Factors that Influence Secondary School Students’ Performance in Mathematics in banadir Region, Somalia
Nur, Mohamed Abdulkadir
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Mathematics is essential for daily life and plays a crucial role in school curricula; yet students‘ performance in it remains very low worldwide, Somalia not being exceptional. This study intended to find out whether teacher characteristics, teaching methods, use of teaching resources and student attitudes towards mathematics affect students‘ performance in mathematics or not. The study was conducted in Banadir region of Somalia, which has a total of seventy secondary schools with form four-student population of 2500. The study employed a survey research design. Stratified sampling technique was used to select 12 secondary schools for the study. Three research instruments namely, mathematics teachers‘ questionnaire (MTQ), form four students questionnaire (FFSQ), and classroom observation schedule (COS), were employed. The validity and the reliability of the instruments were enhanced by a pilot study. A reliability coefficient of 0.75 was obtained for this study. Data collected for objectives (a) to (e) were of descriptive nature, therefore descriptive statistics were used to analyze them. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to get descriptive statistics such as, percentages, frequencies and tabulations. The results were presented in frequency tables and charts. The findings were then interpreted to make observations. The observations were discussed correspondingly to the research questions and objectives. The study found that 37.5% of the teachers felt that teaching methods played a major role in students‘ performance in mathematics. Incidentally, expository approaches of teaching mathematics were the only methods used in mathematics classes in Banadir region, leading to students‘ poor performance. Methods of providing feedback to students were inadequate. In review of these findings, the study concludes that there was need to address for mathematics education such as teacher training curriculum reviewed in Banadir region. For this reason the study recommended the following: ministry of education and umbrella groups should harmonize the policy of teaching mathematics by organizing in-service trainings for mathematics teachers with regard to teaching methods and use of teaching resources.