Investigation into causes of poor performance in KCSE Physics among form four students in Thika District
Muturi, N. Nicholas
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Poor performance in national examinations is a very disturbing problem and also an issue of global discussion. This is because it shatters the hopes of the candidate of pursuing further education or even securing a good job. It also injuries one's concept and self-image among friends, parents and community. Both the parent(s) and the government feel the pinch too as they have heavily invested a lot of their capital in the education of the candidate who unfortunately performs poorly in national examinations. For this reason, failure to perform well in these examinations is a serious worthy investigation as it sends shockwaves down the spine of the candidate, the parent(s), his friends and even the government. The purpose of this study was to investigate the causes of poor performance in national examinations with a bias in Physics. The intention was to find out whether the causes of poor performance emanated from the student's home environment. Whether he was to blame for his own poor performance or if the school environment was to blame for the candidates poor performance. The main focus was on cause of poor performance in Physics. The research was carried out in Thika District of Central Province in Kenya. Sample population included the D.E.O. ten Head Teachers, twenty Physics teachers and one hundred (100) students from ten secondary schools. A descriptive survey design method was used. The research instruments included an Interview Schedule for the D.E.O, Questionnaires for Head Teachers, Physics teachers and students and Observation schedules for the researcher. These instruments were first pre-tested on one school before the actual study. The data was analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) and data was analysed using the Chi-square test for all statistical analysis at the 0.05 level if significance. Data was reported using frequencies and percentages and presented in form of tables. The study showed that the poor performance of Physics is caused by lack of parental encouragement, inadequate learning resources lack of discipline in schools, poor teaching methods among other factors. The research recommended that: More Physics teachers be posted to schools Physics teachers use methods which can make physics more interesting Administrators and parents increase teaching learning resources in school especially for practicals. More time for teaching physics be allocated on the timetables Guidance and Counseling be done by Career Masters and Physics teachers with a view to change the negative attitude by students towards Physics. The study has also given suggestions for further research into this area so that researchers could come up with more recommendations on how the teaching of Physics could be improved for better performance.