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International Journal of Economy, Management and Social Sciences, 2(6) June 2013, Pages: 423-431

TI Journals

International Journal of Economy, Management and Social Sciences

ISSN
2306-7276

www.tijournals.com

Influence of Pupil-teacher Ratio and School


Location on Pupils Performance in Exit Examination
in Kenyas Free Primary Education Program
J. Kanjogu Kiumi *, S. Mukunga Kibe, S. Wanyoike Nganga
Department of curriculum & educational management, Laikipia University, Box 1100-20300, Nyahururu, Kenya.
AR TIC LE INF O

AB STR AC T

Keywords:

The re-introduction of free primary education (FPE) in Kenya in 2003 increased enrolment at this
level of education from 5.9 million pupils to 7.6 million pupils. By 2011, enrolment stood at 9.2
million pupils representing a 63% increase rate in nine years. This enrolment growth increased
pupil-teacher ratio (PTR), a factor that has been associated with below average performance by a
majority of pupils in the exit examination, specifically Kenya Certificate of Primary Education
(KCPE) examination. However, there is paucity of research to confirm this assertion. Studies done
outside Kenya have indicated that apart from PTR, school location (rural vis-a-vis urban) has a
bearing on pupils academic performance. This study, therefore sought to determine whether PTR
and school location influence performance in KCPE examination. Documented data was collected
from 59 primary schools in Ol kalou Division, Kenya and subsequently analysed using chi-square
statistic at .05 alpha level. Although the relationship between PTR and KCPE examination
performance was statistically insignificant (p>.05) performance depicted an upward trend towards
low PTR schools. Relationship between KCPE examination performance was statistically
significant (P<.05) with urban schools recording better results than rural schools. The study offers
useful insights to the government on how to improve pupils performance in the KCPE
examination.

Pupil-teacher ration
School Location
Pupils Performance
Free primary Education
Kenya

2013 Int. j. econ. manag. soc. sci. All rights reserved for TI Journals.

Introduction
At independence in 1963, Kenya was faced with challenges relating to the supply of trained human resources and access to educational
opportunities at all levels of education. To address these challenges, the government set the first education commission (popularly known
as the Ominde Commission) in 1964. The commission inter alia recommended that primary education in the country should be made free
(Republic of Kenya, 1964). This recommendation was consistent with the 1964 Kenya African National Union (KANU) party manifesto.
Having formed the government in 1963, KANU put a proposal to the government on the need to offer seven years of free primary
education (FPE) whose curriculum was to be geared towards the production of citizens inspired by the need to serve the nation (Otiende, et
al., 1992). The FPE programme was subsequently implemented in three phases: grade 1-4, 1974; grade 1-6, 1976 and grade 1-7, 1979
(Sifuna & Otiende, 1994).
In 1988 the government introduced cost-sharing in the provision of primary education following a World Bank recommendation on the
need for parents to cost share financing of education in the county (World Bank, 1988). The cost-sharing financing strategy led to dropout
by pupils from the low-income households, thereby reversing the earlier enrolment gains made in the primary sub-sector of education. To
address this challenge, the government re-introduced the FPE programme in 2003. This initiative pushed up enrolment from 5.9 million
pupils to 7.6 million pupils, representing 29% enrolment increase between 2002 and 2003 (UNESCO, 2005). By 2011, enrolment had shop
up to 9.6 million pupils representing a 63% increase in nine years (Republic of Kenya, 2011).
In spite of the noted enrolment gains, the FPE program has been experiencing several challenges. These challenges inter alia revolve
around financing and supply of teachers. For instance, it has been observed that annual allocation per pupil (Ksh 1,020) has not only been
low but the same has been disbursed erratically by the government (Muindi, 2012). Consequently, parents in some schools have been
charged for services, including supplementary assessment examination and infrastructural improvement. This scenario if unaddressed may
impact negatively on enrolment and pupils academic progression in primary schools.
Although issues surrounding the free education fund cannot be underrated, the high pupil-teacher ratio (PTR) has been cited as the greatest
obstacle towards full realization of the goals envisaged in the FPE initiative. Indeed, in the sessional Paper No.1 of 2005, the government
acknowledged that high PTR, particularly in the densely populated areas was undermining the FPE undertaking (Republic of Kenya, 2005).
*Corresponding author.
Email address: kiumijk@yahoo.com

