Deploying adequate and efficient cost-saving measures in improving KSCE performance among students in public secondary schools

Introduction

It is widely believed that using public money to provide education will benefit society at large by generating increased wealth, improved employment opportunities and reduction in social problems. This scenario was evident in 1960 when massive increase in spending on education sector took 3.02 per cent of world Gross National Product (GNP). Also, in third world countries, increase in total public expenditure on education has been rising to the extent that it exceeds the rate increase in GNP hence the review on the benefits from education investment with the suggestion that spending on education be reduced or its growth be more strictly controlled (Eshiwani, 1993).

Global View

The experience in United States (US) and the rest of the world suggest that providing added resources to schools is an ineffective way to improve quality. This is evidenced by the fact that in US between 1960 and 2000, pupil teacher ratio fell almost 40 percent hence expenditure has increased and the former proved be an unproductive policy (Hanushek, 2003).This implies that in US, small schools incur high costs of operation. Also, in United Kingdom (UK), primary school expenditure diminished sharply as the size of the school increased up to the number of 80 pupils (Nafukho, 1991).

In India, large scale study on student achievement shows that increasing classroom size is effective as tests scores per rupee for various inputs is relative to teacher salary (Pritchett & Filmer, 1997).

Also, countries as wealth as Singapore used double-shift schools throughout primary system for cost effectiveness reasons (Aoki, Drabble, Marope, Mingat, Moock, Purphy, Paci, Patrions, Tan, Winter & Andyang, 2002).

Africa

In the province of Kwazulu Natal in South Africa ,for example, 2009 budget saw the number of no fee schools increase to improve quality of education to poor South Africans (Mkhize 2009).Additionally, effort to expand primary education in Burkina Faso through reduction of unit costs has been hampered by the high cost of teachers. However unit cost was lowered through better focused teachers training (Nafukho, 1991).

In Tanzania, secondary education in 1980 was tightly rationed for financial and manpower planning. The Tanzanian government started with a smaller system, accepted that post primary education should not be expanded beyond the requirements of the economy as gauged by the existing input –output relationships, and budgetary priority to primary education and literacy (Knight & Sabot, 1987).

On educational reforms in Uganda, curriculum review aim to remove many of the inefficiencies in the system such as those associated with the cost effectiveness of teaching individual subjects that are built into the curriculum statements, and system structures and implementation (Clegg & Bregman 2008).

Ultimately, Burkina Faso and Zambia have found multi-grade schooling to be the most cost effective way of making optimal use of classroom facilities and of providing complete primary schooling in sparsely populated areas (Aoki et al, 2002).

Kenya

In Kenya, since independence, there has been a remarkable improvement in her education system which is attributed to large government expenditure and change in the attitude of parents towards education (Kiugu, 1990). This was realized in 1963 when government of Kenya allocated 15 percent of recurrent expenditure to education for paying teachers’ salaries and providing instructional materials and equipment as local communities took the initiatives of building schools (Njeru & Orodho, 2003).

Kenya government has further continued to increase resource allocation to education in an effort to provide basic and higher education. This is realized in the Ministry of Education (MoE) expenditure from 2003/04 to 2007/2008 financial years which increased from Kshs. 109.8 billion in 2006/2007 fiscal year to 125.3 billion in 2007/2008 financial year reflecting government commitment to ensuring adequate grants to schools under Free Primary Education( FPE) program. Also, the recurrent expenditure to secondary education increased eight times from Kshs 1.06 billion in 2006/2007 to Kshs 7.8 billion in 2007/2008 fiscal year to cater for newly introduced Free Secondary Tuition. Similarly, recurrent expenditure on teacher education increased by 67.0 percent from Kshs 144.9 million in the 2006/2007 financial year to Kshs 242.0 million in the 2007/2008 financial year as observed in the table below.

