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IJSTR >> Volume 5 - Issue 8, August 2016 Edition



International Journal of Scientific & Technology Research  
International Journal of Scientific & Technology Research

Website: http://www.ijstr.org

ISSN 2277-8616



An Investigation Into The Failure Rate In Mathematics And Science At Grade Twelve (12) Examinations And Its Impact To The School Of Engineering: A Case Studyof Kitwe District Of Zambia.

[Full Text]

 

AUTHOR(S)

Francis Kafata, Dr. Serah K. Mbetwa

 

KEYWORDS

Engineering, Failure rate,grade 12, impact, mathematics, science, school.

 

ABSTRACT

The study assessed the Performance of the grade 12 students in Kitwe district of Zambia with respect to O-Level examinations in Mathematics and Science subjects in selected secondary schools of Kitwe District in the Copperbelt province of Zambia and its impact to the school of Engineering. Currently most of the colleges that offer engineering programs require that the applicant should have a minimum of credit grade in mathematics and science subjects while Universities such as Copperbelt University (CBU) has been enrolling applicants in the school of engineering with points from 6 to 8 which shows that the applicants should have very good grades (distinction) in mathematics and science subjects at O-Level examinations. In view of the aforementioned, the objective of the study was to investigate the failure rate in mathematics and science subjects at grade 12 O-Level examinations and its impact to the school of Engineering. A survey design which used both quantitative and qualitative aspects of research was used in the study. Questionnaires and interview schedules were used to collect data. The sample included One hundred and one (101) respondents from 9 Secondary Schools of Kitwe Districts. Three categories of respondents were identified: (i) Sixteen (16) Heads of Departments; (ii) Twenty five (25) Teachers of Mathematics and Science and (iii) Sixty (60) Grade 12 pupils. The methods used included three sets of structured questionnaires and personal interviews. The data was analysed using statistical software called STATA. Data was checked for validity, reliability, identification outliners and normality. The findings of the study revealed that there was a high failure rate in mathematics than in science hence it negatively affected the admissions to the school of engineering. Study also demonstrated that mathematics and science skills and theories should actually be taught with due attention that they deserve for the school of engineering to adequately tap talent from the grade 12 school leavers perhaps this could be the reason why the school of engineering has not grown in Zambia. This calls for the teachers and the pupils to change their negative attitudes towards mathematics and start looking at it as an important learning area that ought to be learnt with pleasure. The significant factors leading to poor performance included high teacher to pupil ratio due to overcrowded classes, negative attitude by pupils towards mathematics, lack of laboratory apparatus and chemicals, lack of laboratory space and lack of teaching and learning materials. The also study reviewed that the performance of mathematics as the major subject to the school of engineering was very poor and hence negatively impacted to the school of engineering as a student who fails mathematics at grade 12 O-Level examination cannot gain entry to school of engineering. This calls for the teachers of mathematics, school administrators, parents and all the stakeholders to get involved in the education of mathematics to pupils at secondary level of education.

 

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