The extent to which Kenya certificate of primary education (KCPE) mathematics results predict performance in mathematics at Kenya certificate of secondary education(KCSE): a case study of national schools
Kihara, Joseph M.
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The study set out to investigate the extent to which Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) mathematics examination results predict performance in mathematics at the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE). It focused on the national schools. To achieve this objective, the study examined such factors as: • Skills and abilities tested in KCPE and KCSE mathematics examinations. • Teaching techniques adopted by teachers at KCSE level • Attitudes of students towards mathematics • Gender of the student • KCPE and KCSE mathematics performance. Each of the above factors was examined in the light of their combined impacts on the overall KCSE mathematics performance. The target population included all the 18 national schools in Kenya of which 10 are boys and 8 are girls' schools. A sample of six secondary schools was selected at random, using stratified random sampling to proportionately represent the boys and girls school categories. Data was collected through questionnaires and interviews administered on students and mathematics teachers. Performance data was obtained from the six national schools students' performance records on KCPE examinations and corresponding KCSE examinations. Both quantitative generated. Quantitative data were subjected to statistical analysis using measures of correlation and the textual data were analyzed qualitatively. The main findings developed from the study indicated that: There is a strong relationship between the grade a student obtains in KCPE mathematics and the grade s/he obtains in the KCSE mathematics. The predictive validity of KCPE mathematics examination results on KCSE mathematics performance is high and significant in national schools. There is a progressive linkage between the content skills and cognitive abilities in mathematics at KCPE and those tested at KCSE level. Variations in mathematics performance among students in national schools by gender is minimal. Key recommendations made in this study are that: Students with low performance grades at KCPE level require increased individual attention by mathematics teachers in order to excel in KCSE mathematics. Teaching strategies used by mathematics teachers at KCSE level should be enhanced to strengthen understanding and performance.