Assessment of attainment of language and arithmetic skills among pupils in public primary schools in Kieni west sub-county, Nyeri county
Wangechi, Margaret Macharia
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ABSTRACT The study was motivated by the rising concerns on 'quality of education provided through free primary education in Kenya. Measures of quality education fall into five categories, namely: attainment, success in transition, monitoring of school education, resources and structures indicators. Indicators of attainment of basic literacy and numeracy skills in primary education include skills in mathematics, reading, and writing. Reading, mathematics and writing are considered as indicators of educational attainment because they provide essential knowledge tools and provide the foundations for lifelong learning. This study carried out an assessment of attainment of language and arithmetic skills among pupils in selected public primary schools in Kieni West Sub-County, Nyeri County. The study was guided by three objectives which include; assessing the level of arithmetic skills, writing and reading skills in a bid to help address challenges of educational attainment in primary schools in Kieni West Sub-County. The target population was 6158 respondents. A sample size of 646 respondents which translated to 10% for all the pupils and 20% for the head teachers and teachers was selected through stratified random sampling in which enrolment was the major consideration. A pilot study was conducted on a population of 66 respondents and adjustments made to the research instruments. Data was collected using questionnaires for teachers and standardized assessment tests for pupils as well as interview schedule for District Education Officer (D.E.0.). The collected data was analyzed through qualitative and quantitative methods and the results presented in tables and bar charts. The findings of the study provided information on the level of learning in primary schools, in order to take effective measures regarding the implementation of curriculum at school level. The. Study found that the level ?f arithmetic, reading and writing skills among the pupils in public. Primary schools in Kieni West Sub-County was average. The major challenge facing performance ~n reading and writing skills was the prevalent use of vernacular (Kikuyu) in communication while performance in mathematics was hampered by learners’' negative attitudes towards the subject. The study recommended that use of English and Kiswahili in communication be made mandatory and guidance and counselling should focus on changing learners' negative attitudes.