FACTORS INFLUENCING PERFORMANCE IN NATIONAL EXAMINATIONS IN PUBLIC SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN BONDO DISTRICT, SIAYA COUNTY, KENYA
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This study sought to investigate factors that influence the performance of national
examinations in public schools in Bondo District. Quality of education in Kenya is
judged by the performance in examination; hence it was important to undertake this
study. The study was guided by the following objectives, to: establish learning resources
which were required in the schools to realize performance in examinations; investigate
how management contributes to performance in national examinations and; identify the
roles of education office towards improvement of performance in national examinations.
The study was significant to education officers and teachers in Bondo district in that it
would help them address factors that contribute to low performance in examinations. In
reviewing literature, secondary data from the library and information from the education
office was reviewed; the said data together with primary field data were analysed to help
come up with the necessary recommendations. The theoretical framework that guided the
study was Education Production Function by Summons. The theory states that
educational outcomes are a function of various inputs that are employed in the education
process. The theory was operationalized by a conceptual framework to operationalize and
explain the variables. The research design that was used was descriptive survey which
focused on determining the status of the defined population within the district. The study
targeted 10 out of 18 schools in the district. A sample size of 110 teachers was targeted
out of a possible 340 in the district. The main data collection tool was a questionnaire
although unscheduled interview based on qualitative approach was also conducted. The
data were presented in form of tables and analysed using inferential and descriptive
statistics. Among the findings of the study was that learning resources were necessary for
teaching and learning yet adequate classrooms were lacking. This interfered with the
performance in examinations. The laboratories in particular were not equipped to the
required standards hence this affected the performance of sciences. The Board of
Governors were involved in the corporate planning and direction of the school but this
still did not match with the performance of examinations which for the last six years
stood at a mean grade of 5.9 against the expected mean of 7.5. It was also found that
education officers rarely inspected curriculum instructions. Most schools were inspected
only once in a year. The study recommended that inspection by education officers be
more regular, at least four times per school per year. The study also recommended that
more education officers be employed to cope with this demand in school inspection.
Teachers were also inadequate in number hence more teachers were required to comply
with the requisite Curriculum Based Establishment. The study recommended that further
research be conducted in feeder primary schools to secondary schools in Bondo to
establish the cause of poor performance in Kenya Certificate of Primary Education which
seemed to be a spill over into secondary examinations performance. The study also
recommended for further research that more comprehensive studies be undertaken to
include a larger population in order to ascertain whether or not the problem transcends
other districts. The findings of this study will hence be useful contribution to the corpus
of knowledge in the on-going study of student performance with particular reference to
performance in national examinations, in Bondo, Kenya, Africa and even internationally.