Factors influencing students' performance in mapwork in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (K.C.S.E) examination in Gucha district, Kenya
Onserio, Ntabo Geoffrey
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The Ministry of Education has placed a lot of emphasis on the teaching of mapwork in schools. This is reflected in the syllabus where certain aspects of mapwork are expected to be covered in forms one, two, three and four. The climax is in the form of a compulsory question on mapwork in the KCSE geography paper one examination. In spite of the efforts put in the teaching of mapwork in all the forms, the students' results after KCSE show completely a negative picture. According to the 1996, 2000 and 2001 KCSE reports, the analysis done in geography paper one indicates that mapwork items are poorly done. The purpose of this study was therefore, to investigate and analyze the present practise of teaching mapwork in Kenyan Secondary Schools with particular reference to Gucha District. Emphasis was placed on finding out the teaching-learning strategies used by the teachers in teaching mapwork, the training of teachers, the available mapwork teaching-learning facilities and how effectively they were utilized to implement the mapwork curriculum in Kenyan Schools. The review of the related literature indicated that the performance of a student in mapwork items is linked to his or her psychological development. There was little mention on the relevancy of competent teachers and the teaching-learning resources to the teaching of mapwork. This is the gap this study aimed to fill. The researcher used a descriptive research design whereby four instruments were used to collect data. These were three questionnaires and one classroom observation schedule. The target population was thirty two mapwork teachers, twenty four headteachers and two hundred and sixty eight students from twenty four secondary schools sampled from a population of 96 schools in Gucha District of Kenya. Data analysis was done by manual counting to determine frequency of each response and thereafter percentages computed. Consequently, the findings based on the data collected were that majority of teachers preferred the lecture method of teaching to group work and discussion. The most available teaching-learning resources were printed materials. These materials, however, did not satisfy the students demand. It was established that majority of the students (65%) never had any recommended mapwork textbook. The study also revealed that there is under-utilization of the available mapwork teaching-learning resources by the teachers. From the findings, conclusions were drawn to the effect that; there is need for teachers to use more resources while teaching and more teaching-learning facilities need to be availed in all schools within the District.