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Impacts of Learning Resources on Students’ Performance

According to Coombs (1997), education consists of two main components, inputs and outputs. Input consists of human and material resources whereas outputs refer to the goals and the outcomes of the educational process. Both are dynamic aspects and in order to improve the educational performance, there must be an in-depth examination of the effects of each component on the other.

Learning resources (LR) are basic requirements that can bring about good academic performance in students. Therefore, the availability of such resources enhances the effectiveness of the schools in boosting the academic performance of their students in the long run.

Maicibi (2003) asserts that any learning institution is composed of two kinds of resources, the first one is human beings who form the most important part of the organisation and the second is non-human, which includes such things as books, library, classrooms and other relevant items like desks in addition to chalkboards and computers. He further affirms that applying the right quality and quantity of human (workers) is vital in manipulation and shaping the non-human resources in order to bring out the required or desired output in the long run.

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Consequently, the output is a highly dependent variable in that it is so much reliant on the value of the human resource applied. This means that when quality output is desired then there has to be an element of experienced human resource to that is able to fully utilize and influence the available resources to instill knowledge of high degree to students, in addition, to tightly control the pupils to get the most out of these resources.

The recent economic constraints coupled with an increased number of knowledge seekers and the need for expansion has resulted in a scarcity of the human resource which, consequently has had an impact on the outcome of the performance in the education sector in Kenya to be specific. This research work, therefore, will look to scrutinize the effects of various learning resources and their contribution to students’ performance in their Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examinations, a case of Kericho County.

Statement of the Problem

Learning resources are the most detectable components of government educational provisions and therefore, stakeholders are always careful to take note of their absence in a learning institution. However, the Kenyan government in the previous years has taken a number of measures to improve and promote Secondary School Education (SSE).

The increased government expenditure in support of the SSE is an evidence of the government investment struggles towards the betterment of this program. One of the government policy statements is to channel a greater proportion of education expenditure to Learning Resources (National Policy of Education (NPE), 2012). Effective implementation of this policy should benefit most if not all secondary schools in terms of enough Learning Materials.

The resources play a vital role in the students’ learning process and unavoidably improves the student’s academic performance. This, therefore, results in calls for the provision of adequate Learning Resources in order to facilitate the Secondary School Education. Currently, most Secondary Schools are faced with multiple problems which include the inadequate provision of Learning Resources (LR) as a result of lack of an effective plan.

Moreover, the increase in a number of enrolled students since 2008 in secondary schools is another problem since most schools lack adequate resources to support the large number. The impact of increased enrollment on SSE is the inappropriate implementation of the set plans hence resulting to constrain on existing LR such as teachers, classrooms, teaching and learning materials including textbooks, library, laboratory and computers (Gatende, 2010).

Furthermore, this has led to a frequent public outcry about poor performance in most secondary schools, especially in Kericho County with a total of 81 public secondary schools of which 59 are Free Secondary Day Schools. In the international academic world performance competition, Kericho County has been on the bottom-line characterized by poor performance in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examinations.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study will be to examine the effects of Learning Resources on students’ performance in their final K.C.S.E Examinations in Kipkelion West District, Kericho County, Kenya.

Objectives of the Study

The main objectives of this study will be:

  1. To determine how the availability of learning resources used in teaching and learning in Secondary Schools in Kipkelion West District, Kericho County affect students’ performance in KCSE Examinations.
  2. To establish how adequacy of physical facilities influences students’ performance in KCSE Kipkelion West District, Kericho County.
  3. To establish how adequacy of human resource influence students’ performance in KCSE in Kipkelion District, Kericho County.
  4. To assess the extent of resource utilization and its effect on students’ KCSE performance SSE in Kipkelion District, Kericho County.
  5. To examine how government’s contribution in providing learning resources in relation to Public Secondary Schools affect the students’ KCSE Performance in Kipkelion District, Kericho County.

Research Questions

Research questions in this particular study will be:

  1. In what ways does availability of Learning Resources used in SSE Kipkelion West District affect students’ performance in KCSE?
  2. How does adequacy of physical facilities influence students’ performance in KCSE in SSE in Kipkelion West District?
  3. How does adequacy of human resource influence students’ performance in KCSE in SSE in Kipkelion West District?
  4. What is the extent of resource utilization in SSE in Kipkelion West District?
  5. How does the government provision of Learning Resources in Public Secondary schools affect students’ performance in KCSE in Kipkelion West District?

