Impact of internal efficiency on performance of rural public day secondary schools in KCSE examination in Imenti north and Buuri districts, Meru county, Kenya
The rapid expansion of education in Kenya under the implementation of FPE (2003) and FSE programmes (2008) has led to unprecedented increase in the number of public day secondary schools in rural areas. This shift in policy emphasizing on quantity has highly compromised standards and quality of education in these schools. Day secondary schools, especially those in rural areas have continued to perform so poorly compared to boarding schools. It was for this reason that the current study sought to analyse the internal efficiency of rural public day secondary schools and find out its impact on performance at KCSE exams. The main objective was to determine internal efficiency as measured by absenteeism, dropouts, repetition, and survival and completion rates for the year 2008 - 2011 and determine their impact on performance at KCSE examination. The researcher used the ex-post facto research design and analysed the variables of drop outs, absenteeism, and repetition and determined their impact on the achievements of students in KCSE exams. The target population was all the 33 public day secondary schools in Imenti North and Buuri districts of Meru County. However, a sample-of14 day secondary schools in the two districts that had presented candidates for KCSE since 2008 was selected. Purposive sampling was used to select a group of seven public day schools from each of the three educational divisions for collection of data. Twenty one head teachers, 21 class teachers and one Assistant Education Officer (ABO) were included in the study. The instruments for data collection were written questionnaires, interview schedules and document analysis. Questionnaires were administered to head teachers and form four class teachers who handled the 2008/2011 cohorts to collect information on internal efficiency and problems related to performance in KCSE examinations. Interview schedules were organized for Head teachers in the sampled schools as well as Education Officers in the divisions. Documents such as class registers, schools bio data, and KCSE results analysis files were selected for more data on internal efficiency and KCSE performance. The data collected was analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS).The information collected was coded, organized and converted into percentages and averages which enabled the computation of indices of performance in KCSE examinations and indicators of internal efficiency. Correlation co-efficient were computed using chi-square method and Pearson's Product Moment Correlation to find out whether there were significant relationships between internal efficiency and performance in KCSE Examinations. The data was presented using tables and figures. The study found out that rural public day secondary schools in the two districts performed dismally (below average) in the period under study (2008-2011), with the schools registering an average pass rate of 31.1o/o(meangrade D+) in the KCSE examinations. It was established that poor performance was caused by chronic absenteeism, low entry behaviour of students, inadequate study time as much of students time was spent commuting long distances to and fro school, inadequate basic school facilities, poor family backgrounds with unfavourable study environment and inability to pay extra school levies. The study recommends that enough funding be allocated to days secondary schools to enable them acquire adequate teaching and learning resources. That, measures be put in place to reduce internal inefficiencies by properly enforcing the ban on forced students class repetition, extra levies charged by some schools be prohibited. The study revealed a need to introduce low cost boarding arrangements to candidates' classes especially in remote areas, provision of basic school-based health care as well as free sanitary towels to girls to enable them stay in school throughout. There is need also, to find out why the General science and alternative B Mathematics options meant for schools with inadequate resources failed to take off.