Pupils Attitudes Toward Science: Its Influence To Academic Performance

1383 words - 6 pages

The Strengthening of Mathematics and Science in Secondary Education (SMASSE) initiative in Kenya was in response to the continuous poor performance in Mathematics and Science despite the effort of employing qualified teachers, increasing salary, providing equipments and constructing laboratories and Mathematics classrooms. SMASSE-INSET program was made available and compulsory to all serving Mathematics and Science teachers in the country in 2004 at the district level. The Activity, Student, Experiment and Improvisation (ASEI) through Planning, Doing, while Seeing then Improving (PDSI) approach introduced through the SMASSE project is an attempt to improve performance. The purpose of this ...view middle of the document...

Researches on improving education quality indicate that it can be done through improving teacher quality, making them more effective in the way they teach (Ewing, 1995; World Bank, 2006).
In 1985, Kenya changed the education system from 7-4-2-3 to 8-4-4 (Mackay Report, 1981). The 8-4-4 system of education was intended to inculcate self-reliance and all-roundedness among graduates of every cycle of education, through emphasis on vocational subjects. In accordance with this report, the subject content also changed with some secondary content being moved to primary and A-level content moved to O-level. The changes also made science and mathematics subjects compulsory in all public secondary schools. The implementation of Mackay report (1981) found many schools ill equipped to start science classes coupled with demand for more teachers. The Government of Kenya (GOK) also changed its policy of providing teachers and grants to the 659 schools before 1988 and took responsibility of staffing all public secondary schools numbering 2126. Due to GOK resource constraints, cost sharing in education was officially introduced (Republic of Kenya, 1988b).
According to National Development Policy (Republic of Kenya, 2007), Kenya is aiming to be an industrialized country by 2030. However, Mathematics and Science subjects are poorly performed, yet industrialization relies so much on the two (Kibe et al., 2008). As an intervention, the government of Kenya, through the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Government of Japan (GOJ), through Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), started an in-service education and training known as Strengthening Mathematics and Science in Secondary Education (SMASSE) project for teachers. The project was launched and piloted in 1998 in 9 out of the 72 districts in the country. The pilot was conducted in Murang‟a and Maragwa in Central Province, Kisii and Gucha in Nyanza, Butere Mumias, Kakamega and Lugari in Western, Kajiado in Rift Valley, and Makueni in Eastern. SMASSE aimed at upgrading the capability of youth in Mathematics through in-service education of teachers in response to poor performance and achievement witnessed in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) results (The Kenya National Examination Council, 1998).
According to the final evaluation results of phase one (SMASSE report, 2003c), the in-service achieved its output successfully, which included establishing a system of training district trainers at National INSET centre in Nairobi, establishing a system of training in pilot districts, and strengthening the role of National INSET. The project outputs are sustainable from the viewpoint of finance and human resources (Strengthening Mathematics and Science Education in Secondary Education, 2001). The results also pointed that in-service education and training can be regularly conducted at the national and district levels by cost-sharing (Republic of Kenya, 1988b).
In 2003, the INSET was made...

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