Determinants of Performance in Mathematics and Science Subjects among Female Learners in Public Secondary Schools in Kirinyaga West Sub- County, Kenya
Mulandi, Stephen K.
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Female students in Kenyan secondary schools have been facing a lot of setbacks with regard to mathematics and science subjects’ performance. In countless advancing nations in terms of industrialization including many parts of the industrialized countries, the female kid exhibits low level of scholarly achievement when contrasted with that of boys of the same level of examinations. The reason for this study was to discover the determinants of mathematics and science subjects’ grade attainment among female students in Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education in Kirinyaga West Sub-county. The study was guided by the following specific objectives: Find out the gender disparities in performance on science subjects and mathematics among public secondary schools in Kirinyaga West Sub-County, determine the influence of learners’ personal characteristics on mathematics and science subjects’ performance in public secondary schools in Kirinyaga West Sub-County, find out the challenges facing female learners which affect their science subjects and mathematics performance in public secondary schools in Kirinyaga West Sub-County, find out the influence of the subject teacher on learners’ achievement in science subjects in KCSE in Kirinyaga West Sub-County and assess strategies put in place in order to improve learners’ performance in math and science modules in public secondary schools in Kirinyaga West Sub-County. The design of the study was descriptive survey and targeting 32 secondary schools in Kirinyaga West Sub County in Kirinyaga County. The study utilized purposive sampling technique for principals and HODs’ sample; stratified random sampling technique was used to sample the students. The sample size the study was 32 principals, 12 HODs and 100 students. The total sample was 144 respondents. The instruments of data collection were Principals’ questionnaires, HODs’ questionnaires and Students’ questionnaires. The qualitative analysis was conducted through inferential statistics analysis and finally, the quantitative analysis was conducted through the descriptive statistical method of data analysis through the aid of SPSS version 21. The finding of the study revealed that their existed gender disparity between boys and girls in performance of science subjects and mathematics. This indicated an average difference of 1.03 in favor of boys as compared to girls. On learners’ personal characteristics, the findings of this study revealed that students don’t like doing science practical papers especially girls leading to poor performance in science subjects. This item was ranked the highest in relation to the second objective of this study. Majority of the students (43.9%) revealed that they took science subject on their own without being influenced by anyone which made them perform better in those subjects as compared to those who were influenced either by their teachers, parents or peers. The study findings also revealed that teaching methods applied by science and mathematics teachers influenced students’ performance in those subjects. On strategies employed to improve the performance of science and mathematics subjects, the study findings revealed that guidance and counseling, mentorship, academic clinic were seen to be effective in improving the subjects performance. The study concluded that boys perform better than girls in mathematics, chemistry and physics but in biology girls perform better than boys. The study recommended that schools should address the issue of gender disparity among boys and girls in relation to science subjects’ performance by encouraging girls to undertake sciences and see them easy like others subjects. The TSC should ensure continuous teacher appraisals to help to improve teachers’ teaching skills which will improve the learners’ performance in sciences and mathematics.