School-Based Variables Influencing Students’ Performance in Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (Kcse) in Public Day Secondary Schools in Nyeri County, Kenya
Njogu, Beatrice Wanjiru
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The purpose of this study was to investigate how school based factors influence student’s performance in Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education in public day secondary schools in Nyeri County. Specifically, the study sought to establish the influence of teachers’ characteristics, school administration, instructional resources and student-related variables on students’ performance in KCSE. The study adopted a descriptive survey design. The target population comprised 18000 students, 225 teachers and 11 head teachers in eleven public day secondary schools in Nyeri County giving a total of 18,390. Sampling method was purposive in selecting 11 head teachers, simple random (60%) in selecting 135 teachers, and the systematic technique sampling the 48th unit to form 375 students sample size. The entire sampling yielded a sample size of 521 for the study. The research instruments were observation checklist and questionnaires. The reliability of the research instruments was established through test-retest technique. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze data and the results were presented in the form of frequency tables and graphs and presented in direct quotes. Qualitative responses were analyzed thematically and explained based on the study objectives. The findings of the study on teachers’ characteristics showed that most teachers had the academic qualifications required, most had workloads which they felt were too high and that some teachers did not prepare lesson plans and schemes of work and were not keeping updated notes. The study found that most students had a positive attitude towards their administration and that they felt that the administration was not likely to affect their performance. Administrative materials such as black book and school timetable were missing and this was a major factor that contributed to poor performance by the students. The study established that laboratories, library, text books, chairs and desks were lacking in many schools, while some having dilapidated infrastructure and unmaintained class rooms. Further, the study found that some students’ behaviors such as theft, drug abuse and bullying were rampant in the schools and they swayed the students’ concentration on. The study concluded that administrative and learning materials, school learning infrastructure and students behavior factors were associated with poor performance of the students in KCSE among public day schools in Nyeri County. Suggested strategies to improve students’ performance in KCSE were: increasing instructional resources; number of teachers; and motivation for both teachers and students. The study recommended that teachers should follow the required guidelines in teaching such as preparing relevant teaching materials and adequately cover the syllabus. School administration should put necessary measures on supervision of students’ behavior and progress. The school should also provide teachers with the resources required to promote quality education thus enhance good performance in KCSE. Suggested for further studies was a study on school-based variables affecting students’ performance in KCSE in public boarding secondary schools.