Modelling Predictors of Variations in Public Day Secondary Schools Students’ Learning Outcomes, Tharaka Nithi County, Kenya
Nkonge, Gatwiri Winniejoy
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In an effort to facilitate realization of sustainable development goal 4 and therefore enhance equity and access to basic education in Kenya, the government has adopted various strategies. They include full support of public day secondary education tuition and non-tuition cost aspects such as school feeding programme in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands to aid equity in attainment of secondary education. Equity in attainment of quality secondary education is evidenced by non-relation of the differences in students’ household, parental and school characteristics on variations in learning outcomes. Thus, equitable secondary education variations in learning outcomes are only related to students’ differences in conduct characteristics. Public Day Secondary School students’ learning outcomes in Tharaka Nithi County, have the highest Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examination performance variation compared to other Kenyan Counties. Thus, study objectives: To model the relationship between student’s household characteristics and variations in examination scores; To model the relationship between student’s parental/guardian characteristics and variations in examination scores; To model the relationship between student’s conduct characteristics and variations in examination scores and To model the relationship between the availability and adequacy of Public Day Secondary School resources and variations in examination scores in Tharaka Nithi County Kenya. Framed upon Education Production Function model and Rawls’ theory of justice, the study adopted Convergent parallel mixed method research design. The study targeted all the year 2020 form 3 students in Public Day Secondary Schools Tharaka Nithi County. The study used stratified random sampling technique to select 738 form 3 students (368 male and 370 female) and purposive sampling to select 15 (12 male and 3 female) principals. Quantitative data was collected using student and parent’s questionnaires, and document analysis tool, and analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. In addition, qualitative data was collected using principal and students’ interview schedule and analysed thematically. Descriptive statistics comprised of frequency distribution, percentages, measures of central tendency and variability. Inferential statistics including Pearson’s correlation coefficient and multiple regression analysis were used in hypothesis testing. Results indicated a statistically significant positive relationship, r = 0.662 at p < .01 between student’s household characteristics and variations in student’s examination scores. Student’s family resources resulted to students’ household characteristics contribution to students’ variations in examination scores. There is a statistically significant positive relationship of r = 0.635 at p < .01 between student’s parental/guardian characteristics and variations in student’s examination scores. Differences in student’s parental/guardian support resulted to students’ variations in examination scores. On the other hand, there were statistically significant negative relationship, r = -0.214 at p < .01 between student’s conduct characteristics and variations in student’s examination scores. The results also indicated a moderately strong statistically significant positive relationship, r = 0.674 at p < .01, between school resource characteristics and variations in student’s examination scores. The equation for predicting variations in examination scores after controlling for all the predictor variables was found to have following parameters (β0=-6.173, β1=-0.006, β2=0.035, β3=-0.438, β4=0.341, β5=0.063 and β6=0.328. The study recommended that Public Day Secondary Schools financing policy to focus on equity rather than per capita.