Factors influencing academic achievement in public secondary schools in central Kenya: an effective schools’ perspective
Waweru, S. N.
Nyagosia, Patrick Ogecha
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This study determined the relationship between school effectiveness and academic performance of students in secondary schools of Central Kenya. The study examined how implementation of the following seven correlates of Effective Schools Model influenced students’ academic performance: instructional leadership, focus on school mission, school safety and orderliness, expectations for success, home-school relations, monitoring of students’ progress, and opportunity to learn. A survey design was used targeting all principals, heads of departments (HODs), teachers, and District Education Officers (DEOs) in charge of 501 provincial and district public secondary schools in Kiambu and Nyeri counties. Stratified sampling was used to select 40 schools, comprising 20 schools from the top performing category and 20 from the bottom performing category. Study participants comprised 40 principals, 120 HODs, 240 teachers and 17 DEOs. Data was collected using questionnaires and interviews. Data was analysed using Pearson correlation coefficient and the t-test. Results showed that, in comparison with bottom performing schools, top performing schools were putting more emphasis on six of the seven correlates, with only frequent monitoring of students progress returning no significant results. The study concludes that the seven correlates are good predictors of academic performance in Kenyan schools. It is noteworthy that the seven correlates require minimal financial inputs, meaning that even the financially constrained schools can still achieve school effectiveness by practising the correlates.