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Influence of lecturer characteristics on academic achievement of engineering students in national polytechnics in Kenya: an analytical study

Author: 
Khajeha Hariet, Enose M.W. Simatwa and Olive T. Baraza
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

Engineering covers many different types of activities. Engineers make things, make things work and make things work better. They also use their creativity and innovativeness to provide solutions to the world’s problems and help transform the future. Lecturers who teach Engineering courses offered at Diploma level in polytechnics play a critical role in students’ acquisition of practical skills and knowledge relating to industrial development worldwide. There is no doubt that the country’s economy, national security and everyday lives increasingly depend on scientific and technical innovation. Engineering is a key component of innovation and technological society. Changes on global scene are commonplace challenges and the national leadership is responding quickly by expanding Technical and Vocational Educational Training Institutes (TVET). In fact it is the government policy that every constituency should have a technical training institute. The government has doubled its efforts by extending Higher Education Loan Boards’ (HELB) loans to trainees in the technical training institutes. The government is seriously concerned about the declining interest on the part of Kenyan citizens in engineering studies and careers; and the poor performance in national examinations. The trainers who are lecturers, are considered key players in moving forward to improve engineering education. Through engineering education lecturers build competence based workforce for key industries. The performance of students in engineering courses in national polytechnics was unsatisfactory and a serious concern. The unsatisfactory performance could have been due to many factors such as students’ attitude, students’ entry behaviour, teaching learning resources, infrastructure, lecturer characteristics, location of the polytechnics and the nature of curricula as suggested by the literature review. The objective of this study was therefore to determine the influence of lecturer characteristics on academic achievement of trainees in engineering courses in national polytechnics in Kenya. This study established that lecturers’ age and experience significantly influenced academic achievement of engineering students while lecturers’ qualification did not statistically influence students academic achievement significantly.

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