Student and Teacher Perceptions of Factors Influencing Students’ Performance in KCSE Mathematics in Tana River County, Kenya.
Makeo, Evans Mwajumwa
MetadataShow full item record
Students’ performance in Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) mathematics in secondary schools has been poor for many years in Kenya, particularly in Tana River County. Despite the various attempts by the Ministry of Education to put in place measures such as in-servicing mathematics teachers through Strengthening of Mathematics and Sciences in Secondary Education (SMASSE) project, review of the syllabus and subsidizing fees for the students, the KCSE mathematics mean score has remained consistently poor. This study has been designed to determine prevailing factors that influence students’ performance in KCSE mathematics. The study was done in Tana River County, Kenya. A descriptive survey of ex-post facto design was used as the researcher did not have direct control of independent variables as their manifestation had already occurred. Systematic random sampling procedure was used to select students in a population of 3760 students in all schools in the County. In every school, headteacher, heads of science/mathematics department, mathematics teacher and form three students’ were targeted for data collection. Data were collected using interview schedules and questionnaires. The sample of the study comprised of 344 students, 9 headteachers, 9 HoDs and 9 mathematics teachers. Pilot study of instruments were done by test-retest method and thereafter computed Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient on test done and cronbach’s alpha on likert scale on questionnaires to check reliability. Content validity was used to determine validity of the instruments by the researcher before administering them to the sampled respondents. Collected data were coded using code book and analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively. Qualitative analysis involved making inferences from the headteachers, HoD mathematics/science, mathematics teachers and students open-ended questions. Data were analyzed using measure of central tendency such as mean and mode. The findings were presented using bar graphs, pie-charts and percentages. The study found that over 70% of the students had negative attitude towards mathematics, 8 out 9 mathematics teachers had negative attitude towards teaching mathematics despite teachers being in-serviced through SMASSE project and 8 out of 9 teachers use expository approach while teaching. All schools had inadequate resources and 89% of the students cited unsupportive parents as reasons for poor performance in mathematics. In order to improve performance the study recommends for guidance and counselling sessions by HoDs, teachers to use activity-oriented teaching, resource improvisation and monitoring of students work by teachers and teachers work by HoDs or Headteacher.