Survey on Poor Exam Results in Bungoma County

Class absenteeism, lack commitment by teachers, negative attitude towards education and early pregnancies led to poor KCPE results in Bungoma County last year.

The findings are contained in a survey conducted by Quality Assurance and Standard Officers drawn from the Ministry of Education Headquarters, and field officers carried out in Bungoma County, between May 2, 2017 and June 2, 2017 for the purpose of ascertaining the cause of low achievement in 2016 KCPE.

The County Director of Education Jacob Wanyeko, indicates that during the survey, 17 schools and 31 teachers were assessed which was spread in Kimilili, Bumula, Bungoma West, Webuye West, Bungoma Central and Bungoma East Sub-counties translating to 60 per cent coverage.

He further said, last year, 22 schools scored mean grade of 350 marks and above, while 69 schools got between 300-349 marks.

However, 231 schools had mean grade of between 250 and 299 marks, while 430 schools had between 200 to 249, while the rest had less than 200 mean grade in a total of 908 schools.

According to the report, Kiswahili was the best done subject with a mean grade of 50.8 per cent followed by mathematics (47.74), social studies (47.67) English (46.46) and finally Science with (47.23) with a mean of 239.92 which was below average.

On leaner’s absenteeism, one of the head teachers, Fredrick Kinjo, said it was a challenge to contain pupils in school more so in Mt. Elgon Sub-County

He noted that most pupils were engaged in money making businesses including selling of local brew, fetching of fire wood and grazing of cattle in the forest, which was brought about by low income in their families.

Wanyeko adds that on general observation, it was established that most schools had been registered by the Ministry of Education, though some had not yet acquired title deeds to authenticate ownership.

He further stated that most schools did not have adequate sanitation facilities when compared to prescribed pupil- toilet ration.

The report further notes that majority of the schools had reliable source of water, bore holes and piped water, but there was still an acute shortage of water.

On teacher’s commitment, Mt.Elgon Sub-county Quality Survey Officer, Musungu Murakwa, says that despite all teachers being qualified and duly registered by Teachers Service Commission (TSC), there was general laxity in supervision of curriculum at all levels.

It was indicated in the report that teachers’ performance appraisal and development did not reflect the reality on the ground.

Teacher’s preparedness was wanting, according to the survey, as it was noted that most tutors assessed did not prepare their professional records as required.

Murakwa says records of work covered were not availed in most schools since most teachers did not adhere to professional records as required.

David Amukhuna, a Quality Assurance official from Bungoma central who served as a member of the team that conducted the survey, revealed that there was negative attitude towards education from both parents and pupils.

He noted that most parents were convinced that there were several unemployed persons after school hence they did not take education matters seriously.

This made parents not to be concerned on whether or not their sons and daughters went to school, and were not bothered to check what they leaned while in school, he added.

Another major factor that hindered performance was early pregnancy, mostly in Mt. Elgon Sub-County and communities living near the forest.

Muragwa said out of several cases of pregnancy occurring in the area, very few were reported and action taken. He called upon residents to report such cases so that they can be followed up and action taken against the perpetrators.

Other aspects indentified during the survey include inadequate teaching resources, poor syllabus coverage and wastage of time while administering commercial tests.

Meanwhile, Wanyeko has called for sensitization among parents to enable them to play their role effectively and for teachers to strictly adhere to professional code of ethics.

He also urged stakeholders to collaborate and improve on teaching, documentation and record management in schools.

Source: Kenya News Agency