Assessment of factors influencing perfomance in primary school science in Kisumu East Sub-County, Kisumu County, Kenya
Ochieng, Domnic Deka
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The prime purpose of this study was to examine the factors that influence the performance in primary school science. The objectives of the study were to investigate the pupil related factors influencing academic performance in school science, to examine the school related factors affecting the learning of science in primary schools in Kisumu East Sub-county, to determine the teacher related factors influencing the learning of science in primary schools in Kisumu East subcounty and to establish the ways of improving pupil's performance in primary science in Kisumu East sub-county. The study used the General systems theory on which the conceptual framework was anchored; it is also from this that the variables were drawn. The study locale was Kisumu East Sub-County where 62 public primary schools were targeted for the study. The study was based on a wide and extensive literature review on what other scholars had researched. This study was enacted to fill the existing gap on pupil performance in school science. The study sample was limited to 10 schools selected by use of Systematic Sampling method based on academic performance in previous National Examinations. The research identified 200 learners randomly selected from a population of 6000 pupils. It also involved Standard Six to Eight learner respondents and Science teachers in the sampled schools. Data for the study was obtained by use of two sets of questionnaires, one for the learners and the other for science teachers. Additional data was obtained by use of interview schedules for Headteachers and Zonal Education officers. The researcher also used an observation schedule to collect data on the state of physical facilities and science instructional resources available in the schools, classroom procedures used during science lessons and improvisation of learning materials in the sampled schools. The data collected were edited, coded and then analysed using MS Excel. The results cbtained were presented in tables, graphs and pie-charts depicting frequency distribution and percentages. Descriptive statistics technique was used to examine, analyse and describe data. The formula of spearman coefficient of correlation was used during piloting to determine the reliability of the research instruments. The following were the findings of the study; augmented classroom population, unavailability and underutilization of teaching and learning resources in schools, congested science curriculum and inadequate teaching time among other factors. The following were among the important recommendations of the study: That the government should I' invest in learning materials and resources for- science to facilitate academic performance, develop capacity building programmes for education officers, headteachers and science teachers to help them know how to apply and evaluate their pedagogical skills in teaching and handling of scientific issues. The researcher also suggests that curriculum developers should seek opinion fromthe learners, teachers, headteachers and other officers to provide inclusive ideas on science content arrangement and re- evaluate the curriculum to ensure that the current scientific issues are entrenched in the curriculum for comprehensive coverage. Teachers Training Institutions should also develop and adopt ways of helping science teachers overcome the identified challenges. Equally, teachers are advised to employ heuristic teaching and learning methods to ensure proper participation by learners and hands-on practices during science lessons.