INFLUENCE OF MATERIAL AND SOCIAL REINFORCERS ON MATHEMATICS PERFORMANCE IN PRE-SCHOOLS IN MIRANGINE DISTRICT, KENYA.

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Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) News letters 2005-2009 indicates that
mathematics has been interchanging the last position (5) with the second last. Candidates sit
for five papers; Mathematics, Science, English, Social Studies and Kiswahili. The mean
standard scores for five subjects in the five years were 39.43,42.72,42.92,43.11 and 44.96
Mathematics, Social studies, Kiswahili, English and Science respectively. From the data it
can be realized that apart from being the poorest subjects in performance, it is the only
subject whose range and the next is more that one mean score; 3.29 compared to Social
studies. According to the National Journal of Science and Mathematics education (2009), the
poor performance could be attributed to the poor background the pupils have had in the lower
levels starting from pre-schools. The journal notes teachers level the blame to poor
preparedness in the preceding levels.
The National Centre of Early Childhood Education NACECE has identified various
objectives to be realized in pre-schoolers’ education. Among the objectives includes:
Appreciating mathematics in real life, develop early mathematical concepts and skills,
perform simple additions and subtractions from a set not exceeding nine.  Others include
number values; develop positive attitudes towards mathematics among other objectives.
Despite this, Phonex institute, a research farm based in Nairobi in study carried out between
January and March 2010 noted that about 10% of class 8 pupils in Kenya can not solve a
class 3 mathematics problems.

Author: 
MUTITU PATRICK GAKIRIA

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