Murei Gilbert Kiptum
The objectives of Kenyan secondary school physics curriculum is to build a firm foundation for further education and training as well as technological and industrial development. Physics curriculum emphasizes the experimental approach which should prepare the learner to teaching and learning scientific concepts and ideas in the modern technology. Hence by the end of the course, the learners should be able to use scientific knowledge to enhance development of industries and propel country to achieve vision 2030. Despite the importance of physics, the performance and enrolment of students in Physics has not been impressive. The study seeks to establish factors that contribute to low enrolment of physics in Kenyan secondary schools. This study will specifically looked into students’ attitudes towards physics subject, the difficult that physics teachers have in handling physics topics and the relationship between KCPE performance in science and physics performance. The study adopted descriptive survey design. The study was conducted in Nandi North sub County and the target population was teachers and students in 35 secondary schools in the area of study. The study employed the use of stratified and simple random sampling to select the respondents. Questionnaire and document analysis was used in data collection. It was established that students have a formed opinion on the nature of the subject, majorly on difficulty level and having mathematical manipulations which scares them off. Teachers find most of the topics in physics easy to handle, however, some topics like electromagnetic induction, Electronics and Waves tend to be challenging. Document analysis of KCPE results revealed that learner’s background in primary science was weak. There are far fewer high school students enrolled in physics and realizing the required grades, thus the Kenyan vision 2030 remains just a mirage. It was recommended among others that teachers teaching Physics and Mathematics should work in consultation with each other so as to help the students in appreciating the role of Mathematics in Physics .The findings have implications for designing interventions and identifying pedagogical techniques that link primary science and secondary school physics.
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