Institution based factors influencing students' performance in kiswahili at KCSE in public schools in Sameta Division Kisii County kenya
Ombui, Ogero John
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The tenet of this study was that despite the critical role played by Kiswahili language in Kenya: first, as an official language second, as a national language and a core subject examinable for all candidates at KCSE, student's performance in this subject is dismal. Factors leading to this dismal performance have not been exhaustively investigated and internalized, hence impeding the development of Kiswahili in Kenya. The purpose of this study was to investigate institution- based factors influencing students' performance in Kiswahili language at KCSE examinations in public secondary schools in Sameta Division Kisii County. The objectives of the study were: To identify which school physical resources influenced students performance in Kiswahili language; to find out school language policies in public schools of Sameta Division and their impact on Kiswahili performance; to find out the qualification and adequacy of Kiswahili teachers in Sameta Division; to identify students' and teachers' attitudes to Kiswahili. The study adopted a descriptive survey design. The population of the study comprised 1025 form four students, 40 teachers of Kiswahili and32 principals of schools in Sameta Division. The total population of the study was 1097. Stratified random sampling was used to select 10 schools for the study. Ten (10) classes were used in the study, 200 students, 14 teachers of Kiswahili and 10 principals totaling to a sample size of 224. Questionnaires and interview schedule were used to collect data. Piloting of the questionnaires and interview schedule was done in three schools identical to but not including the group of the study. Reliability was done through test-retest method and the scores of the two tests scored manually. A comparison of the two scores was done using Spearman Rank Order Correlation Coefficient formula to establish the consistency of the instruments. Validity was determined through experts' judgment. The researcher's two supervisors and one departmental lecturer were requested to assess the content used and give feedback which enriched them. Data were collected through questionnaires for students and teachers and interview schedule for principals. The questionnaires were administered to both students and teachers while interview schedule was administered to principals of sampled schools. Qualitative data were organized into themes, categories and patterns relevant to the study and findings represented through, tabulation. Quantitative data were coded then analyzed with the help of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) then results were presented using percentages, means, frequency distribution tables, bar graphs and pie-charts. The study found that majority of the schools had inadequate teaching/learning resources to a level that learners lacked language course books. A good number of the schools lacked enough physical facilities like libraries and classrooms because student population was over 60. Most day schools had inadequate trained teachers consequently engaging untrained form four school leavers who not only could not deliver content, but also lacked language pedagogy. Majority of the schools had inadequate strategies of enforcing language policies because they were skewed towards English in some while in others unofficial languages like sheng were in use. The study recommended funding of schools to enable them to purchase enough teaching/learning resources as well as putting up physical facilities, posting of adequate qualified teachers to schools, curriculum designers and ministry of Education to split Kiswahili to two subjects, regular refresher courses for teachers and adoption of sound mechanisms to ensure proper enforcement of language policies at school level so as to better the performance in Kiswahili.