Factors Influencing Academic Performance in Urban Informal Settlements in Kenya

A Case Study of Public Primary Schools of Kibera Slums, Nairobi County


  • T.M. Kibaara
  • G. W. Kabura Kenya Methodist University


Academic performance, Informal settlements


In spite of the government’s commitment to provision of Universal Free Primary Education (FPE) to all children that have attained school going age, there are segments of the society which continue to face myriad of hurdles in access of and participation in basic education which affect their academic performance. Key among these are children in the slums. The purpose of this study was to investigate factors that influence academic performance in urban informal settlements.The study was carried out in public primary schools located in kibera slums of Nairobi county.The objectives of the study were;to establish social economic factors influencing academic performance,to examine the extent to which environmental factors influence academic performance and to find out pupils psychological factors that influence academic performance. The research employed  descriptive survey design as the method for data analysis.Public primary schools located in Kibera,headteachers,teachers and class eight pupils were used as the target population. Purposive sampling was used to sample the schools and the headteachers. Simple random sampling was used to sample the teachers and the pupils. The sample size for the school and headteachers done at 100% hence four schools and four headteachers were used for the study. According to (Kasomo, 2006) Ten (10%) of all accessible population is enough for a descriptive survey study, therefore 10% of the total population for both the teachers and  pupils was obtained. The sample size for teachers was 9 and for the pupils was 82.  The study used questionnaires as the sole research tool to collect data from headteachers,teachers and pupils. Data collected was analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively using tables and percentages.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

T.M. Kibaara

Kenya Methodist University


Akey, T.M. (2006).School Context, Student Attitudes and Behavior, and Academic Achievement: An Exploratory Analysis. Retrieved on 22nd March 2012.from www.mdrc.org

Barry D. S. (1960) Psychology Science and understanding, McGraw Hill.

Barry, J. (2005). Effects of socio-economic status on academic performance. An unpublished MA thesis submitted to Wichita State University, Australia.

City Council of Nairobi, Department of Education Statistics, 2012.Nairobi Kenya.

Danesty, A. H. (2004). Psychosocial Determinants of Academic Performance and Vocational Learning of Students with Disabilities in Oyo State.Unpublished PhD Thesis, University of Ibadan.

Eshiwani, G.S., 1993. Education in Kenya since Independence. Nairobi: Government printer.

Gatheru, K. (2008). Challenges Facing Head teachers in the Implementation of Free Primary Education: A case study of Narok District, Kenya: Unpublished MED project Report, Nairobi: Kenyatta University.

Gibson, A. and Asthana, S. (1998). Schools, pupils and examination results: contextualizing school performance. British Educational Research Journal 24: 269-82.

Hijazi, S.T. and Naqvi, S.M.M.R. (2006). “Factors Affecting Students’ Performance: A Case of Private Collegesâ€. Bangladesh e-Journal of Sociology.Volume 3.Number 1. January 2006.

Howarth, c. (2002) ‘So you are from Brixton?’.The struggle for recognition and esteem in a stigmatized community, Ethnicities.

Johnson, A. (1996). Theoretical Model of Economic Nationalism in Developing States. London: George Allen and Undwin Ltd.

Karim, A. and Venkatesan, S. (2009). “Mathematics Anxiety, Mathematics Performance andAcademic Hardiness in High School Studentsâ€.Department of Studies in Psychology University of Mysore.Karnataka, India: Manasagangothri, Mysore 570 006.

Kasomo, D. (2006). Research methods in Humanities and Education. (Statistic, Measurement Evaluation and Testing)Egerton, Kenya: Egerton University Press.

Lacour, M. and TissingtonL.D. (2011).“The effects of poverty on academic achievement.â€Educational Research and Review Vol. 6 (7). USA: Southern Arkansas University.

Lupton, R. (2004). Schools in Disadvantaged Areas: Recognizing Context and Raising Quality. Centre for Analysis of Social: London School of Economics. London, Great Britain.

LydiahL.M. and Nasongo J.W. (2009).“Role of the Headteacher in Academic Achievement in Secondary Schools in Vihiga District, Kenyaâ€.Current Research Journal of Social Sciences.Maxwell Scientific Organization.

Makewa L. N. et al. (2011). “School Climate and Academic Performance in High and Low Achieving Schools: Nandi Central District, Kenyaâ€. International Journal of Scientific Research in Education, JUNE 2011, Vol. 4(2), 93-104.

Mathooko.M, (2009).“Actualizing free primary education in Kenya for sustainable developmentâ€.Journal of Pan African studiesvol 2 no 8.

Mwamwenda T. (2004). Educational Psychology: An African Perspective. Nairobi: Heinneman.

Mugenda, O. M. and Mugenda,A. G. (2003).ResearchMethodsQuantitativeandQualitativeApproaches Nairobi: ACTS Press Publishers.

Newmann, F. M (1992).Academic achievement of high school students based on Classroom environment.United States. New York: Teachers College Press.

Nzomo J., Kariuki, M. W. and Guantai, L. (2001).The quality of education: Some policy suggestions based on a survey of schools. UNESCO-IIEP.

Pavlov, I. P. (1927).Conditioned Reflexes: An Investigation of the Physiological Activity of the Cerebral Cortex. Translated and Edited by G. V. Anrep. London: Oxford University Press.

Shah, L. (1993).The influence of selected socio-psychological variables on the achievement of school children in Azad Kashmir. University of the Punjab: Pakistan Research Repository.

Shittu, M. R. (2004). Socio-Economic Determinants of Academic Performance of Secondary School Students in Nigeria. University of Ilorin: An unpublished B.Ed project.

Sprinthall, E. (1987). Educational Psychology. A Development Approach (2nd Ed). New York: Addeson Wesley.

Sprinthall, R.C. (1990). Basic statistical analysis (3rd ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

UNESCO (2006).Fact Book on Education for All (EFA) 2006.UNESCO, Nairobi.

UNESCO (2006).Non-Formal Education.International Institute for Education Planning: Paris, France.

USDOE (2001).No Child Left Behind. Retrieved on December 12, 2012 from http://www2.ed.gov/nclb/landing.jhtml

Vitasari P. et al. (2010). “The Relationship between Study Anxiety and Academic Performance among Engineering Studentsâ€.Procedia - Social and Behavioral SciencesVolume 8, 2010, Pages 490–49. Retrieved on 24th February from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877042810021725

Yara, P.O. and Otieno, K. O. (2010).“Teaching/Learning Resources and Academic Performance in Mathematics in Secondary Schools in Bondo District of Kenyaâ€.Asian Social Science Vol. 6, No. 12; December 20

Yinusa, M. A. and Basil, A. O. (2008).“Socio-Economic Factors Influencing Students Academic Performance in Nigeria: Some Explanation from a Local Surveyâ€.Pakistan Journal of Social Sciences. Volume 5, Issue 4, Pp. 319-323.



How to Cite

Kibaara, T., & Kabura, G. W. (2015). Factors Influencing Academic Performance in Urban Informal Settlements in Kenya: A Case Study of Public Primary Schools of Kibera Slums, Nairobi County. Kabarak Journal of Research & Innovation, 3(1), 1–8. Retrieved from https://journals.kabarak.ac.ke/index.php/kjri/article/view/2

Similar Articles

1 2 3 4 5 6 > >> 

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.