Relationship between students‟ mathematics achievement and career aspirations in secondary schools of Kandara sub-county, Kenya.

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ABSTRACT

The study examined the relationship between students‟ Mathematics achievement and their career aspiration. This research was conducted in Kenya among sampled secondary schools in Kandara Sub-county. Career aspirations of form three students were examined in the study. The study was guided by three objectives, namely: (a) to establish Secondary students career aspirations in relation to their Mathematics achievement (b) to find out the effect of gender in career aspirations of students in secondary schools (c) to establish the effect of school category on career choices of students. It also tested three hypotheses that were based on the objectives. This research follows descriptive design. The target population was form three students and career guidance teachers in public schools in Kandara Sub-County. The schools were categorized as boys only, girls only and coeducational. Proportional stratified sampling was used to sample two schools boys only category, two from girls only category and 23 schools from coeducational institutions. The research was conducted on 1771 form three secondary school students of which 858 were females and 911 males drawn from 27 schools out of 55 schools in the sub-County. The study used two instruments  to collect data i.e. a questionnaire for students and an interview schedule for Career masters/mistresses. Cronbach‟s alpha of each variable was used as an internal consistency measure. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze quantitative data. Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS version 22.0) was used to get descriptive statistics such as, percentages, frequencies and tabulations. The results were presented in frequency tables and charts. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to assess gender variation. The results  showed  that  there  was  a  significant  association  in  the  students‟  career aspiration to their performance in Mathematics (χ2 = 4717.64, P = 0.0001), significant  variation  of  the  students‟  career  aspiration  by  gender  and  Career aspiration was significantly different in the various school categories. The study concluded  that  Mathematics  achievement  greatly  influenced  students‟  career aspirations in public secondary schools. Students chose careers that demand good performance in Mathematics even when their performance is low. This shows they have high aspirations of pursuing those courses. This study recommended that the ministry provides a pre-qualification test to the students who desire to pursue a certain career instead of locking them out on account of not performing well in a subject.