Table 1: Recurrent expenditure of the Ministry of Education 2003/2004 – 2007/2008 financial years (Kshs. Million)

  2003/2004 2004/2005 2005/2006 2006/2007 2007/2008
General administration and planning 55,776.74 59,140.80 64,139.32 72,946.86 80,762.52
Pre-primary education 5.51 25.66 57 -50.45 50.45
Primary education 5,966.52 6,583.42 7,148.58 7,746.53 7,874.59
Secondary education 945.42 938.79 2,893.70 1,018.98 7,758.98
Technical education 1,171.40 1,546.55 1,291.09 2,819.00 2,900.00
Teacher education 192.83 210.41 177.72 144.87 242.04
Polytechnic education 175.13 209.77 193.14 353.12 407.56
Special education 466.01 1,538.2 571.72 567.99 584.40
University education 7,470.08 9,735.25 11,885.24 14,158.61 11,904.61
Miscellaneous 240.9 311.06
Total 72,410.54 80,239.91 88,357.51 99,806.41 112,485.61

Source: Economic Survey, 2008*Provisional

From the preceding information, it is clear that there has been rising cost on education and training denying the government the ability to provide adequate financing to other sectors of the economy. For example, with reference to 2004/2005 financial year, government expenditure on social services increased by 4.9 percent from Kshs 106.1 billion in 2003/2004 financial year to Kshs 111.3 billion. Most of the spending financed education service with recurrent expenditure taking the highest share of the total government expenditure on social service with 80.2 percent of the government finance going to Ministry of Education Science and Technology(Ministry of Education Science and Technology (MoEST, 2005). Further increase to investment in social service is realized in 2007/08 financial year whereby government is expected to spend Kshs 175.2 billion on social services compared to 149.5 billion in 2006/07 financial year .This translate to increase in recurrent expenditure to social sector by 16.6 percent mainly due to a 12.7 percent expected increase to education Ministry of Planning and National Development (MoPND, 2008).

The growth of recurrent expenditure on education is largely attributed to greater demand for education, change to education policies and world recession accompanied by inflation. For example, in 1963, the secondary school enrollment stood at 30,120 as compared to 1,382,211 in 2008. This increase in the number of pupils will imply enhanced expenditure on capitation grant, instructional materials and school operating costs. Provisions of administration and professional services have also led to the rise in the current expenditure. For instance, in 2005/06 financial year, increment in teachers and civil servants salaries contributed to the increase in expenditure in general administration and planning from Kshs 59.1 billion in 2004/05 to Kshs 64.1 billion in 2005/06 financial year (GoK, 2006). Another factor, which has led to increase in recurrent expenditure, is improving teacher qualification. To illustrate this, Ministry of Planning and National Development (MoPND) (2008) shows that the recurrent expenditure on teacher education increased by 67.0 percent from 144.9 million in the 2006 and 2008 financial years.

Structural changes in the curriculum such as introduction of 8-4-4 system of education in 1985 has also led to the rise of recurrent expenditure on education as it required more teachers as witnessed in 1984 when number of secondary school teachers rose by 5.9 percent (UNESCO, 1994). Furthermore, the government’s commitment to achieve the international development commitment such as Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Education For All (EFA), which saw major reforms in the education sector such as the launch and implementation of Free Primary Education (FPE) in January 2003, and the introduction of Free Day Secondary Education (FDSE) in 2008 have added to increase in education recurrent expenditure. To explain this, MOE expenditure from 2003/04 to 2007/08 financial year increased from Kshs 109.8 billion in 2006/07 to Kshs 125.3 billion in 2007/2008 fiscal year to ensure adequate grant to schools under FPE programme. Also, the recurrent expenditure to secondary education increased eight times from Kshs 1.0 billion in 2006/07 to Kshs 7.8 billion in 2007/2008 to cater for newly introduced Free Secondary Tuition. Otherwise, in 2009/2010 financial year Ksh. 5.2 billion was released for FDSE programme (Siringi 2010).

