School Quality Variables and Learning Output in Science and Mathematics in Public Secondary Schools in Siaya County, Kenya
Akinyi, Lucy Eunice
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A school environment which is well equipped with standard requirements is likely to bring better learning output. The policy guidelines on learning requirements are provided by the Ministry of Education to all education institutions. The government has continued to increase expenditure to education. However, low learning outputs have continued to be realised every time secondary education summative evaluation results are released. The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of school quality variables on students learning output in science and mathematics in public secondary schools in Siaya County, Kenya. The objectives of the study were: to establish the influence of per student expenditure on learning output in science and mathematics in public secondary schools in Siaya County, Kenya; to determine the influence of class size on learning output in science and mathematics in public secondary schools in Siaya County, Kenya; to determine the influence of quality of teaching on learning output in science and mathematics in public secondary schools in Siaya County, Kenya; and to establish the influence of learning resources on learning output in science and mathematics in public secondary schools in Siaya county, Kenya. The study was underpinned on the Education Production Function Model by Hanushek (2008). The study employed a mixed methods design by use of convergent parallel approach. The target population was 6175 which comprised: 247 principals, 988 teachers and 4940 students from the 247 public secondary schools. A sample size of 376 respondents was used from 15 sampled schools. The Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examinations results were used to measure the students‟ learning output in the schools. Questionnaires, interview guides and document analysis guides were used to collect data on quality school variables and learning output. A pilot study was conducted on 1% of the respondent to reveal any defect in the content of research tools and design. The instruments were tested for content validity using supervisors‟ and content experts‟ inputs. Pearson correlation coefficient reliability tests was done for students‟, teachers‟ and principals‟ questionnaires. Reliability of the interview guide and document analysis guide was ensured by checking credibility and authenticity of content yielded. The quantitative data was analysed using descriptive statistics to give means, range and standard deviations and inferential statistics through regression analysis. Quantitative data was presented in tables and graphical format, while the qualitative data was analysed thematically and presented in quoted texts. The study found positive linear relationship between the school quality variables and learning output. Teacher-student contact hours and per student expenditure were found to have the highest influence on learner scores at R2 of .726 and .616 respectively. In conclusion, schools which had appropriate resource inputs to meet learning requirements also had better learning output. Though nearly all the schools fall short of the policy standard requirements with the predictor variables, the more the resources, the better the learning output in science and mathematics in the schools. Increased frequency in the use of learning resources improves concept internalization and learning output. The study recommends that the education institutions and other stakeholders should diversify their revenue sources to supplement the inadequate funds from the Government so as to enable acquisition of the required learning resources. The Government should also increase grants to cater for more school expenditure so as to address school quality variable issues and enable attainment of better learning output.