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The move by the government to recruit 5,682 primary school teachers last year (2012) reflects the magnitude of shortfall in teachers supply
in the countrys primary schools (Siringi, 2012). The high PTR has lowered the much needed teacher support, thereby denying children
opportunities for socio-academic growth (UNESCO, 2005). Kumba (2011) has buttressed this observation by pointing out that majority of
the FPE graduates lack the capacity to read critically, express ideas clearly in written English, and solve problems in mathematics and
sciences.
The foregoing observations are not farfetched if it is realized that the national mean score in the KCPE examination averaged at 245.5
marks out of a possible maximum of 500 marks between 2005 and 2007 (Ministry of Education, 2007). It is also notable that out of 77,614
pupils who sat for the KCPE examination in 2011, only 48.28% attained 250 marks and above (the cut off mark for secondary school
admission) and only 5,806 (0.75%) scored over 400 marks (Kiumi, 2012). Pupils performance in the KCPE examination in the study area
(Olkalou Division) has been even worse if it is realized that pupils performance averaged at 227 marks between 2003 and 2010 (Nyandarua
District Education Office, 2011).
Although the view that high PTR could be undermining pupils performance in the KCPE examination seems plausible, there is paucity of
research to support this opinion. It needs to be noted that studies done outside Kenya (e.g., Mosha, 1989; Chimombo, 2005) have indicated
that school location - rural vis-a-vis urban may have an influence on learners academic gains. This brings to the fore the following
questions. To what extent is the noted below average performance in the KCPE examination related to high PTR?. Is there a likelihood that
school location could also be contributing to the low performance by pupils in the KCPE examination? These are the issues that this study
sought to address.

Literature Review
The most widely used measure of success in formal schooling is learners cognitive gains. This refers to knowledge and skills gained by a
learner as measured through formal examination (Earley, 1998; Clarkson, 1991). In Kenya, learners academic achievement at the primary
education cycle is assessed through the KCPE examination.
Achievement in formal schooling should, however not be pegged sorely on academic gains. This is in view of the fact that any education
system worth its name should also emphasize on non-cognitive aspects of learning, specifically character training, nurturing of talents and
preparing learners to become responsible citizens (World Bank, 1988).
School quality is often inferred from learners achievement (i.e., quality of output) at the end of the learning cycle. However, this measure
in most cases fails to control for the influence of two critical variables, namely pupil/student-teacher ratio and school location. The latter in
this context refers to whether the school is in a rural or urban setting. The influence of the two factors on learners performance forms the
core of discussion herein below.
(a) Pupil/Student Teacher Ratio
Pupil/student-teacher ratio refers to the number of learners enrolled in a given level of education divided by the number of teachers in the
system (Williams, 1979). Pupil/Student-teacher ratio is a significant measure of quality in education. This is because, in a system where the
ratio is high learners may lack personal attention from the teacher while the less academic learners are likely to lag behind. Consequently,
learners progress through the curriculum may be hindered, a factor that may lead to dismal performance in the exit examination
(Nkinyangi, 2003; Katunzi & Ndalichako, 2004).
In a low pupil/student-teacher ratio learning environment, learners are more likely to get more one-on-one time with the teacher. Moreover,
teachers may get to know the individual students better, thereby enhancing teachers capacity to identify areas where the student may be in
need of assistance. In the final analysis, learners get more value out of their education. These observations lends support to the view that
other factors held constant (e.g., learners family background, material inputs, and so on), teacher factor is the most powerful determinant of
learners academic achievement (Glass, 1982).
(b) School Location
Generally speaking, pupils/students in rural areas are educationally disadvantaged compared to their urban counterparts. This observation is
reinforced by views gleaned from literature - research based and otherwise. For instance, it has been observed that rural schools face
challenges relating to isolation, poverty and limited job opportunities for school leavers. Isolation denies rural schools the advantages of
urban-based resources (e.g., libraries, electricity, technology etc.) that might enhance learning gains (Capper, 1993). The poverty of many
rural communities, on the other hand limits parents ability to provide for their children and to augment their children education with
resources at home that can spark and sustain interest in learning in the absence of the teacher. Bickel & Lange (1995) have further averred
that because of limited employment opportunities, learners in rural areas do not see any financial benefits to attend or succed in school.
Consequently, most rural based learners end up performing poorly in the exit examination which limits their chances of moving up the
education ladder.
Sheldon (2012) has also noted that rural schools tend to harbour (this is particularly so in the less developed countries) untrained or
unqualified teachers, which is a great disservice to learners. Furthermore, due to distance factor, most rural schools rarely get visited by
school inspectors or quality assurance officers for that matter. This implies that teachers in rural schools are less likely to get the much

