Variables contributing to pupils’ performance in English in public primary schools in Komothai zone, Githunguri district, Kiambu County, Kenya
Kamau, Jane Kirangari
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The purpose of this study was to determine the school-based variables contributing to pupils‟ performance in English in Kenya Certificate of Primary Education in public primary schools in Komothai zone in Githunguri District, Kiambu County. The objectives of this study were to determine teachers‟ qualifications and experience, availability of learning resources, pupil‟s attitude to English, teaching methodology applied in teaching English in public primary schools in Komothai zone and their effects on pupils‟ performance in English. The study used correlational ex-post factor approach. The target population was composed of 14 public primary schools, 14 headteachers, 55 teachers of English, 724 class 8 pupils‟ and 724 parents from the schools neighbourhood .Seven public primary schools, 7 headteachers, 26 teachers of English, 126 class 8 pupils‟, 70 parents and one Quality Assurance and Standard Officer were sampled for the study using stratified and simple random sampling. The subjects of the study were 7 head teachers in the sample schools, 4 teachers of English in each school, a sample of 18 standard eight pupils‟, 10 parents from the neighbourhood of each sample school and Quality Assurance and Standards Officer. Pupils‟ from each of sample schools were selected using systematic random sampling. Data were collected by use of questionnaire and an interview schedule. The developed questionnaires were administered to one public primary school for piloting. Content validity of instruments was determined through expert judgment. The researcher used subject matter specialists such as university supervisors in the School of Education. They examined the instruments individually and provided feedback to the researcher. Data analysis was done using the statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) Version 17.0. Descriptive statistics including frequency counts, means and percentages were used to summarise the quantitative data collected. Thematic analysis was used to summarize the qualitative data obtained. The results of the data analysis were presented in frequency tables, histograms and pie charts. The study found that congestion in classes, laxity among teachers, teachers not taking report by Quality Assurance and Standards Officers seriously, localization in their home area makes them resistant to change. Lack of enough textbooks, equipment and library holdings affect pupils‟ performance in English in KCPE. Home environment was also found to be unsuitable for learning English in Komothai zone. This is because vernacular, sheng and Kiswahili were found to be the predominant languages spoken at home. Most parents did not buy reference materials for their children. The study concluded that laxity among teachers and localization of teachers in their home area affect pupils performance. Lack of enough desks, chairs, enough classrooms, library holdings, learning resources, home environment and lack of enough practice of English affects pupils‟ performance. The study recommended that teachers should take the reports by quality assurance and standards officers seriously and they should not be localized in their home areas. The study also recommended that the government should provide enough finances to public primary schools for them to be able to acquire enough learning resources to improve English performance in public primary schools. Teachers should vary their methodology to help improve English 20 performance. Parents should create a friendly atmosphere at home to improve English performance. Pupils‟ should practise speaking in English in order to improve their performance in it.