Influence of Learner Related Variables on Academic Performance: A Case of Public Primary Schools in Mathira, Nyeri County, Kenya
The Government of Kenya has invested heavily in terms of human and monetary resources in the primary education system in an effort to ensure that all children are provided with access to quality education. Despite this noble undertaking, the academic performance among primary school pupils in Mathira, Nyeri County, has remained dismal. Several studies that have been conducted in the area have focused on instructional resources, school and home factors and ignored the contribution of learner characteristics as a possible causal factor to the poor academic performance. This study assessed the contribution of pupil related variables on academic achievement in public primary schools in Mathira Constituency, Nyeri County, Kenya. The objectives of the study were to; analyze learner variables that influenced academic achievement and to find out the relationship between learner variables and academic achievement in public primary schools. It had been hypothesized that there was no statistically significant relationship between learner variables and academic achievement among learners in public primary schools. The study was informed by the Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) propounded by Albert Bandura, and adopted an ex post facto descriptive survey design. The population of the study consisted of 104 head teachers in public primary schools in Mathira Constituency, Kenya. Simple random sampling using Gay (2000) 10-30% was used to select the sample which yielded 31(30%) head teachers. Data was collected through a questionnaire that consisted of 8 items administered to the sampled head teachers. Internal consistency of the instrument was ascertained using Cronbach alpha which yielded a coefficient of 0.817. Data analysis was done using descriptive and inferential statistics. The study established that pupils failed to complete assignments, truancy was rare, learner motivation was low, most parents did not assist in homework and the pupils’ ability to engage in self-directed learning was limited. Regression analysis revealed that academic achievement in primary schools had a lot to do with; pupil failure to complete assignment, parents’ assistance in assignment and pupil motivation. Based on these findings, the study recommended the need for education stakeholders to put in place measures to ensure that parents assist their children with homework, promote pupils’ self-directed learning skills, and counsel pupils on negative peer pressure.
Arulampalam, W. (2007). Am I missing something? The effects of absence from class on students’ performance. Sydney: John Wiley & Sons.
Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Beedawat, S. S. (1984). A study of academic under achievement among students. Indian Dissertation Abstract, 13 (1): 187-188.
Berliner, D. C. (2009). Poverty and potential: out of school factors and school success. Colorado: National Education Policy Center, University of Colorado. Available form: URL: http://nepc.colorado.edu/publication/poverty-andpotential
Boekaerts, M. (1999). Motivated learning: The study of student x situation transactional units. European Journal of Psychology of Education 14(4), 41-55.
Bong, M. (2001). Role of self-efficacy and task-value in predicting college students' course performance and future enrollment intentions. Contemporary Educational Psychology 26 (4), 553-570.
Canter, L., & Canter, M. (2001). Parents on your side: A teacher’s guide to creating positive relationships with parents. Los Angeles, CA: Canter & Associates.
Chabari B. E. (2010). Challenges facing effective implementation of free secondary education in public secondary schools in Kangundo District, Kenya (Masters’Thesis) Chuka University College, Chuka.
Chow, H. P. (2003). Exploring the predictors of educational experience and academic performance among university students in Regina. Alberta Journal of Educational Research. 49(1)
Clasquin-Johnson, M., Joubert, I., & Hartell, C. (2010). Hassling about homework? Here’s the answer. Mail & Guardian, 13 October.
Collett, P. (2007). Optional formative assessment and class attendance: Their impact on student performance. Global Perspectives on Accounting Education. 24(1), 64-89.
Creswell, J. W. (2014). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods approaches (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Desarrollo, I. (2007). Quality of education in Latin America and Caribbean Latin America. Desarrollo: Research work Institute, Paraguay.
Echaune, M., Ndiku, J. M. & Sangmm A. (2015). Parental involvement in homework and primary school academic performance in Kenya. Journal of Education and Practice, 6(9), 46–53.
Gay, G. (2000). Culturally responsive teaching: Theory, research, and practice. New York: Teachers College Press.
Hong, E., & Lee, K. (1999). Chinese parents’ awareness of their children’s homework style and homework behavior and its effects on achievement. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Montreal, 19–23 April.
Huang, C. L. (2009). Family, schools and Taiwanese children’s outcomes. Educational Research, 49(2), 115-125.
Joubert, C. M., & Hartell, . I. (2010). Hassling about homework? Here’s the answer. Mail & Guardian, 13 October.
Kaberere, V., Makewa, T., Muchee, T., & Role, E. (2013). Parental involvement in high and low performing schools in Gasabo District, Rwanda. Review of educational research.
Lesanjir, B. M. (2013). Factors influencing academic performance of girls in public primary schools in Sereolipi Zone in Samburu County. Kenya (Masters’ Thesis) University of Nairobi, Nairobi.
Marburger, D. R. (2001). Absenteeism and undergraduate exam performance. Journal of Economic of Education, 32, 99-110.
Mulwa, A. S. (2004). Factors influencing pupils academic performance in KCPE examination in Mutonguni Division, Kitui District. Unpublished M. Ed Thesis. University of Nairobi.
Rowe, F. A., & Rafferty, J. A. (2013). Instructional design interventions for supporting self-regulated learning: enhancing academic outcomes in postsecondary e-learning environments. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 9(4), 590-601.
Saxena, P. C. (1988). A study of interests, need patterns and adjustment problems of over and under achievers. Indian Dissertation Abstracts, 17 (3): 259-265.
Spernes, K. (2011). I buy paraffin so can read in the evening: A study from Kenya about parental involvement in school. Ostfold: University College. Norway,
UNESCO. (2005). Challenges of implementing free primary education in Kenya: An assessment report, Nairobi, UNESCO.
van den Hurk, M. (2006). The relation between self-regulated strategies and individual study time, prepared participation and achievement in a problem-based curriculum. Active Learning in Higher Education, 7 (2), 155-169.
Warren, C. (2010). Effects of at-home reading activities and parental involvement on classroom reading scores: Focus on the elementary school level. PhD dissertation. St. Charles, MO: Lindenwood University.
World Bank. (2006). Schooling access to learning outcomes: An unfinished agenda: An evaluation of World Bank support to primary education. Independent Evaluation Group. World Bank.
World Bank. (2008). Guiding principles for implementing School based-management programs. Washington. D.C World Bank Retrieved on 10th March 2019 (http://www.worldbank.org/education/economicsed).
Zaini, A. M. Z., Lime, C.T., Low, W.Y., & Harun, F. (2005). Effects of nutritional status on academic performance of Malaysian primary school children. Asia Pac J Public Health, 17:81-7.
Zentall, S. S., & Goldstein, S. (1999). Seven steps to homework success: A family guide for solving common homework problems. Plantation, FL: Specialty Press.