The effect of class repetition on the academic performance of pupils in lower primary schools, Homa-bay sub-county, Homa-bay county Kenya
Aduda, Otieno Philip
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Class repetition is commonly used as a strategy for improving the academic performance of pupils in both public and primary schools in Kenya. Several studies indicate that despite anti-repetition policies having been enacted, this practice is still being implemented in a number of schools. The objectives of the study were: to investigate the prevalence of class repetition; identify the causes of class repetition, to examine the effect of class repetition on the academic performance of lower primary school pupils and to identify the intervention measures that teachers use to support low academic achievers among lower primary pupils in Homa-Bay Sub-County. Descriptive survey and causal-comparative designs were used in the study. Simple random sampling was used to select 30 head teachers and 30 class teachers while purposive sampling was used to select 42 repeaters to participate in the study. Data was collected using questionnaire and document analysis guide. The validity of the instruments was achieved by seeking the expert opinions of the supervisors. The researcher then conducted a pilot test of the instruments before the actual data collection process to ensure reliability. The reliability of the research instruments was determined using Cronbach’s Alpha and a coefficient of 0.97 was reported. The researcher adhered to ethical principles guiding research by explaining the purpose of the study to the participants prior to their participation, seeking their voluntary consent to participate, keeping them anonymous and keeping their responses confidential. Data was analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) window 22. The study revealed that class repetition is still prevalent in lower primary schools in Homa-Bay Sub-County. It was indicated that the main causes of class repetition include abusive caretaking, family socio-economic status, chronic absenteeism, behavioural and emotional problems, inadequate parental involvement in school activities and low academic scores. The study also established that class repetition has a positive effect on the academic performance of lower primary pupils in that pupils perform better after repeating a class. Finally the study established that reducing class size, reducing teacher-pupil ratio, as well as enhanced teaching, setting realistic individual academic targets and educational guidance and counseling are possible intervention measures for low achievers. The study recommended policy review on class repetition by the Ministry of Education, employment of more qualified teachers by the Teachers Service Commission, enhanced parental involvement in school activities and a streamlined school-based academic mentorship programmes as some of the ways of intervening for low academic performance.
- School of Education