Master's Thesis from the year 2016 in the subject Pedagogy - General, grade: B (3.0), , course: Masters of Art in Educational Management, language: English, abstract: The study aimed at investigating on the factors influencing poor performance in science subjects in secondary schools in Shinyanga Municipal Council. The study used survey research design by applying quantitative technique. Six public secondary schools out of eighteen public secondary schools were sampled for the study; it involved 415 respondents. The form four National Examination results for the past five years in selected secondary schools were used to show trend of performance in science subjects. Structured questionnaires were used to obtain information, and the criterion used in sampling was simple random method. The study found out that the factors influences poor performance were; Inadequate number of teachers, Lack of teaching and learning materials, Poor teaching methods (theory) and students' attitudes towards science subjects. Also the study found out that the suggested solutions to the problem of poor performance in science subjects in secondary schools in Shinyanga municipal council were; presence of adequate teachers, availability of science teaching and learning materials. The study conclude that Scarcity of qualified Science subjects' teachers and inadequate availability of teaching and learning materials are the major factors influencing poor performance in science subjects in secondary schools in Shinyanga municipality. The study recommends the following; the ministry should ensure enough availability of qualified science subjects' teachers in secondary schools, and to make sure there is availability of adequate teaching and learning materials like books, teaching aids, specimens, chemicals and laboratory apparatuses, with conducive learning and friendly environment at schools.
Poor performance in science subjects is increasing from time to time among secondary schools students in Tanzania, East Africa as well as in Africa and the globe at large in recent years. (Jidamwa, 2012)
According to Science Education in Europe (2011) International student assessment surveys carried out under agreed conceptual and methodological frameworks with a view to providing policy-oriented indicators, in Europe indicates that there is decrease of relative standings in the performance of science subjects among European members.
Ajaja (2008) found out that poor performance in science subjects in secondary schools has been a serious concern to educationists, business organizations and government at large. This problem has been due to a lot of factors which include the absence of incentives and motivation on teachers so as to increase their efficiency and effectiveness in order to bring about improved performance of students.
According to Kiyaga (2013) science subjects remain burden of Uganda's education even as more efforts are put into promotion of the academic field. Results for the 2012 Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) exposed the continued poor performance of science subjects compared to arts subjects.
Poor performance in science subjects is increasing from time to time in many secondary schools in Tanzania in recent years; the poor performance in science subjects is seen in national examination results. According to data collected from the National Examinations Council of Tanzania (NECTA), the pass rates (grade A to D) for the National Form Four Examination results in Mathematics were about 31%, 24% and 18% in 2007, 2008 and 2009, respectively, as well as the pass rates for Chemistry were 33%, 31% and 28%, Biology pass rates were 46%, 41 and 43% while physics pass rates were 29% 26% and 27% respectively for the year 2007, 2008 and 2009 (Hamilton et al., 2010).
According to Osaki (2007) despite significant achievements in improving access to quality education over the past two decades in Tanzania, there is continuation of poor performance in mathematics and science subjects at the primary and secondary school level which raises concerns over whether, or not the education system can supply graduates who possess the competencies required of them within the emerging technology sector. The failed rates in both mathematics and the sciences remain high, with little improvement at either the primary or the secondary school level, mathematics scores have dropped drastically from 20% to 40% for the past three years.
As explained by (Tema & Mlawa, 2010) at MKUKUTA annual assessment meeting report, it was observed from the recent statistics released by the National Examination Council of Tanzania (NECTA) that there was a trend of massive failures in science subjects in secondary schools in Tanzania. It is in actual fact getting worse year after year. There is 12% increase of poor performance in science subjects higher than the proportion of failures five years ago.
Education sector stakeholders have called on the government to see the need to arrest the rising incidence of students doing poorly in science subjects, warning that failure to take immediate action would make Tanzania run dangerously short of scientists (Shekighenda, 2010).
