Influence of School Culture on Students’ Performance at Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) In Public Secondary Schools in Mombasa County, Kenya
Al-Amin, Hamida Soud
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Performance in national examination in Mombasa County has been on the decline. Stakeholders in the sector are brainstorming on ways to remedy this situation. The present study sought to explore school culture and its influence on the students‟ performance in KCSE. It was conducted in Public Secondary schools in Mombasa County. In this regard, the following objectives guided the study: to assess the forms of school culture practiced in selected public secondary schools across the county; to determine the extent to which school motto, vision and mission influence students‟ performance in KCSE; to determine the extent to which school routine and norms influence students‟ performance at KCSE and to establish specific strategies used to enhance form(s) of school culture in the county. The study adopted descriptive survey design and was guided by Schein (1996) and Trompenar‟s (1998) theories on school organizational culture. Target population of schools was 25 Public secondary schools but only 8, thus 8 Principals and 8 Form 4 Class teachers were sampled using purposive sampling techniques. Stratified random sampling technique was employed to sample 200 Form Four Students. Therefore, a total of 216 respondents were involved in the study. In regard to data collection, questionnaire was employed in data collection. Prior to the actual data collection procedure, a pilot study was conducted in two schools to pre-test the research instrument. The split-half technique and Spearman rank order correlation coefficient technique was used to establish reliability. Quantitative data organization was done using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) computer program and was analysed using descriptive statistics and the results presented in form of graphs, pie charts, frequency distribution tables and explanatory statements. Data analysis showed that the majority of the schools in the study practiced caring, integrative and collaborative cultures while very few practiced exacting and dictatorial culture. Further, the findings revealed that the schools‟ Motto, Vision and Mission statements affected KCSE outcomes in majority of the schools under this study. This is because the results of data analysis indicated that KCSE outcomes of the students reflect the expected academic outcomes of the schools‟ motto, Vision and Mission statements. Data analysis showed that the school norms and routines influence students‟ performance in KCSE. Thus, the following aspects influence KCSE to great extent. They include schools assessment and evaluation policy (72.8%), school rules and guidelines direct students‟ social and academic discipline that translates into good performance and schools schedule for breaks, classes and other activities impact on the students‟ academic performance (100.0%). Also, students‟ utilization of class and library time improved their preparation for KCSE examination (84.9%). Further, the study revealed that the norm of students sticking to the schools‟ scheduled time for reporting to and leaving school influenced KCSE outcomes. Concerning strategies, the findings revealed that most schools employ use of rewards, strict enforcement of school rules, use of school Motto, Vision and Mission as official school anthem, use of peer counseling and involvement of student representatives in school management. The study hopes to come up with concrete solutions towards the problem of poor performance in the County.