Relationship between academic achievement and educational and occupational aspirations among adolescents in Machakos central division
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between academic achievement and educational and occupational aspirations among adolescents. The sample of the study consisted of one hundred and eighty eight (188) Form 2 secondary school pupils (101 boys and 87 girls) who were randomly selected from five (5) schools in Machakos Central Division. The schools were stratified, purposively and randomly selected according to the school type (i.e.: girls only: boys only and mixed schools). The instrument used to collect data was a 2-part questionnaire which was constructed by the researcher. The questionnaire was used to assess occupational aspirations, educational aspirations, home background information and academic achievement. A pilot study was also conducted in order to validate the research instrument. Data was analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Specifically, correlation coefficients, ANOVA, and chi-square were calculated in an effort to investigate the relationships between and among the variables of interest in the study. . The data obtained was analysed using the statistical package for social sciences (SPSS). The major findings of this study were that on overall; students with high academic achievement had high educational aspirations. Significant positive relationships existed between the students' aspirations and their parental levels of education. It was also evident that there were significant gender differences in the students' educational aspirations where the boys had higher aspirations than the girls. To sum up the findings there is clear evidence that majority of the students prefer to pursue their education up to university level while a good proportion of them prefer the professional and the managerial based occupations when compared to the skilled and unskilled occupations.