Factors influencing performance in Geography in Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education in Nzau District, Makueni County
Kimayu, Richard Mutua
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The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the factors which are currently affecting performance of geography in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary education (KCSE) in Nzaui District. Geography is one of the subjects in secondary school curriculum. However it has been noted that its performance in KCSE has been comparatively declining in relation with other humanities such as history and government and Christian Religious Education (CRE). This has therefore prompted a study to be carried out so as to establish the major factors that affect the performance of geography. The objectives of the study were to establish the number of lessons allocated to geography in secondary school curriculum, determine perception of students towards geography, establish the resources available for geography and determine the effect of teachers in performance of geography in Nzaui district. The major areas of investigation focused on the available physical facilities, teaching, learning resources, qualification of geography teachers, methods of teaching, methods of evaluation, preparation of schemes of work by geography teacher, the preparation of teachers through pre-service and in-service training and the assistance the school heads offer to teachers and students of geography. The study was conducted in a sample of 10 out of forty schools in the district. A sample of 10 principals, District Quality assurance and Standards officer (DQASO), 20 geography teachers and 200 students cutting across from good performance to poor performance were selected for the study. The research methodology used for the study was the descriptive research design. The data was collected by the researcher personally through interview schedules for principals and two types of questionnaires for teachers and students. The data collected was analyzed as per the research questions and presented using descriptive statistics including frequency counts, percentages and tabulations. The latest version of Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) computer program was used to analyze the data. The researcher established that performance of geography was as a result of interplay of many factors including unavailability of resources like workshops, libraries, fieldwork resources and teaching aids. Others included inadequate time allocated for teaching geography, a very wide syllabus and lack of adequate in-service training of geography teachers leading to high teacher-student ratio. From the findings, conclusions were drawn to the effect that teachers should be taken for in-service courses to acquire skills for proper teaching of geography and more lessons should be allocated to teaching geography.