Although the Kenyan government has been committed in financing education, it experiences constraints on the continued growth of public spending on the sector. Therefore, there is need to curb educational expenditure. For example, Kenya Education Commission Report part 1, (1964) recommends that high non-teaching staff cost be examined for possible economies, most new secondary schools must be day schools, a minimum of four streams in boarding secondary schools and three in day schools and the policy of equal fees throughout the public secondary schools in Kenya among others.

Secondly, the report on the National Committee on education objectives and Policies (1976) notes with concern the rising cost of educational materials due to inflation and recommends that schools should obtain educational materials from alternative sources. In addition, for secondary schools to afford very expensive facilities such as for science and technical subjects, they should be consolidated into large units with at least four streams (8 classes) and grouping of schools together to share the use of expensive and scarce specialist teachers. The commission also points out the need to utilize resources that the country possess to maximum benefit through improving teachers education, expanding and strengthening management and co-ordination of education and training and production of educational materials that are culturally relevant, reasonably cheap and expeditiously delivered to those who need them.

Furthermore, in 1986, Kenya government issued Sessional Paper NO. 6 on economic management for renewal growth which saw the introduction of cost sharing in all sectors. The paper was critical to high recurrent expenditure on education and training. Consequently, it recommended control measures to be taken to reduce such expenses to manageable levels (Njeru & Orodho, 2006). Through this Sessional paper, the government decided to reduce the expenditure on formal education to about 30 percent, which would be achieved through increased cost sharing in financing of educational training and in the use of more cost effective measures in the utilization of education facilities, equipment, materials and personnel. (Ibid) further shows that, 1988 Presidential Working Party on Education and Training studied the education sector and recommended ways of ensuring delivery of education and training services within limits of the contained economic conditions and hence recommended the introduction of cost sharing in education. Also, in 1994/05, MoEST reduced allocation to recurrent expenditure on secondary education to below 2 percent. This was due to the previous implementation of Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAPS) through cost sharing in the 1988/89 fiscal year then further adjustment through Education Sector Adjustment Credit( EDSAC )in 1991/92 fiscal year which emphasized among others constraining employment of staff within educational institutions, provision of school textbooks in the disadvantaged and Arid and Semi-Arid Lands(ASAL) districts and placed emphasis on quality education and budget rationalization (Njeru & Orodho, 2000).

Still on the issue of cost- saving measures in Kenya education sector, Education Minister Sam Ongeri in Saturday Nation 19th, January 2010 said:

Related Topic  Factors affecting academic performance of secondary school students and possible solutions to tackle them

“We must continue the expansion of secondary schools with less than three streams to accommodate more students”.

Also, MoPND, (2008) identifies various cost saving strategies such as efficient utilization of teachers which includes raising the secondary school average teaching load from 18 hours to 20 hours per week, retraining some of the under-utilized teachers to specialize in the optional subjects for which supply exceeds demand and sharing teachers across school as deemed appropriate. Other cost-saving measures put in place included placing a lower limit on class size for optimal subjects and considering various options for retraining and deploying teachers below the cut off teaching load. The above measures were strengthened by Teachers Service Commission (TSC) order requiring Principals to have full number of lessons in addition to administrative duties (Daily Nation, Monday 25th, January 2010).

Theoretical Framework

The study was based on production function theory of education which according to Bossier, (2004) thinks of schools as producers of education through the employment of capital, labor and other input to produce specific output. The common inputs are things such as school resources, teachers’ quality, and family attributes, and the outcome is student achievement. Hanushek (2003) asserts that each of these resources should have a positive effect on student performance for the output of educational process – the achievement of individual student is directly related to input that are both directly controlled by policy makers.

Pritchett and Filmer (1997) say that education production function provides powerful insight into a positive theory of allocation of educational expenditures for resources are allocated to maximize educational output.