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Internat ional Jour nal of Economy, Mana ge ment and Social Sciences , 2(6) June 2013

needed supervisory advise from their professional seniors. Moreover, due to lack of attractive amenities (e. g., good houses, clean water,
electricity and so on) a significant prorportion of teachers posted to rural schools either apply for transfer immediately or become habitual
absentees. This makes it difficult for rural schools to keep classrooms staffed. Added to that is lack of facilities in most rural schools. For
instance, a 1988 World Bank report observed that most rural schools in Africa were characterized by dilapidated buildings, missing or
broken desks and chairs and a lack of good ventilation and sanitation facilities (World Bank,1988). These circumstances, the report noted
had the net affect of discouraging school attendance and hampering schools efforts to enhance learning gains by learners.

Purpose and Objectives of the Study


The purpose of the study was to find out whether pupil-teacher ratio (PTR) and school location have any influence on pupils performance
in the KCPE examination. Specifically, the study sought to achieve the following objectives
(i) To find out whether there is a statistically significant relationship between PTR and pupils performance in KCPE examination
(ii) To determine whether there is any statistically significant relationship between school location and pupils performance in KCPE
examination

Research Hypotheses
In order to achieve the targeted objectives, the following null hypotheses were formulated and tested at .05 alpha level.
Ho1: There is no statistically significant relationship between PTR and pupils performance in KCPE examination
Ho2: There is no statistically significant relationship between school location and pupils performance in KCPE examination.

Conceptual Framework
Drawing from the literature reviewed in this study, it was conceptualized that PTR and school location are critical antecedents of successful
learning outcomes. The study further hypothesized that learners personal characteristics, specifically intellectual endowment and socioeconomic background may moderate the relationship between the aforementioned antecedent (independent) variables and pupils
performance (dependent variable) in KCPE examination. However, the study controlled learners personal characteristics (intervening
variable) through randomization. Thus, schools were randomly selected (through systematic and simple random sampling) with a view to
ensure that all schools, irrespective of characteristics of pupils they had presented for the KCPE examination between 2003 and 2010 had
an equal chance of being included in the sample. Figure 1 illustrates the conceptualized relationship between the variables subsumed in this
study.

Figure 1. Relationship between school characteristics (independent variables), pupils personal characteristics
(intervening variables), and pupils performance in KCPE examination (dependent variable).

Methodology
The study utilized descriptive research design of the ex-post facto type. Ex-post facto design is used in a situation whereby the independent
and dependent variable(s) have already interacted. Therefore, the investigator cannot manipulate the independent variable(s) with a view to
determine its/their effect on the dependent variable(s). In this regard the effect of the interaction between the independent and dependent
variable(s) is determined retrospectively (Kerlinger, 1973). The design was deemed ideal in the sense that the study sought to determine
retrospectively the effect of PTR and school location (independent variables) on pupils performance in KCPE examination (dependent
variable).

J. Kanjogu Kiumi et al.

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Int ernational Journal of Ec onomy, Mana ge me nt and Soci al Sc iences , 2(6) June 2013

Instrumentation
Data were collected through a questionnaire which was self-administered to a sample of 59 head teachers. Of the 59 head teachers, 46 were
in charge of rural schools while 13 were heading urban schools. The sample was generated through systematic and simple random sampling
in line with Krejcie & Morgans (1970) table for determining sample size from given populations.
The questionnaire had two sections labeled A and B. Section A gathered data on head teachers personal characteristics, specifically age
and gender. Section B solicited data on PTR, school location, and 2003-2010 KCPE examination mean scores.
The Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examination average scores (2003-2010) in the sampled schools ranged between 150 and 350
marks out of a possible maximum mean score of 500 marks. The mean scores were divided into three groups: 150-199; 200-249, and 250350. This constituted level of pupils performance (LPP) index which was categorized as very low; low, and moderately high LPP
respectively as shown in Table 1.
Table 1. KCPE Examination Average Scores (2003-2010) by LPP Category

