Factors Affecting Academic Performance in UPE Schools in Uganda: A case study of Buyende Town Council
Ngobi, S. M Erikwaine
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The general objective of the study was to examine the factors affecting Pupil Academic Performance in UPE Schools in Buyende Town Council, Uganda. The specific objectives included: finding out the effect of absenteeism on the pupils’ academic performance, establishing the effect of class size on the pupils’ academic performance and establishing the extent to which parents/guardians’ attitude affects pupils’ academic performance in UPE schools. The study adopted a cross sectional design supported with qualitative and quantitative approaches. An accessible population of 166 respondents was identified from which a sample size of 113 respondents was drawn. The overall response rate of 83.1% was obtained. Key findings obtained reveal that absenteeism (.715**), class size (.579**) and attitude of parents or guardians (.692**) positively influenced the pupils’ performance. Based on the study findings, several conclusions were made notably fewer pupils attended classes regularly, engaged more in domestic work, participated more in selling wares on market days, many parents did not respond to school meetings, teachers regularly attended school as others were absent and penalised. Class size conclusion includes; many pupils studied in small classes, could not improve on reading and writing abilities and were not manageable. The teachers were demotivated to provide good supervision and assessment of pupils. Attitude conclusions: Parents ranked education as a number one source of success, although fewer parents did not. Many parents could not afford lunch and uniforms, fewer pupils learnt skills and children were encouraged to attend school regularly. Based on the, conclusions, a number of recommendations were made namely; come up with work-pay system, whistle blowing facility, inspectorate departments, constructing more teachers’ houses and teachers’ transfers while for class size recommendations included, UPE pupils’ – teachers’ census, introduction of the morning and afternoon sessions and constructing libraries, class blocks and health blocks and for parents-guardian attitude, inspection/supervision of parents, more community awareness programs, more parent responsibility and activate parent school management committees.