Factors contributing to female students underperformance in mathematics for secondary schools: a case study of Kasulu District.


Charles Oman

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Peter Kajoro

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Fredrick Mtenzi


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


This study explored the factors that contributed to the underperformance of female students in mathematics in a Secondary School in Kasulu. A qualitative research approach with a case study design was applied. The study sample size comprised of eight form four female students who were randomly sampled using a stratified sampling technique with two strata from science and art combinations. The interview guide and questionnaires were used as data collection tools. The study found out that factors such as Lack of peer support during learning process, lack of books in the school library and poor sanitation of school toilets affected them from doing well in mathematics. On the other hand, factors such as; excessive involvement in domestic activities, lack of cooperation from parents were the home factors that distorted their performance. The factors mentioned above made some students develop truancy and school dropouts which led to a small number of female students being enrolled in science disciplines. The study concluded that the poor performance of female students in mathematics varied significantly depending on the factors identified. Finally, the study recommended that the schools, as well as parents, should provide a good and supportive environment that will positively influence student’s attitude towards all subject mathematics included, teachers should use available resources in schools to improve students positive perception of mathematics, students need to be encouraged along with their subject combination option In line with their various career paths, mathematics teachers should work hand in hand to support students in mathematical function foundation, libraries full of books should be provided to all schools to help students to have variety of learning resources for the betterment of the learning. Similarly, the government should deploy more teachers of mathematics in secondary schools to enable many female students to be motivated to study mathematics.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library