The significance of the study

This research work is important as it aims in assessing the influence of the various human and non-human resources for learning in SSE and how they influence the final outcome (good performance) of which they are intended. The final result findings will bring out areas of major strengths and weaknesses concerning the human and non-human resource scarcity, availability, rationales as well as, their integration with other non-human resources.

Consequently, the data will be useful to various institutions and education authorities involved in the policy formulation, development, and implementation. In addition, the final findings would become available to the personnel in the Ministry of Education (MoE) who would see to it that relevant programmes are implemented to correct the problems identified by the research, which is majorly improving the adequacy of learning resources.

It is hoped that this research will increase the literature availability of learning resource to assist education evaluators to establish ongoing education improvement processes and quality monitoring networks to guide the teachers on proper manipulation and use of the non-human learning resources through the use of instructional strategies for appropriate delivery of curriculum, hence inform policies in teacher education. The final findings of the research work are also hoped to form a basis for further research involved with the planning of learning resources used in SSE.

CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW

Introduction

Review of literature is crucial because it offers understanding and contributions to a different school of thoughts on the research topic. It bridges and lessens the gap in undertaking more research on the topic as well as familiarizing researchers on the work already done by giving appropriate conclusions and recommendations by earlier experts.

Since the study is about the concept of learning resources and how they impact on the performance of SSE students’ in their KCSE examinations, the review of literature will give a viewpoint of the previous arguments on the same study topic as discussed herein.

Concept of Learning Resources

Adequacy of Learning Resources refers to the satisfactory or acceptable quality and quantities of material resources and physical facilities. According to DFID (2007), adequacy of instructional resources such as textbooks which are the main guiding material is the most cost-effective input affecting student performance. In this context adequate supply is usually assumed to be a minimum of one textbook per three students.

Padmanabhan (2001) argues that the adequacy of Learning Resources determines the efficiency of an educational system. For effective learning, textbook and resource materials are basic tools, their absence or inadequacy makes teachers handle subjects in an abstract manner, portraying it as a dry and non-exciting. It is also important to have appropriate personnel plan for adequate instructional materials and physical facilities to support educational effort.

Therefore Scarcity of textbooks, libraries and physical facilities according to Coombs (1970), will constraint educational system from responding more fully to new demands. In order to raise the quality of education, its efficiency and productivity, better learning materials, and physical facilities are needed. This research will look into the adequacy of LR in SSE since the implementation of SSE in public education.

Learning Resources and Performance

Learning Resources basically comprises of two components that is the material and physical facilities (DFID, 2007) Studies done in the past with regard to availability of learning resources in education reveal that LR is not always available in schools. This inadequacy of these resources has been of serious concern to educators.

Learning as Lyons (2012) affirms is a complex activity that involves the interplay of learning resources, students’ motivation, and skills of teaching in addition to, curriculum demands. Availability of learning materials, therefore, enhances the effectiveness of schools as they are the basic resources that bring about good academic performance in the students.

The necessary resources that should be available for teaching and learning include material resources and physical facilities such as laboratories, libraries, and classrooms. If these are limited then educator lack a guiding tool to instill knowledge effectively.

Effects of Availability and Adequacy of Learning Resources

Adeogun (2001) discovered a very strong positive significant relationship between instructional resources and academic performance. According to Adeogun, schools endowed with more materials performed better than schools that are less endowed. This confirms the study by Babayomi (1999) that private schools performed better than public schools because of the availability and adequacy of learning materials. Mwiria (1985) also supports that students performance is affected by the quality and quantity of learning materials.

According to DFID (2007), the inadequacy of learning resources such as physical facilities interferes with the learning process and which, calls for their development, maintenance, and allocation by all efforts of all stakeholders. Mwiria (1985) noted that institutions with adequate facilities such as textbooks stand a better chance of performing well in examination than poorly equipped ones.

Therefore, without considering skills of educators, poor performance could be attributed to inadequate learning materials and equipment. The study will look into the adequacy of learning resources SSE in Kipkelion District of Kericho County.

A Summary of the Review of Literature

To conclude on the review, the provision of SSE in public schools has created the need for an evaluation of the adequacy of learning resources which seems to be overstretched, hence has an effect on the performance of the schools in Kipkelion District of Kericho County.

World Bank (2013) indicates that resource availability in schools is inadequate in terms of student textbook distribution, and infrastructure availability to support the growing number of students. This study, therefore, aims at putting measures in place to check on the availability of learning resources necessary so as to improve the performance of SSE in the district.