Conceptual framework

The conceptual model depicted in the figure above captures the independent variable; scarce educational resources and school processes, and the dependent variables; school processes and the progress indices, and their relationships. The major task to be accomplished in the model is to assess the effectiveness of cost – saving measures in improving KCSE performance in public secondary schools. In the model, two distinct aspects of schools are related: school input and school processes or policies and practices. According to Jesson, Mayston and Smith (1987) production of educational outcomes can be viewed as a flow process where inputs are linked with outputs via processes which are capable of differentiation. As such, the model denotes that schools KCSE performance is a function of the characteristics and the experience of individual students which depends on school resources and process as family background is put under control.

Generally, school output represents the KCSE performance within a school and is a function of school inputs, school processes and characteristics of individual learner.

Education Production Function

Johnson (1978) defines production function as the technology by which inputs are combined to produce outputs. The inputs measured in education are number of courses offered; dollars spend per student, number of books in the library and the likes. Outputs are measurable quantities such as number of earned credits and examination scores.

According to Bossier (2004) education production function thinks of schools as producers of education through employment of capital, labour and other input to produce specific output.

The common inputs are things like school resources, teachers’ quality, and family attributes, and the outcome is student achievement. Hanushek (2003) asserts that each of these resources should have a positive effect on student performance for the output of educational process –the achievement of individual student is directly related to input that are both directly controlled by policy makers such as the characteristics of schools, teachers, curricula, and so forth.

Pritchett and Filmer (1997) say that education production functions provide powerful insight into a positive theory of allocation of educational expenditure such that resources are allocated to maximize educational output.

Otherwise, education production function approach treats the school as a production unit which has an intake of students and uses resources such as teachers and books to add value in terms of increased educational attainment or examination results which is a single aggregate measure which summarizes school performance (Hurd, Mangan & Adnett, 2005).

Cost Saving Measures

The call for cost saving in education sector has been of concern in Kenya. Republic of Kenya (RoK) (1976) observes that Kenya must utilize the resources it possesses to the maximum benefit. As a result of the preceding information, Nafukho (1991) identifies increasing school size through consolidation as one of the strategies of reducing unit cost as experienced in USA when small schools were consolidated reducing the number of independent school districts from more than 80000 to fewer than 20000 by 1970. RoK and Musoga (2005) also put that utilization of educational resources can be realized through increasing school size from single to minimum of four streams in boarding secondary schools and three in day schools.

Kosgei and Rono (2004), suggest that existing facilities in small schools should be expanded than building new ones. Also, the issue of setting up new schools should be avoided instead the existing ones should be expanded and used optimally before new ones are constructed. Guellemette (2005) puts that those school systems that have smaller classes have to employ more teachers than otherwise, forcing them to hire less qualified teachers as seen in Canada. Hanushek (2003) points out that in United States (US), for example, a very popular recent policy is funding or mandating smaller class sizes. But as the evidence indicates this is an expensive and generally unproductive policy.

World Bank (2005) recommends increase of class size by reducing all secondary schools with very small sizes. For example, in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), all schools with very small class sizes would be gradually reduced by 28% which implies that there would be 1800 fewer secondary schools in 2015 compared to 2004. Furthermore, (ibid) suggests increase in overall pupil-teacher ratio in primary and secondary education without affecting quality through multi-grade teaching, increasing class size of small schools and rational deployment of teachers. Mehotra & Buckland (2001) further point out that where ratios decline from very high levels (above 45 or 50:1) there would be possible gains in terms of quality which could offset the increase in costs per pupil. They point that where ratios are reduced below 30-35, it suggests a level of teacher utilization that may be unaffordable.

RoK (2008) identifies efficient utilization of teacher resources by raising the secondary school average teaching load from 18 hours to 20 hours per week placing lower limit on class size for optional subject and retraining some of the underutilized teachers to specialize in the optional subject for which supply exceeds demand. On the same note, Kosgei et al., (2004) propose proper utilization of teacher resources by raising student teacher ratio through increased enrolment up to optimal level .Otherwise, as teacher input rise and the number of students decline, expenditure per pupil rises (Hanushek, 2003).

