An investigation of the probable causes of poor performance in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examination (KCSE) in Matuga division, Kwale district, Coast province
In Kenya, good performance in national examinations is the key to assured access to institutions of higher learning and eventually to securing gainful employment. The persistent mass failures in national examinations observed in Kwale district over the years is worrying to students, parents, teachers and other stakeholders in the education sector. This study attempted to unearth the root cause(s) of poor performance in K.C.S.E. in schools of Matuga division, Kwale district. Inadequate learning facilities, low morale among teachers, lack of support from parents, poor supervision from head teachers and inspectors of schools, and an insecure working relationship between head teachers and their fellow teachers were some of the main factors leading to poor performance in national examinations. Indiscipline among students also contributed to aggravating this situation. Cultural factors like religion did not influence performance or attitudes towards education, but the fact that most parents lacked any formal education may have contributed to the lukewarm attitude they exhibited towards the schooling of their children. A thorough investigation is necessary for all this factors to be investigated in depth and using a wider school sample covering the whole district.