Social economic factors and pupils Academic achievement in public primary schools, Karaba zone Mbeere Subcounty,Kenya
Mwangi, Peter Njunge
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There has been a persistent trend of underachievement of students in Karaba Zone compared to the broader Mbeere South Sub-County. Thus, the study examined the relationship between socioeconomic factors and pupils' academic achievement in public primary schools in Karaba Zone, Mbeere South Sub-County, Kenya. The study's specific objectives were to establish a relationship between a household's income level, family size, and parents' education level and pupils' academic achievement in primary schools in Karaba Zone, Mbeere South Sub-County. The geographical scope included Karaba Zone and Mbeere South Sub-County. The study was anchored on Walberg's Educational Productivity Theory. The study used a correlational research design to explore the relationships among socioeconomic factors and academic achievement. The target population for the study was the 14 primary schools within Karaba Zone, Mbeere South Sub-County, Kenya. The study used a combination of purposive sampling and stratified random sampling to select a representative sample of participants. The study used two sets of questionnaires, one for parents and one for teachers. In addition, headteachers were interviewed by an interview guide. Focus group discussions were also conducted with students. The validity and reliability of the research instruments were established through a pilot study. Data was collected through self-administered questionnaires, interviews, and FGDs. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and inferential statistics. The study found there is a significant relationship between household income level and pupils' academic achievement in primary schools. Pupils from households with higher incomes tend to have higher academic achievement than pupils from households with lower incomes. In addition, there is a significant relationship between household family size and pupils' academic achievement in primary schools. Pupils from smaller households tend to have higher academic achievement than pupils from larger households. In addition, it was found there is a significant relationship between parents' level of education and pupils' academic achievement in primary schools. Pupils whose parents have higher levels of education tend to have higher academic achievement than pupils whose parents have lower levels of education. In conclusion, there is a significant relationship between household income, family size, and parents' educational level on pupils' academic achievement. Pupils from families with higher incomes, smaller families, and parents with higher educational levels tend to have higher academic achievement. The study recommends that the Embu County Ministry of Education should establish an educational intervention policy to support children from low-income households. The study also recommends initiating sensitization campaigns and family planning educational programs within Karaba Zone. Additionally, the study recommends for the government and educational stakeholders to implement policies that promote universal access to basic education. The study suggests that future research should focus on a variety of aspects of academic achievement, such as students' intelligence quotients and cognitive abilities, teachers' morale and teaching quality, the impact of academic facilities and learning environments, the efficacy of government support and educational policies, and the role of school management leadership. The findings of this study are significant for various stakeholders in the educational sector, including teachers, school administrators, parents, policymakers and researchers. The study's findings can help to improve academic achievement in primary schools by informing the development of effective educational reforms and policies that target socioeconomic factors.