Chuka University

ASSESSMENT OF COUNSELLING NEEDS RELATED TO MATHEMATICS PERFORMANCE AMONG SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN MAARA DISTRICT, KENYA

MONICAH BUYATSI OUNDO

ABSTRACT

Mathematics  achievement  is essential for admission into various courses at post secondary school level of education in Kenya.    Therefore secondary school students in Maara District may miss out on strategic professional courses due to dismal performance in  the subject.    However, since  Guidance and Counselling services have been adapted as a support system to help students achieve their academic goals, knowledge about mathematics students’ counselling needs will assist school counsellors in designing appropriate mathematics counselling programmes. Therefore this study  sought to  assess counselling needs  related  to mathematics performance among secondary school students in Maara District, Kenya.    The study adapted a descriptive survey research design. The target population constituted 12,823 respondents comprising of 452 teachers and 12,371 students  in 48 secondary schools in the  District.  A sample of 378 respondents was obtained using simple random sampling  and purposive sampling techniques.  Three sets of questionnaires  were employed  as research instruments for data  collection.  Validity of the research instruments  was improved through opinions and expert judgment of  University Supervisors.  A pilot study was conducted in Meru  South District in order to improve on the reliability of the research instruments.    This reliability was estimated by use of Cronbach’s  Alpha  Coefficient  and  the coefficients obtained were  0.846  for students’ questionnaire, 0.782  for heads of mathematics departments’  questionnaire  and 0.707 for heads of counselling departments’ questionnaire.    The study findings  indicated that  secondary school students had  counselling needs  in relation to  mathematics regarding  attitudes,  study methods and test taking skills.  Moreover, the recommendations emphasized on strengthening of Guidance and Counselling services in secondary schools to enhance students’ attitudes, test taking skills and study methods with respect to mathematics  education.    It was  also  anticipated  that the findings and recommendations of this study  would  provide valuable reference for parents, teachers, school administrators and policy makers in education on counselling needs related to mathematics performance among secondary school students in Maara District, Kenya.   

 

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