Siringi (2010) envisions a financial gap of Ksh 11.2 billion in the next financial year. Therefore, there would be sharing of teachers across schools to ensure better utilization.  Mehrotra et al., (2001) put that poor teacher deployment often results in utilization level below the system guidelines for workloads in terms of hours of work and sometimes in terms of pupil teacher ratio. Therefore, strategies such as linking promotion services to rural hardship services can have impact without such direct cost implications. So do redeployment of teachers as experienced in South Africa and Guinea. (ibid) further point that in the recruitment of Para-teachers as initiated in India in response to fiscal crisis has positive aspects as there was greater accountability of the Para-teachers as she or he is drawn from the community, better linkages with the community as the latter is involved in the recruitment process. Given the excess supply of teachers at the high salary rates, Para-teachers have been hired at salaries that are a third of the regular teachers despite the fact that there is no difference in terms of minimum prescribed qualifications between a Para-teacher and a regular teacher.

Aoki et al., (2002) suggest the use of private sector to expand education coverage through NGO or for profit private providers as this can lead to better quality education by mobilizing available management capacity, providing more choices for families and increasing competition among providers as in Peru. Otherwise, Clegg, Bregman and Ottowanger (2008) show that the existence of private schools is strength of the existing system as it is an effective cost sharing mechanism.

Related Topic  Factors affecting academic performance of secondary school students and possible solutions to tackle them

On teaching learning contact hours, Aoki et al (2002) observe that there are clear links between students learning and effective instructional time. Therefore, for cost effectiveness, the school calendar of 1000 hours per year should be adhered to. Also, rescheduling of school hours to permit more efficient use of physical facilities can increase the actual contact hours.

RoK,(1964) advocates that, most new secondary schools must be day schools. This statement is echoed by MoEST, (2005) and TSC (2007) which say that the government will promote the development of day schools as a means of expanding access and reducing cost to parents. Also IPAR (2007) recommends the abolition of public boarding secondary schools in Kenya.

Institute of Policy Analysis and Research (IPAR) (2007) mentions issue of governance as potential cost reduction strategy. They cite that governance is important at reducing cost of secondary school education and for optimal functioning of the schools.

Practices that reduce textbook cost should be adopted as well. IPAR (2007) observes that unit cost of textbook could be reduced by developing domestic capacity to prepare, produce and distribute textbooks at the lower costs. However, Hurd et al, (2005) and Hanushek (1992) estimated the cost effectiveness of additional books as 18 times that of teachers’ salary inputs in a study of secondary schools in North- Brazil. Also, a study in India found that extra spending on teaching materials was 14 times more effective than raising teachers’ salary inputs in enhancing learning outcomes.(ibid)further say that on reviewing nearly 40 studies, Fuller & Clarke (1994) claim there is a broad consensus among researchers that books and instructional materials are of relatively greater importance to improving school performance, at the margin than increasing inputs and increasing class sizes.

World Bank (2005) observes that unit cost of classroom construction can be reduced through evaluation of the choice of technology and building materials with respect to cost, quality maintenance requirements as in community managed construction and in use of locally available input.

Similarly, Shepherd (2009) focuses on better schools for less money as in United Kingdom. This were necessary through breakdown of construction cost which opened up avenues for rationalization of school construction methods and ultimately for controlling school construction cost and inspiring economies by setting cost limits on all proposed construction. Aoki et al., (2002)recommend the reduction of construction costs by as much as half through the use of more modest but still safe and adequate design standards; the use of lower cost local construction materials; and through mobilizing community labour to help build schools.

According to Boss (2009), in Springfield school, reduction in cost is achieved by avoiding filling position of retired non-teaching staff unless felt necessary after retirements or resignation or unless it was deemed essential. Otherwise, it is advisable not to fill but reduce in hours or make positions part time when full time personnel left. On electricity account and water bill, (Ibid) puts that they can be reduced by switching off electricity suppliers and concerted conservation methods.

