Influence of Cultural Values, Beliefs and Practices on Students’ Academic Performance in County Schools in Kilifi County, Kenya
Nyakado, Dennis Odhiambo
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Society is in constant change as a result of innovation in science and technology across the world. These changes have spilt over to the education sector and other fields which demand effective skilled labour force. The school organizations have a challenge to produce graduates who can meet the socio-economic and political demands of the dynamic society. The schools’ ability to adjust to these changes is measured by the students’ academic output in the national examinations. Schools have been facing the challenge of posting good academic results across the country. Kilifi County have been posting poor results in national examinations and this triggered the current study. The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of school cultural values, beliefs and practices on students’ academic performance in county secondary schools in Kilifi County. The objectives of this study were to; investigate how school value statements influenced students’ academic achievement, examine how school routine practices influence the students’ academic achievements, determine the contribution of school beliefs on the students’ academic achievements, establish contribution of school practices in promoting the students’ academic achievements and find out strategies that could be used to promote the students’ academic achievements in county secondary schools Kilifi County, Kenya. Schein’s Model of Organizational Culture and Edmond’s effective school theories were used to form the theoretical frameworks of the study. This study used descriptive research design and was carried out in county secondary schools in Kilifi County. The study targeted 31 county secondary schools, 17 principals, 17 BoM members, 80 teachers and 3060 students. Stratified and simple random sampling was used to sample schools, teachers and students. Krejcie and Morgan table was used to select a sample of 10 principals, 10 BoM members, 20 teachers, and 341 students. Interview and questionnaires were used to collect data. Two county secondary schools, two principals, 10 teachers and 20 students from the neighbouring Tana River County were chosen for piloting of research instruments. Validity was ensured through data triangulation and using field test. Reliability was determined using Cronbach alpha correlation coefficient. The tools were considered reliable if a correlation coefficient of 0.80 and above was attained. Data was presented using charts, frequency tables, the Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 22 programmes was used to organize data and descriptive statistics were used to analyse descriptive data. Based on the findings of the study, it was observed that, the value statements had limited influence on the students’ achievement contrary to the work of other scholars, school beliefs and expectations were not often communicated to the learners and most principals did not exercise collaborative leadership style. As a result of the study the following recommendations were made; The findings of the study might be of significance to the Government of Kenya in that the MoEST might use them to formulate policies at both national and county levels respectively, these findings may be used in organizing managerial trainings to inculcate aspects of school culture in management of educational institutions. It was also recommended that, the TSC may periodically organize for in-service trainings for principals and teachers to keep them abreast with the changing needs of the students in line with the continually changing global demands, the school principals should practice a collaborative approach in decision making. The parents may be aware of the school ethos and work collaboratively with an aim of promoting a strong positive school culture of high academic excellence for their children. The teachers as the curriculum implementers may play their roles effectively by ensuring they understand the school expectations and traditions and communicating the same to the learners. The school ceremonies should be well commemorated and heroes and heroines honoured for exemplary achievements.