Determinants of Performance of Public Primary Schools in Kenya: A Case Study of Gatanga District
Recently, the Kenyan government reaffirmed its commitment to enabling majority of its citizen’s access to education through establishment of free primary education program and subsidizing secondary education. However, despite all these efforts, the education sector continues to face myriads of problems, major one being skewed performance in Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and Kenya certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) across the many regions of the country. Gatanga district in Central province is one of the many districts witnessing poor performance in KCPE over the last eight years. As such, this study was designed to find out the underlying issues leading to poor performance in KCPE in the district with special focus on all primary schools in the administrative unit. The study adopted a descriptive research design. The target population was primary schools in Kenya and the study population is public primary schools in Gatanga district. A census approach was used to select all the 56 public primary schools. A questionnaire was the main instrument for data collection. Data was qualitatively and quantitatively analyzed. The major findings were that Gatanga public primary schools were overwhelmed by the high number of students coming with the introduction of free primary education. Discipline of pupils was found to have minimal influence on KCPE performance while stakeholders’ support was deemed necessary to supplement school administrations’ activities. The study concludes that introduction of free primary education in Kenya has greatly affected teachers’ teaching workload, hence poor performance schools. The study recommended employment of more teachers by the school boards to supplement the government-employed teachers as well as frequent in-service trainings for all teachers.
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