODS and 240 regular teachers). Purposive sampling was used to select all the 17 District Education Officers in Kiambu and Nyeri Counties. Of the targeted respondents, 222 teachers, 45 heads of departments 17 DEOs, and 39 principals responded, a total of 398 respondents giving a questionnaire return rate of 95.4%. Questionnaires and an interview guide were used for data collection. Prior to the actual data collection, a pilot study was conducted to ascertain the reliability and validity of the instruments. The study gathered both qualitative and quantitative data. Quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive statistics including frequencies and percentages. Pearson Product Moment correlation coefficient, t-test and multiple linear regression were used to analyze the statistical data. Qualitative data was put under themes consistent with the research objectives. T-test results revealed that, in comparison with bottom performing schools, top performing schools were putting more emphasis on six of the seven correlates, with only frequent monitoring of students progress returning no significant results. Similarly, Pearson Correlation Coefficient analysis revealed significant positive correlations between the KCSE mean deviations (2006-2010) and six of the seven correlates, apart from frequent monitoring of students progress. Multiple regression analysis revealed that the seven correlates of effective schools explained 11.5% of the variation in academic performance among the sample schools. The study recommends that secondary schools should put emphasis on the seven correlates of effective schools that were identified to positively influence academic performance.
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