FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO POOR PERFORMANCE IN MATHEMATICS IN K.C.S.E IN SELECTED PUBLIC SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN KIAMBAA DIVISION OF CENTRAL PROVINCE, KENYA

MARTHA WAMBUI KARIGI

Abstract


Students' poor performance in national examination remains a major concern worldwide and Kenya in particular. Teachers, students, parents, curriculum developers and the public have tended to blame one another for the poor performance in Mathematics at secondary school level. In an attempt to respond to this problem, the Kenyan Mathematics scholars have carried out many studies in Mathematics education.

Despite these studies, students' performance remained poor. This means that the main reason for this poor performance had not been established. The reason could probably be that the learners and teacher's attitude and motivation towards the subject, availability of learning and teaching resources, poor administration, training and experience of the teachers contributes to the poor performance in Mathematics at K.C.S.E level in secondary schools. Specifically, this study aimed at determining what factors could be contributing to the poor performance in Mathematics by students in secondary schools in Kiambaa Division.

The study employed a descriptive survey and focused on Form 3 students and their Mathematics teachers. Random stratified technique was used to select 6 public secondary schools from 40 public schools in Kiambaa Division. Form 3 students were selected randomly. Simple random sampling was used to select 20 students and 4 teachers from each school sampled. Data was collected with two instruments, Mathematics Teacher Questionnaire (MTQ) and Mathematics Student's Questionnaire (MSQ). A total of 16 teachers and 80 students filled the MSQ and MTQ respectively.

Data from the field was analyzed qualitatively. Qualitative analysis involved making inferences from the teachers and students responses from the questionnaires. Qualitative analysis made use of descriptive statistics such as percentages and frequencies.

The findings of this study would be of significance to the teachers, students, curriculum developers, college tutors in educational institutions with regard to improvement of Mathematics performance and education. Change of attitude in both the students and learners will help to improve performance in Mathematics.

It was also revealed that teachers had a positive attitude towards teaching of Mathematics. However students had a negative attitude towards learning of Mathematics. This was seen as a factor that contributed to poor performance of Mathematics.

Based on the above findings, the study recommended that schools should guide and counsel students on the importance of learning Mathematics. It was also recommended that schools should also try and motivate students and help them develop positive attitude towards the subject. The government and the community should provide the necessary teaching and learning facilities to facilitate the teaching Of Mathematics.

Taking the limitations and delimitations of the study, the researcher makes the following suggestions for further research: There was need to conduct a research to investigate on home background and its effect of student’s performance. There was need to conduct a research to investigate how administrative factors that contribute to poor performance.

Key Words: Poor Performance, Mathematics, Public secondary Schools

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