Causes of low enrollment in physics in national examinations in secondary schools in Bondo district, Kenya

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Samuel Oyoo

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Peter Kajoro


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


Persistent low enrolment in physics in national examinations in secondary schools in Kenya should be a cause for concern for all educational stake holders, and the government particular. There 18 need to enhance scientific literacy among the population besides producing more physics related professionals who are ready to face the challenges of the rapidly changing technology. The purpose of this study was to establish the causes of low enrolment in physics in 11ational examinations in secondary schools in Bondo District of Kenya. The study involved 375 From three students and their physics teachers from four secondary schools in Bondo District. The participant schools were two boys' schools, one girls' and one coeducational school. This study was a cross-sectional survey. Questionnaires and focus groups were used for data collection. Results of the study indicate that students are motivated to enroll for physics due to the many careers related to physics, the way the subject is taught and availability of teaching and learning facilities. At the same time, the main factors inhibiting enrolment in physics according to this study are, school's policies on subject selection, fear of failure. calculations in physics. physics teachers' behavior. negative influence from peers and teachers and. the school principal. Although most of these factors cut across both gender and school categories, negative influence was found to be more prevalent in females while teacher behaviour and availability of teaching and learning materials was more pronounced in the district schools. The implications of this study therefore include a need for more academic democratic space for the students in deciding policies on subject selection, strengthening career guidance. a change of the school principals' perception of physics and. a need for review of the physics curriculum.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library