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Exploring challenges that influence preparatory students performance on mathematics and science education: a case of Jimma zone preparatory schools

Author: 
Solomon Hailemariam Didu and Sisay Milkias Waza
Subject Area: 
Physical Sciences and Engineering
Abstract: 

This research aimed at exploring factors that contributed to the weak performance of students in science education (Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics). It focused on five randomly selected preparatory schools of Jimma zone, Oromia regional state, Ethiopia. The study employed a cross sectional research design, and both quantitative and qualitative data types were used. Accordingly, the data were collected through structured questionnaires, focus group discussions and interview. Descriptive statistics, inferential statistics, coding and thematic analysis were the data analysis techniques employed in the present study. The quantitative data were computed and analyzed using SPSS version 20 Software. The numerical results were displayed using tables and bar graphs, whereas the qualitative findings were summarized and listed thematically. The overall findings of the study revealed that, among other things, the students’ performance were highly negatively affected by shortage of well-organized laboratories, declined interest and motivation of students to study basic science in general and their negative attitudes towards mathematics and physics in particular. Moreover, placing or assigning learners in the field of pure science by the 70/30 placement scheme found to be one of the major factors that contributed to learners’ weak performance in science education. Accordingly, conclusions were drawn based up on the findings of the study. Finally, pedagogical implications and viable solutions were recommended.

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