Aoki et al (2003) show that multi-grade schooling as used in Colombia, Guatemala, Burkina Faso Zambia, the Philippines and other countries is the most effective way of making optimal use of classroom facilities and providing complete primary schooling in sparsely populated areas. Also, through double –shift schools, there is intensive use and more efficient use of school infrastructure, freeing up of resources for other priorities as used in countries as wealth as Singapore throughout system for cost effectiveness reasons.

Measures of Effectiveness

Coombs and Hallack (1972) put that cost have little meaning or value unless they are set against educational results and the results are weighted against the objectives. This implies that despite scarce resources, the effectiveness of cost – saving measures need to be assessed.

Ominde, RoK (1964) shows that large schools secure maximum economies of building and equipment as full use of certain space can only be obtained where there are three or four streams.

Kosgei et al., (2004) add that recurrent expenditure per pupil had an inverse relationship with the size of the school as increase in size of the school triggers reduction in recurrent expenditure and hence the school realizes substantial amount of savings. Rumberger and Palardy (2005) say that large schools are more effective in improving student learning than midsized schools. However, large schools have significantly lower test scores than medium sized or small schools.

According to Guellemette (2005) reducing class size is expensive. Also, later primary (three and six) and secondary grades finds no significant improvement in student performance from smaller classes. For example, in US, over the past quarter century a steady decline in pupil-teacher ratio had no corresponding measure of student achievement. (Ibid) further observes that a wide discrepancies in pupil-teacher ratio across countries and time show little relationships to achievements as in science andmaths test, countries such as South Korea with very large sizes routinely outperformed richer countries such as US and Canada where classes are much smaller.

Cooper, Valentine, Chariton and Melson (2003) indicate that modified school calendars were associated with higher achievement for economically disadvantaged students. They say that extended school calendar is a panacea to where there is a great need for additional schools and classrooms as the existing buildings are in use year round. They also show that proponents of modified calendars suggest that children learn best when instruction is continuous.

Abagi et al., (1997) says that if pupils do not get the specified contact hours, the system is inefficient hence syllabus may not be completed in time, extra time would be created for coaching pupils outside the normal classroom hours and teachers service become more costly. Otherwise, Aoki et al., (2002) points that meeting the required school calendar; 1000 hours per year indicates how efficient the curriculum is being implemented and implies how cost effective teachers’ salaries are.

IPAR (2007) observes that poor governance leads to rampant corruption at administration and board levels with regard to procurement of school equipment, consumables, learning materials and hiring of teachers and non-teaching staff. Therefore, poor board management increases transactional cost of secondary education.

Crooks (1983) on the effectiveness of distance education points that significant economies of scale are available in distance learning system for as the number of students increases so the average cost declines until when the number of students is very large, the average cost is very close to marginal costs. Secondly, distance learning materials are of quality and standard necessary to motivate students and minimize drop-out.

On education technology, Anderson (2005) says that it has been demonstrated to increase student learning cost effectively hence enhance quality of education both by increasing availability of up to-date teaching materials and providing the most highly qualified teachers with the means of reaching wider audience. In addition, Pritchett and Filmer (1997) add that education production function is determined by an underlying pedagogical process.

Research shows that in multi-grade schooling, student learning compares very favourably with learning outcomes in traditional classrooms. Also, double-shift schools can allow students adequate instructional time without impairing learning (Aoki et al., 2002).

Determining Factors in KCSE Performance

School performance in KCSE is a function of school resources. However, learning resources are likely to be subject to diminishing returns such that mathematics text book is likely to add substantially to learning effectiveness, but additional text books are likely to contribute successively smaller amounts (Hurd et al., 2005).

