School-Based Determinants of Students’ Academic Achievement in Public Secondary Schools, Butula Sub-County, Busia County, Kenya
Oyula, Diana Rose Adhiambo
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Worldwide, education has been declared a fundamental need just as food, shelter and clothing. According to the United Nations (1948), everyone has a right to education. Despite the educational development like the government‟s effort to improve quality of education, the academic performance has been chronically poor in most of the public secondary schools in Butula Sub-County, Busia County. The purpose of this study was to establish the influence of school-based factors on academic achievement of secondary school students in Butula Sub-County with regard to the administrative practices of the head teachers, syllabus coverage, school discipline and availability of teaching and learning resources. The study adopted an ex-post facto research design. The target population in this study was 22 public secondary schools and 360 teachers, 22 principals, the Sub County Quality Assurance and Standards Officer (DQASO) and 3240 students. Stratified sampling was used to select three girls‟ boarding schools, three boys‟ boarding schools and 2 mixed day secondary schools; hence 8 schools formed the sample of the study. The researcher sampled 324 students, 48 teachers and 8 principals and their deputies purposively. Questionnaires for teachers and students, and interview schedules for principals and the DQASO were used to collect data for this study. Piloting was done in two schools to improve on the validity and reliability of the research instruments, but these schools were not included in the study. The collected quantitative data from the questionnaires were appropriately coded and entered into the computer for analysis with the help of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) system. Qualitative data obtained from the interviews was analyzed thematically. Data was organized into common themes and patterns relevant to the study for easier generation of conclusions. The findings of the study were presented using percentages, means, and frequency tables. The researcher hoped that the findings of this study would be of great significance to teachers and school administrators because of the generated knowledge and awareness created that would propel them to take necessary measures to enhance the academic performance of their respective schools. Based on the findings the following recommendations were made; that the head teachers should attend seminars and workshops that teach the importance of carrying out instructional supervision. This is because the study depicted that majority of the school heads did not supervise the teaching in their schools. Supervision of instruction should be intensified so as to enhance the effectiveness of teachers thereby improve students‟ achievement in national examinations. They should also motivate both the teachers and students to realize improvement in performance in national examinations: that the Sub County Education Officer should arrange for workshops for both teachers and head teachers to be sensitized on the ways to improve the schools‟ teaching and learning resources that impact on academic performance of students. The Head teachers should also arrange for school exchange programs to learn how to manage the resources in the school that influence academic performance of the students; that the government should organize workshops and trainings for the head teachers to make them understand the benefits of learning resources.