Impact of the Pre-School Programme on Mathematics Performance in Lower Primary Schools of the Makuyu Zone, Murang’a South District

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The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of the pre-school mathematics
programme on mathematics performance in the Lower Primary Schools of the Makuyu Zone,
Murang’a South District.  The difficulties and problems hindering good performance in
mathematics by Lower Primary school children in the Makuyu Zone seemed to emanate from
some parents’ tendency to ignore taking their children for pre-school education.  The effect of
that could result in denying children a precious start to their future mathematics performance.
The objectives of this study were:- to investigate continuity of teaching methods from pre-school
to lower primary school; to compare the relationship between performance in mathematics of
children who had had pre-school education with those who had not; and to evaluate the teachers’
perception on the value of pre-school mathematics;  and to evaluate the children’s perception
with regard to mathematics learning. This study used a descriptive survey design to achieve the
set objectives. In the Makuyu zone there are 31 public primary schools with a population of
3,593 boys and 3,404 girls, making a total of 6,997 pupils at the lower primary level. In these
primary schools there were 15 male teachers and 25 female teachers, making a total of 40. The
31 primary schools had a total of 31 head teachers. A sample population of 60 pupils, 30 teachers
and 10 head teachers was chosen for the study, which used open-ended questionnaires and
interview schedules for data collection. The data collected was coded and analyzed using
descriptive statistics and the results presented in tables and charts. The study found a persistent
indication that a discontinuity exists between pre-school learning methods and those in the lower
primary schools. The study recommends that the teaching methods of the lower primary should
be amended to make allowance for the stages of a child’s development and provide opportunities
to encourage children to improve in their ability to understand and apply mathematical concepts.

Kamau Bonface

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