KCPE Examination
Average scores

LPP category

150-199
200-249
250-350

Very low
Low
Moderately high

Validity and Reliability of the Research Instrument


One of the major challenges in the social science research is determination of the extent to which a given research instrument will generate
results which are objective and accurate and, thus generalizable to the entire population (Mugenda and Mugenda, 1999). In line with this
observation, efforts were made to validate the instrument with a view to ensure that it was capable of eliciting the desired data. This was
accomplished in three ways. First, extensive literature search on the effect of PTR and school location on pupils/students academic
performance was carried out. This made it possible to identify the relevant content areas to be captured during the itemization stage of the
instrument. Secondly, items in the instrument were prepared in line with the objectives of the study. Thirdly, the instrument was piloted in
the neighbouring Ol joro orok Division. Items that were found to be unclear or open to misinterpretation were rephrased before the main
study was executed.
Using the statistical package for the social science (SPSS) version 11.5 computer programme, nominal scale data (i.e., respondents and
school characteristics) were analyzed through frequency counts and percentages while hypotheses were tested using chi-square (2) statistic
at .05 alpha level. Computation of 2 coefficient was based on the schools distribution in the KCPE examination score ranges displayed in
Table 1. It was hypothesized/expected that the distribution of schools in the three mean score ranges would be even. If there was no
discrepancy between the expected and computed distribution, the influence of the independent variable in question on pupils performance
in KCPE examination was held to be statistically insignificant. However, if statistically significant discrepancy was established, the effect
of the independent variable in question on pupils performance in KCPE examination was held to be statistically significant (Wiersma,
1995., Bryman & Cramer, 1997).

Results and Discussion


The result herein are presented in two sections. Section one covers questionnaire return rate, respondents characteristics, and school
characteristics. Section two presents the results of testing the two hypotheses which were germane to this study.

Questionnaire Return Rate


All respondents returned their duly filled questionnaire. It needs to be noted that KCPE examination has turned out to be the most
competitive examination in Kenyas education system, a factor that has generated parent-school conflict in low performing schools (Kiumi,
2012). In this regard, headteachers might have seen it prudent to participate in the study for their input may offer insights to the
government on how to enhance KCPE performance and thus mitigate parent-school conflict.

Respondents Characteristics
This section highlights respondents characteristics. These are summarized in Tables 2 and 3 with respect to gender and age respectively.

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Internat ional Jour nal of Economy, Mana ge ment and Social Sciences , 2(6) June 2013

Table 2. Respondents Distribution by Gender

Gender

Male
Female

46
13

78
22

Total

59

100

The data in Table 2 reveals that 78% of the head teachers in the study sample were males while 22% were females. This indicates that there
was no gender parity in headship position in the study area. Male domination (or adrocentricity) of educational management has been noted
in other studies in Kenya (e.g., Machila, 2005; Gachoki, 2006). This phenomenon has been associated with the male image of
management whereby management is perceived as a field that is less appealing to women (Bush, 2003). This perception is predicated on
the belief that management demands masculine traits such as aggressiveness, domination and competition rather than feminine behavioural
characteristics such as shared problem solving, negotiation and collaboration (Al khalifa, 1992). Hall (1993) has, however argued that the
association between management and masculinity has not been established as a fact. Therefore, perpetuating this traditional stereotype
only serves to discriminate women in the allocation of leadership positions in education, a factor that may impact negatively on girl child
education due to lack of role models in educational leadership (Sifuna & Chege, 2006).

Table 3. Respondents Distribution by Age

Age group
(in years)

36 40
41 45
46 50
51 55

2
18
27
12

3
31
46
20

Total

59

100

The data displayed in Table 3 shows that majority of the head teachers (46%) were in the 46-50 years age bracket while very few (3%)
were below 41 years of age. A closer analysis of the data further reveals that 97% of the head teachers were above 40 years of age implying
that schools in the study area were staffed with relatively old head teachers. Based on Reyss (1990) observation, it can be argued that an
overwhelming majority of the head teachers were more likely to be committed to their administrative duties.

School Characteristics
This section presents the characteristics of schools in the study sample. These are summarized in Tables 4, 5, and 6 in regard to PTR,
school location, and KCPE examination average scores for the period running from 2003 to 2010 respectively

Table 4. Distribution of Schools by PTR (2003 2010)

PTR

20:1
30:1
40:1
50:1
60:1
80:1

1
10
30
11
6
1

2
17
51
18
10
2

Total

59

100

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Int ernational Journal of Ec onomy, Mana ge me nt and Soci al Sc iences , 2(6) June 2013