Another factor determining performance in KCSE is the school size. Rumberger and Palardy (2005) point out that some studies have shown large schools to have significant lower test scores than medium sized or small schools. However, other studies have revealed no significant effects of school size. (Ibid) further indicate that teachers expectations and efficacy as well as their instructional practices, affect student learning in high school. Also, social and academic climate of schools; amount of homework done by students, influence their achievements.

Other factor affecting KCSE performances are the school processes. This is due to the fact that schools have control over how school input are organized and managed, teaching practices they use and the climate they create for student learning. They also reveal that a number of policies and practices have been shown to affect performance. Some studies have shown that school organizational practices which include teachers and parents in decision making, affect student achievement in middle and high schools as in USA. However, communal organizations, including democratic governance had no impact on achievement (Rumberger et al., 2005).

Aoki et al (2002) identify teacher quality as the most important determinant of school effectiveness; KCSE performance. As such, Hanushek, (2003) says that high quality teachers are ones who consistently obtain higher than expected gains in student performance.

Research has demonstrated that a wide variety of individual student characteristics are related to student test scores, including demographic characteristics such as ethnicity and gender, family characteristics and structure and academic characteristics such as previous achievement and retention (Rumberger et al., 2005). Ibid further add that student characteristics influence student achievement not only at an individual level but also at aggregate or social level that is social composition of students in a school which in turn influence student achievement apart from the effect of student characteristics at an individual level. According to Aoki et al., (2002) student factors such as poor health can be a major cause of low learning achievement .Also, physical or learning disabilities effect achievement if proper assistance is not given.

Also, violence influence KCSE performance. Education Minister Sam Ongeri in TSC (2009) says that post-election violence of early 2008 caused disturbances, displacement of students and teachers, loss of learning time as well as closure of schools in the affected areas as a result drop in the candidates performance in KCSE.(Ibid) further identified school unrests as determining KCSE performance as they lead to destruction of school facilities.

Related Topic  Factors affecting academic performance of secondary school students and possible solutions to tackle them

Lastly, Hanushek (2003) points out that where there is low learning achievement, there is need to investigate both input and processes. Inputs that contribute to low learning achievement include irrelevant, poorly articulated; overloaded curricula, inadequate teaching and learning materials, inadequate instructional time, and unsuitable learning environment. Associated processes include poor teaching quality, inadequate utilization and monitoring of the curriculum and poor use of instructional materials, poor school management and instructional leadership.

Conclusion

Most public secondary schools do not have adequate learning and teaching resources. This resource inadequacy might have been the root cause of poor performance in KCSE from 2005 to 2009.  However, most public secondary schools were optimistic of adopting effective cost saving measures. This is very essential considering the fact that resources are scarce against many human needs and the desire to bring in fast developments to individual and the general society.  Public secondary schools had other than effective cost saving measures, other factors such as learners’ and teachers’ attitudes, school history among others which influence performance in KCSE.

Recommendation

Based on the foregoing, the following recommendations should be considered:

  • First, public secondary schools should utilize the available resources effectively to improve students’ performance in KCSE considering the fact that resources are scarce and government is spending most of her financial resource in education.
  • Second, public secondary schools should strive to secure maximum economies of buildings and equipment, reduction in expenditure and to realize substantial savings by increasing their school size to at least three streams unlike what was revealed of 42.9% single stream, 28.6% double stream and 28.6% triple stream.
  • Third, public secondary schools, particularly the newly found and with low enrolment should not hire unqualified teachers on BoG. Instead, qualified teachers should be sought to fill up their vacancies.
  • Fourth, MoEST should train public secondary school head teachers on identifying, implementing and evaluating effective cost- saving measures.
  • Fifth, Public secondary school should take a leading role in creating awareness to the parents, teachers and the entire community on resource utilization and their importance on good KCSE performance.
  • Sixth, Public secondary schools without strategic plans should develop them and ensure adherence to it for effectiveness.
  • Public secondary schools should identify and address other factors determining KCSE performance in order to correct the prevailing situation of poor performance in national examination as experienced in the last five year.

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