A study of poor and declining performance in mathematics among public primary school pupils in Gathenje zone, Oljoro-Orok division of Nyandarua north district, Kenya

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Kampala International University, Institute of Open and Distance Learning
The importance of mathematics in life of an individual, community, nation and the world at large cannot be underscored. Mathematics is a tool that is used to solve problems encountered in life. The subject is pillar in Scientific and Technological development in any nation in the world. More so it is an integrating factor in many subjects learnt by a pupil in school e.g. social studies, Religious Education, science just to name a few. Therefore, poor and declining performance in mathematics is a concern to the individual, society, nation and even the world at large. It is in view of the pivotal role of mathematics that triggered curiosity to study and identify the factors that have contributed to poor and declining performance in mathematics in Gathanje zone and consequently identify probable solutions and thus outline recommendations. In order to get the required information two types of instruments were developed and used to collect data. One type is questionnaire be filled by teachers and the other by pupils. The questionnaires were self administered in the six selected schools. The data collected was analysed using percentages for quantifiable responses. The data provided by the respondents was extracted and discussed as per item. The teachers teaching methods and pupils attitudes were discussed as well as their opinions towards improving teaching learning process. Most of the responses were analysed in table form. It was found that most of mathematics teachers rarely use any other resources apart from the chalkboard and they require the whole class to concentrate on what they write on the chalkboard. Most of the pupils on the other hand had negative attitude towards mathematics emanating from parents especially the mothers and the peers. It was found that the schools have substantial commercial resources provided through Free Primary Education Programme but the initiative of teachers to improvise supplementary ones was minimal. However it is believed that seminars workshops, insets and induction courses for teachers on teaching methodology would arouse the desire to make Teaching and Learning child centred and thus induce motivation and interest to the learners. Parents also need to be counselled to desist from instilling fear of mathematics to their children.
A research report submitted to the Institute of Open and Distance Learning in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the Award of the Bachelor of education in early childhood and primary education of Kampala International University
mathematics, performance