It is revealed from Table 4 that there was a big disparity in PTR in the sampled schools between 2003 and 2010. For instance, while slightly
over half (51%) of the schools had attained the Ministry of Educations recommended PTR of 40:1 (Republic of Kenya, 2005), only 19%
had surpassed this staffing norm. Furthermore, a third (30%) of the schools were way below the recommended staffing norm. In other
words, they were understaffed which implies that pupils in these schools were educationally disadvantaged. This may perhaps explain the
observed below average performance (see Table 6) by pupils in KCPE examination in the sampled schools.
Table 5. Distribution of Schools by Location

Location

Rural
Urban

46
13

78
22

Total

59

100

A perusal of the data presented in Table 5 reveals that an overwhelming majority of schools (78%) were located in rural areas, while only
22% were urban based. The fact that the study area was largely rural may account for the observed distribution pattern of the sampled
schools in the study area.
Table 6. Distribution of Schools by KCPE Examination Mean Scores (2003-2010)

Mean score

150 199
200 - 249
250 350

18
36
5

31
61
8

Total

59

100

A look at Table 6 clearly shows that 54 (92%) of the sampled schools in the study area had registered less than 250 KCPE mean score from
2003 to 2010 while only 8 (8%) schools had recorded more than 249 KCPE mean score in the same period. Based on the LPP schema
formulated in Table 1, it can be argued that majority of pupils in the study sample were in the low KCPE examination performance
category during the period under study.

Results of Hypotheses Testing


The study tested two null hypotheses using 2 statistic at .05 alpha level. The results of testing the two hypotheses is presented below.
Ho1: There is no statistically significant relationship between PTR and pupils performance in KCPE examination
Table 7 summarizes the results of 2 test with respect to Ho1

Table 7. 2 Distribution of Schools by PTR and KCPE Examination Performance (2003-2010)

KCPE Mean Scores


PTR

150 199

200-249

250-350

20-1
30-1
40-1
50-1
60-1
80-1

1 (100)
0 (0)
10 (33)
4 (36)
3 (50)
1 (100)

0 (0)
9 (90)
16 (53)
7 (64)
3 (50)
0 (0)

0 (0)
1 (10)
4 (14)
0 (0)
0 (0)
0 (0)

1 (2)
10 (16)
30 (51)
11 (19)
6 (10)
1 (2)

Total

19

35

59(100)

(Figures in parenthesis represent percentages)


2 = 11.019; Df = 10; P>.05

Total

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As indicated in Table 7, nineteen schools (32%) had registered less than 200 mean score in the KCPE examination between 2003 and 2010
implying that they were in the very low LPP category (see Table 1). The distribution of the 19 schools depicts a pattern worth noting. For
instance while only one of the 19 schools was below the Ministry of Educations recommended PTR (40:1), 18 schools were below this
staffing norm. This seems to suggest that a high PTR had a negative impact on KCPE examination performance in the study area. A look at
the row totals buttresses this observation. For example it is notable that all the 10 (100%) schools that had a PTR of 30:1 had attained a
mean score of 200 marks and above during the study period. Conversely the proportion of schools with PTR of 40:1; 50:1 and 60:1 that
reached this level of performance was 67%; 64% and 50% respectively. Furthermore, the one school that had a PTR of 80:1 had not
attained this performance level in the KCPE examination.
Although KCPE examination performance appears to be negatively associated with PTR, the relationship was statistically insignificant (p
>.5). Consequently, Ho1 was accepted and conclusion made that PTR and KCPE examination performance were statistically independent.
Studies on the impact of PTR on pupils academic performance (e.g., Katunzi and Ndalinchuko, 2004; Brainbridge, 2002) adds credence to
this observation. Brainbridges (2002) study for instance revealed that number of students per teacher seemed to have little effect on
students performance on standardized exams. This situation, the study observed was due to the fact that schools with more students had
just as many students among the top scorers as schools that had smaller pupil-teacher ratios.
Ho2: There is no statistically significant relationship between school location and pupils performance in KCPE examination
The result of 2 test in regard to Ho2 is presented in Table 8.
Table 8. 2 Distribution of Schools by Location and KCPE Examination Performance (2003-2010)

KCPE Mean Scores


School location

150-199

200-249

250-350

Total

Urban
Rural

0 (0)
18 (39)

9 (69)
27 (59)

4 (31)
1 (2)

13 (22)
46 (78)

Total

18

36

59 (100

(Figures in parenthesis represent percentages)


