Factors affecting enrolment and performance in physics among secondary School students in Gatundu District, Kenya
Kuria, Simon Munene
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This study explores the factors affecting enrolment and performance of students in physics in Gatundu District. The choice of this topic was influenced by the fact that performance and enrolment in physics in Kenya and particularly in Gatundu District has remained low over the years. There are some schools in Gatundu District that do not offer physics at Forms Three and Four levels. This study set out to investigate some of the reasons for this state of affairs. The study was carried out in 12 (twelve) schools sampled from the district, two of which were provincial schools, four district boarding schools and six district day schools. A total of 144 students participated in the study. There were four Form Two students and eight Form Three students from each school. Stratified random sampling was used to come up with the study sample. One physics teacher in Form Three was selected from each school making a total of 12 teachers. The purpose of this study was to identify factors that affect performance and enrolment in physics at secondary school level. The design of the study was descriptive survey. Data was collected using teachers’ and students’ questionnaires, class observation guide, HODs’ interview schedule’ and students’ achievement tests. These included achievement test scores, students’ gender, entry behavior, learners’ attitude towards physics, availability and use of teaching/ learning resources, teacher characteristics and teaching methodology. The data obtained was analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics. Tables and graphs were used to display data. The study found out that availability and proper use of teaching/learning resources improved achievement in physics. There was a significant higher enrolment in schools with enough resources compared with those with inadequate resources. This could probably explain the reason why there was a higher enrolment in physics among provincial schools compared to district schools. Learners who scored good grades in mathematics had a higher achievement in physics. All students who were enrolled in physics had a positive attitude towards the subject and those who performed well had a more positive attitude than those whose performance was low. Boys performed better in physics in District Schools but this was not the case in Provincial Schools where the girls performed better than the boys in the said schools. Students whose lessons were conducted frequently in the laboratory performed better than those who were often taught in their classrooms. The study did not find any relationship between enrolment and performance. The study recommended that teachers should effectively use teaching/learning resources to improve visualization of concepts. Modern teaching methods should also be employed to arouse students’ interest and improve their attitude towards physics. ecommendations and suggestion for further research has been made at the end of the study to guide the main stake holders such as teachers, policy makers and trainers in physics.