The increase of poor performance and failures in science subjects in secondary schools may lead to a big loss for both individual students whose aim was to continue with higher education and pursue a carrier, but all of that may be compromised as a results of poor performance in science subjects, and this may affect the nation, whose aim is to have professionals in various science fields like medicine, communication, industries, building, and construction in order to achieve its technological developmental goals (Rogers & Ford 2007).
In the study of Mabula (2012), it was shown that there is a continuation of failure, and poor performance in science subjects in secondary schools National Examinations, and there is a continuous dropout from science subjects, the drop out is more serious in Physics and chemistry subjects as compared to mathematics and biology which are compulsory to all students.
In recent statistics given out by the National Examination Council of Tanzania (NECTA) shows that the trend of massive failure is in actual fact getting worse day by day. In 2009 about 82 percent of students who sat for CSEE failed in Mathematics; this is 12 percent higher than the proportion of failures five years ago (Chief Inspection Officer, 2010).
Science and technology are keys to socio-economic development in an increasingly interconnected world. It is therefore imperative that developing countries like Tanzania to embrace science and technology as a vital tool for accelerating the country's socio-economic development. Science and technology education are thus important to national development in Tanzania, in different perspectives like the use and application of knowledge, skills, modern tools and materials of science and technology which add value to human life everywhere in the world, as in medical, environmental and engineering sciences. (URT, 1996).
There are various studies conducted on the issue of poor performance in science subjects, and trend of performance in science subjects, some of the studies includes; the study looking on the contributory factors to poor learner performance in physical sciences in KwaZulu-Natal Province with special reference to schools in the Pinetown District which was done by (Dhurumraj, 2013) whereby he found out that lack of resources, language of learning and teaching (LoLT), the socio-economic status of learners, parent involvement, large classes, the developmental level of learners, and the curriculum are among the factors for the poor performance in science.
In the study on the factors influencing academic performance of ward secondary schools case study in Moshi municipality, the study done by (Komba et al., 2013) it was found out that; there is poor performance in ward secondary schools, and the factors influencing their bad performance are lack of teachers, un-conducive teaching and learning environments, and poor teaching and learning materials.
The study on the causes and solutions for dismal performance of science subjects in secondary schools in Tanzania, the study was done by (COSTECH, 2007) the studies found out that poor infrastructure, and lack of teachers are the factors led to the poor performance in science subjects.
There is poor trend of performance in secondary schools especially in science subjects. As elaborated in the research on the performance the Audit Report on School Inspection Programme for Secondary Schools in Tanzania, (2008) found out that Tanzanian education system is facing a major challenge in ensuring quality education to create a competent human resource base in science. This can be seen from the poor performance of students in examinations, and especially in mathematics and science subjects. With reference to school inspectorate programme by the CAG report, 70 percent of students who sat for their Certificate of Secondary Education Examination (CSEE) in 2007 failed the subject of mathematics, and a significant number of failures were also present in other science subjects.
The researcher therefore sees there is a need to investigate on the factors influencing poor performance of science subjects in secondary schools in Shinyanga Municipality, since there is no similar study done on the factors influencing poor performance of science subjects in secondary school in Shinyanga municipality, the researcher sees the research gap and decides to conduct the study in order to investigate, and provide information on what are the factors influencing poor performance of science subjects in secondary schools in Shinyanga municipality, also to give out recommendations on what are the possible solutions to the problem of poor performance in science subjects among secondary schools in Shinyanga Municipal Council.
The performance of science subjects in secondary schools in recent two decades has been rapidly dropping in Tanzania; the trend shows there is speed downfall of performance in science subjects especially in secondary schools. And the failures in science subjects may results into shortage of science experts like doctors, engineers, and teachers. Therefore there is a need to investigate on what are the root causes and factors influences poor performance in science subjects, and how to eradicate the problem. Hence this study will investigate on the factors influencing poor performance in science subjects in selected secondary schools in Shinyanga...