Determinants of academic performance by private secondary schools in enhancing quality education in Busia District.
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The study sought to investigate the determinants of academic performance among private secondary schools in Busia District, Uganda. Three (03) research objectives guided the study; To establish the influence of the nature of students admitted on the academic performance in private secondary schools in Busia District; to establish the influence of nature of teachers recruited on the academic performance in private secondary schools in Busia District; and to establish the influence of nature of pedagogical attributes in private secondary schools in Busia District on students’ academic performance. The study adopted a cross-sectional design with both quantitative and qualitative research approaches to collect and analyse data. The research instruments were a Self Administered Questionnaire (SAQ), interview Guide and document analysis. Data was obtained from 06 randomly selected private secondary schools, where the students, teachers, Headteachers, Heads of Library, Heads of laboratory and the District Education Officer were among the respondents. The data collected was analysed using SPSS and Excel computer programmes. The study found that private secondary schools admit students with poor financial backgrounds with no ability to adequately pay fees on time. The teachers recruited lack strong academic qualifications, majority of them being diplomas holders and few with degrees; many teachers teach in more than one school to supplement on their meager incomes, lack time and willingness to prepare lesson plans and schemes of work. The study concluded that the nature of students admitted, the nature of teachers recruited and availability of pedagogical attributes have a positive influence on the academic performance of students among private secondary schools in Busia District. The study recommended that private secondary schools should strongly scrutinize the nature of students they admit to ensure that they are of sound academic backgrounds with the willingness and enthusiasm to study and learn, recruit well qualified teachers with good experience and attitude towards their profession, and provide more pedagogical attributes such as adequate library facilities, teaching/learning aids, good and well stocked science laboratories, as well as carrying out effective assessment, supervision of all school activities in order to improve academic performance and enhance quality education in Busia District.