Verily, there are reasons why that small sub-county dayschool 81 kilometres away from any accesible road gets a mean score of 1.9 while that giant national school 15 metres from Thika Superhighway gets a mean score of 10.5.
The world works with rules, we have input and output. Between input and output we have process. There is something called IPO (Input Process Output). It is a structured methodology for capturing and visualising all of the inputs, outputs and the process required to transform input into output.
I will classify the factors affecting academic performance of a school into two. The external factors and the internal factors.
The external factors are the factors which indirectly affect the academic performance of a school. These factors can not be controlled by the school even though they affect the academic performance. For the school to control the external factors they will need to use internal factors.
One example of external factors is entry behaviour. Truth be told, entry behaviour affects the academic performance of a school, but indirectly. In 2019 KCSE exam, from national schools alone we had 338 E’s, 856 D-‘s, 988 D, 1442 D+ and 2417 C-. Most of these students got 400 marks in KCPE. What happened? In 2021 KCSE exam, we had a student called Njoroge Kevin who scored 207 marks in KCPE but got B in KCSE from a subcounty school and Najma Mohamed with 113 in KCPE but B in KCSE from a subcounty school. What happened? There is no school tht directly commands the entry behaviour they want. It is the ministry of education that decides but if the results improve then the ministry will be forced to increase the entry behaviour.
Another example of external factors is students’ discipline. Take a closer look at the results of schools that experience fires. You will notice something common, a drop in results and overall dismal performance. Strike is an external factor because once it begins it is so hard for teachers to control just like it is so hard for the commission to control industrial action by the teachers. The school can only use other internal factors to influence discipline, for example strengthening the guidance and counselling department. The commission can only reduce teachers’ strikes by weakening their unions (Fact).
The other example of external factors is the number of teachers. Truth be told some schools are very under-staffed. In some regions the student teacher ratio is 70:1 against the required one of 40:1. Overcrowding in classrooms reduces teacher interaction with students hence teachers can not get into the personal academic needs of the students. In the long run this affects results.
The other external factor is staff turnover. Truth be told, if a teacher began teaching a form one class until form three then he left, when another teacher comes he might not be able to fill the void left by the previous teacher. The connectedness, proximity and familiarity with the previous one was better. Relationships take time to be built.
School calendar is also an example of external factors. It’s the ministry that makes school calendar, not schools themselves. The shorter the calendar, the more the pressure, the less the work done, the poorer the results.
Attitude is also an external factor. I am 100% sure if you look at the KCSE analysis for any high school near you you will realise that number last was either Mathematics or Chemistry. Reason? Attitude.
The last example of external factors is Ministry – Commission cold war. The commission controls human resources while the ministry controls all the other resources apart from human. The roles are not clearly defined hence some officers overstep their mandate. This affects schools and then the results.
Internal factors are the factors that directly affect the academic performance of a school. They come from teachers and students. There are two main internal factors, that is; Syllabus Coverage and Syllabus Understanding.
Coverage is done by teachers while understanding should be done by students. Most schools don’t do well because teachers cover so much but there is nobody who is understanding.
Understanding of the syllabus by the students constitutes of content mastery, content retention then content delivery. Most students leave blank spaces in exams because they lack content.
For content to be retained students should have an academic mindset, teachers should have the right academic skillset while the school should have the right academic cultures.
By Sam VIDAMBU.
Vidambu is an Academic Mentor with over 1900 high schools in Kenya running his academic programs.
His Starting Early Academic Mentorship Programs revolve around Syllabus Coverage, Syllabus Understanding Strategies, Content Mastery, Content Retention, Content Delivery, Proper Revision Techniques, Time Management Strategies, Working Timetable, Study Book, Classroom/Staffroom Intercordination, Academic Cultures, Study Habits, among other great topics.
He is a Trainer of Principals during KESSHA conferences and teachers.
He is the President of Global Student Mentorship Center, He is an author, and a Lecturer.
To Have Vidambu launch their Candidates Academic Mentorship Programs in your school and be a Class Mentor kindly call/text/whatsapp 0743480435 (Sam Vidambu).
His Website Is www.samvidambu.com.
His Facebook Page is Sam Vidambu (The Previous Articles By Him Are Found On His Facebook Page).
Kindly Forward This Article To Whatsapp Groups of the Teachers, Guidance and Counselling Teachers, Parents and All The Principals you know.
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