Journal of Education & Social Policy

ISSN 2375-0782 (Print) 2375-0790 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/jesp

Poor Performance in National Examinations by Public Primary Schools in Kakamega North Sub-County, Kenya
Eric W. Wamalwa, Felix A. Mugasia, William K. Sugut

Great importance is attached to basic education in Kenya. Article 53. (1) (b) of the Constitution of Kenya (2010) states that every child has a right to free and compulsory basic education. Consequently,great importance is attached to performance in the national examinations, which mark a transition from primary to secondary level education. Examination results remain the major way of not only measuring acquisition of knowledge but also determining those who transit to the next level and the quality of schools to be joined by the pupils. Despite the emphasis placed on performance, many pupils in the country continue to post very poor results in national examinations. Given the above, this study set out to determine some of the factors that contribute to poor performance in national examinations at the primary school level. This study was conducted in selected schools of Kakamega North Sub-county. A descriptive survey was used in conducting the study. The participants were head teachers, Boards of Management chairpersons and teachers who oversaw examinations. Open-ended questions were used to provide the required information. Content analysis was also used to analyze provided information. Three main categories of factors were identified as heavily impacting pupils’ performance, viz; parental factors, school leadership factors and factors associated with staffing of teachers. The study recommends the adoption of a multi-sectorial approach to solving problems bedeviling primary education in the sub-county.

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