Investigation of causes of low reading literacy levels among lower primary school pupils in Kisii Sub-County, Kenya
Ayora, Charles M. Lwanga
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Literacy is fundamental for learning in school. It is the ability to read and write and forms the heart of basic education for all. Literacy development is a process that spans through early childhood years and it is one of the most important abilities children acquire as they progress through their early school years. The purpose of the study was to investigate the causes of low literacy achievement among lower primary school pupils in Kisii district, Kisii County. The study was guided by Holdaway's theory of literacy development. The researcher used descriptive survey method because of the nature of the study. The independent variables included availability of literacy materials, type of school, and language of instruction. The dependent variable was pupils' achievement in literacy. The study was conducted in Kisii central District. Kisi i County. The target population was all standard three teachers and pupils in lower primary classes. Purposive and stratified random sampling techniques were used to select the sample of the study. The sample of the study consisted of 31 class three teachers from private and public schools, 125 pupils from public schools and 80 pupils from private schools. ineteen of the schools were public; while the remaining 12 were private primary schools. The researcher used questionnaire for class three teachers, reading literacy test for class three pupils and observation checklist to collect data. The instruments were piloted in two primary schools and the reliability of the instruments which was found to be 0.82 through test re-tests. The data were analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistical techniques. Descriptive statistics used were measures of central tendencies; frequency distributions and percentages. The inferential statistics used chi-square to establish whether there was any significant relationship between dependent and independent variables. Data collected was coded and analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software. Results had revealed that pupils in private schools had a higher level of reading literacy compared to their counterparts in public primary schools. The results had also shown that language of instruction influenced pupils reading literacy levels. The availability of teaching materials had a positive correlation with the reading literacy levels in lower primary schools. It was recommended that school management should provide classroom learning environment that contain adequate literacy materials and teachers should provide adequate activities and methods to develop pupils' literacy skills.