Factors influencing girls’ perceptions and attitudes towards mathematics in secondary schools of Westlands District, Nairobi County, Kenya
Wambui, Kamau Mary
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According to KNEC reports (2015, 2016), performance of girls in Mathematics in secondary schools in Kenya is still generally low indicating that 38% of girls attained below grade D in Mathematics. Table 1.1 indicate that only 20.71 % of the girls who sat the exam passed in 2016 while Table 1.2 indicate that the girls attained a mean of 9.17 which was below the overall mean of 9.93.The low performance has been reported to be caused partially by their negative attitude towards Mathematics.The study aimed at considering the factors that influence the perceptions and attitudes that have been reported to impact on the performance of girls in Mathematics in Westlands District of Nairobi County, Kenya. The objectives of the study were to establish the extent to which the perceptions and attitudes are influenced by Mathematics assessed curriculum, the school factors, home environment and gender related factors. The target population was twenty three (23) schools out of which ten (10) sample schools were selected randomly from the District. This research employed descriptive survey method. Data was collected using three instruments: Questionnaires,interview schedule and document analysis.The questionnaires were administered to the Mathematics teachers of the sampled schools and to the students in the selected schools to collect data on the perfomance.The District Education Officer was interviewed to give information on Mathematics performance in the Disrict while the documents from the DEOs office gave data on the performace of Mathematics in the District per school. The collected data was analyzed and the findings presented in tables and charts.The recomendation of the study was to improve the performance of the Mathematics among the students, there is a need for an attitudinal change from all the stakeholders. Other measures such as use of motivational talks, motivation and reward, exposure to contests and symposia, allocation of more time on the subject as well as stregnthening the relationship between the teachers and students should be pursued.