A survey of the probable cause of poor performance in K.C.P.E examination in Kaloleni educational division of Kilifi district, Coast province
Malau, Nicholas C.
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Purpose of the Study: The main purpose of this study was to identify the probable causes of poor performance in K.C.P.E. Examinations in Kaloleni Educational Division of Kilifi District, Coast Province. This division is among the four educational divisions which constitute the district namely: Bahari, Kaloleni, Granze and Malindi. Kaloleni educational division was selected from the four divisions due to its record of poor performance in K.C.P.E in the district. Methodology: In order for the researcher to come up with the probable causes, three techniques were used to solicit data from the respondents. These were: interview, questionnaire and observation (which was coupled with a discussion between the researcher and the subject teachers involved). Two interviews conducted by the researcher. The first interview was held between the researcher and the Divisional primary schools Inspector (D.P.S.I) for Kaloleni Division and the second was between the researcher and the secretary to K.N.U.T., Kilifi branch. With regards to the questionnaire technique, three questionnaire by the researcher were administered to the following subject: (a) First questionnaire was given to the 32 standard 8 class teachers from 32 primary schools randomly selected from the division (8 schools from each of the four educational zones.) (b) The second questionnaire was given to the four zonal primary schools Inspectors (A.P.S.I.) of the four educational zones in the division. (c) The third questionnaire was given to the 32 primary school headteachers of the 32 schools randomly selected in the division. While on classroom observation, the researcher visited 16 primary schools (from the 32 schools selected) and observed classroom teaching going on in standard 8. Then discussions were held with the subject teachers after their teaching. In all these techniques employed, the researcher made sure what was asked in the questionnaires, interviews or discussions was aimed at realizing the objectives or answering the questions raised in the study. Data Analysis: The data obtained in the four instruments was then tabulated and percentages calculated. These percentages then gave the researcher an idea on the direction taken by the respondents on the given variable or question. Limitations: The research was carried out on only one educational division in the whole district, which is made up of 4 divisions. It also involved 32 primary schools out of the total 96 schools in the division. Thus one-third of the schools were used. The other limiting factors were: time given to carry out the research was too short and hence the researcher could not include all schools in the study, and also the distance which ought to have been covered if all schools in the division were to be included in the study would have been too vast and hence due to limited time, it was impracticable. Findings: It was found out during the research that the division is made up of four educational zones namely: Rabai, Mariakani, and Chonyi which were under one Assistant Education Officer (A.E.O.), one Divisional Primary Schools Inspector (D.P.S.I.) and four Zonal Assistant Primary Schools Inspectors (A.P.S.I). The division has 96 primary schools with a total teaching force of 1005 teachers. Out of these, 454 (45.17%) are untrained teachers. This high percentage of untrained teachers has led to some schools using them in teaching of examination classes. Also discovered during the research was the fact that there is no single school in the division which has a feeding programme for its students. This has led to most students going home for lunch during lunch breaks. Since majority of the students come for afternoon classes late, a lot of time was wasted which would have been used for private studies by the pupils. Also, the rate at which inspectors visit the schools is poor. On very rare occasions do they visit schools; hence they have no knowledge of what goes on in the schools and the problems encountered by the teachers in fulfilling the curriculum. This makes the undevoted teachers absent themselves from school. Lack of frequent visits by inspectors to schools has been brought by lack of transport (government vehicles) to ferry them to those schools under their jurisdiction. Also lack of transport (public) to ferry these teachers to those schools in the interior brings about infrequent visits. It was also found out that in most schools, there was lack of effective administration by the headteachers since most of them were also involved in teaching. This leads to little time (or none at all) left for the headteacher to check on teachers schemes, lesson plans, lesson notes and students progress record. Coupled with this is that there exists minimal observation of standard 8 teachers conducting their lessons. It was also discovered that in the division, there were no motivating factors for the teachers. A motivating factor would be like absorbing an untrained teacher to a teachers' college or promoting a qualified teacher to a higher grade. Most teachers have stayed for a long time as either untrained teachers or in the same grade. This demotivates the teachers and hence affects their teaching. It was also discovered that cases of absenteeism and indiscipline by students are so pronounced in most schools. These lead to lack of concentration in what is taught and subsequent failure in examinations. Recommendations: 1. There is need for a second teachers' college in the Province to reduce the number of untrained teachers in the division. 2. There is an urgent need for pupils to be more disciplined-this implies that the parents have also to join hands with the teachers to instill discipline. 3. There is need for warm relations between parents, pupils, teachers and educational personnel in order to improve performance. 4. There is need to balance the teaching force for equal instructional load of the teachers. 5. There is an urgent need for parents to ensure that their children have the recommended textbooks plus exercise books for all subjects taught. 6. Also, the parents through their Parents Association should ensure that schools have the necessary facilities and equipments needed for effective learning. 7. There is need to introduce feeding programmes in the schools so that pupils do not waste time rushing home and coming late to class and convert this time for extra studies while in school. 8. Improved transport facilities should be made available so that the inspectors can visit more schools. 9. The ministry should leave inspectors to inspect and allocate administrative duties to other personnel. 10. There was need to introduce incentives for both teachers, pupils, school and zone to create more competition during national, zonal or divisional examinations. 11. There is need to cut down the rate of transferring of teachers preferably to be done only at the beginning of the year.