Pupil-teacher ratio and its impact on academic performance in public primary schools in central division, machakos county
Kaloki, Joseph Waita
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The main purpose of this study was to assess the Pupil-Teacher Ratio (PTR) and its impact on academic performance in public primary schools in Central Division, Machakos County. The objectives of this study were (a) to assess the impact of PTR on academic performance in national examinations in public primary schools (b) establish if ideal PTR exist in public primary schools as recommended by TSC, UNESCO and other international organizations. (c) to identify the major challenges faced in the attainment of appropriate PTR in the public schools in the Division. (d) to determine whether PTR influences academic performance. The study targeted the 78 public primary schools in the Division, in which ~ total of 24 schools were sampled for the study. Descriptive survey design was used ,_~~theresearch design for the study. Questionnaires were used in collecting data for the 'study. The questionnaires were administered to all the Head teachers and the teachers of the sampled schools, the County Staffing Officer, the Examination Officer and the Quality Assurance and Standards Officer. Piloting of the research instruments was conducted prior to the actual data collection to determine the validity and reliability of the tools. Research permit was obtained from the National Council for Science and Technology and the County Education office in Machakos. The data collected were processed and analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics with the aid of Statistical Package for Social Statistics (SPSS) version 11.5 and MS-Excel software. The analysis involved use of simple regression to determine whether PTR predicts performance in national examinations. The relationship between PTR and performance was worked out using Pearson's product moment correlation coefficient R, the value of R calculated was -0.323. This negative correlation between the PTR and performance indicated that as PTR increases performance decreases and vice versa. A coefficient of determination R2 of Q) 04 was obtained. This revealed that 10.4% of the performance is due to PTR while the remaining 89.6 % is due to other intervening factors or error in the independent variable. An;'Anova table was generated (p<0.05) which indicated that the regression model applied was significantly good enough in predicting the outcome variable. A regression model [scores = 260.8-7.60(PTR)] was generated that could be used to predict the outcome variable. The findings of the study revealed that PTR significantly influences performance of pupils in national examinations. The study recommended to all Education sector stakeholders to pay adequate attention to PTR since it affects performance of pupils in Primary Schools. It recommended to the government to employ more teachers to lower PTR and ease teacher workload. It also recommended to the government and the MOE to review the Education Act to enable schools admit pupils on basis of PTR to avoid over enrolment and congestion in classrooms.