2 = 15.051; df = 2; p< .05
It is easily observable from Table 8 that out of the 59 schools in the sample, 18 (31%) had attained less than 200 mean score in the KCPE
examination for the period running from 2003 to 2010. It is also notable that none of the 18 schools was urban-based. This finding appears
to suggest that KCPE examination performance was skewed in favour of urban schools. The row totals further attests to this observation.
For example, while all urban based schools attained a mean score of 200 marks and above (with 31% exceeding 249 mean score), this
achievement was comparatively lower among rural schools in the sense that only 61% of this category of schools attained a mean score of
200 marks and above, with only a partly 2% exceeding the 249 mean score. The data in Table 8 further indicates that the association
between KCPE examination performance and school location was statistically significant (p < .5). Therefore, Ho2 was rejected and
conclusion made that school location and KCPE examination performance were statistically not independent.
The finding that school location has a significant influence on pupils academic performance is in agreement with the findings of Adeyemis
(2010) study which revealed that learners in rural-based schools tended to perform lowly compared to their urban counterparts. The fact
that urban schools are generally advantaged (in terms of learning resources and favourable parental stimulation) than rural schools may
perhaps explain this scenario (Gitau etal, 1993; UNESCO, 2008; Borland and Howsen, 1999).

Summary of the Findings and Conclusions


(i) Majority of respondents (78%) were males implying that there was no gender parity in headship position in the study area.
(ii) An overwhelming majority (97%) of respondents were above 40 years of age. This implies that schools in the study area were
staffed with relatively old head teachers who were consequently more likely to be committed to their leadership tasks in
their respective schools (Reyes, 1990).
(iii) Slightly over half (51%) of schools in the study sample had a PTR of 40:1, implying that they were within the Ministry of
Educations recommended PTR of 40:1. However, 30% of schools in the sample were below the 40:1 PTR staffing norm
which implies that they were understaffed. This suggests that pupils in a third of schools in the sample were getting little
value out of their education for they were less likely to receive individualized attention from teachers.

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(iv) Majority of schools (78%) were located in rural areas. This means that a large proportion of pupils in the sampled schools were
less likely to enjoy the benefits that accrue to pupils in urban based schools such as quality infrastructure (e.g., classrooms,
washrooms etc.), libraries, technology and personal attention from teachers owing to the typical high teacher-pupil ratio in
urban areas.
(v) Although the relationship between PTR and pupils performance in KCPE examination was statistically insignificant (p>.5)
performance depicted an upward trend towards schools with low PTR. This findings tends to suggest that high PTR
impacted negatively on pupils progression through primary school curriculum and hence performance in KCPE
examination.
(vi) The relationship between school location and pupils performance in KCPE examination was statistically significant (p<.5) with
pupils in urban schools performing far much better than their rural counterparts. This seems to indicate that chances of
success in the KCPE examination were comparatively higher in urban- based schools.

Recommendations
Findings generated by the study have important implications and lessons as far as KCPE examination performance is concerned. A major
observation is that PTR and school location have a bearing on pupils performance in KCPE examination. Specifically, pupils in high PTR
schools and schools in rural areas are less likely to excel in KCPE examination compared with their counterparts in low PTR schools and
urban based schools. Therefore, unless measures are put in place to address this challenge, pupils in high PTR schools and rural-based
schools will have limited opportunities for accessing secondary education. This may in turn constrict their chances of rising up the social
ladder. The paper proposes several strategies for addressing this challenge. First, the existing problem of shortfall in teacher supply in
primary schools needs to be fixed. Although the government undertook to recruit 5,682 primary school teachers last year (2012), this
number of recruits was far below the nation wide teacher shortages in primary schools which stood at 53,012 (Siringi, 2012). The way
forward, therefore is for teacher recruitment exercise to be done annually until the existing shortfall is closed.
Available literature (e.g., Otieno, 2010; Sheldon, 2012) indicates that rural schools are not only less attractive to teachers (this is primarily
due to lack of amenities such as clean water, medical services, electricity, etc.) but also lack modern equipment, and physical infrastructure
including classrooms and libraries. Consequently, children in rural schools tend to lag behind their urban counterparts. In this regard, there
is need to upgrade learning facilities in rural schools. Currently, teachers working in designated hardship areas in Kenya are entitled to a
special allowance at the rate of 30% of ones basic salary (Ndichu, 2005). Although this initiative aims at attracting and retaining teachers
in rural areas, revising the allowance upwards and extending the same to more rural areas may go a long way in raising staffing levels in
rural schools. There is no denying that the aforementioned proposals will impact positively on childrens learning gains and by implication
performance in KCPE examination.

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